Thursday, May 24, 2012

How Quickly We Forget

I'm having a downright good giggle over this whole Fifty Shades of Grey business. Basically, a naughty trilogy with roots in an actual Fan Fiction spin-off of the Twilight series, it is about as well-written as a grocery list—but running up the charts nonetheless. Because of its steamy sex scenes. From what I can tell from the excerpts I've read online, it's not for its prose or particularly in depth examination of male/female relationships, sexual or otherwise. Yeah, yeah, there's some noise being made about how women everywhere are awakening to their own desires because of this book, but I call shenanigans. There's nothing earth-shattering about any of this. It's porno for the Harlequin Romance crowd—sexual politics lite, with an eye towards riches and stardom for the author, who was lucky enough to have hitched herself to a good PR team.

I'm not sure I could read the entire series, actually. What with the impossibly insufferable heroine with the impossibly insufferable name of Anastasia Steele and the impossibly titled "mega-industrialist" Christian Grey doing all kinds of naughty things to each other while Anastasia examines the meaning of it all in a string of insufferable internal dialogues rendered in unbelievably badly written prose. It's like the ghost of Ayn Rand met the ghost of Judith Krantz, whipped together a pitcher of martinis, pulled out a pack of smokes, and decided to have a rollicking good laugh.

But what really gets me is, the public outcry, the banning of the trilogy from libraries and bookstores. Not because it's so badly written (which would be justifiable), but because it's so dirty. Geez, Louise, people! Doesn't anyone remember Xavier Hollander? Erica Jong? Jacqueline Susann? These women not only wrote dirty books, they wrote them rather well. Back in the 1970s. And they were on my parent's bookshelves, right out there in front of God and everybody, and no one went screaming for the hills or ended up in Sexaholics Anonymous because of it.

What a nation. On the one hand, overstimulated and hyper-sexualized, addicted to cartoonish levels of sexuality via the porn industry—on the other, continually waggling a finger of outrage in the direction of any little whiff of impropriety.

Then again, is it possible to deal with sex—in a book, on film, in photographs—in a way that isn't cartoonish or trite or downright eye-rolling? Isn't it all, at some level, nothing more than porn?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Haiku Monday WINNER

Once again, the Crack Monkeys of Haiku Mondays did not disappoint. Oogey bodily mis-functions (is it just me, or do any of you also insist on separate bathrooms?), cortisol bloat, earthquakes, spine aches, deadline grind, bid shock, and changing room horror. All of it stressful in some way, shape, and form, all of it vividly (ah-hem, Rafe) illustrated here.

To the point where—bummer!—I have to show some resolve and pick a winner. Since the hounds of deadline hell are still nipping at my heels, I will have to make this brief. Here, in no particular order, are the ones that resonated most strongly with me.

Scout's squeeze JT chimed in with a couple, including what I believe is the only haiku that hinted at a solution to stress: fuggedaboutit, don't worry, be happy.
The silent killer
unseen by most but all feel.
Defense? Live with joy.

Fishy, last week's winner, with this giggle-inducer:
What size are these slacks:
The zipper seems . . . Oh! My! God!
Rear view mirror stress.

Corey Jo, encapsulating one of my all-time biggest stressors:
Cabinets and floors,
Counter tops, tubs and faucets.
Grand total is WHAT!!!!

(Yeah, yeah the HOME improves, but the owner, she never recovers.)

Czar, who deserves double bonus points for making me crack my Merriam's.
Beer? White bread? Forfend!
Wack physiques courtesy of
Cortisol. Brain . . . gut.

The grinning curmudgeon, who should hurry up and become a famous humor writer, already, I need a coattail to ride, with this bittersweet morsel:
Fretting and fuming
My pitiful excuses
I dream of running.

But the bittersweetest of all was this one, by Karl:
Mothers ore, steel strength
Induced fatigue, cause to fail
Is Willow stronger?

And, also our WINNER. Because it's just so pretty, has a marvelous rhythm, and builds to ask a very important question: How best to deal with stress? With steely resolve or flexibility?

So, Karl, as winner you have the honor of choosing a topic and hosting next week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Haiku Monday: STRESS

Ms. Fishy, the winner of Serendipity's truncated but rollicking 'ku contest earlier this week, has kindly asked me to host in her stead this week. So here ya go, you Haiku Crack Monkeys. Your theme is:


Deal with it in any way you like. Then drop it off here—up to two to be judged—and let me know if you're also up at your own blog with images.

Y'all have until Monday at midnight EST and I'll judge sometime Tuesday/Wednesday and reveal a winner.

Good luck!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Culture Rip (Lite)

(Because I'm really, really, really, really swamped, I can only make this a short rant), but holy heck fire and Christ on a Cracker, WTF aren't there any great rock groups anymore who make music that rips the top of your head off and sends shivers down your spine and makes you want to put your thumb out on the highway to vagabond it for a little while behind the bar in some dusty desert town with a belly shirt and cut offs? How come it's all Rhianna and Beyonce and Earnest Guitar Players with Americana chips on their shoulders and stoooooooopid John Mayer trying to pants off the little girls, but no one with any kind of real grit and verve?

At least there is this song:

It's all I got for now . . .

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cactus Flower

I'm always surprised when anything blooms out here of its own free will. Appropriately enough, this yucca flower's petals look like little licks of flame. So pretty! But, oddly, scent-free. (Yeah: ouch.)

At any rate, I remain snowed under with work (or should that be blown over, given the time of year?), but will get around to say hello to everyone regardless.

What wildflowers, if any, bloom in your neck of the woods?