Olsen's Blog

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Postby Olsenpotter » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:33 pm

In respect for Banned Book Week (the last week of September every year) I decided to look up some of the most debated bannings in our country. What I found blew me away. A school in Savannah made their children have singed notes from their parents before they could read Hamlet, King Lear, or Macbeth. Which lead me to the quote from Bradbury, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." And while I'm not saying that Shakespeare is our only sense of culture that we have, he is part of our culture. How can anyone fall in love, and know with some sense the depth of that love, without knowing Romeo and Juliet? How can we pretend to understand the inner workings of the mind without Hamlet to guide us? What do we want our kids today to read? Harry Potter is good in is own right, but what about Bradbury? Salinger? Hemingway? Orwell? All these books that have been banned from our schools and our lives, are they banned because, as Bradbury states in Fahrenheit 451, "they reminds us what fools and asses we are"?
I've been reading Clockwork Orange to celebrate this week, what a perfect book to be reading today with the idea that we can beat our enemies into submission and then expect them to be able to fend for themselves after we "win". In my 500 level literature class today, the teacher asked who had heard of Milton, yes Milton as in Paradise Lost, and I was the only one to raise my hand. Is anyone else pulling of the book side of this tug-a-war with the 2 hours of your time that you watch instead of read?
Again I'm not bashing movies, I love movies, but their is something something missing from most main-stream movies today. No thinking, no life-changing thoughts, just entertainment which is fine if, and this is a big if, people would be getting those thoughts and life-changing moments somewhere else in their lives, but I feel (I know that this is a general statement but I think it might be to general) that no one is.
One more quote from Bradbury and then I'm through, "Many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumour of a title to you, Mrs. Montag) whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: 'now at least you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors.' Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there's your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more."
Please Celebrate Banned Book Week, our future may depend upon it.

Olsen
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Postby mslover » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:57 pm

i'd love to see a complete list of banned books. sad how much is lost when they are off limits for reading.

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Postby fiona » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:15 pm

I've been reading Clockwork Orange to celebrate this week, what a perfect book to be reading today with the idea that we can beat our enemies into submission and then expect them to be able to fend for themselves after we "win".

The guy of my avatar! I didn't know there was a book about him.
I think that what happened to him was sad, because he was a deplorable individual and when he was changed into a good citizen, society itself was cruel to him. There is no hope in a thought like this. I use him as an example of entangled contradiction within our soical system and as an outcry to our remand homes, since they should think that in the first place they're not making a favor to anyone but themselves. I don't expect authoritities to love these people but to care for them from a responsible stance, that is: leave your heart at home and bring your arms, protection and wisdom to teach us solidarity.
For me the banned book of the week would be a book of magic, for instance: the Picatrix. In schools they never consider magic as an important subject and I like magic because it may help us to develop alternative reasoning. I'd like to have a version of it but, as far as I know, it was banned for good in the middle ages. :-P
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Postby mae » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:24 pm

I use him as an example of entangled contradiction within our soical system and as an outcry to our remand homes, since they should think that in the first place they're not making a favor to anyone but themselves.


Fiona, I have no idea what you're saying here. 'Remand homes'? What are you trying to tell us here, dear?

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Postby mae » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:35 pm

Olsen, I agree with you, I think. There is a place for movies but not to the exclusion of books. You're right when you say that there is something missing in movies. When a book is made into a movie, by necessity a great deal is left out. Since you can SEE what's going on, you no longer need to imagine it yourself, so are left with the director's vision rather than your own. No need to think or imagine; no need to invent the character as you read; no need to think about the scene or the character's motivation; no need to consider the affect of what's happening on society - you can see its affect.

Banning books is counter-productive and highly subjective. Everyone can find at least one book that they consider objectionable. I don't think books should be banned; however, I do think they should be read or given to someone to read responsibly. Reading a well-written book, I can identify completely with its characters. (When I was reading the Caine Mutiny my fiance - now husband - learned to keep his distance. I would get so agitated reading about Capt. Queeg and his little metal balls that I'd snap at him with no provocation at all.)

