If Your Wife Wants to Kill You…

Relationships and Shit

You know, the longer I think of it the more convinced I am that I’m going to turn into Amy Dunne when I’m 35. Either that or I’m going to marry an Amy Dunne and get Amy Dunne’d. These are Gone Girl references to illustrate the bleakness of my future. If you’ve seen the movie or read the book, you’ll know that I’m likening myself to a slightly insane, marvelously brilliant, textbook psychopath who faked her own death just to frame her slimy husband because he cheated on her with a much hotter bimbo with big fucking tits (tbh I think Rosamund Pike is a lot more attractive than that other chick, but eh I don’t think with ma dick). If you haven’t read the book…well, get your act together, dude.

Anyway, I don’t think I’m intelligent or diabolical enough to actually pull off a fake murder and then pull off a real murder to get out of the fake murder. I can probably just burn the house down but I don’t really want to sleep in the park. I guess that’s why I worship her so much, because she actually has the talent and the craziness to pull off something many women in crumbling relationships probably dream of doing. And while I don’t have any homicidal tendencies yet, it is fascinating to think about all the different ways marriage can fuck two people up. Sometimes I’d like to be fucked up by marriage just to see how it will transform this demure little maiden into a vindictive, manipulative, psychotic goddess. We need more women in literature like Amy Dunne.

I’m not anti-marriage. I mean, sometimes I do see it as a part of my life…after 40 or 50. Alright, maybe 35, just as long as it stays the fuck away from the best years of my life. It just seems so bloody boring to me. It’s like, you’re both work from 9-6, then you get home for dinner and you talk about what happened at work. Then you probably watch TV for an hour or something. Then you go do your adult thing and then go to sleep and boom the day’s over. For the longest time, I thought that’s just what happens on TV. But then I saw my parents doing it. And then my mom with my stepdad. Of course that doesn’t apply to everyone, and I’m glad there are a lot of happily married chaps out there (whoop congrats), but eh I just don’t care for that shit. And that’s probably because I’m just gonna marry myself at 40.

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Why?

Musings/Rants

There was a time when buying books was as rare as an April snowstorm.

When I was kid, the library was my favorite place. I’d grab as many books as my tiny hands could carry, pass my card to the librarian, patiently wait for her to scan each book, then sprint back home so I can dive into a new world. We get to keep the books for a couple of weeks at a time. It’s like Netflix without the subscription fee. Well, sometimes I just stay in the library for five hours, reading no more than ten pages of twenty different books and return home empty-handed but certainly not empty-headed.

The library’s every bookworm’s dream, but it’s been years since I’ve borrowed a book. It’s been years since I’ve gone to a library for any purpose other than cramming for a test. I read just as much now as I did back then. The only difference is that the books are now stacked on my own shelves. Or stored in my kindle. Or saved as PDF files on my computer. Yes, many people still borrow books and frequent public libraries, but kids my age want to own everything. want to own everything. We’re greedy and stingy at the same time. We want free ownership…hence the illegal downloads. I do that for music and movies (unashamedly cuz I’m a horrendous human being) but never for books. Maybe it’s just my prejudice against the Entertainment world, but to me books are the only one of the three that are worth paying for. More than that, ownership of books demand to be paid for.

Yet none of that explains why I’ve stopped going to the library. Truth be told, I’m not so sure of the answer myself. Perhaps it’s because I’m always reading on the go, and borrowing and returning books just became too much of a hassle. Perhaps it’s because I don’t to be reminded of the sappy cringe-worthy romance crap I used to love. Perhaps it’s because every other library has become some favorite hookup location for horny couples. I have absolutely no idea. All I know is that I wouldn’t feel comfortable even if I do visit that little library Browns Bay, New Zealand. The chairs would be too small and the tables too high. Too much has happened for me to return to that place without feeling intrusive.

Reader’s Block

Daily Prompts, Movies and Books

I have a sort of abusive relationship with books. At times I would tear through half a dozen of them in a couple of weeks then not touch another one for two months. After school ended in May, I didn’t read anything for about six weeks or so; from late July to September, I read ten. Since I have such an erratic reading schedule, I don’t remember the longest reading drought I’ve ever gone through. I’ve gone as long as three months but never longer than half a year. The most recent drought started in mid-May because I was just fucking exhausted after reading a plethora of literary classics and textbooks for my humanities classes. For all I knew, I never wanted to see another book for the rest of my life. I’m kidding, but most of my classes required me to read a 400-page monster every week, and a year of that is more than enough for even the most dedicated book lover.

