In Defense of Rory Gilmore

gilmore-girls-netflix-revival-rory

Alexis Bledel as ‘Rory Gilmore’ in “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”; photo taken from Hypable 

I wrote the following after seeing multiple posts on blogs, Tumblr, and legitimate news sites basically slut shaming Rory Gilmore in “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” for decisions she makes regarding men.  Some of it isn’t actually slut shaming, some of it is simply die-hard fans who, like me, have probably watched the original series many times and have a romanticized idea of what Rory is like and how she should behave; they are disappointed, these fans, that thirty year old Rory isn’t making the same decisions as twenty year old Rory.

I think there are many factors to consider before judging Rory too harshly.

First of all: it’s been ten years.  No one dates exactly the same way they did ten years ago.  She’s in her thirties now, she’s less inhibited, less shy, more open to experiences.  As humans grow, we change, see things differently.  Rory is going to have a different mindset at 32 than she did when she was nineteen.

Secondly: We don’t know what her dating experience has been since leaving college.  Previous relationships have a great affect on how a person treats future romantic partners.  It’s possible she’s had one too many terrible boyfriends since Logan.  Also: Rory’s a bit of a nomad, it’s difficult to maintain exclusive relationships when you’re constantly moving.  Believe me, I know.

Thirdly: As a person ages, she becomes less idealistic.  Young people often have a rigid sense of morality, Rory certainly did.  This is why kids will often (foolishly) write off friends for not meeting a certain moral standard (see Veronica Mars).  But as we age and mature, we realize there’s a lot of gray in the world, and we are not the ultimate voice of right and wrong in the universe.  So we sleep with that guy we met at that party, and we drink the tequila, and drive to NYC to watch an SNL rehearsal and get a hot dog just to turn around and drive home again the same day.

Fourth: People also become less optimistic.  Which seems strange considering people become less cynical (unless you’re Louis C.K., or a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker) as they get older, but when it comes to relationships and dating, single, straight, American women seem to become more pessimistic about relationships.  Consider this Garfunkel and Oates song.

Fifth: We don’t know what sort of relationship Logan has with this French woman.  Maybe it’s an open relationship?  Maybe he has the same deal with her as he has with Rory?  The French are way less puritanical about sex than Americans.

We, especially those of us who grew up alongside Rory, want her to be a sort of moral beacon since she’s just like us only better, but really she’s not.  Rory is just as flaky as we are, she’s just as confused, just as meandering, just as flawed.  She is searching for her place in the world the same way we are.

And, as with all things, the viewer brings his or her own experience to the story.  All my girlfriends who are married, engaged, or in long term relationships had the same reaction: “Rory has had ample time to find someone new, loving, and stable, why is she back with old boyfriends and making these decisions?”  While all my fellow single girlfriends in their early thirties looked at Rory and said: “Yeah, nope, that’s exactly right!”

This post is edited slightly from the original post on Tumblr.

Some 30 years later, I built a #Lego #SpaceCruiser!

Weeks ago I wrote a rant about Lego inwhich I questioned why the Lego Friends line is so drastically different from the standard Lego toys.  I also shared how I didn’t know Lego came in kits until I was in middle school.  The reason for my ignorance being the Legos in my household were almost entirely hand-me-downs from my brother who had long since mislaid the instructions for the the 1980s era Space Cruiser Warner Bros. recently reminded us of in The Lego Movie.

My brother, clever young man that he is, found the instructions on the Internet and shared them with me challenging me to build the Space Cruiser.

My first challenge was finding our old Lego collection.  As stated in my earlier post, a time came when my mother took the remaining Lego bricks and tossed them all into a plastic bin that previously had been used for transporting cupcakes, mixing and commingling what was left from all the kits that had ever entered her children’s lives.

wpid-20150318_183234.jpg

Finding it turned out to be easier than I thought it would be.  Since all the grandbaby moved out of their house, my parents have relegated all the toys to one corner of the family room.  The bin was under a table chest in the corner along with the puzzles, blocks, and Lincoln Logs.

