Word.

Books and language have always been a huge part of my life and development. My mother read me bedtime stories, and on her days off we’d pass the afternoon with our noses in a book, sprawled out on her embroidered white comforter. When I got older, I grew increasingly more interested in etymology, and interest that flourished alongside my vocabulary.

And naturally, as any bookworm can tell you, I caught a lot of shit growing up for actually liking literature and for using “big” words.

The hope was that once I reached adulthood, everyone else would too, and the criticism and judgment would stop. Except it doesn’t.

A friend of mine used some word or another in front of her husband’s friend and was immediately met with disdain – “ooo, I guess someone went to college.” Really? My friend did, in fact, go to college, but I don’t see how that’s a requirement for not sounding like a complete fucking imbecile. I know plenty of educated, articulate individuals who have never stepped foot on a university campus – and I know even more who have, but still couldn’t diagram a goddamn sentence even with an instruction manual.

But I don’t feel that it’s remotely justified to call someone with an extensive vocabulary pretentious, or a show-off, or a snob. Why wouldn’t you want to know a million different ways to say beautiful, or funny, or kind? Or to say sad, happy, excited? There are so many things in the world, things to see and to experience – why wouldn’t you want to give yourself every opportunity to describe these things with as much detail as possible? Every time you speak to someone, you’re telling them a small piece of the story of your life. Every word you say is being converted in to an image – give that image some depth, for Chrissake.

If you do love the wonderful world of words, then you probably feel equal annoyance at people who take them too seriously, who take their passion language and expression and cross that line that separates the well-spoken from the dick-headed.

People like this.

 

The Corrector

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Are you this guy? Well guess what – no one fucking likes you.

While that is my profile, I would never post something so gloriously misspelled – but I also don’t troll around my news feed, looking for grammar and spelling mistakes so I can attempt to humiliate someone. Besides, if you EVER make a mistake, even if it’s just a typo, you’ve pretty much just douched yourself in to a corner.

The Overdoer

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Stop using words the way desperate bitches use makeup – which is to say, excessively. We get it. You have a stellar command of the English language. You probably also have stellar command of your own genitals, since you’re the only person who’s touched them since you took Advanced English Lit in college five years ago.

The Maker-Upper

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Don’t assume that you’re always the smartest person in the room, and definitely don’t go making up words like you’re the fucking Mad Hatter of linguistics. Eventually you’ll get called out. And everyone will laugh.

On behalf of all of us who are tired of being called snobby, stuck up, pretentious, or haughty just because we don’t walk around grunting and pointing like cavemen – please stop acting like a shit. You’re making it worse.

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I Don’t Give A Shit That You Give A Shit That I Don’t Give A Shit

Would you like to know a secret?

I don’t give a shit about The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.

I’m so serious, ya’ll. I. Do not. Care.

I’ve tried watching both, and the entire time I was absolutely bored out of my mind. One is supposed to have zombies, right? Cuz it seems like a bunch of dirty people standing around having arguments while they hold their guns intimidatingly. WAIT HERE’S A HORDE OF ZOMBIES; SHOOT THEM! K, cool, they’re dead, let’s go back to fighting over who gets to eat this box of raisins.

And Game of Thrones? Right. Let’s just call it Game of Bones, since someone seems to be having sex with someone else (usually someone they aren’t supposed to) every thirty seconds. Tons of murder and whatnot, so I guess that’s interesting, but watching some waif’s meager bosom heave up and down is boring when I know full well I can just go to my room, look up pornhub.com on my phone, and shut the door.

Just so we’re clear: I am totally okay with the fact that these shows don’t interest me. So why does it bother everyone else?

Have you ever tried telling one of these die-hard fans you just aren’t in to a show? Or maybe you’re a total asshole like me and don’t even try to be diplomatic: “Yeah I’ve seen it, and it’s a steam pile of feces. Which is to say, I think that show sucks.”

OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, THEY LOSE THEIR SHIT.

“How could you! How dare you! It is a work of art! It is brilliant! It is intriguing and fascinating and wonderful. It is written with ink made from unicorn love sauce sprinkled with glittery flakes of epic win!”

Or…it’s a fucking TV show. Get over yourselves. You want to talk to me about works of art? About brilliant? This is what I think is art.

 

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“Mrs. Cecil B. Wade” – John Singer Sargent

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Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

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Double-Double from In ‘N Out Burger. Don’t fucking judge me.

