The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘review’

Mortal Kombat Revisited – Has it Stood the Test of Time?

Hahahahahahaha, no.

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But how bout them bedroom eyes.

Starbucks, the Experience – A Review

Starbucks is often much more than a cup of coffee (and I am mildly aware that they offer an ever-changing menu of things I am not interested in except for that occasional desire that strikes with a sudden force that leads to the purchase of a chocolate chip muffin). On this particular day I visited a Starbucks, got my coffee, sat down, and observed.

A woman perhaps in her fifties engaged so thoroughly in a book she had become the most interesting piece of furniture in the room.

A pair of women in their forties who I would have thought were a couple if they hadn’t spent so much time railing against their dumb husbands. (Runners-up in the great world of dumb were their dumb jobs, dumb bosses, dumb neighbors, and dumb – oh we won’t go into that but – dumb politics. Notably missing were dumb kids, but that could either imply a solo spark of anti-dumb in their world, but more likely it just implied a lack of kids.)

The four twenty to thirty something employees chirping with an enthusiasm that one assumes is generally only purchasable by large wages, unhealthy amounts of caffeine, or some foolish game of rising stakes where you can only win by being the very most happiest, energetic, enthused and excited by all things customer-oriented person in the world!!! (Note: there are no winners of this game.)

A man, mid thirties, and his almost or just barely teenage daughter were also present.

I had to wonder, marveling at the technology on display with phones and tablets which were accompanying the conversations despite the fact that some still consider this rude, the clock counting how long since the drive-thru customer ordered will it take to get their order, the polished nature of everything on display that implies that this chain store is a unique chain store unlike any other chain store. But then, listening to the snippets of conversation, the debatably teenaged daughter just called her dad an asshole and he rolled his eyes at her which I think is a nice touch, one of the married women just talked about how her boss doesn’t understand her and how she would never deign to understand him, and flip goes the page on the furniture’s book, and barista one is totally psyched he has a date tonight but he met him sorta like commenting on reddit and is that gross? should I like be worried? but in his pics he’s pretty hot so whatever right? OH hiiiiii welcome to Starbuuuuuucks!

Now the man in his thirties has taken his turn to call his daughter an asshole. The furniture closed her eyes for a long second, then locked eyes with me and I think I could almost hear her screaming.

Has humanity gone too far? Have we already peaked? Is technology just failing forward at this point, new achievements reached, new heights claimed, faster, stronger, better, more hands off and less thinking required just because there are people who don’t know any better. Are we all dead inside, or embracing that inner death one barely acknowledged and half-heartedly attended conversation at a time?

I take another sip of my coffee. It’s pretty good but I might add more sugar.

Coffee: 4/5 stars
Chocolate Chip Muffin: 5/5 stars
Experience: 2/5 stars

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Seen here, someone who has developed an ability to take an order and tune out 90% of the drivel

Murder is Cheap, and Other Ruminations

I just finished reading Murder is Cheap, which was originally called The Scarlet Button. It was published in 1945. I bought the book because it has a dramatic cover and it says in smaller letters above the title “Only suckers pay blackmail!”

Murder is Cheap

Who could resist such a charming read?

I was hoping for a great noir story full of phrases I wish I could use in every day conversation without sounding like a tool.

“Hey Brad, how’s your Thursday?”
“The day is all aces and eights. Not good enough to play. Not bad enough to fold.”
“Uh … Ok.”

Instead, as I was reading the book, which was written by Anthony Gilbert, I couldn’t help but notice blatant sexism everywhere. At first I took it in stride because the book was written in 1945 and life was different then … But the sexism came at parts where it didn’t even make sense.

Mr. Stout thought that if he used that expression again he’d go womanish on him and scream.

I decided to mark some of the sexist lines just to see what they add up to in the end. I sat down today having finished the book, all ready to write a post where I have looked up this Anthony GIlbert character and dive into what made him so sexist when … Oh, it turns out Anthony Gilbert was a pen name and the real author was Lucy Beatrice Malleson. In other words, a lady.

Malleson wrote 51 novels with Arthur Crook in them (a lawyer with dirty hands but a pristine record when it came to his clients).

My claims of sexism then were probably misplaced (gee, ya think). Malleson could have written the sexist lines with a smirk on her face, a Stephen Colbert approach of heavily agreeing with the opposition and seeing how far she could push it to show just how absurd they could be. Thinking about it, the insults to women were given by men while the two female characters were strong, independent, helpful (though one seemed like an overbearing mother figure) and the men in the books relied upon them all the while saying nasty things.

What’s my point? I suppose it’s that I’m too quick to judge, or that authors are crafty devils and (almost) every book deserves a re-read. Imagine now if I went back and read this book knowing this tiny bit about the author. Sometimes when I read what is considered a “great” book I can’t decide if I want to look up hidden meanings, symbolism, themes, etc before so that I can look for it and see it in action while I read … or wait until after I’ve read the book to see if I discovered for myself some hidden meaning(s).

The main thing to know is: No matter how you cut it, no matter how you read it or how much you know about the author, Fifty Shades of Grey was still awful. (Read my review full of amazingly bad quotes from that book! Or my mock version, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4! Self-promotion, yay!)

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