WB Unplugged: Rape

Cross-posted to The Angry Redhead.

Time for some writing.

Like I don’t already have enough stuff backed up, I was looking through the Writer’s Block Unplugged community today.

I’ve mentioned to you all before how LiveJournal does these question of the day things called Writer’s Block.  Well they have a whole community (like a forum) for “unplugged” questions.  That is, any question that’s a little too much for the PG13 content of the website.  They made the community adults only so you know what you’re doing and they ask a lot of rather odd questions.  Some are simply more gross or sexual and kinda goofy.  Others are really deep and heavy questions.  One of the back ones I stumbled across was:

“If an intoxicated man rapes a woman (intoxicated OR sober), should he still assume full responsibility? Or, like an intoxicated female, he’s too drunk to know what he was doing? Is it still rape if an intoxicated female consents to intercourse, or is she mentally incapacitated?”

The second question was easy to answer, at least for me, having studied rape law here in NY (at least a little bit.)

Continue reading “WB Unplugged: Rape”

WB: Timeless Tales

Cross-Posted to LiveJournal

I’ve been very behind lately in my LJ inbox, so I tend to get to some of the WB questions a bit late.  One I had wanted to answer was:

What were your favorite books as a child, and why?

My favorite, favorite book I’ve mentioned several times before.  The Secret Garden is something I must have read at least a hundred times if not more.

But as a kid I liked several others things as well.  I read a lot.

In my elementary school days, I was rather fond of Roald Dahl’s books, especially Matilda and Danny, Champion of the World.  I also loved The WitchesBunnicula became a favorite book during that time too.  That was about the time I got introduced to The Chronicles of Narnia as well and fell in love with that series.

But it didn’t take too long for me to graduate to higher level books.  I spent much of middle school reading books that the teachers assigned ahead of the class.  Like Number the Stars and Hatchet. I still adore these books.  Plus I was the librarians’ pet, so I got access to all sorts of things and indulged in some rather embarrassing books. The Sweet Valley High series comes to mind as well as the Full House book spin-offs and The Babysitter’s Club and all it’s spin-offs.  I did also enjoy the Goosebumps books too.

Junior high started me on more adult books.  I discovered Tess Gerritsen in 7th grade when she had just released Harvest and I read that with vigor.  That summer I looked up Bloodline and Life Support and read Gravity when it was released (although I wasn’t nearly as impressed with that one.)  I fell in love with all things Caroline B. Cooney during that time too; her stuff is still gripping despite the massive number of rereads I have clocked on her books.  My dad also managed to get me to read The Hobbit around that time as well.  By 8th grade I was delving into my parent’s books for things like Stephen King (I read The Bachman Books, Deperation, The Regulators and The Green Mile that year) and old college books of theirs.  I got into trouble with Kiss Daddy Goodnight (a case study on incest) until my principle figured out that my parents didn’t mind me reading it.  However, I also started reading Lurlene McDaniel’s books and to this day that woman can still make me cry.

And so the pattern continued, to this day.  I read The Rape of the A.P.E. (American Puritan Ethic) in freshman year, and also got started into manga, which I totally dug.  Read all the stuff I was assigned, plus Dean Koontz, more Stephen King and a bit of Mary Higgins Clark. Also tried (and failed) to read all of The Lord of the Rings then.  High school was also where I discovered The Claidi Journals which I adore to this day as well.

WB: Over the Top

Cross-posted to LiveJournal.

So one of the more recent WB questions I came across was:

Who would you consider the most overrated musician, and why?

Hoo-boy.  Overrrated musicians are America’s specialty.

Well, I could consider a lot of musicians that I like to be totally and completely overrated.

Ke$ha comes to mind first.  She really doesn’t have much in terms of talent, despite the fact that I like her songs.

I think Lady Gaga has only gotten where she has by hiding the true talent that she has and being the new Madonna in terms of the controversial stuff she can get away with.  I give her more credit, however, for being brave enough to not just be a performer but to put on a total theatrical experience for those of us who are fortunate enough to watch her live.  I enjoy artists that do that.  See: my love for Emilie Autumn.