Challenge Two: Uncover what’s left of the figures.

wpid-20150318_183255.jpg

The Spacemen have long since lost their faces.  One of them used to have a mark where a face once was, but now they are entirely missing.  (The Policeman was from a kit I got as a child, therefore has been handled the least and still has his face.)  The Spaceman logos on their chests are all but entirely gone.  Out of five figures there are four hands between them; one head and helmet are long gone; and the figure not pictured, in my memory, has always had only one leg.

Once I determined I had most of the pieces I’d need to build the Space Cruiser,

wpid-20150318_183302.jpg

it was time to get down to business.

wpid-20150318_183821.jpg

The Instructions were really sort of difficult to follow some of the time.  It certainly didn’t help they were smallish images on the computer rather than a paper I could handle and get close to without feeling like I’d done something terrible to my eyes.

wpid-20150318_214203.jpg

Slowly it started to come together.

wpid-20150318_201505.jpg

wpid-20150322_130540.jpg

Despite the pieces being a minimum thirty years old a surprising number of them in very good condition.  The thrusters, for example, still look great!

wpid-20150318_215146.jpg

(I used these pieces as lampshades.)

The pieces in poor condition are primarily the pieces you’d expect to be in shambles after cycling through five children and a couple of grandbabies.  The pieces that attach the thrusters to the back of the ship, for example, look like this:

wpid-20150318_215252.jpgHinged pieces, they were meant to attach to the top of the back with these bits hanging down, onto which the thrusters would attach.  Alas, they’ve been broken most of my life.  Therefore, the Space Cruiser must go without it’s thrusters.

Quite frankly, I had to get real creative with multiple parts of the ship.  I borrowed from other parts and substituted many pieces where I could get away with it.  I had to rebuild various parts more than once, and get creative with broken parts.

wpid-20150318_215506.jpg

In the end, it didn’t turn out so badly.

wpid-20150322_130713.jpg

Still had plenty of missing pieces; I couldn’t get around not having one entire section of that windscreen.  I’m afraid it wouldn’t be a very effective Space Cruiser, but as it doesn’t have any thrusters, it’s not like it’s going anywhere anyway!

I am not your Manic Pixie Bookworm | Kaite Welsh | Huffington Post.

I am not your Manic Pixie Bookworm | Kaite Welsh | Huffington Post.

I wrote this earlier today on Literary Bex (the Tumblr), and decided it is also appropriate here as Literary Bex (the WordPress) is meant to be about writing, and to be a place to write things I feel strongly about that aren’t strictly books.

Being a reader is super weird when it comes to dating, she is not wrong. I have had men either really want to delve into my reading life and become a part of it, or they are overwhelmingly terrified of me because I have a larger vocabulary than they. Either way, both find it sexy that I am “a reader” but, like Welsh says, either way they are objectifying my intellect rather than just appreciating my intelligence. Welsh writes, “I don’t need a prize to congratulate me for doing something I learned when I was four.” That prize certainly isn’t going to be a man who desires only for a girl who can carry a conversation, not a woman with whom to share his life.

The fact that we read isn’t cute; it isn’t sweet; and it certainly isn’t adorable. There are girls across the WORLD who are never given the opportunity to even learn how to read. Their only function in life is to clean, cook, and bear their husband’s babies (preferably boys). They are not even considered people. The irony being, those who get the hots for a girl solely because she reads are also not seeing those women as people. Objectifying “reading” takes away it’s power. Being able to read is the difference between autonomy and disenfranchisement (i.e., American slavery). A woman with the ability to read is potential powerful. If she can read, she has the opportunity to know what is going on in the world; she has the opportunity to better understand her world. A girl who can read has the potential to affect change in her community. She can read policy. She can read laws. She can discuss with others what she has learned from her reading. She can understand injustices. Because she can read, she has the opportunity to do something about it.