I'm starting to ramble now. Thanks for your very thought-provoking post, Olsen.

mae
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CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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Postby TinaS1570 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:54 am

I too agree with your post Olsen. I'm back in school and I'm shocked quite a bit when our English professor's ask about certain author's and no one but myself replies. The first day of class, one girl said "but why read all these, can't we just watch the movies". she's an ENGLISH major and silly me, I thought that meant people actually LIKE to read.
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Postby fiona » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:18 am

Fiona, I have no idea what you're saying here. 'Remand homes'? What are you trying to tell us here, dear?
Sorry, reform schools! Do you think that reform schools reform anything? I'm saying this because adults seem worried about education but they scarcely spare a thought for these problematic children and their education.

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."

I agree with Bradbury and Olsen. Then we have banned books, banned people and loads of hypocrisy. As the number of people saying they care increase, the number of people who really care decrease. We have people saying out loud that they care about culture but I think they are scared about pluralism, which, in my opinion is the base of any culture. Their words are infested with fear and they teach their words to our children. And you know what is their greatest fear? Not belonging.
After all, some books are like juvenile delinquents: they may cause great chaos in the classroom. :shock:
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Postby Olsenpotter » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:22 pm

I can't help going back to the ending of F-451 (which I finished last night with my wife) and thinking about what it is that Bradbury is saying about the city and the war and the way the story ended. He mentions the Phoenix and its rebirth, but the doubt in my mind about it is that the people in the city won't have a rebirth. Montag was only saved because he ran away, otherwise, even though he was reading books and trying to save them, he would of been fried with the rest of the people in the city. So I can't justify a "Reading books will save your life" through that lens of viewing. However, what I think Bradbury was saying is that if the people would of been thinking for themselves and not just watching "The Family" or listening to the Dentram's Dentafice commercials they would of realized how close and how bad the war was going to be. The point of the story isn't about burning the books, or never reading the books, its not allowing others to think for us. Which why I don't believe any book should be banned anywhere. There are books I don't agree with, but that doesn't give me the right to tell someone else they can't read it.
One of the most important parts of F-451 to me was when Montag is going to work, right after getting the money for Faber. He says (and I don't have my book on me right now so I'm paraphrasing) that if he lets Faber do his thinking for him then there is no point in him changing sides. I wish I had the exact words because they are beautifully written, but the point is made. If we shut off our newscasts and we turn off our automatic acceptance of everything that everyone (teachers, governments, Religious leaders, even parents and friends) tells us and think about for ourselves we would be that much more in charge of our lives, which is the whole point of banning and restricting people from anything; control.
Now I'm not a radical saying that we should follow Thoreau's example of moving out into the woods with nothing but the classics, but we should, in some form, allow ourselves time to think. I know for myself that the only time I get to think is when I'm driving to school and I turn the radio off and think about life.
What do you guys think? If we turn off the radios and the tvs and the cellphones would we become a smarter, more independent people? It seems that all of Bradbury's novels have some form of independence in them, even the act of reading itself involves that we be independent for a moment while our brain soaks up the words.

What do you think?
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Postby mae » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:56 pm

I think you shouldn't base your view of life on one book or one author's point of view, whatever it happens to be.

mae
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Postby Olsenpotter » Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:18 am

Thats just it mae, I'm saying that we shouldn't follow anyone example or point of view without first thinking it out for ourselves. I agree with Bradbury on many points, but I also agree with Dante, Shakespeare, Austen, Adams, and countless others that all have something to give to me as a reader. I think the world sits back and reads a book and accepts the ideas in it without thinking about them first; if they think about them at all! Each person should be able to create them own idealogy of how the world works based off of what they read, see, and hear.
Imagine if everyone in the world accepted what MSN News has to say about the war in Iraq or the coverage of the Presidental Race? I'm not bashing the way that people live their lives, what I'm upset about is the fact that they allow themselves to be herded into flocks where deep down they know they don't belong. Did you see the video of the Student getting tasered at a John Kerry speech? They tasered him because he was asking to many questions, taking up too much time. I agree that he was being somewhat forcefull with his questions; however, does that give the police the right to taser me? Many people compare F-451 to 1984, a comparsion that I think fits rather well because both deal with people not thinking for themselves but allowing the government to control every ascept of our lives. This is such an old fear that even Shakespeare forsaw it happening. Othello is perfectly happy with his life until he starts to let Iago lead his thoughts. That's what I keep going back to in the books I'm reading, not only Bradbury but Tolkien, Lewis, Carroll, Tolstoy, Wordsworth, Burgess, McCormac, and I would venture any book that you read has an undertone of thinking for yourself. That's what reading is, and I believe its that process, the effort it takes to interlize an idea or a theme, that keeps people from reading books and in the banning them from our schools and libraries.

