Monday, June 28, 2010

Sex, nakedness, divorce (and vampires).

FIRST OFF: Is anyone else watching True Blood, and is the sex not completely out of control? I don't mean to say it's a bad thing (see photo, hello?) but Daaaaaaaammmmmnn! HOT!

The first episode kind of bugged me because the sex was so obviously a gimmick and actually interrupted the flow of the narrative with how random it was. . . but the last two were much more on, in the run of things, if you ask me. I won't spoil anything in case people haven't seen it yet, but last night? Wowza.

Anyway, speaking of gimmicks. This isn't really a post about sex or vampires, it's about SHORT STORIES! I know, how exciting! But I really couldn't hold back anymore about True Blood. (team eric and how-the-crap-did-you-not-invite-him-immediately-into-your-house-after-he-said-that-bit-about-crazy-sex, SOOKIE?) p.s. The King of Mississippi's accent is the best one I've heard thus far. About time.

From the Heath arsenal: "White Dump" by Alice Munro.
also by Alice Munro: Love of a Good Woman.

This is a tale of three women, three different generations, and their struggles with doomed relationships. One a daughter, one the mother of the daughter, and one the mother-in-law of the mother of the daughter. It was wonderfully descriptive, smart, and interesting, and in a small way it succeeded in igniting my long since expired feminist rages. YOUR JOB IS TO BE A TROPHY WIFE, LOOK HOT, FLIRT WITH GUYS, SPREAD IT WHEN I DEMAND, and if you don't I'll take it out on the kids. Then you read about the mother-in-law's issues (therein lies the nakedness addressed by my title; some punks steal her robe and then she just strolls around naked in front of her adult son and grandchildren, not the worst thing ever, but you know, a little narcissistic and odd) and you pretty much have to blame her for turning out such a douche-bag of a son. Yuck. But an important yuck, I guess, as these issues are realistic.

"Separating" by John Updike.
also by John Updike: Rabbit Run, Couples, Rabbit is Rich, and Rabbit at Rest.

I read Couples, years ago, and thought it was fine. I was very young and dumb at the time though, so it's unlikely that I got much from it. This story, like everything else in the Heath anthology is very good, very intelligent, and very well done, but my thing with much of what I read is having issues with unlikable characters and not the actual mechanics of the story or storytelling. Like, do I or do I not want to read a story about an asshole (even if it's well written)? This is a story about an asshole. Maybe reading Munro just before put me a little on the defensive, but oh, you're leaving your wife and hoping to marry some other chick across town and your wife is making you tell your four children, one at a time before you can leave, and it's a little hard on you? Causing you some anxiety? PLEASE. I had not one drop of sympathy for this dude, although the way the story was written and described with a lot of metaphor and personification was beautiful. (an asshole's beautiful account of what it was like to tell his children he's leaving).

Yuck again. But, hey. Life is full of yucks.