Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Today’s WrAnyMo offering (if you haven’t read my post on WrAnyMo, it is here) is my take on the much talked of– on this blog anyway– Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Some spoilers to follow. I tried to keep them as few and mild as possible; nonetheless, you are warned.

The happy couple.
The happy couple.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: the Classic Regency Romance, Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem
by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
Philadelphia: Quirk Books, c2009.
319 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. $12.95
to Publisher.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

Continue reading Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Can’t Uncurl Toes

I know I shouldn’t post on this because, in doing so, I’ll reveal myself to be no different than the rabid Twigirls out there who are also posting and gushing about this but I’ll take the risk.

The new Twilight poster is horrifying. It’s not the eyes (although the color should have been toned down, it looks cartoonish) or the pale skin, or the shadowing- it’s the pose. Edward is epitomized as the arrogant, possessive predator that I believe him to be in this poster. Seriously, try taking yourself out of your frame of reference, forget the love story, and the Edwardian (no pun intended) period charm and really look at the poster. He’s a monster. And Bella is reduced to a naive, wide-eyed victim. Nothing is said about her choice in this poster either, whereas Bella’s choice to be with Edward is present in the previous poster. Of course, with him looming over her, there was still a hint of creep factor in the first poster as well.

Ugh, but in a way, this poster did exactly what its creator intended for it to do. It makes me want to see the movie AND it compelled me to talk about the movie. Look ma, I’m a tool. Sigh. Perhaps Hardwicke injected a horror element into Twilight? Or perhaps I’m being optimistic. It could turn out to be more teenage drivel, in which case, I’m not sure it will be good even for a laugh. Will I see the movie? Still undecided.

With Breaking Dawn, the Twilight series became the horror story that I saw it as all along. Girls: to find happiness in love you must completely change who you are. Thanks, Meyer, great message.

Happy Constitution Day

Today marks the anniversary of the signing of our Constitution. I’d like to be able to wax glowingly on how well our elected officials have defended my constitutional rights. Sadly friends, in the last eight years, we’ve suffered from privacy invasions and censorship, while our government has launched illegal wars at the cost of lives and trillions of dollars. I certainly don’t remember asking my elected officials to grossly violate prisoners’ basic human rights in the interest of my security. My country has gotten away from me. Instead of whining and being an apathetic pessimist, I am going to do something about it. Continue reading Happy Constitution Day

Laugh More

According to a recent study, psychological distress and severe life events may increase one’s risk of breast cancer.

Young women who were exposed to a number of life events, should be considered as a risk group for [breast cancer] and treated accordingly.

The good news?

On the other hand, general feelings of happiness and optimism can play a protective role against the disease.

All the more reason to come out to Bloomington’s Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on September 20th. The walk is free, although donations are gratefully accepted. Give a few bucks, make new friends, share loads of smiles.

I’ll see you there.

Bait and Switch

I’ve been floundering for a few days now debating on whether or not to post about McCain’s VP choice. I feel sickened, insulted and a little hopeless. I don’t even feel like posting in full anymore. Instead, I’ll point to some posts of interest.

Why I feel insulted.
This and this are why I feel sickened.

I think time will show that McCain did Palin a disservice. Even if she is qualified for the VP job, discerning individuals will see her appointment as a ploy. This is not to say that she should be underestimated. I have no doubt that, if put into a position of power, Palin would derail many advances made in education, the environment, energy, reproductive rights and GBLT rights. But hey, she’s smart, attractive and not immediately threatening to the masses, unlike that Hillary woman. Grit teeth. Well, wait. I think I feel just as threatened by Palin as the rest of America seemed to feel threatened by Clinton. Both possess the potential to upset the status quo but in vastly different ways. Judgments may be a bit premature and unfair to Palin, who hasn’t had the chance to prove herself… on a national or international scale… eh, right, that’s just the problem, isn’t it?

Three Stages of Anger by J. ArbuckleThe media is at its worst too. I wish I could find where I read this but one news source seemed to claim the simple fact that Palin has Russia and Canada as neighbors to the state she governs MUST translate into Palin having foreign diplomatic experience. Blink. Who is buying this? Palin’s RNC speech didn’t do much to address this specific lack of experience. McCain doesn’t have a particular flair for foreign diplomacy that I’m aware of (I guess warmongering could be considered a policy), it would be nice if his VP choice was strong in this area.

