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various and sundry [Nov. 17th, 2009|07:21 pm]
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[Current Mood |complacentcomplacent]

1. Christopher Walken "performs" Lady Gaga's Poker Face, so much better than the original video. The song is kinda catchy, but that video is stupid.

2. NightS is an amusing one-shot by Yoneda Kou, available for online reading (in English, I couldn't find it in Japanese) at mangafox. A transaction between a yakuza and a transporter becomes more. I like the end! I'm not sure if she was actually trying to be hard-boiled, but if she was she failed. But it didn't need to be gritty, it was just fun to read.

3. I am in love with Koibito koibito henjin by Torimaru Chiiko and illustrated by Nara Chiharu. It's first person, in Kansai-ben, switching POVs between the two main characters (mostly, there's one or two others as well). The characters are teen-aged delinquents going to a school famous for their delinquents. They like to brawl. A lot. One likes to brawl everyone and everything, too dumb to pick up the subtleties of alliances and allegiances. The other is the top of his school and always has to clean up after the dumb one and scold him (which always includes some hitting). In one of his scolding moments the not-dumb one, Kyousuke, decides the dumb one, Natsu, needs to be taught a lesson. Which of course means sex. They have the oddest relationship, in that it's rather non-con and they fight every time Kyousuke wants to have sex. And the sex mostly means Kyousuke getting his way and dominating Natsu. Yet it seemed like an extension of their non-sexual relationship (the fighting and the jockeying for position that is their way of life) that it didn't seem so off-putting. It is also very obvious that they are very fond of each other, even if the way they actually showed their affections was sadly lacking. I also think the Kansai-ben helped a lot. The two were cute, despite the violence and the non-con because they contrasted so well with the pure love they had for each other (no joke). XD; I think it may be tough to read for someone who is very unfamiliar with Kansai-ben. It's full-on dialect, not just dialogue but narrative since it's first-person POV.

I like the way the book starts out, Kyousuke's POV:




I love how Kyousuke basically states that someday he'll *make* Natsu say he loves him. So frank, so full of confidence that he will.

4. English books I want to read:

On Food and Cooking, a book that combines science, food, history, and a whole lot more. Sounds great!

The Year of Living Biblically, a book I'd heard about before but hadn't wanted to read until I read rachelmanija's review.

[User Picture]From: zehavit_lamasu
2009-11-18 09:49 am (UTC)
I also had reservations about Year of Living Biblically mostly because I thought he wouldn't actually say something that someone who read the bible through non-religious goggles wouldn't have realised (being a daughter of a once atheist ex-bible teacher, I didn't have much choice by breathing old testament from a very young age).

I really want to read it now - it sounds like he tackled it really seriously rather than for laughs. And it sounds like he found real insights about why religious people find comfort in it which makes it more interesting.

I guess any experiment of that nature would be highly subjective but if one reads it as a personal account rather than serious research it probably avoids many pitfalls. Will need to purchase this soon.
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2009-11-19 06:49 am (UTC)
I too thought it'd be a cheap shot publicity stunt and want to read it because I now understand that he was serious. I am particularly fascinated by the fact that the author's OCD was reduced because of all the rituals.
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[User Picture]From: zehavit_lamasu
2009-11-19 09:42 am (UTC)
It doesn't surprise me in the least that the rituals helped. I always thought religious rituals provide focus in a similar way meditation does, and indeed prayer is very much a form of meditation in my opinion.

I can't honestly speak for other religions but I had a Jewish upbringing even if not in a religious frame. We lit shabat candles and observed all the holidays and learned the texts, especially in our house. And I loved it.

Judaism is a very busy religion - in the past (no so much these days)it very much developed on arguments in which you deliberately question your rabbi conclusions and made him come up with new answers every day(there is a VAST question and answer literature to demonstrate this).

The rituals ARE a very quiet and personal way to withdrew from all this over-thinking. I still find lighting Shabat candles extremely calming. The words are beautiful and the songs are gorgeous ... and I don't even believe in god XD.

It is no secret that I am quite infatuated with my heritage so... as much as Jews LOVE self deprecating humour and we DO... I am really glad to see he tackled it seriously and BECAUSE the self -deprecating angle has been done to death by many many other Jews (go back 200 years and you have the Wise Men of Helem which is a series of stories about a really dumb Jewish town) I think this might be a refreshing read.

Ah - subject close to my heart - got carried away (and didn't even read the book yet XD) ... sorry ^^;;.
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