Anyhow, the book that broke the six-week dry spell is John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines. Back in early 2013 I binge-read all of John Green’s solo works in a few weeks, in reverse order: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska. Newest to oldest. After that I didn’t really think about him again until the movie version of The Fault in Our Stars came out. Amid all that movie fandom craze, I realized that I somehow neglected to read Katherines (and I still don’t understand John Green’s penchant for long ass titles). My good friend told me that it’s the geekiest and most cheerful of all his books, so I decided to give it a try. Reading again after so long was kind of weird at first, a bit like going on a first date with your best friend’s ex. Like, you know it so well but it’s still awkward as fuck. The first fifty pages went by really slowly, and the whole time I kept getting distracted by Netflix and food and Facebook chat, but then the story picked up and I got swept away by the magic of fiction once again. I finished the last 200 pages in the same amount of time as I did the first 50. It’s not my favorite John Green book, but it’s quirky and insightful. More importantly, it got me into another binge-reading frenzy that lasted more than eight weeks.

Twice is Nice

Musings/Rants

You know how people say stuff like, “there’s nothing like the first time,” and “go with you first choice,” and “first impressions speak volumes?” While I’m sure that’s all true, I just never understood the hype with “firsts.” Yes, with some experiences nothing can surpass the original. Like watching slapstick movies: the first time you’ll probably laugh your ass off, the second time you’ll probably think it’s stupid as hell, and there will be no third time. Or like being pranked: first time is funny, second time you just wanna kill that person. Some things are only meant to be experienced once.

But I think most things are meant to grow on you. Like books. When I first read A Game of Thrones last summer, I didn’t really get it. Sure, it was dramatic and interesting and very graphic, but the writing was so archaic and confusing and long. Very, very long. I only finished half of it (a.k.a 400+ pages) before I went off to college and forgot all about it for the next half a year. Then my friend got obsessed with the adapted HBO series and, being the trend-follower I am, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Two weeks later I caught up with all 34 episodes released to date (at that time, just after Season 4 aired). Since the series was so epic, I thought it was only fair to give the books another chance. And the second time around I picked up details I missed the first time, cleared up plot points I didn’t understand before, and just got hooked all over again. I don’t know if this is a good example, but basically what I’m trying to say is that the second time can be even more enlightening and refreshing than the first. Maybe we need familiarity to shed light on the original. Some things deserve a second chance.

Imagined Reality

Daily Prompts, Writing

Okay, first thing’s first, let me clear this up: non-fiction, when done well, is brilliant. Not at all the tedious and mundane crap that we expect. See Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle, for example. Or Capote’s In Cold Blood. There are even more impressive ones, but those two are just my personal favorites. In some ways, writing non-fiction can be more challenging than writing fiction, primarily because the former is restricted by the bounds of reality. In fiction, you can come up with whatever outlandish scenarios and characters you want, provided that you still maintain some flimsy connection to actual life. Obviously, writing fiction has its own challenges, but I do have the utmost respect for non-fiction works, especially those that blur the boundary between reality and imagination.

Having said all that, I still prefer fiction to non-fiction. It’s amazes me how fabricated characters and fabricated worlds can so often move me more than real people and real events can. My favorite book is Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad. It’s a collection of narratives from a bunch of loosely connected characters based in New York. There’s a music mogul who takes advantage of teenage girls, a publicist who almost killed hundreds of celebrities, a depressed NYU student who drowned, and a freaking dictator in exile. None of those characters have any similarity whatsoever with my life, yet all of them spoke to me, moved me in a way nobody I’ve met ever did. I won’t talk more about that book, because I think you need to experience it without any preconceptions. Fiction is unapologetically deceitful. You know from the start that you’re being lied to, but you can’t help but be invested in that lie anyway. You fall in love with characters that are too selfless, too reckless, too perfect to be relatable. You loathe tyrannical governments and dystopian futures that are too corrupt and too bleak to be conceivable. Fiction transports us. It offers us an escape from our mundane surroundings but brings us closer to our inner selves. We understand more about our own fears and desires through the figments of someone else’s imagination. I think that’s just fucking neat.

