Thursday, March 12, 2009

Getting on my bad side - a rant

Now I’m not one to get into internet fisticuffs. I observe them from afar I’ll admit – but to actually get involved in spats – not going to happen. At least I always thought so.

I posted quite some time ago on a message board about how much I enjoyed the book Death Angel by Linda Howard. Now I know not everyone is going to like this book. I’ve said time and time and time again that not everyone is going to love the same book. But after I posted some other people weighed in their thoughts. Some loved it too – some didn’t. But of the people who didn’t, their reasons I thought, were critical of the heroine. They called her a whore and other nasty things. I know the heroine isn’t a real person or anything – but I did take offense to the tone of condemnation and posted said thoughts. This is what I wrote in response to an earlier post:

(earlier post)Quote:

Women calling other women whores has always bothered me. It makes it ok for men to do it without a thought.

(My reply)That really bothers me too. Really!! A LOT!! I did have a reply to Katie(Kat) post after my original one but had to sit on my hands in order not to hit post (you don't always want to act in haste) 'cause I was a bit hot under the collar at the tone of it.
I think many who don't like this book are being terribly judgmental on both Drea and Simon. While the author didn't go too deep into Drea's background and barely at all into Simon's, she did give enough background for me to empathize with them. Would I have made the same choices? No, but I'm not going to judge them for the choices they did make. Who knows how anyone will react when tragedy strikes like it did to Drea when she lost her son - and who are we to judge? Yeah - she made a rotten choice in becoming the mistress of a drug lord (not a whore or a prostitute as some claim). But I imagine she was pretty dead inside - and I do know what that's like.
And I agree that Simon's epiphany was wonderfully done. From that moment on, he was determined to protect Andie at any cost from anyone who posed a danger to her - even if was herself. I don't see anyone condemning the two FBI agents. The one in particular knew what was going to happen and as he thought - he worked for the department of Justice.
It's fine not to like the book - as I said in the original post, it's not going to be for everyone. I loved it and obviously there are others who feel the same about it.
But to be honest, I am uncomfortable with the attitude of scorn leveled because there are those of us who do read and enjoy books with protagonists who contain shades of grade. To me, gray is a much more interesting colour that white and I'm glad Ms. Howard kept them gray at the end - just a whiter shade of pale.
There seems to be a real double standard for some readers when it comes to heroines. They must be ‘pure’, they must never have been married. And if they have a checkered past, this is a big sin to some readers. But that is a subject for another day.

Now for the record, this all happened back in January. January 4th to be exact. Yesterday, I noticed this response:

Hi! I just saw this and figured better late than never to respond. You're bothered by my post. Funny, I'm bothered by moral relativism. I'm bothered by characters who act dumb and sleep with criminals out of greed, not desperation, with no concern about how much suffering was caused to obtain that money.

You think it's wrong to judge someone, to say they are a villian for working for a drug lord and murdering people? Okay, I have no idea what to say to this. Shades of gray, really? I mean really! Shocked

Some actions are just wrong and no amount of excusing bad behavior because of someone's past makes it okay. We'll all have tragedies in our lives but that is never a justification for hurting other people.

Could these characters be redeemed? Yeah, but imho Howard did not do this. If other readers think she succeeded I totally understand. Heck, I might have enjoyed the book if Howard had spent more time on character development and less time droning on about tax reporting for banks.

I do have to clarify something I think you implied in your post. There was no scorn coming from me for readers who liked this book. ShockedThe "scorn" you got from my posts was for the story, Howard's writing, my paying $20 some dollars for the hardcover, and the idea that morality is relative. I know some people have problems when strong opinions are expressed, but I was addressing the themes brought up in the book not anyone I'm having a discussion with.

One last comment, I'm sorry if I offended some posters with my calling Drea a whore. I will not use that term again. Instead I will just say she was a prositute. I think prostitute is the correct verbiage when someone has sex for the sole purpose of being paid.

So – this got my dander up and I thought of a few different things I could post.

For example:

Hi! I just saw this and figured better late than never to respond.

Ah, no.

Or another one I thought of:

Considering the tone of your post I must respectfully disagree with your statement ‘better late then never.’

And the little girl in me (who by the way is named Kissie – a name I apparently called myself before I could my R’s or T’s) wanted to answer:

You are full of poop (she likes saying that word because it’s kind of fun) and your little faces are silly.

Then there was:

And why again is it you feel the need to go back – way back to January 4th to comment??????

But I decided in the end not to respond because this person was (to me) obviously trying to get a rise out of me and I’m not going to play the game. I just don't want to get into a war of words on a site dedicated to a love of romance.

