Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reading Sabbath

This will be a short and crummy post but I'm tired of falling behind.

I celebrated Thanksgiving in the ancient ways of my ancestors, by ordering in Thai takeout and hiding under the blankets. We now enter the hellish part of the year where we're expected to BE HAPPY AND JOLLY and other things ending in -olly and actually speak with people we're related to. I prepared by taking the battery out of my ancient cell phone I got for $7.11 at 7-11 about six years ago (I'm amazed this thing still works). Finally recovering some from my period (do I have fibromyalgia? Endometriosis? PCOS? NOBODY KNOWS!....well, more to the point, without insurance, nobody cares). And, while flat in bed, I miraculously managed not to just reread the same old books. Boo-yah. I consider that the mental equivalent of a four-minute mile, so you can see things have clearly begun to deteriorate even more around here.

What did you just finish reading?
Most notably, Raising Steam, the latest (and last?) Discworld novel, and Brad Gooch's Flannery, which is likely to become the standard biography of Flannery O'Connor, unfortunately for her and for us. I have posts about both books half-written in my head. I also reread some of my favourite O'Connor short stories a couple of times -- "Revelation," "Everything that Rises Must Converge," "Judgement Day," and of course "A Good Man is Hard to Find," one of the tales of the century, and beyond. I still remember reading that, in some anthology, when I was a teenager, completely unprepared -- it was the first O'Connor story I ever read, and a consciousness of the power of God has broken our complacency like a bullet in the side still pretty much sums up my reaction to it (only for me it was more like "the power of art," which is probably blasphemous, but art and God were basically the same thing to her, anyway) (no no, that makes her sound like Oscar Wilde).

What are you reading now?
Flannery O'Connor's prayer journal, which was a late birthday gift to myself, and which is just as beautiful and amazing as I'd hoped. The best thing is it's a fairly accurate transcription and a facsimile, so you can actually see her handwriting, from when she was twenty years old, sitting in the midst of an Iowa City winter, begging for transcendence. Amazing. I would say "awesome" if the word weren't so corrupted.

What do you expect to read next? 
 I'd really like to read O'Connor's letters -- I have them on the ereader, but I know I have the hardcover, and I'm even pretty sure which bookshelf it's in! Although from what I can tell, her racism ('ironic' and not) is heavily censored, which is pretty crappy.

A postscript on Dr Who turning 50:, basically, Moffat said fuck Eccleston, fuck the first couple of years of storytelling, fuck RTD, and fuck Tennant's father-in-law, which takes some brass ones. Well, fuck you too, Moffat. That was like the mother of all automatic resets, but I guess the Angry Birds generation isn't going to care. Let me make one thing perfectly clear*: I MOTHERFUCKING HATE that kind of cheap-ass copout. It has nothing to do with actual storytelling. You want to tell a new story, tell a new goddamn story -- oh, but that'll lose the franchise! Well, lose the fucking franchise, then. -- Oh yeah and the Tom Baker fanservice was rewarded with the predictable fangasm, although some of us were dying for more Paul McGann and are really sulky about not getting any more.

And we get another older white guy. If we are stuck with the Doctor being an older white guy for four thousand fucking years or however long it is can't it be Paul McGann?

What? I said really sulky. Really, really sulky.

//goes back under the blankets with the heating pads and cats and Flannery

*If you don't know who said that, it's past your bedtime.