Books moral and immoral

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Exactly. But then the story is based on JonBenet Ramsey and who names their kids JonBenet, ever? The little girl in the book is named Bliss, although her real name is Edna Louise.


    I could be wrong but I think Kwan became prominent at about that time. I remember reading a (People?) article about tiny Michelle Kwan wanting to do those triple jumps in the mid-90's.


    There's plenty of material in skating for her to use if she wants to make a point of sexualization, exploitation, etc., of female figure skaters. Why she is so hung up on the non-existent lace panties I don't know.
  2. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Man. That poor child :yikes: Good thing she's a fictional character.
  3. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i had a great aunt bliss, although i'm pretty sure it was a nickname. i *think* it was really elizabeth.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  4. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone read The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory? Trying to decide if I should buy it for my birthday
  5. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I borrowed Divergent from a student and am planning on reading it this week. Seems similar in theme to Hunger Games and is also a 3 part series (not sure if all 3 are out yet, I know the first 2 are). Any opinions on it? I have read the first 7 chapters and it seems OK, easy to read and nothing making me roll my eyes yet. I haven't gotten to the meat of the story, though.
  6. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Hipsters? :p I've seen some very retro names making a comeback, and Louise as a middle name isn't that unusual, I think.

    Yes, but JonBenet is a different sort of awful name. Also, combining two names isn't unprecedented - Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands is named after both parents, and there's Renesmee in the Twilight books (I am ashamed that I know this); I read somewhere that it may be more common among Mormon families? I could be wrong on that.
  7. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    As a nickname for Elizabeth it's actually cute.

    But get a load of this:
    How many things are wrong with this?

    Dear JCO, I think you are an amazing writer and a national treasure. However, in figure skating "panties" don't peek or tease, they are IN YOUR FACE. :sasha1: And they are not panties.

    I also wonder what judges' hearts you win with traveling spins. :shuffle:

    USFSA was mentioned threatening to sanction Bliss' mom for letting her skate injured in a non-USFSA nor ISU sponsored event.

    Here's more
    US Olympics, imagine that!

    :wall: x 1,000,000. But I can't wait to see what she will come up with next. I will skate-dance this book to the end.
  8. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Wait, does poor Bliss have to learn a new program for each competition? No wonder she finds skating so stressful. And with all those choreography and costume expenses (especially the lacy panties, are they sequined too?) it's clear that the Rampike family does, indeed, need some help covering the costs, or they'll be broke before she ever reaches junior.
  9. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    :rofl: That's what I was wondering too. So many programs within a matter of weeks. And there was also a Spanish-themed program that involved a black lace mantilla later in the season. Said mantilla fell off her head at the end of the program as a wardrobe malfunction. I forgot which color lace panties (black?) were being flashed that time.
  10. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    There was a lot of fluff during the 1994 Olympics about Kwan going to Lillehammer as first alternate, because it wasn't clear that Tonya Harding was going to be able to skate, and, of course, 1994 was the apex of the Nancy/Tonya epic. Here's an example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3iOuWEP9Fc

    From the little practice clip, you can see what a leap she made from 1994 to 1996.

    In 1995, eyes were also on Nicole Bobek, who won bronze that year, with Kwan climbing from 8th to 5th the year before, when Bobek didn't make it out of qualifying.
  11. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    jco's editor could have made more of an effort as well. it's about as accurate as blades of glory and they were not trying for realism.
  12. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    The thing is, if this involved football or baseball and the horrible things that go on there, you can bet your lace panties that the facts and the jargon would have been spot on.
  13. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    To go off on a little tangent, SSA doesn't have popular combinations of names except for twins, but individually, by decade:

    • Edna went from 1547 in 1956 (ranked 206) to 679 in 1966 (ranked 344) to 276 in 1976 (ranked 588) to 173 (ranked 926) in 1986, and fell out of the top 1000 by 1996.
    • Louise went from 2242 in 1956 (ranked 165) in 1956 to 287 in 1966 (ranked 588) to 204 (ranked 719) in 1976 to 163 in 1986 (ranked 970), and fell out of the top 1000 by 1996.
    • Mildred went from 1637 in 1956 (ranked 200) to 352 in 1966 (ranked 658) to 239 in 1976 (ranked 650) to off the list in 1986.

    The top names for each decade are:
    1956: Mary, 62K, 3%
    1966: Lisa, 59K, 3.24%
    1976: Jennifer, 57K, 3.78%
    1986: Jessica, 52K, 2.8%
    1996: Emily, 25K 1.31%
    2006: Emily, 21K, 1.02%

    2011: Sophia, 22K, 1.12% and with Emily dropping by 1/3, but still Top 10.
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  14. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how you're still reading it. I don't think I could.
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  15. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I just realized that Bliss had a dazzling comeback at the age of five (or is it six?). What happened when she was four, did she tear her ACL practicing jump spins and skate dancing moves?
  16. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    the milkmaid cap blocked her vision while executing an exquisite glide, exposing her lace panties as she hit the boards
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  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    She sprained her ankle.
    :lol:
  18. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I liked my little pony's version better.
  19. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Me too. But hey, in her final performance Bliss executes some elements that actually exist: a spiral which is called "a butterfly" for some reason and a double toe-loop. Although there was a "dazzling backward glide", a "gyre" and the inevitable mention of the peekaboo panties. JCO is perserverating.
  20. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    A prodigy for sure! For the sake of comparison, here is a future world champion at age five. Also, seven year old Florent Amodio. Happily, no lace panties are involved.

