Friday, 17 May 2013

From the Mouth of the Whale - #33

Image sourced from here
This book is beautifully written. It's lyrical. It picks you up and carries you along. You are swept through streams of consciousness and through herbal medicinal books, and then through third person narrative. You switch from one to the other seamlessly. It's a masterpiece in that regard.

But I am left with one overwhelming question.

What the fuck was that all about?

I mean I get it. It's the story of Jon├ís the Learned and his exile. It's about the amazing things he does or witnesses before he is accused of sorcery  It is about his weird magic realism visions. It's about his wonderfully patient wife. It's about him going to Denmark. But... what's the point?

I dislike getting to the end of the book and being thoroughly confused. It's the awkward break up conversation. "It's not you, it's me. I just don't think I can see this going any where." The book is as silent as my exes on the receiving end of the speech. Which could be a credit to my exes. But you just burble to fill in the space. In the end you just convince the other person they are better off without you or your understanding, because you have just revealed yourself as being slightly insane and they feel like they have dodged a bullet. "Why doesn't this girl just shut up?!?"

But I don't like that it my reading. The book that is cute and charming enough to get you to snog it while you're a little bit drunk, and then wake up thinking "What the hell did I just do? Please tell me it's not lying next to me." The book that tells your these epic sagas and then gets to the punchline and tells you "Oh I would tell you the point but it's too existential for you." (which is an "excuse" I was given by a staff member turning up 5 hours late for a shift (shifts were 4 hours long)).

See. This makes me grumpy. It conjures up images of break ups, drunken snogs with pretty, vapid boys and horrible prats who think they are all higher plain but are just fuckwits. It takes you on a pretty journey and I don't get the conclusion. If there is one. And I just don't know why I was taken on the journey.

I really do wonder if it is a cultural thing. Do I not get it coz I'm not Icelandic or even Scandinavian? I'd hope not but I may be right. I will read another of his books. I hope it is just this book, and it is the longest of them all. But I am prepared to be completely confused again. I'm not saying don't read it, just in case it is really me.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

What's with the Rainbow?

So to get all political on your arse (like that's never happened before... piffle). I believe that if you love somebody, it doesn't matter what race, creed, gender, colour or sex you are. You should be able to commit to each other in a loving relationship in front of your friends and family if you wish. Not everyone likes the idea of marriage, that's cool, I'm in a relationship with one of them. I'm also not saying a religious organisation should have to perform over unions they do not agree with.

What I think is that a relationship between two people who love each other should be able to have that recognised if they wish.

At the moment I live in a country that seems to be governed by conservatives who are more scared of what the evangelicals in their electorates think than the majority of Australians. I live in a country where an atheist PM (of the debatable "left" party) in a defacto relationship is terrified of the conservative vote. It does my head in.

This is why I have a big rainbow here. It's to say while I personally am not same sex attracted, my family members and friends who are and who want to get married, should be able to. And I will protest, and demonstrate, until they are able to. This is a wonderful thing. Two people willing to stand in front of everyone they know and commit themselves to each other is great. And this rainbow is declaring my support for this cause, and at the end of the month there will be a snapshot of all the websites who display this rainbow and be sent to the Australian Government. Follow the rainbow to see other sites who support this, add the code yourself, or dismiss it (it shouldn't show up again for you, yay for no spam). I don't mind, but this is what it is about.

And those of you who have quibbles, or just want a good rational debate, you should listen to this conservative pollie from New Zealand the other day when they debated, and passed, their own marriage equality bill.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Ender's Game

Image sourced from here
Alright. I read it. Our relationship can survive to be fought over normal relationship matters now, not the fact I haven't read his favourite book.

There was a threat made earlier this year that after all these years of not reading Lexx's favourite book, the crunch time was coming that he may leave me if I did not. I decided it was prudent to read the book, and not see how much of this threat was jest and how much truth was behind it.

I put it off honestly as I don't do spaceships. I just have an aversion to them. I don't know why, but it may have something to do with the fact my darling brother watched Star Wars and Return of the Jedi everyday for over 6 years. He would have watched The Empire Strikes Back too but we "lost" it at some point (I may need to thank my parents for this fact). So I procrastinated and read many other interesting things. I also put it off when I found out Orson Scott Card is a complete nutter and a rabid homophobe. But I finally picked it up.

It was a good read. I don't think it was fantastic, but I wonder what I would have thought as a young adult. But I did enjoy it a lot more than I was expecting.

First of all though, I had problems with believing Ender was the age he was. I had a very hard time suspending that belief. Once he ages, it was easier, but it was still slightly unbelievable. I mentioned this and got a long lecture about how they were genetically engineered kids and such. But still. I like some believability in my genetically engineered geniuses.

The bit I loved about the book the most I can't talk about. It's annoying but it all happened in the spoiler part of the book. To summarise as best I can though, the twist is great. I gasped audibly when it came. And the last 10 pages I left last night, as it was late and I was tired, and I wish I hadn't at all. I am so glad it ended where and how it did.

I believe I will enjoy Speaker for the Dead more. It's apparently more philosophical and political than Ender's battles and strategy. I read today that Speaker was actually the story he wanted to write, but he needed the back story and it got complicated.

I'm glad it did as I liked Ender. Really liked, he's a great protagonist. You can understand him, you understand his decisions, and above all you emphasise with him immensely. I liked Bean (he was good for a giggle) and some of the others, but no one as much as Ender. I recommend it highly. But just don't buy it new. Borrow it, secondhand bookshop it, whatever. And if you have to read one book to possibly save your relationship, there are millions of worse things to read ;)