Just some thoughts.

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Postby Olsenpotter » Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:27 am

Ms,
Here's a list of some of the most often banned books. Enjoy.
Top 100 Banned Book from 1990-2000
1 Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2 Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4 The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7 Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8 Forever by Judy Blume
9 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10 Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11 Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12 My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14 The Giver by Lois Lowry
15 It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16 Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17 A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19 sex by Madonna
20 Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21 The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
23 Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24 Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25 In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26 The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27 The Witches by Roald Dahl
28 The New Joy of Gay sex by Charles Silverstein
29 Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30 The Goats by Brock Cole
31 Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32 Blubber by Judy Blume
34 Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
35 Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
36 We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
37 Final Exit by Derek Humphry
38 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
39 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
40 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
41 What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up
Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
42 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
43 Beloved by Toni Morrison
44 The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
45 The Pigman by Paul Zindel
46 Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
47 Deenie by Judy Blume
48 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
49 Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
50 The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
51 Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
52 A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
53 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
54 Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
55 Asking About sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
56 Cujo by Stephen King
57 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
58 The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
59 Boys and sex by Wardell Pomeroy
60 Ordinary People by Judith Guest
61 American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
62 What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for
Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
63 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
64 Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
65 Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
66 Fade by Robert Cormier
67 Guess What? by Mem Fox
68 The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
69 The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
70 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
71 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
72 Native Son by Richard Wright
73 Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies
by Nancy Friday
74 Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
75 Jack by A.M. Homes
76 Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
77 Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
78 Carrie by Stephen King
79 Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
80 On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
81 Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
82 Family Secrets by Norma Klein
83 Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
84 The Dead Zone by Stephen King
85 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
86 Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
87 Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
88 Private Parts by Howard Stern
89 Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
90 Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90 Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91 Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92 Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93 sex Education by Jenny Davis
94 The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95 Girls and sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96 How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97 View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98 The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99 The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100 Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

The top 10 of 2006 are:

“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;

“Gossip Girls” series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;

“Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;

“The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things” by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;

“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;

“Scary Stories” series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;

“Athletic Shorts” by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language;

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group; and

“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.

and for all other questions about banned books here's a link to wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_books

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Postby mae » Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:38 am

Interesting. I have a few of those in my personal library. Ack! I own banned books! (Shel Silverstein? Maya Angelou? Judy Blume? WHERE'S WALDO?!!!!)

What I found a teeny bit enlightening (and in a perverse sort of way, encouraging) was that there were books on both sides (all sides) of the ideological fence on that list. The media has often portrayed book banners as right wing extremists or ultra-conservative, but there are books on that list that would have been offensive to folks on the left side of the room as well. Just shows you can have a closed and shuttered mind no matter what your political leanings.

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



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CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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Postby Olsenpotter » Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:06 pm

mae wrote: Just shows you can have a closed and shuttered mind no matter what your political leanings.


Amen!
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Postby mslover » Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:50 pm

Thank you so much! I have read some - now i'd love to delve further into the realm of "naughty" - so who makes the decision to ban books anyway?

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Postby mae » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:01 pm

Isn't it generally library boards and school districts? mae
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Postby Olsenpotter » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:20 pm

I know that this is going to sound a little obtuse of me but I have to tell someone me thoughts, and well here seemed the best place to express what I am feeling.
Lately there has been a boom in "Must-Read" books out there. One of these is the series by a mormon author named Stephanie Meyer called Twilight. Has anyone read it? If not, DO NOT buy the book but at least read the first couple chapters and form your own opinion of it before you take my babble as complete truth. However I have to stand up against these outrage of a best seller.

I'm not one to condem books, I love Harry Potter, Vampire Hunter D, easy reads that are just flights into fantasy and really don't mean anything, but I don't make them part of serious reading list because they are just flights in fantasy. There's a difference between a book about an evil circus by someone who uses 150 cliches per page and one by Ray Bradbury who inspires with every single sentence. I Hope you understand what I am saying.