Stop assuming I just “haven’t given it a fair shot” or that I “just need to watch a few more episodes to get in to it.” It isn’t that I “don’t get it” (it’s fucking zombies and politics, not advanced calculus). It’s not that I am “too stuck up for TV”. 
I JUST DON’T GIVE A SHIT. AND THAT IS OKAY.
But here’s honestly what pisses me off the most about these people who are obsessed with these shows:
IT’S JUST A TELEVISION SHOW.
The Walking Dead was originally a graphic novel. Game of Thrones is a series of books. They are available for purchase at your local bookstore. Why the fuck don’t you just read them?
Like seriously, you’re throwing watch parties and going to conventions dressed up as these fictional characters, touting yourselves as fans and you haven’t even read the books? Did you people even know about this shit until it hit HBO and people started talking about it on Facebook? 
(For the record, a watch party for anything other than sporting events or a show/movie you have landed a role in is a stupid fucking idea. “Hey let’s invite a bunch of people over to eat snacks and watch an hour long show, but no one is allowed to speak or urinate or have an opinion until the credits roll.” Sounds like a blast. I love parties where I can’t socialize.)
WTF are you doing with your life if you actually have time to sit down and marathon a goddamn 60 minute show in the middle of the week? Do you not have outside where you are? Do you remember what the sun looks like? You just spent half your day streaming Netflix when you could have spent half the day on your patio, drinking a glass of iced tea, enjoying the weather, and reading the goddamn book.
I realize there are some people who don’t like to read, and that’s fine, I guess, but you can not be that person and be a total fucking snob about your “favorite show”. You’re not a die hard fan. You just like TV more than you should.
Now shut the fuck up, Big Bang Theory is on. 

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Don’t tell my kids this, but sometimes asking repeatedly for something does mean you’ll get it.

Faithful readers – and I am truly flattered there are 200 of you, when I barely expected 20! – you said you wanted me to read and review “50 Shades of Grey”, and who am I to deny the people what they want?

The eBook has been loaded to my phone and as soon as my wee ones are tucked in and dreaming of sugar, spice, and other assorted things I’m told are nice, I will begin my journey in to the land of what I’m assured is poorly written smut.

In the meantime, put on your thinking caps – I’m probably going to need suggestions for shitty book number three in about a week.

Everyone needs a hobby. Thanks to all of you for giving me a new one!

Why Twilight Sucks: A Comprehensive Analysis By A Writer Who Actually Read It

Based on everything I’d heard about Twilight, including a basic synopsis sprinkled with some finer details (like the sparkling), I could only assume that Stephanie Meyer was yet another author who managed to squeeze out a literary turd and somehow convince a publisher that it was solid gold. Still, I had never read the book(s), only skimmed them and read a paragraph here and there, so it didn’t seem fair to criticize this alleged turd without sifting through it.

I was right. It’s a piece of shit. And here’s why.

You Don’t Fuck With Folklore: Granted, there are countless variations when it comes to vampire myth, from their powers to their weaknesses…but there are some things that shouldn’t be changed, because they completely detract from the myth itself. Vampires are, across the board, creatures of the night. Now Miss Meyer tells her faithful readers, ‘Nope! They can, like, totally come out during the day – they just turn all glittery!’ A stake through the heart, evidently, is no longer sufficient to put an end to the unlife of a vamp: now we must tear them apart and burn the remains. Hm. I coulda sworn that method of destruction was specific to witches…but that’s just semantics, I suppose.

Characters, Sans Character: Never in my life have I read a book with such boring, one-dimensional supporting characters. What the hell were they even doing in the book? They served no purpose other than as filler between the flatly written Bella-and-Edward scenes. They had no quirks, no personalities, no likes or dislikes. They weren’t even characters; hell, they barely qualify as character outlines for a yet-to-be-started novel. Miss Meyer further expects her readers to believe that although the heroine is a poor conversationalist who is distant, borderline rude, to her compatriots they still – particularly the males – feel some kind of warped loyalty to her. Based on what, exactly? Oh that’s right. We don’t know enough about the characters to figure that out. I’m all for using my imagination, but my imagination shouldn’t have to fill in the backstory that you didn’t have the talent to write.

For Realism?: I ask you, readers: what are the odds that a clumsy, socially awkward, shy, pasty city girl would just fit right on in with a bunch of kids who’ve grown up in the same town together their entire lives? What are the odds that she’d have not one, not two, but three boys ask her to a school dance in the same day? Are we all agreed that the answer is ‘slim to fucking none‘? Teenagers are assholes, as I’m sure most of you remember. Small town teenagers are worse. Oh, but she’s Chief Swan’s daughter, so surely she must garner some sort of awe-inspired respect. Right. Cuz, you know, that’s what teens are famous for: loving the police and being respectful of authority.

