Archive | March, 2013

Poem: Permission

8 Mar

An International Women’s Day Poem. 

Permission

This is for the women who don’t ask permission
To be themselves.
This is for the women who are done with working on their contentment
And started working on their lot.

This is for the women whose posture says
“Fuck you, punk. I got this covered.”
This is for the women who’ve come too damn far
To waste time worrying whether you approve.
This is for the women who wear what they want, swear how they want,
Drink and fuck and love and fight and wring every ounce like it’s only their business.
Because it is.
And they’ve realised.

This is for the girl in class who’s done with playing dumb-
Yes, she knows the answer-
Yes no one else has put their hand up for the last ten minutes-
Yes the teacher is looking past her raised hand asking-
“Does anyone know the answer? Anyone… else?” Continue reading

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Book Review: Dorian

7 Mar

Book cover: picture of Dorian Grey - a painting of a male, nude torsoDorian by Will Self

I Liked this Better Than the Original

A literary re-write is a difficult thing to do well, but Will Self does it. I think Self works better within the restraints of this form, (versus his bloated books The Butt or The Book of Dave) and the new twists Self adds to the tale work wonders.

There is no one picture – there is a modern art installation of multiple videos of Dorian – and he has to track down and hide each and every one – adding to the drama which was missing in the original. The debauched, druggy Lords and Ladies work brilliantly in a mid-80s setting, as does the masterstroke of using the HIV epidemic to hasten the aging process for all other characters. This also adds to the suspicion around Dorian’s miraculous escape from such a fate.

In retrospect – I realise a little more about what was implied in the original The Picture of Dorian Gray – why Dorian’s implied sleeping about was just so dangerous and evil (syphilis epidemic, anyone?) but, through no fault of Wilde’s, he couldn’t state those things emphatically, Continue reading

Book Review: Picture of Dorian Gray

7 Mar

Penguin Classics book cover of picture of dorian Gray featuring a young attractive-ish man with a high neck victorian collarPicture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Luscious and Badly Paced

Beautiful descriptions, beautiful quips, next to no editing going on here. Two whole pages dedicated to lists of the pretty things Dorian buys himself is definitely self-indulgent – but then what else could we expect of the great Oscar Wilde?

I loved this novel for its concept and for its myriad witticisms, though I didn’t find it had much going for it in suspense or horror. I haven’t read enough else from around this era to know if it’s just of its time, or if it’s just not Wilde’s strong point. Either way, it is a shame. Also, I think Wilde missed a trick in neither making Gray that scary a character (amoral, of course, but never really that menacing to the audience), nor showing more of the world from Gray’s point of view – which could have been fun.

The character of the theatre owner is where Wilde really lets himself down as a narrator. All Wilde can do to convey how unpleasant this man is, is talk about how revolting and Jewish he is. Reading this as a Jewish person Continue reading

Book Review: An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein

7 Mar

Book cover An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein. It is a plain pink cover with black text.An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein

A Forgotten Classic

I am forever grateful to my university’s drama society for putting on An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, and opening my eyes to the wonder of Uncle Shelby’s adult stuff.

Quick word of warning: this is a lot closer to Freakin’ at the Freakers’ Ball than The Giving Tree.

It’s a series of dramatic shorts, each one riffing around two or three characters interacting in a dark, twisted, well observed, and often hilarious situation. Yes, it’s a script, and I don’t normally read scripts in my spare time, but this is what writing should be, Continue reading

Book Review: Scar Tissue

7 Mar

book cover Scar Tissue by Anthony KiedisScar Tissue – by Anthony Kiedis

Cliff Notes to Anecdotes

I’m about halfway through and I’m reconsidering how much I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their front man is such a douche.

Anthony Kiedis did a lot of wild/asshole things, but as he re-tells them he runs through each anecdote at a bored, breakneck speed – only sketching the barest of facts: “I did this substance and I did that substance, I caused X bit of destruction in Y place and then I cheated on my girlfriend with this sweet, dark-haired girl. I like dark haired girls. Then my girlfriend was mad at me…” Continue reading