In a interview that I read with Meyer, she said that she was afraid of reading Bram Stoker's Dracula (Her book is about Vampires, in case you didn't know) because is would ruin her vision of what a vampire world would be. I defend her decision that it might ruin her original idea to a point, however, I don't think that anyone should write a vampire story without reading the novel that gave us (to a massive degree) what vampires are today. Can you imagine someone writing a sonnet and not reading at least one sonnet by Shakespeare? Or a book about Romeo without having read Romeo and Juliet because it would "ruin their artist vision"?

Another item that drives me crazy about these series is how Meyer refers to Austen and other authors (like Shakespeare) in her text but does not live up to their quality of writing. I understand that she wrote the book for teenager's, and I understand that you're not going to be writing deep writing in a book for that age group, but my mind reflects back to The Giver by Lowry and wow...I read that in 4th grade and evening today I am amazed at how well writing it is. Meyer on the other hand, well, let me give you a sample of what I mean.

"My Mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue. I was wearing my favorite shirt-- sleeveless, white eyelet lace; I was wearing it as a farewell gesture. My carry on item was a parka."

Compare that to this amazing opening sentence:
"The last drop of the thunderstorm had ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled his pack more comfortably on his shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut tree into the middle of the road."

I know it is unfair to compare Meyer with C.S. Lewis because we as a society so highly value Lewis's work (The sentence above is from Out Of The Silent Planet, wonderful book you should all read) but in my mind you can not publish a book without erasing some part of the cannon for that genre. "Best Seller", as Harold Bloom said, are the death mark of any book worth reading. Why? I feel that it is because to be called a best seller the majority of reading must read it and as we know the majority does not like books that merit the attention of the mind, they like books that have entertainment and easy reading as the main point. I'm not bashing those kinds of book because I enjoy reading them as well, what I am bashing is that the level of thinking that is involved with the new "Best Sellers" has decreased into the realm of first grade reading level. See Dick Run is not my idea of entertainment, yet Meyer is using that as the base of all her sentences.

What are your thoughts on the subject?
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Postby TheMudge » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:53 pm

Interesting essay, Olsen. I haven't read the book to which you refer, but I DO remember what I reading as a teenager: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, A Wrinkle in Time, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea . . .not an Aragorn . . . excuse me, Eragon in the bunch.
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Postby Nephtalius » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:31 am

Olsenpotter wrote: Another item that drives me crazy about these series is how Meyer refers to Austen and other authors (like Shakespeare) in her text but does not live up to their quality of writing.

I don't write as well as the authors I admire. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop telling people I admire them. Not does it mean I'm going to cease trying to live up to their quality.
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Postby TheMudge » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:13 am

I think, Neph, that Olsen is more annoyed by the tendency to name drop without demonstrating any real knowledge of those to whom one refers. Like someone trying to sound very hip and referencing Cole Porter, when everything else he says leads you to believe he couldn't tell Cole Porter from Porter Waggoner on a bet.
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Postby Olsenpotter » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:32 am

Hey Guys,
Come check out my blog at

http://goldshouldrust.blogspot.com/

Olsen
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Postby Olsenpotter » Fri May 01, 2009 10:54 am