But Krisite didn’t like this stand I took and insisted that I do this post

Now maybe it’s just me – I’m too much a pacifist, or too non-confrontational or could be I’m just a wimp – but I just can’t understand the reasoning behind going back to a comment made over two months ago- that no one really remembers and making a big deal out of it; of being on the verge of insulting to someone you don’t know. Disagree with me all you want – hey – that’s fine. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone. And maybe ‘cause I’m sick (I hab a bad cod) I’m over sensitive. But to the person who responded ------

Bite Me!

There! Now Krisite is happy.

As is Kissie


Shaymless Aymless said...

Yay for Kristie and Kissie!

from: Aymless and Mimi (yup that five year old in me)!

LVLM(Leah) said...

I totally love you. :D

azteclady said...

Well, now. ((((Kristie))))

oh and (((Kissie)))

Personally I liked Death Angel quite a bit myself.

Now, while I don't have a problem with people going back to post on old threads (I'm a bit of a necro-poster myself, apologies), I did find the tone... well, I guess intransigent and self-righteous would be the word, with a soupçon of condescension.

She doesn't like the characters or the writing or the book, which is fine and dandy. But apparently, those of us who do, those of us who accept them for who they are, we are somehow not quite quite, as if the person posting is wondering whether our morals are as grey as those of the characters or some such.

A complex of superiority much, perhaps?

Shannon said...

Oh, AL got it just right. Condescending and superiority complex. Exactly.

I think I like Kissie. Can she come out and play?

Wendy said...

Heed my advice Kristie:

Do not feed the trolls.

I'm always amazed how quickly they "vanish" when no one engages them in their jackassery.

And yes, jackassery is a technical term.

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy - that's why I didn't respond. She's not exactly a troll - I think she posts a lot. But I don't don't have to defend my opinions to anyone therefore I left it alone. I think her own attitude speaks for itself.

Shannon: AL did get it right didn't she? I have no problems with others not liking the book. Even as I was reading it and really enjoying it, I knew that others wouldn't - but don't be telling me you are somehow morally superior to me because I did - and that's what I took out of that post. I think that's what annoyed me so much. I even said in my opening post
"it's not going to be for everyone - that's for sure. As Lea in her wonderfully done review, said Simon remains pretty darn mysterious through most of the book and we learn very little about him. And Drea is lacking her own set of morals for the first part of the book. But despite those, this really worked for me. The characters were fascinating in their ambiguity, the suspense was great and the writing was excellent. I really believed that in Simon's mind, Andie and her 'miracle' was the incentive he needed to change."

AL: Exactly!!!!! And self-righteousness and condescension are two traits I loathe in a person. Whenever I'm tempted to judge someone (which to my annoyance I do do on occasion) I stop and think - "there but for the grace of God go I" and that pretty much stops me in my place.
And I didn't include the whole thing as it would have been too long - but she directed her comments directly to me and that really (pardon me Mom I know you didn't like it when I said it) really pissed me off.

And it's interesting - because there is further discussion on the book and there seem to be more people who have taken said person to task - and good for them.

Leah: *laughing* Thank you - but it was combination of Krisite and Kissie who made me write that.

Amyless: I think it's good to have that inner child and let her (or him) out to have fun sometimes. I'm just puzzled though on why she likes the word poop so much though.

Lori said...

You go! All of you!

Mumma J said...

Hi - I'm a "P plater" at the comment side of things, so forgive me, please, if I muck this up.

I'm a great fan of Linda Howard books and await each new release with much anxiety. I have to say that (as a 57 year old)at first glance I was taken aback by the heroine and her situation however, she was placed in a situation which seemed quite real to me and grew almost page by page into a lovely woman whom anyone would have been proud to call friend.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't that why some people write and other people read, to watch (well read really) and wonder at the way characters are formed?

I figure that we probably have to be sorry for anyone who can't accept fictional characters who are not stereotypically written.

Jace said...

Kristie, I've given you an award. :) Check out my blog.

Kristie (J) said...

Jace: Why THANK YOU - though I'm not quite sure I enjoy it after my latest acts of annoyance *GULP*.

Mumma J: You didn't muck it up at all! :) And I really enjoy a story where the author can have a character at the start almost unlikeable and transform her throughout the story so that by the end we cheer for her and what she has accomplished. And I think Linda Howard did the remarkably well.

Lori: *laughing almost in embarrassment* um - we did it again.

Holly said...

k, I'm late but first - what AL said. This is one of the reasons I stopped posting on all the various message boards I used to frequent. I just couldn't stand the attitudes of some of the posters.

Second - Go you! And all your personalities. heh.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for being a necro-poster (neat term, AL), but I couldn't help chirping, YAY KISSIE, YAY Kristie for being the gracious, mature and IMO superior example.