Now let’s look at the scene toward the end of the book where Bella tells her father she’s going back to Phoenix. Even though he’s her father, and he loves her, and he knows that if she goes back she’ll be alone in the house, and he’s bought her a truck…he just lets her leave? Any normal parent would have called the cops before she could have finished packing her suitcase. And since Bella’s dad IS the cops, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch for him to ring up his buddies and chase the goofy bitch down. Seriously – that was lazy writing done for the purposes of accelerating an otherwise stagnant plot progression.

BFFs and BFs, OMG!: If ever there was a prime example of poorly constructed personal relationships in a work of literary fiction, this is it. Why is Bella treating her father like he’s a child? Why is he letting her? Why are her friendships so shallow and underdeveloped? How is it believable that this emotionally detached, romantically inexperienced young girl could fall in love so quickly with a guy she knows nothing about, when she keeps herself so guarded around everyone else she comes in to contact with? I suppose the underlying reason is that he’s special, blah blah blah…but basic human psychology dictates that a girl with her emotional restraint and closeness issues wouldn’t have just gone batshit crazy over a guy just cuz he was so darn pretty and mysterious.

Abusive Vampires and You: It’s been some time since I was a silly teenager in love, and maybe it’s just me but…doesn’t Mr. Cullen just seem a wee bit on the abusive side? Always grabbing her wrists, pinning her up against the car, growling at her, glaring at her, warning her he’s dangerous, driving like a fucking psychopath while she’s in the car…I guess you could call it love. I call it a restraining order waiting to happen.

A Thesaurus is Not A Type of Dinosaur: At one point in the book, I couldn’t help but notice that the word ‘scowl’ had been used three times in a page and a half. Just out of curiosity, I flipped back exactly 20 pages and counted the instances of ‘scowl’ and all derivatives thereof

Eighteen. EIGHTEEN GODDAMNED TIMES. Glower. Grimace. Glare. Frown. These are all acceptable synonyms, not to mention more colorful phrases like “look daggers at” or “evil eye” or “dirty look.” But all Miss Meyer could come up with was ‘scowl.’ Again – lazy, lazy writing from a sub-par author who probably couldn’t diagram a sentence if you gave her an step-by-step guide written in crayon.

Story Arc? Fuck it!: Does anyone know what this book was about? Aside from the forbidden romance between an obsessed teenage girl and her aggressive undead lover? It seemed to me that the first 300 pages consisted of her Googling shit about vampires, being evasive with her friends, being secretive with Edward, biting her lip, and pissing and moaning about the weather in Oregon. Finally, roughly 300 pages in to a 500+ page novel, some shit goes down. Some actual action. A conflict! A fight! An antagonist that isn’t just a mean girl who doesn’t like Bella! And it only took 300 pages of mushy, gushy, asinine bullshit that has no relevance whatsoever to the aforementioned final conflict! Here’s my $29.95, Miss Meyer! I can’t wait for your next one to come out so I can blow my money on that piece of shit, too!

 

I’d like to conclude by saying that there is a method to writing. There are mechanics to writing. Those who don’t do it may not understand, but if you read enough then perhaps you do. We, as writers, have a responsibility to our readers to provide them with something that has substance, something that we didn’t just piss out of our fingers because we figure a bunch of hormone-ridden teen girls and bored housewives will buy it and make us rich. And we have a responsibility to ourselves to write something that we’re proud of, something that both follows the rules of conventional literature while simultaneously breaking them, enabling us to create a piece of work that is so excellent, we don’t even care if it gets published.

It is blaringly obvious that Miss Meyer did not write this book for her readers, or even for herself; if she had, then she would have put more work in to developing and shaping more than two characters; she’d have used a flippin’ thesaurus; she wouldn’t have pattered around on her keyboard for two-thirds of the book going on about sparkly skin and almost-kisses before finally throwing in an actual problem.

In Duma Key, Stephen King wrote, ‘All talent wants is to be used.’ If Miss Meyer does have any talent as a writer – and some passages and dialogue exchanges hint that she does – then she has a committed a crime against her talent, allowing this drivel to be mass produced and passed off as good reading. Catcher in the Rye was good reading. 1984 was good reading. Clifford the Big Red Dog was good reading. But Twilight?

Twilight is a slap in the face to every talented author who dreams of seeing their words in print. So congratulations, Miss Meyer. You are revered by your target demographic. But you are despised by those of us who know, respect, and produce good literature, good literature that will probably never see the light of day or reading lamp so long as people continue to believe that the garbage you write is worth reading.