The merry month of May is a busy one. Fortunately, not a lot is happening news-wise upon which I feel the urge to pontificate at length. However, I few tidbits are worth at least a passing mention:
- Yay, Ireland for the feckin’ landslide to legalize same-sex marriage. Significant, I think, in light of the strong Catholic sentiment there. Seems that Rome is really out of lockstep with much of the flock.
- Mad Max: Fury Road is everything people say it is, for better or worse. It’s adrenaline, which means that even if you don’t like it, you’ll enjoy the incredible effort that must have gone into making it. Steampunk Mario Brothers, as they say.
- RIP John Nash:
John Forbes Nash Jr., a mathematical genius whose struggle with schizophrenia was chronicled in the 2001 movie “A Beautiful Mind,” has died along with his wife in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. He was 86.Nash and Alicia Nash, 82, of Princeton Township, were killed in a taxi crash Saturday, state police said. A colleague who had received an award with Nash in Norway earlier in the week said they had just flown home and the couple had taken a cab home from the airport.
- The Josh Duggar apologia from the Christian right has been pretty sickening. The speed with which they “forgive” and pray for Josh Duggar is alarming. Almost no mention of praying for his victims. I’ve read so many articles that say, “Josh Duggar was wrong, BUT…..”. And yes….. technically, he was an underage teen, but I don’t find that to be an excuse — at 17, you’re old enough to know not to molest your sisters and their friends in their sleep. More importantly, we are learing more about the Duggar’s “purity culture’, and what it does to silence its victims. And of course, all the forgiveness overlooks the ugly cover-up where the Arkansas Republicans worked to get the police record of the investigation into Josh’s assaults expunged.
- This will probably develop into a more full post at some point, but I can’t quite get on board with the objections from some womens’ groups about the “gratuitous rape” scenes in HBO’s Game of Thrones. First of all, anyone who has watched the series at all knows that the show doesn’t pull any punches on a number of fronts. Incest, horrific and bloody murders, rapes…. they are all in there. I don’t quite understand why, in Season 6, some people are suddenly finding one aspect of this dark dark show to be objectionable. Secondly, speaking specifically of the rape of character Sansa Stark two weeks ago, it was not (compared to other GoT scenes) very graphic. There was no nudity nor was it violent. It was tame by Game of Thrones terms. But it was a rape. And notably, everyone agrees that the scene was exceedingly disturbing…. as depiction of rape should be. To me, a gratuitous rape scene would be one which was clearly thrown in just to thrill and titillate the audience. This was not that. I recall many years ago when Edith Bunker was raped on an episode of the 1970s hit comedy All In The Family. It was, to my knowledge, the first depiction of rape on television (although the actual rape was not shown). There was the same sense (in some corners) of outrage — what is rape doing on the entertainment box? Well, I understand that people don’t want their comedies, or violent medieval dramas, sullied with real-life horrors. But rape happens, and it is ugly. I don’t mind that ugliness in my fiction, as long as it is not glorified, and especially if it gets people talking about it.