I've decided to commit myself to writing every day. It's been a long time coming, I've felt that I should be writing everyday for a long while now, but school, work, the baby that is on its way, and a couple of elephant have kept me pre-occupied to the max. No more I say; "I defy you, Gods!"; and so here is my first post in what I hope to be many, many, posts.
This semester I took a class on Gender Transformations in Literature; it was very eye opening. Full of very adult content at times but I learned things about myself in that class that I couldn't of any other way. The main thing I learned was to judge people not based on gender but rather as human beings.
The trouble with gender is that it is not set in stone. I am a man, but the way I act, the way I perform Man is different from my father, my brother, my neighbor. How can I judge other men as men, seeing their shortcomings as a weakness in gender? Who is the perfect man that all other men should be judged by?
Case in point: I have a friend who right now is addicted to pornography. He is hurting his wife, ruining his kid’s lives, and does nothing but sit and watch porn. He doesn't even have a job to support his family. Instead of judging him as a man (With all the cultural and social implications that involves) should I not see him as a human being? Emotions and needs are universal in their scope, no one gender as the advantage over the other in their range of emotion. Why accept the social norm that he is a weak man? Could he not be, rather, a human being in need? The fact that he is searching for another avenue to express his pent up emotion is a sure sign of unhappiness in marriage, but if we lift the cultural definition of “Man” and look at him as a human, with all the exceptions stripped away, we can see the core problem and help resolve that issue.
Don’t get me wrong, I think he needs a job. I think he needs to stop doing what he is doing. But the point of the matter is that he is a human being with a problem and in order to fix that problem we must go beyond gender roles, beyond what we socially are programmed to see, and treat him not as a male, not we would a female, but as we would another human being, independent of what gender he happens to be.
More on this later, but I wonder what would happen if we treated each other as humans, and not male, or gay male, or female, or transgendered.
Just some thoughts
I'll leave you a note in the freezer.
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Olsenpotter
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Postby Olsenpotter » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:59 am

I just finished rereading a wonderful little book for the umpteenth time called Franny and Zooey by the all time great J.D. Salinger. Has anyone read it? Any thoughts on the matter? I plan on writing a paper on it someday, soon I hope, but I wanted to write a little about it here.

What never ceases to astonish me about Salinger's writing is the fact that it's so simple, the language is easy, yet he communicates ideas that are so complex it's hard to talk about them. With Franny, a story loaded with poetic devices and lines, Salinger creates a woman so conflicted with herself, with her boyfriend, and with the teachings of her elder brother (Seymour Glass-one of the most interesting characters in all of literature) that it causes not only Franny to self-destruct but the reader to actually feel that raw emotion building up inside her.

One of my favorite lines from Franny is:

"Franny didn't seem to hear him. She opened her compact again and took another quick glance into the mirror. "God," she said. Then she cleared everything--compact, billfold, laundry bill, toothbrush, a tin of aspirins, and a gold-plated swizzle stick--back into her handbag. "I don't know why I carry that crazy gold swizzle stick around," she said. "A very corny boy gave it to me when I was a sophomore, for my birthday. He thought it was such a beautiful and inspired gift, and he kept watching my face while I opened the package. I keep trying to throw it away, but I simply can't do it. I'll go to my grave with it." She reflected. "He kept grinning at me and telling me I'd always have good luck if I kept it with me at all times.""

This passage is so revealing about Franny's character. She carries around a present from some boy she doesn't even remember because it will bring her good luck. It's the perfect foil to what the story is actually about, the Jesus Prayer, which is if you repeat the name of Jesus constantly over and over all day eventually you will become like him and meet him. The whole story plays off of intellectual world colliding with the religious world; Franny is caught between what he is learning at school and what her brother taught her growing up, namely the Jesus Prayer.

As for Zooey, well, that's a different matter, but the whole story takes place with the main character sitting in a tub reading a letter. It's great.

More thoughts, more ramblings, later.
I'll leave you a note in the freezer.
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Olsenpotter
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Postby Olsenpotter » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:44 am

So since it seems that whenever I say something on Wordtrip, life will do everything in its power to keep me from fulfilling said promise; no more promises.

I'm reading Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety once again. What a breath-taking book. More on it later because it's not what I want to write about today; needless to say if you haven't read it please, I implore you, pick up a copy and read it, if you like anything to do with the English language you will love that novel.

No, what I really want to talk about is my favorite author of all time, William Shakespeare. How could he not be everyone's favorite author? The man wrote such amazing words, poetry that everyone can associate with, characters that remind us of ourselves.

A little back story: I recently got a job teaching English 101 for a local college. It's been my dream for a very very long time and I love every minute of it. However, when I said that we would be reading Romeo and Juliet in class, all I heard was groaning and complaining. I wasn't shocked; I'm not naive about the effects of Shakespeare's writing style on the people who prefer "Spot ate the ball", the standard Subject Verb Object that our language is based on. All the same, I quote from R&J so much in my everyday life that I was disappointed.

-unfinished: More to come-
I'll leave you a note in the freezer.

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