Archive for the ‘Themes’ Category


Revisiting the Monster


It’s taken me more than a year to readdress the subject of monsters in literature as I promised, but not because material is lacking or because I lost interest. In fact, I’m more interested than ever. My original goal was to present an analysis of characters widely recognized as literary “monsters”; since my first post, though, my focus has shifted. I’ve been working on my first novel and so I am more interested, and attuned to, the nuances of light and dark – the shades of gray – and cannot maintain a detached academic position. The darkness is seductive, and the truth is that we all have darkness as well as light inside of us. Read the rest of this entry ?


An Immodest Proposal


Ohhhhhhh, I love satire on a Friday morning.

My perusal of The Frisky brought me to the day’s Quotable quote, posted by Jessica and referencing a column in The Guardian on Wednesday. The column was penned by writer Hadley Freeman who, when all is said and done, just wants to help those anti-abortion activists by stopping all “inappropriate” sexual activity (insert tongue firmly in cheek).

Her suggestions:

1. Chop off genitals at birth. They can have them reattached at their heterosexual wedding, in between the cake and the throwing of the bouquet.

2. Force all teenagers to watch their parents having sex. Effective, although there is a risk they will never have sex again and the human race will die out.

3. Rearrange human biology so that it’s men who get pregnant. It might not end verboten sexual relations, but it will probably put an end to old white guys trying to ban abortion and targeting the most vulnerable women, from rape victims to the needy poor, in the worst circumstances.

Below, some of my own suggestions:

  • Cease production of all contraceptives and birth control. Obviously if there’s no way to stay safe then nobody will have sex unless they want a kid.
  • Instead of contraceptive devices, mass produce and distribute chastity belts — the one-stop solution to completely avoid having to teach your children about responsible behavior.
  • Make sex illegal. For everyone. Then the old white guys who want to distinguish between “rape” and “forcible rape” can do so in a cell while they serve out their sentences for “voluntary rape”.

I’m glad that the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is continuing strong well into the 21st century. Sometimes, the only way to expose a ridiculous idea as truly ridiculous is to suggest equally ludicrous methods of implementing it. Sadly, as is often the case, I’m sure the only people who get it are the ones who got it from the very beginning.

So let’s play the game: what would you suggest to help these misguided souls on their goose chase to moral superiority?

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True Life: I’m crying out for attention!


We have been having a discussion about MTV‘s True Life at the office over the past couple of days, and I was (un)fortunate enough to catch a 2-3 minute clip from last night’s episode: “I Hate My Plastic Surgery”. Never mind the larger question of when MTV decided that playing, I don’t know, music wasn’t good enough for their ratings. My purpose today is to help MTV with episodes of True Life for which I would actually tune in:

True Life: I’m a train wreck. In this episode, cameras will follow girls in their late teens whose drunken antics, compulsive need to sleep with any guy who talks to them for more than two seconds, and inability to dress appropriately for their age and body type is setting them up for a lifetime of ridicule that may or may not be cut short by the appearance of an STI (not the car).

True Life: I am a terrible neighbor. This episode will put the spotlight on people who launch a vendetta against their new neighbors within a week of moving in. From the lazy welfare mom who sits around all day to the kids who run screaming back and forth, to the fake noise complaints made just to get your neighbors in trouble, these neighbors will make you want to move to the boondocks.

True Life: I like myself the way I am. No season of True Life should be without an uplifting episode. The girls and guys in this world who don’t feel the need to cry out for attention by being a whore, getting drunk all the time or investing in useless plastic surgery should be showcased as an example to everybody that it is possible to live without constantly seeking validation from others. Perhaps putting them on a show like this is an oxymoron, but hell — the whole series is pretty moronic anyway.

Your turn — what True Life story would you want to watch?

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