Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Blister in the Sun

I'm proud of myself. Today was a tough day. I got up when the alarm went off, I got ready and went to work after 8 days off. It was a good day with lots of people, adventures, reading and music.

This has been a good week too. Since last Thursday, I've been going to the gym and seeing a personal trainer. I've thrown up twice from three training sessions and am doing more strenuous exercise than I think I have ever done in my life. My body thinks it's being tortured but the consequence is days filled with energy, remembering to eat again and smiling. It's been a while.

Tonight, I saw a movie called Confessions of a Shopaholic. It is possibly the worst movie I have ever seen in my life and this includes all the Brandon Lee ones. I could argue it was the poor acting of Isla Fisher or the try-too-hard-to-be Sex and the City but in all honesty, it was the fact that the only way a woman could communicate financial news to other women was to use shoe analogies. It was condescending boy-meets-girl, girl-goes-shopping, boy-sees-depth-in-girl, girl-goes-shopping, boy-realises-he-was-wrong, girl-goes-shopping, boy-falls-in-love-with-girl-anyway-cos-she's-pretty crap. Don't go see it. Don't borrow it on DVD. You won't get those two hours of your life back.

I like chick-lit, don't get me wrong. I read the entire Twilight series in a couple of weeks and that was just a gateway drug to more vampire chick-lit which is quite well written - much better in fact than a lot of sci-fi fantasy pulp. This guy I know made a reference to Mary Sues when talking about these types of books. If you haven't heard of it, it's a slightly elitist term used to describe characters or a world in a book whose primary function is to serve as wish-fullfilment for the readers and authors.

"In a possibly unique case Andor in The Wheel of Time series borders on a fuedal sue-topia at times. Nobels are all noble and deeply care about the welfare of their people. The peasents all love them. And there's almost no poverty despite lots of money being poured into castles, palaces and personal armies."

Personally, there is nothing wrong with this sort of thing. Not every story has to be a literary masterpiece. Not all characters have to teach you a noble lesson or be a rogue of an anti-hero. Don't we read books and watch movies as a form of escapism? I certainly do.

At one of the happier points in my life, I was obsessed with books based in post-apocalyptic worlds. At the time of heartbreak, I've needed books with tales of endless love and recovered hope. We escape. We don't go in to fiction to search for our souls. We wander in to join the adventure and be lost in the tale.

I guess this rant is really about the fact that no matter what people say about your tastes and who you are, don't listen too hard. Like what you like. Be who you are. Read and watch whatever you like from classics to pulp fiction and be honest if you see no difference.

Life is wonderful but escape it however you choose. I'll respect you for that.

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