Britney Spears as well.  Why people are still interested in her escapes me.  She never had much talent to begin with and hasn’t been doing all that good musically for a while.  Everyone just likes her particular brand of crazy.  Also, Lindsey Lohan can fall into that category.

Anyone that comes out of Disney or Nickelodeon could be considered overrated.  Also, Justin Beiber.

And I’m not immune to saying that there are foreign bands that I just can not see why they are so famous.  We could go on and on about some of the more stereotypical J-Pop and K-Pop groups but Tokio Hotel is who really comes to mind.  I like them and all, but Bill K. sounds and looks mostly like a woman and the songs are not all that spectacularly done.

Then there’s those that I know have talent that I think have been given way too much credit.  Like Beyonce.  She’s a great artist, with a stunning voice, but people love to worship her and I don’t really see why.  Even Mariah Carey, whom I will never stop loving, has this going for her.  And I can’t figure out why people like me do this.

But I think by far the biggest overrrated musician there is or ever will be was Micheal Jackson.  Don’t get me wrong, the man had talent.  And it wasn’t until Usher came along that anybody could come close to him in dancing talent.  But after his peak in the 80’s, he started sliding downhill.  Not just the child molestation controversies and crazy antics and such.  His music wasn’t all that spectacular (in my opinion, his sister started to outshine him so badly) and do I need to mentionMoonwalker?  His level of ridiculousness increased ten-fold and yet the worshipping of this man and the ignorance of his flaws has extended even past his death.

By far the biggest overrrated musician, in my opinion.

Agnosticism: The Practical Definition

Cross-Posted to The Angry Redhead.

This is what comes of me stumbling across atheist channels on YouTube.

Let’s throw out all the bullshit definitions of what exactly certain words mean and let’s talk practical definitions.  Those being the definition that we put to use everyday.

First of all, yes some words can have two different meanings and still have the same spelling.  That’s why there are language barriers.  One word can have several meanings and none of us are walking dictionaries.  That said, let’s proceed on what, exactly, agnosticism is to those of us who call ourselves that (me included.)

Continue reading “Agnosticism: The Practical Definition”

The James Frey Issue

Cross-posted to LiveJournal.

The [info]bookfails community I’m a part of on LiveJournal actually had an entry about James Frey and his new book/movie I Am Number Four. The entry linked back to this article on the subject as well as a blog post on what seems to be the prevailing opinion of most readers on the subject.  The comments lead back to this blog post on the subject, along with a blog post by another author, and that led to the expose done by the New York Magazine.

So, I now have a full-fledged opinion of my own on this after reading all of this info.

Continue reading “The James Frey Issue”

WB: The Start of Something Wonderful

Cross-Posted to LiveJournal.

I think I’m going to start posting all the answers to the Writer’s Block (WB) question that I do on LJ here.  I like some of the stuff they ask and I’d like to spread the word about it a little, to those that don’t like LJ the way I do.

Remember, I don’t answer all of the questions they ask.  Just the ones I like.

Today’s question:

What is your favorite opening line of a book, and why?

“When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.”

It’s my favorite for a simple reason: it’s the start of my favorite book ever.  I love The Secret Garden with an undying fangirl-ism.  It’s such a simple story and yet it’s so captivating and it’s got such a good, upbeat feel and it makes you feel good and you just can’t get tired of it.  Ever, in my opinion.

This line is, of course, followed closely by:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”  – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”  –The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

So what are your favorites?

Test Scores: Really?

Cross-Posted to LiveJournal and The Angry Redhead.

So LiveJournal bumped into me again today.  As usual, it was their Writer’s Block question that got me going (anything else I post up there is usually popular-media related.)  The question was this:

How do you feel about standardized tests?  Do you think they accurately indicate a student’s knowledge or ability?

I think I could go on forever with this subject.
Continue reading “Test Scores: Really?”