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Archive for September, 2013

Poker Face

The long entry I wrote about John McCain mocking the Senate Hearing on Syria is in the trash because I just don’t have anything to say beyond what I tweeted last night.

I’m so sorry that John McCain thinks three hours of senate hearings to determine the outcome of millions of lives is too dull to listen to.</p>&mdash; Katherine Coble (@mycropht)

So there’s that.

There’s also the issue of purity that for some reason everyone is wittering about.   This happens a lot, and since I don’t watch the “news” I never really know what the igniting event is.  But the zeitgeist picks up a wave and rides it from Sidney to Siberia; “purity” and “introversion” are two hot topics that keep cropping up.

I don’t write about purity because I don’t have a daughter or a son whose sexuality is easier to discuss on the internet than directly with them.   I don’t have any girls from the local high school sniffing around my bronzed young progeny with their slutty selfies, nor do I have any hulking, drooling boys from church who can’t keep their leering eyes from straying to my dainty daughter’s naughty bits.

I do have the memory of a girl who liked very much the idea of sex and was drawn to it like a moth to a flame.   That girl got pulled aside by a male teacher at her Christian School and told to wear baggier clothes to hide her D cup breasts.  She was 13.  I wonder why that was appropriate, now that I think about it.    How come that teacher didn’t say “I’m a Nabakovian Creeper who cannot control myself so I’m going to blame this chronological CHILD for my problem”?  Maybe to a therapist or somebody.  No.  Instead it was all “Biblical modesty, etc.”     Keep in mind, of course, that I was a 13 year old girl in a Christian School with a dress code.  We had to wear modest clothes.  So it wasn’t like I was wearing those things that they blame for drooly mens drooling. (And even if I were it didn’t matter. It DOES NOT MATTER. Pederasty is not the fault of the child.)

When there were no sweaters baggy enough I ended up packing 30lbs on instead.   On purpose.  “Maybe this way they’ll stop looking.”   They never did.  Which ended up being a good thing, because my best friend decided that he liked looking and wanted to look forever.   He’s still around, at work at the moment.

Why am I babbling about this?   Because I wanted to write something today but I didn’t know what to write.  I want to participate in the conversation but I don’t have the traditional “My Child Is  A Sexy Student” entree into the thing.   All I have to legitimately discuss is my own experience.   It’s not that interesting, but it’s what I’ve got.   And it’s better than playing iPhone poker while the Middle East burns.

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I should add that the paragraph about girls with slutty selfies and boys with drool is based on some popular viral blog posts that I’m not linking to because I don’t want to give them any more press.   I’m sure if you want to read them you can find them easily enough.

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I have different sets of friends.  It’s not that I’ve compartmentalised my life intentionally.  It’s just that some of my friends just read books.  Others write books.  Still others write Christian books.

When I’m talking with my “reader” friends and my “writer” friends about the books we read, we talk about plot structure, character, motivation, conflict, narrative presence, themes.   

When I’m viewing my Christian writer friends talk–because I’m more and more often avoiding the conversation since I already participated in it like fifty times already–they are talking about how much “swearing” and sexing they should show in their books.  

It’s stupid.   Flat out stupid and I’m tired of it.   It reminds me of going from the suite in my college dorm (where we talked about ideas and our reactions to the growing complexity of our lives) to a middle school girls’ bathroom where everyone is only worried about their hair, how they look and whether or not the fact that “he said ‘hi'” means he likes them.   

IT’S IRRITATING AND IT MAKES ME ANGRY.   GROWN-UPS ARE ACTING AS THOUGH THEY ARE ARRESTED AT 12 YEARS OLD.  

Looking up “dirty words” in the dictionary and giggling and then sanctimoniously discussing how they are too good to use them or too real not to.   

For what it’s worth, I’ve noticed the same attitude among Christians who don’t write.   This same “let’s stay in safe Middle School mode instead of moving forward into the complexity of life” attitude.   Is it because of the culture of church?   Why?   I don’t understand it and I’m perilously close to being tired of trying.   

We all read a book.  We had the opportunity to talk seriously about that book, how it impacted the genre and how it defined the publishing industry that is aimed at believers in Christ.   Instead we are   beating the dust of a horse that died and decomposed a decade ago.   

I’m disgusted and ashamed and really ready to shake the dust from my feet.  

Becky Miller wants us to keep trying Christian fiction.  I keep the faith with her and do try.   But if I have constructive criticism it’s a “trendy beatdown” of the genre.  And we leave all constructive criticism from customers aside while we go back to backcombing our bangs in a cloud of AquaNet.

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