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Oct. 23rd, 2008 @ 11:23 pm Killer Dreams
Current Mood: irritatedirritated
I am listening to Iris Johansen's 2006 book "Killer Dreams". The experience has been frustrating and illuminating. The main character is a Sophie, a doctor and mother. Her past research is being used for evil means and her former boss wants to kill her. She turns to Matt Royd, a bad-boy wild card. Royd and Sophie, forced by circumstances to be allies, begin by hating each other and then—no surprise—fall wildly in lust and love.

OK... here is the twist. Sophie is supposed to be a strong woman who is focused on righting the wrongs of her work being misused while protecting her son. Instead of being strong, she comes across as erratic, cranky, and a whiny loon. I know many strong women in real life, and they don't act like Sophie at all. Is Johansen writing to a different type of audience than myself? Perhaps.

I also realized that there are words that push our buttons. Sophie kept saying "SHUT UP" and "GET OUT" to Royd. I cringed every time she said 'shut up'. These are not words I enjoy hearing anybody say. Are they bad or especially abusive? Probably not, but I don't react well to them. The words 'get out' were a distant second in my negative reaction. The funny thing is that I can't remember anybody saying these things to me, but I still react to them. Hmmm...

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Cat - Felix Pace
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From:elegy_of_flames
Date:October 24th, 2008 11:46 am (UTC)
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My vocabulary gives the South Park characters a run for their money sometimes, but I rarely raise my voice in anger (though frequently rant in annoyance); it bothers me very much when people get aggressive at each other. It occurs to me that "shut up" is actually one of the phrases I'm least likely to employ, much as I use and abuse "stronger" words. I suspect that for some reason it's more difficult to say it in a way that takes the sting out of it. Maybe that has something to do with it?
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From:greensh
Date:October 24th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC)

Curse Your Rockin' Tits!

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don't blame me for my son stan
he saw that darn cartoon and now he's off to join the clan!
and my boy eric once had MY picture on his shelf
but now when I see him he tells me to fuck myself

well, blame canada, blame canada
it seems that everything's gone wrong
since canada came along
blame canada, blame canada
they're not even a real country, anyway
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From:greensh
Date:October 24th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
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But seriously, I seem to equate "shut up" with somebody throwing a tantrum. Wulfwalker says she gets quiet when she is focused/angry. LOL... it is true. I can always (he thinks) tell when she is grumpy because her cadence of speech definitely changes.
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From:elegy_of_flames
Date:October 24th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
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*snicker* That just made my day.

But seriously (:P), I don't raise my voice when angry. I rave like a lunatic when frustrated, but if I'm genuinely angry, I won't yell about it. Probably comes of growing up in a nation where sincerity is measured in decibels ;)
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From:chimerae
Date:October 24th, 2008 11:54 am (UTC)
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There are whole sections of myth making in our culture that pander to wannabe masks. Ross likes "chick flicks" more than I do so I hear puzzlement like this out of him all the time.

A different but related weirdness that drives him crazy is the endless "Perils of Pauline" quality of some series, especially some PBS women's stuff like House of Eliot. He complains and I tell him he's not the target audience. It's a rhythm/payoff problem for him -- he says these strong women work incredibly hard against long odds and then, just about at the point where they're going to succeed some catastrophe completely out of their control crushes everything they've done. Sort of "deus ex machina" only with disasters. He brings it up alot. I think it's because their target audience is frustrated women who also are tied to the princess-rescue myth we grew up with 40 years ago. If the House of Eliot sisters succeed, community is broken and their viewers no longer identify the House of Eliot sisters as "like them"

So, there's a lot of mythmakers who create "heroines" postured as strong and honorable who exhibit chronic horrible behavior -- because it tells women living badly that they're noble, brave, strong, and good.

Pandering.

Out here, one of my best friends has a job telling upscale city people who drive their SUV's out from the city to ruin a pasture and listen to a symphony orchestra important from the same city most of them drove out from that they're conservationists supporting the prairie and rural economy. Sigh. We all do what we must.
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From:greensh
Date:October 24th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
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Interesting insights. Today I realized that book-on-tape actor almost constantly speaks Sophia's lines in a stressed out/whiny way. This should all be instructive to me when you pursue the theory that things that bug us are mirrors. I don't like stress and verbal competition in my life, and having this constant feature of the tape does not sit well with me.

There are those who believe a bit of verbal competition is fun. It could be that the writer believes that a strong women is one that "speaks her mind" with flares of sparks and explosions. I would find myself running away from such a person.
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From:greensh
Date:October 24th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
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Hmmmm... upon reflection I would say, "Today I realized that the book-on-tape actor almost constantly speaks Sophia's lines in a stressed out/aggressive/assertive way."

But not necessarily assertive in a way I enjoy... it reminds me of the old saying, "Would You Like Some Cheese with Your Whine?"

Edited at 2008-10-24 07:09 pm (UTC)