5 Reasons Why Love Triangles are Ruining YA Novels/Teen Dramas

Pop Culture, Relationships and Shit

Remember that awful time in the fall of 2009 when Twilight the movie was released and basically every Forever 21 store in America started selling “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” T-shirts? I think that lasted for about five more years until the 5th and final film was released and the stupid vampire fever finally died down. Anyway, that “iconic” love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob was the spark that made the Twilight saga a global phenomenon. There’s nothing tweens/teens dig more than drama and romance, and nothing weaves those two themes more perfectly than love triangles. FromThe Hunger Games to The Vampire Diaries to The Notebookvery few teen novels or TV dramas are complete without at one love triangle at some stage in the series. They are often the driving force of fandoms on Tumblr and the primary subject of fan-made Youtube videos. But they are also the reason why no intelligent person takes teen fiction seriously, which is a real shame because some of those works are really quite good. Anyway, here are five reasons why I think YA works, dramas and books, are better off without love triangles.

1. They are clichéd. 

My first time watching/reading about a love triangle was a trilling experience. You know from the beginning that she’s going to pick the hot mysterious one, but you still get all excited and shit when he finally kisses her. And then you feel bad for the sweet acne-stained boy who loves her just as much but gets nothing in return. Then you get all giddy again when she marries the cute one and you forget all about the other kid.

The second and third time were pretty awesome, too. But then it just kept happening. Every show I watched there’s always some goddamn drama between the main girl and two very attractive boys. Or an attractive bad boy and a nice nerdy one. Or a vampire and a werewolf. Or a womanizer and a best friend. Before long the magic was lost. Excited giggles turned into groans. Not again. Predictability is the worst thing that can happen to dramatic fiction, and right now nothing is more predictable than love triangles.

2. They are unrealistic.

If I got a cent for every time someone told me she left her longtime boyfriend for her first love whom she hadn’t seen in ten years but realized she still loved when she randomly bumped into him on the subway while she was visiting NYC for the first time ever, I’d be a fucking millionaire. Or so I wish. I wouldn’t get a fucking cent in a million years because typical plot lines like that don’t happen in real life.

3. They are sexist as hell.

Think about every single love triangle you’ve read about or watched. Now tell me how many of them consist of one guy and two girls. I can’t think of any, and I’ve watched a lot of teen dramas. It’s trendy and romantic and sweet to have two dashing young men fight valiantly for a girl’s affection. But when two passionate, naive young girls fight over a hot dude, they’re usually perceived as desperate and annoying. It’s acceptable and cute if a girl leaves her fiance at the altar and runs away with the guy she’s always been in love with, but if a guy does the same thing to a girl he’d probably be called a fucking asshole, which brings me to the next point….

4. They are stupid.

So, okay, here’s the thing I’ll never understand with this whole love triangle business: if you’re not over your first love, why the fuck would you string along someone else? I mean, why would any sane or ethical person ever agree to marry someone when they clearly know they’re still in love with another person? Shouldn’t we be more responsible than that? Can you really “wholeheartedly” love a person (sorry it’s this is kind of confusing) for years before your first love shows up for about five seconds and you’re all torn and confused and shit? Kind of like How I Met Your Mother, but that’s another story. I guess my point is that love triangles basically encourages us to be totally irresponsible and selfish when it comes to love. Like, just follow your heart and be with whoever makes you happy, even at the expense of someone who’s given you everything they have. Is that just fucking cruel? 

5. They overshadow more meaningful themes in the book/drama. 

This is probably the most problematic issue with love triangles. Granted, romance plays a huge role in most YA books and TV dramas. In fact, I can’t really think of a teen work that’s not driven by romance. Anyhow, any decent book will contain some kind of underlying theme that’s more important and sophisticated than love and betrayal: like the abuse of power/class struggle in The Hunger Games or individuality/collectivism in Divergent. But those more complicated concepts almost always get overshadowed by the trendier and easier to understand theme of relationship drama. It sounds ridiculous but it’s the truth.

I’m not completely against love triangles. They do work when they’re unique and well thought-out, but right now they’re way too high in quantity and way too low in quality.