Friday, December 04, 2009

A talent of mine

I'm just going to say singing, though I haven't practiced in ages. My voice instructor from back in Arkansas would have my head for that. She always said that I had a good enough voice to sing professionally and that would have been nice I guess, but I never put enough time into practice or learning to write or read music. I can't even play an instrument, so singing is probably one of those things that I can do really well, but will always be relegated to things I do for fun, not a job.

Which is really kind of a shame, if I could sing for my living it would be amazing. I just don't think I have the necessary connections or skills and trying to get those this late in life would be next to impossible, IMO. Maybe if I had concentrated on it more in Junior High and High School....

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Whatever tickle's your fancy

I'm going to write about something that happened at my sister's school today and how it shows my utter disdain for some of today's pop culture and the sheer gullibility of children these days.

My sister is in 7th grade, but her school runs from 1-12. She has a class or two with some 6th graders, music classes mostly. Today one of the girls had cuts on her arms and one of my sister's friends asked what had happened and the girl replied that she had cut herself. Alarmed, they asked her why she had done that.
After talking about it for a while it came out that a boy, who is a known troublemaker, told several 6th grade girls that he was a half-vampire. Of course these girls, being tweens and teens, were obsessed with the Twilight series, the popular vampire novels by Stephenie Meyer, and became very agitated and excited by what he said. These girls then cut their arms with rocks in an attempt to get him to change them into Vampires.
Feel free to read that sentence again.

Yes, I just said that a group of 11, 12 and 13 year old girls were so obsessed and in love with the idea of vampires that they inflicted self harm because of it.

This is unhealthy, I've always disliked the books because of the sheer awful writing, but this takes my dislike into pure hatred of the books.

Of course, maybe it isn't Meyer's fault. Maybe we should blame the school system for allowing children to have such easily swayed minds and an inability to think rationally. These girls believed vampires existed and something is wrong with the way schools are teaching if this is something that people can believe is real. Someone, somewhere, failed to instill an ability to be skeptical in these children's minds.

Now I don't advocate censoring books, that goes too far and who is to say where the line should be drawn. Who has the right to deem something "appropriate" or not? That would not work and should never be the case, I believe in freedom of speech and the ability to publish what you want to publish is part of that. However, I do advocate schools, teachers and parents being aware of what is popular with their students and what their children are reading and going to extra mile to read what they read or at least know what it's about and then taking the time to explain to them what is and is not real in those books and that they should not emulate everything these characters do.

These girls obviously idolize the characters and fantasy of these books. I hate to think what sort of relationships they will end up in, in the future, if they decide to emulate the actions of the main character, Bella. The books are horrible misogynistic, surprising as they were written by a woman, and more or less say that you should stay with a man even if he hurts and abuses you. You should love him anyway and never leave, not even for your own good.

The books are trite, the characters 2-dimensional at best, the writing poor and the plot over-used. It may hurt to read them, but for the sake of the kids around you at least try. Even if you can't finish them, read a synopsis and remind kids that Vampires are not real, women should not be chattle and harming themselves is not a smart thing to do. Meyer needs a wake up call if she thinks the books she wrote are good for kids and I don't know when that wake up call will come. I hope it is not in the form of a tragedy.

Ms. Meyer, you are not a credit to the writers of the 21st century. You make me ashamed to call myself a reader or writer of Fantasy, a fan of Vampire novels of any type, a writer of young adult fiction or a member any other group you may happen to associate with.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A piece of art

So I tried to think of something interesting and "smart" to choose as my favorite piece of art. You know how it is, for some reason you want to impress people so you pick some obscure piece of art from the Renaissance and wax poetically over it.

Well in my humble opinion

Screw that.

I finally picked this piece, because not only is it the cover of one of my favorite books, by a favorite Japanese author, but it was also made by Yoshitaka Amano. He is one of my favorite artists and for those of you who are big nerds, he did all of the concept art for the Final Fantasy games. His work is beautiful, type his name into a google image search and you'll find hundreds of his pieces. This one in particular I have as a poster on my bedroom wall.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A song that makes me cry

I can't honestly think of one that makes me cry all the time, but when I'm in the right mood a song can trigger something in me and I'll start crying. Usually it's because I'm already stressed out or distressed about something else and the song just connects with that feeling in someway.

The most recent song that managed to do this to me was Konstantine by Something Corporate. It is such a sad song, but worth a listen.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A fanfic

I struggled to find a fanfic to post here. I don't write them myself and most of the ones I read I wouldn't admit to reading. I eventually picked on that I definitely didn't think I would like.
Crossovers are not something I typically read, they are usually poorly written and contrived. However this one I genuinely like. The story is call "We shouldn't keep meeting like this" and it crosses over two of my favorite Sci-fi shows, Doctor Who and Stargate SG-1. What I love about it is that the two characters never really find out a lot about each other and the complexity of time travel confuses there stories, as one is living the "slow life" and the other is hopping through time. The first time they meet for one is actually the last time they meet for the other. Jack and Jack definitely have personalities that can clash, but also they get along quite well at times.

If you haven't watched either show then it will all go right over your head, but if you've watched the shows it's a great read.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Non-fiction book

Without You is the Memoir of Anthony Rapp, the original actor that played Mark Cohen in RENT. He knew Jonathan Larson well. His personal life, involving the long illness and eventual death of mother and his love life, is skilfully intertwined with the story of his acting job during the course of RENT as well as the actual story of RENT itself.

The story is funny and engaging and I found myself crying more than once over some of the stories that he tells. He is brutally honest about himself and his family, often telling stories that his family may not have wanted aired publicly.

I've actually read the book several times and the book itself has the marks of that on it. Coffee stains from coffee spilled on it in a Airport in Atlanta, Georgia and various other marks of wear and tear from carrying it with me everywhere I went for about a year.