Reading might be sexy; because reading means a person is curious and therefore thinks. But reading is so much more than that. Reading is power. Reading is powerful. Reading is empowering. Because I was taught my letters and subsequently encouraged to read, I know that I am more than a symbol. I know that I am more than a stereotype. I know that I am important because I am a Person. I will continue to read, a skill I was taught at age four, so my mind stays sharp, so I can continue to learn about my world, so I can best understand what I can do to change the injustices I see.

I do not read to get your attention. I do not read to get fucked. If I did I would just get fucked over. Because I read, I know what I want from my partner, I know what I want from my life.  And I do not want someone who will fuck me over.

I read for me. I write for me. I do not do these things for you.

It’s my anniversary with WordPress….

And I forgot!

What shall I ever do to make it up to you, WordPress?  Buy you flowers?  chocolates?  an extension cord?  No, none of these will do, will they?  The only way to make it up to you is to blog more often, stop by, visit, tell you what’s been going on with me.

Ah, well, this will have to do for now.  Thanks for the reminder.

xoxo Bex

Link

Oh, hay, Will and Kate are preggers.

Well, Kate is preggers.  Hopefully because of Will.  You know.  Not to be a jerk, or anything.  They seem like the Real Deal.  Poor kid, life is going to be weird.  Maybe the United Kingdomites will abolish the monarchy before you have to have your face on the pound note.

Also: Why is my WordPress Dash experiencing flurries?

Dear WordPress, I knew I liked you.

Tonight I get an email from WordPress telling me I have a comment to moderate.  It’s from my best friend.  This woman and I have known each other since mid-high school.  She and I were a warped version of Daria and Jane, if Daria were super ambitious about the things she’s into and Jane were Daria.  We don’t see each other very often, but, then again, our friendship has never been based on the quantity of time we spend together.  (In fact, we once learned that we’re probably better off not spending all of our time together seeing how we start to get on each other’s nerves after a while.)  But we are often commenting on each other’s FB pages and blogs and texting and calling and chatting when we can.

But back to tonight: I am about to approve a comment on my previous post (I hate election season (or why I should have voted for Jill Stein)from my best friend — it’s there, go find it — I click on the “Approve” link in my email and it takes me to the comment moderation page, which reads: “Caution: You are about to approve this comment”, then it gives the comment again and asks: “Are you sure you want to do this?”  As if doing so would be the equivalent of going into the dark and spooky abandoned house from which the eerie and ominous whistling is emanating.

Well played, WordPress, well played.  You’ve tickled me better than a three year old who hasn’t learned the difference between it and scratching.  Well played.

I think I need to stop “Following” some Tumblr book blogs.*

Maybe because I’m currently a little grouchy, maybe because many of the writers I read are already dead, maybe because I’m years older than some of these bloggers: I’m getting a little tired of the sentiment of wanting to be best friends with beloved authors.

In this age of global communication, we can read author’s blogs, we can follow their activities on Facebook, we can send them tweets (twats? twits?) given they are on Twitter, and they have the option to respond to us.  If the author does respond, the person is likely to remember this event for years to come, but the author?  Unlikely.  (This gives the semblance of communication.)

When I read a book, a novel, a poem, and it moves me beyond words, I don’t hero worship the person who wrote it (unless its Agatha Christie); I don’t want this person to be my best friend.  We might be in agreement; their words might validate my own sentiments, beliefs, or feelings; they may have taught me something new about the world and myself, but I’m not going to talk about the author as something he or she isn’t.

And it’s weird and wearisome to read what these girls write about their lurve for J.K. Rowling and John Green and how they all seem to want Neil Gaiman to be their surrogate father.**  That being said: I think its wonderful to interact with authors, I think it’s great that Neil Gaiman takes time to respond to some of the questions he gets asked on Tumblr, but the over-the-top adoration is a mite trying to read so often.

And I’ve been tongue tied when speaking with an author; I’ve been to readings; I would love to have tea with David Sedaris, or a stiff drink with Chelsea Handler; and I think John Green and I could have some delightfully sarcastic conversations about things we both love or hate.***  And I don’t want to begrudge these readers their love for these authors, I just don’t want to read about their lurve for these authors quite so often.