And then there was the ‘Palin is a book-banner’ alert. I first learned of this yesterday via Jessamyn’s post. The gist: Palin contacted her local librarian while she was mayor about banning books and, when the librarian balked, Palin threatened to fire her. Sources are here and here. I was hoping to see more concrete evidence or a statement from the librarian, who eventually resigned. Seriously, Times, NY Times, printing a claim without substantial evidence breeds sensationalism. Try a little investigative journalism, please.

Finally, this is why I feel a little hopeless. As Bethany recently speculated, Palin does seem to hold the appeal-to-the-masses card. I can do all of the groaning and gesticulating I want- if this woman truly represents the People, then I guess I’m outnumbered and nothing will change. Unless, of course, you are a gay couple who wishes to be married, a sexually active teen who hasn’t had the benefit of safe sex education, a rape victim who can’t obtain an abortion even though pregnancy could have been avoided if hormone-regulating contraceptives had not been outlawed, or anyone who wants a planet for humanity to live on in two hundred years- for these folks, things will become much, much worse.

But you know me, where’s the bright side? Er, I’m still looking, although this NY Times piece provided affirmation for a long-held suspicion: the gross national product is higher when a Democrat holds the presidential office. Likewise, the average family income growth is also higher when there is a Democratic president and that growth is more pronounced in the poorest strata of society. The opposite is true when a Republican is president: only the very, very rich see a significant increase in income growth. Compelling.

In Need of God-smack

Priest to hold nun beauty pageant.

Are you frelling kidding me? Is poor image truly the worse fate that could befall a woman? Do you really think posters of hot nuns will win converts and improve public opinion? Would you really want those types of people converting to your religion anyway? Ridiculous.

Great idea, sisters. I’m sure the thousands of women worldwide who are suffering without clean drinking water, food, sanitation, housing, healthcare and childcare are simply beside themselves anticipating which nun will win.

Still Alive

I’m past the whiny phase of being sick, so it’s probably safe to post again. The flu completely kicked my arse this week. I woke up Saturday feeling fine and by Sunday morning I couldn’t move or eat without being sick. The sinus pressure in my face was so bad that my teeth were throbbing. Now I’m up and about but my lungs feel like lead so I finally went to the walk-in clinic this morning and loaded up on drugs. I should be on the mend. Thanks to Plucky and the parent-creatures for not hanging up on me when I called Sunday practically in tears. Yeah, I’m a huge baby when I get the flu.

Over the past few days, I’ve been distracting myself by reading (New Moon and Eclipse in preparation for Breaking Dawn arriving on my doorstep within days) and discovering the wonders of Hulu. The later is a pretty big deal to a gal who has zero TV. Overall, I’m content without but I do miss catching the occasional episode of The Daily Show or The Office. I was, however, educated on the dangers of Hulu: it can be a huge time waster.

On a whim, I decided to watch Underworld: Evolution. Clearly, the fever had reached my brain. I vaguely remember not hating the first movie but the sequel felt… lost. But hey, I did get to see Kate Beckinsale nekkid. In fact, whenever she’s standing still for an extended period of time, she’s always posing, as if she were doing a centerfold shoot instead of exchanging important plot-moving dialogue. Bad. Director. Why does a heroine, who has an arsenal of cool superpowers and badass moves, need to resort to using her sex as a weapon? Oh right, because the lead looks hot in (and out of) a cat suit. Mea culpa. Sorry to question you, oh wise Hollywood filmmakers. I suppose my reaction also stems from my sense that the love scene felt so out of place. I didn’t see any romantic development between the leads in this dark, stifling film (even a purely carnal attraction I would have bought- although that wasn’t what the filmmakers were going for), so when the film gods cued the music and slowmo, I almost wondered if I had jumped to another movie entirely. Well, film gods, at least you got in that skin shot. I’ll leave the ranting about how vampire and especially werewolf mythology was mangled in this movie to my spouse-creature. I did just see on IMDB that Beckinsale was in a A&E adaptation of Emma. I’m curious to see her in a role that isn’t over-produced in typical Hollywood style.

In other news, my brain age is 33 according to this nifty thinger. Sigh. I don’t use my brain enough, at least not in the way that this tool measures. Hah. Clearly, more TV is the answer!