Posts Tagged ‘starhawk’

Girls

August 17, 2011

I was teaching bass at Girls Rock Vermont last week, and I pretty much expected to get back to the bookstore and be buried completely under all the used books people had dropped off since I’d been away. (I don’t think “drop off your used books and we’ll look at them in the order they were received” is a sustainable model, but we’ve been sustaining it as long as I’ve been there, and since way before then.) But Chris looked at a bunch of them, and Bill organized them! So it hasn’t been as bad as it could’ve been. I’ve still been buried and frustrated, though. But whatever, anyway, while I was gone I guess somebody bought in a big, pretty black hardcover with the word “Girls” printed on the cover in pretty silver lettering: it drew my eyes to the graphic novels section all day before I brought it home to flip through it.

Sadly, it kinda sucked.

I know: I am hating everything lately. I’ve been super grumpy, but also, the only things I have been reading have been annoying! Or, the only things I’ve felt like writing about have been annoying. The first chapter of Dreaming the Dark was fantastic! I’m stoked to read more of that! But mostly yeah I have been grumpy so let’s talk shit.

Here’s the thing about Girls: it’s beautiful. It’s this oversized book that may have a jacket but the edition I read didn’t, it was just this understated black hardcover with that pretty font, and when you open it up, all the pages are that shiny paper Image comics has always used (or at least, that shiny paper they used for the first hundred Spawn [Spawn: cool devil monster whose community was some homeless people in New York] comics in my memory), and all the margins are black. So it’s very… I dunno, handsome, I guess? The artwork is very clean, although there are some pretty blatant photoshop effects. But whatever. Maybe that was what they were going for.

But okay so I brought this heavy book home so I was committed to reading it but after the first couple chapters I was like “this has too many dick jokes and too many other jokes on the dick joke spectrum.” Then, almost all of the friction in the plot (which was pretty close to the plot of Stephen King’s THE WALL or whatever the fuck that book was called, which came out around the same time) came from THE HORRORS OF HETERONORMATIVITY, which would be interesting if it weren’t placed so firmly in a context of dick jokes, hundreds of naked ladies with often clearly delineated vulvae, and the occasional naked man whose leg is always strategically hiding his dick.

So like, this is a comic book full of annoying straight people in annoying straight relationships who don’t communicate about their problems and while their main problem is a giant sperm from space and these naked girls who want to fuck every dude and kill every woman (seriously) (except they don’t want to fuck the gay dude because of pheremones so they kill him)… I dunno, it felt like it could have been interesting if the writing were aware of how deep its roots went into, like, hegemonic gender role reinforcement or whatever, but instead, those gender roles and relationship roles are presented as uncomplicated norms, like this was a sitcom doing a horror season without giving up on being a sitcom. Plus the scene where the black woman is like “you white women go fight the monsters, I will stay here and take care of your children” was gross.

So yeah I read this whole thing over the course of a couple days and it was interesting enough to hold my attention but by the end when the hero was calling people “retards” I was so, so done.

[at Powell’s]

November of the Soul

May 29, 2011

Let me tell you about how I feel about the beginnings of some of the books I am reading.

The first hundred and twenty pages (eg, like, the first tenth) of November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide by George Howe Colt are absolutely fascinating but I keep feeling like a jerk when I go “I have to get home, I’m super stoked to read this cinderblock-sized tome about suicide.”

I read the first chapter of the Spiral Dance by Starhawk and wrote a lot about it in my witchy shit journal (which is made out of paper) and I’m not going to tell you what I wrote but I am pretty much into it and have been remembering that I really like feminist theory and am having a complicated relationship to the fact that so much busted stuff came out of seventies feminism and having to remind myself that a lot of good came out of it, too.

The first hundred and twenty pages of A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan are really well-written literary fiction and I can’t really deny that but I still don’t feel that stoked about it which is a shame because I’m bottomlining a book group discussion about it in three days and I keep wanting to go home and read about suicide or goddess religions instead. And what I really should be doing is writing some stuff I need to write, like, in a “moving forward with my life” sense.

I tried to read Thoughts Without a Thinker by Mark Epstein but it was boring because he just kept going “here is a thing in Freudian psychology and here is a corresponding thing in Buddhism.” I was like, I get it, where are you going with this? I’m sure he went somewhere with it, but I didn’t care enough to get to the answer.

The Secret History of the World is a nice overview of lots of occult shit

So is To Ride a Silver Broom or whatever it’s called, by Silver Ravenwolf, although that one’s mostly just wicca stuff.

The first ten pages of Modest_Witness@Second_Millenium.FemaleMan(c)_Meets_OncoMouse(tm) by Donna Haraway WHO I LOVE are adorably nineties. That one only came into my life about an hour ago.

I still think I will finish that Samuel Delaney book but I haven’t picked it up in a month but I will, just trust me.