*Sorry if this is bitchy.

**I have the utmost respect for everyone mentioned in this post.

***I would love to create a world with Neil Gaiman one day.

I lied

The other day my sister asked me what I was doing and I said “Writing”… I was really trolling Tumblr and WordPress…

On the upside, I have written and readied my post about Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.  It will be posted on Tumblr on Thursday and, honestly, I’m sort of in love with what I just wrote.  It’s really one of the best posts in Literary Bex Tumblr history.  It different from my usual book reviews and I think that’s part of what makes it special.

I do so love writing about books I’ve read.

SOPA and PIPA

These bills are all about censorship.  Legislators want to censor the Internet.  They claim to want to stop “foreign criminals” from pirating movies and TV shows and putting them on the Internet.  The Motion Picture Association of America is all about supporting the bills.  Major American entertainment corporations have funneled money into lobbying politicians to back them.  They’re claiming that SOPA and PIPA won’t affect Americans.

But this isn’t true, is it?  Americans post other’s “intellectual property” all the time.  We put up pictures from TV shows and share songs from our favorite artists, we write quotations from novels and newspaper articles and magazines.  We share information and entertainment like never before: Publicly.  We didn’t have blogs or email twenty years ago, if we wanted to share something with a friend we either had to write it in a letter, or call them on the phone or physically bring the tape over to their house and put it in their tape player.  If you had two VCRs and a blank tape you could copy movies or record television and no one would know.

I agree with Google when they write that piracy wouldn’t stop with the passing of these bills: “Pirate sites would just change their addresses in order to continue their criminal activities”.  People would find ways around it and what is the government and The Motion Picture Association of America going to do then?  Crack down even more until the Internet becomes some sort of Utilitarian Dystopia?  Is it too Conspiracy Theorist-y to say that these bills are the slippery slope to America becoming a warped version of a Neal Stephenson, Ray Bradbury, or Suzanne Collins novel that will eventually push us into Soylen Green territory followed by Dune?  Seems extreme, yes, but it also seems plausible.

Besides, if we learned anything from the McCarthy Era and Blacklisting, the thing or person being censored doesn’t go away.  Dalton Trumbo continued to write screenplays, just under another name.  The books that were banned still existed and were distributed.  The Captain in Fahrenheit 451 owned a large collection of books he never read and rebel Book People lived on the fringes of society memorizing collections of works so they wouldn’t be forgotten.

Censorship has never been met well.  People will always protest being censored, whether its for personal reasons or on principle.  Stopping the free exchange of information is a travesty, its unjust, its dictatorship.  The protests happening today, 1/18/12, by Wikipedia, Tumblr, WordPress and other major sites, is not, as it’s been said, a “gimmick”, but more like Susan Brown Miller, it’s jarring on purpose.  It’s a little over the top so it will catch your attention.  Yes, SOPA and PIPA are not going to completely take away “free knowledge”, the abrasive language Wikipedia is using, but it is going to put a limit on free exchange.  And putting limits on free exchange is historically bad.  Limiting knowledge has led to things like Nazis, Communism and the French Revolution (it might not have changed anything, but I am convinced Louis and Marie Antoinette didn’t know a damn thing outside Versailles).  Limiting the public’s access to information is not generally considered a good thing.

In the BBC article by Leo Kelion about the Internet protest has many comments from Chris Dodd, the chairman of The Motion Picture Association of America, speaking against the protest and in favor of SOPA and PIPA.  The entertainment industry is estimated to lose hundreds of dollars every year because of Internet piracy and yet Disney’s Net Income in 2010 “increased 20% to $3.96 billion on a 5 percent rise in revenue to $38 billion.”  I don’t think Disney is really hurting all that much.  Also, let’s look at what the entertainment industry is charging us these days: 10, 12 dollars for a CD; 10 to 30 dollars for a DVD?  And they’re wondering why people are turning to other means in order to obtain their entertainment?  Maybe if they stopped putting money into buying politicians they could lower their prices and people would stop supporting piracy?  Just a thought….