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[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
Have you ever read something which you know is quite good, which you know that you really should like - but somehow find yourself not liking it? I just finished Robin McKinley's Spindle's End and while there were plenty of things I liked in it, in the end I found myself almost disliking it. And I have no idea why. Very strange. Maybe I shall blame it on there being a character named Narl, whom I thought was about 60 but surely cannot be because the heroine loved him and I don't think I was supposed to be squicked out.

Jezebel has a post post on how people often seem to want to support animal charities (specifically animal charities that involve saving cute things like puppies) over things like battered women's shelters. While I think it's a wrong to have a hierarchy of charitable giving which pits one needy group or cause against another, I do get tired of people who have immense empathy for animal suffering while having none for humans. This may be because I had a job a while back where during Hurricane Katriona none of the people had any concern for the situation until they saw abandoned animals. Then they got outraged and arranged a collection for the SPCA and foster animals, even as they turned down other suggestions of fundraising for other charities and blamed people for leaving behind their animals to save themselves. It was horrifically depressing - how could you have empathy for one set of suffering and none for the other? There is also this horrible story about these women heralded for saving their pets from fires in Malibu who left behind their Hispanic housekeeper because they didn't have space for her.

It is also awfully disturbing how many people on that Jezebel thread are suggesting that battered women are somehow blameworthy for not getting out. I think they imagine that there are more shelters and options available for these women than there are. It's not like you leave the guy and the system goes 'Yay! Here have a place to live and some money! We'll look after you!'

Date: 2008-06-27 02:39 am (UTC)
ext_18106: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lyssie.livejournal.com
I tried to read Spindle's End once, iirc. And. I love McKinley, but I just wasn't interested enough.

The other bit will make me hate humanity. Instead, I shall go back to packing.

Date: 2008-06-27 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Spindle's End was a novel that seemed to have all right bits but it never seemed to work properly.

Date: 2008-06-27 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cbackson.livejournal.com
I've been really annoyed with Jezebel lately. And, erm, I'm pretty openly species-ist, so yeah, I don't have sympathy for people who react to animal cruelty with shock and horror and manage to close their eyes to human suffering.

Date: 2008-06-27 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I find Jezebel very hit or miss. I get tired with people's endless need to talk about their bodies and all the sex they're having. I mean, I'm glad you're feeling good about yourself but at least make it relevant! Though I am still amused by the person who said that they were planning on having umpteen plastic surgery routines on herself but insisted that as she was doing it for herself then it didn't mean she hated her body.

Look, if you're planning on spending $20 grand on changing your body I don't think it means you like it.

Date: 2008-06-27 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cbackson.livejournal.com
Yeah, I feel like there's also this thing with the commenters where it's like...I REJECT ALL OF SOCIETY AND ITS TRADITIONS! There's just a general odor of protesting too much.

Date: 2008-06-27 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I just read that comment about it being a grey area... WTF?????

Date: 2008-06-27 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cbackson.livejournal.com
I had to stop! I was so angry. SERIOUSLY?

Date: 2008-06-27 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
For all the good it did I just had to comment. I couldn't stop myself. How could someone be so stupid and callous?

Date: 2008-06-27 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meganbmoore.livejournal.com
I couldn't get into Spindle's End. I love that kind of thing, but it was just too Twee without enough snark or charm to compensate.

And remember, no matter what the circumstances are, women should just walk away. Who cares about their children, money, employment, a place to go, or whether she's ever had a chance to think or act for herself, SHE HAS LEGS! SHE SHOULD USE THEM!

Also, I was linked today to an article equating rape to a starving man stealing food.

Date: 2008-06-27 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Yeah...Spindle's End has some good stuff but it never really worked. Plus Narl! Who names a character Narl who is not a gnome or a tree spirit?

Also, I was linked today to an article equating rape to a starving man stealing food.

...

Date: 2008-06-27 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cbackson.livejournal.com
And holy shit, man, I just went and read the comments that had accrued since I last read that post. People saying that sympathy for battered women is a "gray area"? I thought it was over with me and Jezebel after the horrifying post on the Roman Polanski rape case, but srsly? FUCK YOU, JEZEBEL READERS.

Date: 2008-06-27 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
It's totally a grey area! Because they have all of these lovely options open to them if only they would take them. Unlike puppies!

Did you see the comment by the person complaining about how evil it was for charities to guilt people into giving them money?

Date: 2008-06-27 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nutmeg3.livejournal.com
OMG, please tell me the housekeeper didn't die, because that's just horrendous. And that's from someone who chooses animal and conservation (and breast cancer) as my causes, but not for lack of empathy and caring elsewhere, but simply because I can't afford to give money everywhere, and without a planet, no one has a place to live.

Date: 2008-06-27 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
She survived because the fire stopped before it hit the place but honestly, who would do this?

I think it's great that you contribute to those causes - I think it's great that people contribute to any charity and I've also given money to animal charities. You've got to make choices as we don't have the money for everything and no one should feel guilty about giving money to charities.

But these people I worked with, well, it was like they had no empathy for human suffering but the very mention of animals would rouse them. It really depressed me - and I say this as someone who is a vegetarian because I don't want animals killed to feed me.

Date: 2008-06-27 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lage-nom-ai.livejournal.com
I adore McKinley... except for the few of her books that I just can't stand. Sunshine is foremost among those, but Spindle's End was kind of a letdown, too.

I'm definitely drawn more to animal/conservationist charities more than human ones for the most part, except for the ones involved with things that directly affect me/my loved ones. Mostly because I end up hating people (see: those people in Malibu). It's quite the quandry.

Date: 2008-06-27 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I liked Sunshine but Spindle's End had a fair bit of the same stuff, but somehow it never worked. I know I would have loathed it had I read it as a teenager. That goes double for Narl.

Re: Hating people, well, some of the commentators on Jezebel aren't exactly endearing me to people at the moment. I just think it's depressing to see charities pitted against each other for meagre dollars when the government should really be paying for more of this stuff instead of pouring money into pointless wars.

Date: 2008-06-27 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lage-nom-ai.livejournal.com
Man, I'm glad that something on Jezebel pissed me off like a year ago and I refused to skim there again. Better for the bloodpressure that way. As for the rest of your point. SIGH. Don't even get me wailing about cutting funds for the arts, education, etc in favor of war.

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