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Showing posts from May, 2020

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die."

The Call of Cthulhu is a feast of creepiness told in colorful language, which is only flawed by Lovecraft's primitive obsession with physiognomy and base racism. I view it as funny, because they are (to quote HP himself) "obsolete and ridiculous," but I sympathize with people of color who read this and have to deal with dismissive references to such things as Negro fetishism. The story itself is almost without a plot, just a report of a horror of the odious being that the sailors rouse from its sleep. The prose is circuitous and leisurely, but Lovecraft's imagination is perturbing and vision resolves clear in the end, and it's scary. Really scary.

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Pornland is Informative But Also As Boring As Porn

Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Gail Dines
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dines's book is an excursion into the destructive nature of pornography on our society. It hits some of the problem on the head, especially the violence of the gonzo olympics. However, the book is flawed in that Dines enters the discussion with a set of beliefs about what is normal/anormal, right/wrong, and acceptable/unacceptable. Sex is fuzzy and illogical, and there is no one qualified to set moral standards. Also, part of the problem is how society treats people that pass through the mill, and, honestly, this book doesn't help. I would prefer the judgmental aspects about which acts are barbaric or not to have been left out, because it gets preachy fast, and who am I (and who is Gail Dines?) to tell someone about their sexuality? When the book discusses the violence, the exploitation, and the capitalistic drive of the industry, it does a lot better.

I took a full star away, because after such…