Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fun Home: my view

It's time for a soap box rant...

I mean, it's time for a well educated blog post about literature. Before you go any further, read this article.

Done? Let's move on.

First and foremost, I would like to thank Brian Grasso for actually taking the time to look through the book a bit before denouncing it. Woohoo! Many strongly convicted people would not have even gone that far.

Fun Home really is an in your face account of Alison Bechdel's life. Maybe it is more of an account of how everyone else's views affected hers... Either way, it is dripping with sexuality of all natures, gruff parenting strategies and her road towards accepting who she is as well as who her parents have become. In my eyes, she's an inspiration. She filled these pages with more private information than any other piece of literature I've read. And yes, I blushed as I read most of the book during Thanksgiving Break.

That's not my point here. This paragraph here is what I'd like to touch on:

I don’t believe my position will limit my exposure to essential lessons in history, philosophy or literature. I assume that having to view graphic images of sex for a class will be rare. If it does happen, I will avoid any titillating content and encourage like-minded students to do the same. And I believe professors should warn me about such material, not because I might consider them offensive or discomforting, but because I consider it immoral.

Does he truly believe he will make it through four years at Duke University without having to view such material? Maybe it is my English degree speaking or my moral compass speaking, but I believe he is sorely mistaken if he believes otherwise and I went to school in Texas!

I was raised in a very open minded home and I have worked diligently to raise my children in such an environment. I have one child who spats with her father about LGBT topics that even he doesn't wholly understand  and another child who sat and watched Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief last night while telling me how the movie can't be right because the one true God isn't in it. 

I guess what I'm saying is this poor boy has been blindsided by the real world on his first week of university level classes and he's just a freshmen. What is he going to do when he doesn't have such an understanding Professor and he's handing M. Butterfly and told to read it or take a failing grade? Or when he steps into a German History class and he's told to read The Men with the Pink Triangle? Or when a teen lit class teacher assigns Forever? He says he doesn't believe by opting out of this literature he will miss out on the lessons to be learned, however, this isn't high school anymore. It's time to step out of your comfort zone and take in some other worldly views. 

Am I wrong?

Here's the devils advocate before you jump on it for me. He says, "It's not about being uncomfortable. It's about being asked to do something that I think is immoral." I can see how Bechdel's Fun Home can cross the morality line for some people. Really, I get it. And I'm not saying run out and make a pornographic book of your own. I'm just saying, there is a difference between "looking at a woman lustfully," and reading a well thought out piece of literature. I believe if a person's moral code is going to be so stringent as to keep them from learning the material as the professor has planned out, it would be a good idea to look further into the past syllabi's of each and every professor before making a class schedule.

So, back to my own children. I'm not saying that everything I teach them will be dripping in sexual nature. I'm not saying that before they exit my home, they will have read any of these books (as I keep them under lock and key).  I'm just saying that they will be prepared for the syllabi they will be assigned before they get there. The world is not full of puffy unicorns and brightly colored rainbows! And if you do not face material that you find conflicting in nature, you will never grow out of the box you've placed yourself in. 

Do not raise your children in the dark!

In true Victoria Allred nature, I have rambled on for much longer than I planned. Please, comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. And as always HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak

 This post from Book-Attic


The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak (#1 in The Harvesting Series)  

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic  

Published: January 8, 2014 by Clockpunk Press  

First edition: September 13, 2012 by Steampunk Press 

Interest Level: 13+

     Layla Petrovitch hoped she would never see Hamletville again. However, when she gets a desperate call from her grandmother, she is forced to return home. With an epidemic sweeping the country making infected people turn cannibalistic and danger at every turn, can Layla survive? With the help of whats left of the town they finally escape, but is it worth the risk?

      "Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles, the award-winning horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series, and The Saga of Lady Macbeth. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master's degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, Shakespeare nerd, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College."

     I give The Harvesting 5/5 stars for great writing and a unique plot. It had me gripping the edge of my seat. With a variety of paranormal creatures, from vampires to shadow creatures, and a unique twist on zombies, no stone was left unturned. Many people classify it as zombie story, but it's so much more. It's vampires, post-apocalyptic, and could even be considered a coming-of-age story. In the end, I got so much more than I expected. I can't wait to read The Shadow Aspect the second story in The Harvesting Trilogy. 
*Review for Midway coming soon.*