    Someone wrote a review on Amazon pointing out how inaccurate the skating parts were, and was told it was only fiction. That is so stupid; if you're going to set a fictional story in a real-world context, you should at least try to make it believable. I mean, this is the equivalent of writing a book about, say, a zombie invasion of Boston, only making Boston exactly like Miami.
  21. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Baby Joubert and baby Amodio are so cute doing their skate dances!

    I can understand that she is using hyperbole and the point is not the technical details of skating. But the inaccuracies are so glaring, albeit entertaining for us, skating fans, that it spoils the mood and defeats the purpose.

    ETA: Going to critique the non-skating aspects of the novel: a bit of laziness, a bit of resting on her laurels. Her characters are usually complex and interesting. Here the mom and dad Rampike are nothing but caricatures. I've read quite a few JCO novels and loved most of them. Blonde is a masterpiece IMO and one of my favorite books. It's a beautiful book. At the very least, her work is always visceral and unforgettable.

    But here I feel she got a bit arrogant in several ways: shallow character development, overly clever, showy literary tricks and last but not least, the unintentionally hilarious depiction of skating. Someone that prolific cannot sustain that level of excellence forever.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  22. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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  23. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    what's a gyre? since she's making this up, it could easily be a gyro
  24. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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  25. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Woah! Why does that have so many hits?? I've seen very few videos of the best skaters come anywhere close to that amount! I don't think a single video of Sasha is near it. Sasha's 2006 Oly SP only has like 400,000 views. I am so perplexed.
  26. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Prepare to be even more perplexed: the girl skating to Whip My Hair has over 10 million views. Even Rubleva's dress strap can't compete with that.
  27. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    I have it on my Nook, but haven't read any of it yet. Let me know what you think when you're done, please. :)
  28. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

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    I've read both Divergent and the subsequent Insurgent; the third one isn't out yet. They're OK, good quick reads. Definitely similar to Hunger Games in that they are in a post-apocalyptic setting, but I thought that HG had more of a topical feel with the type of surveillance and control that the Capitol had.
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  29. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was good, but it ends a little abruptly. I haven't read the second part yet.
  30. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I just spent the weekend watching a couple hundred little kids skate and there were no milkmaids, mantillas or showgirls to be seen. There were also no Little Miss categories or scores over 2.5 (which weren't posted anyway, because 6.0 scoring only publishes ordinals, not marks). I don't think I could stand reading JCO's book myself, except as a comedy/

    I have The Kingmaker's Daughter on my TBR pile. It's near the top but I have to wait until I'm in a historical mood. I've just about run through my supply of sappy mysteries.
  31. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I looked it up, it means vortex. So I am thinking a scratch spin? And now I want a gyro.
  32. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    :lol: Until I read IceAlisa's post, I was thinking, "Well, yeah; same basic thing."

    It's the "bleachers" full of perverts and pedophiles, no doubt.

    I've been to a couple of competitions with little kids and think it's all about as sexualized as preschool.
  33. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    Went to see Springsteen and was amazed again (but that is for the concert thread)----I picked up Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin (sp?) and I am so glad that Bruce, the band, family, ex-girlfriends and friends felt free to spill the beans. I'd rather read about someone warts and all than get a whitewashed version of a life. It is a good, interesting read.
  34. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I thought Divergent was pretty good. It is similar to Hunger Games in that both are dystopias and both are YA, but in terms of style they're very different. I thought some of the characterization in Divergent was better than HG, but the overall plotting and treatment of sophisticated themes in HG is superior. Plus the teen romance stuff in Divergent (and Insurgent) is pretty hard to read if you're not a 14-year-old girl ... whereas the romance stuff in HG is only a small piece, and it actually serves the plot.

    Insurgent (the second book) is pretty bad though. Very ill-conceived all around. It may make more sense once the 3rd book comes out, but I'm not holding my breath.

    From my own perspectives, HG is YA lit that has a lot to please adult readers too, while Divergent etc. is solidly for younger readers.
  35. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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  36. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently reading this Icelandic murder mystery, which I picked up at the library last week. Interesting to get a sense of Icelandic culture. Since the victim was half-Thai, people keep wondering whether the crime was racially motivated before there's any evidence of anything, which by itself tells me something about the culture.

    The prose is a somewhat spare style. Not sure how the mystery will turn out -- so far it's all police conducting interviews.
  37. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Just spotted that book #5 in the Flavia de Luce series, Speaking from among the Bones, will be published on Jan 29. My library already has it listed -- I'm #1 in the queue. :cheer:

    After loving book #1 but then being somewhat disappointed with books #2 and 3, I thought #4 was back to the high quality Bradley started with. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
  38. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    ita, i only read them because i worry about flavia, but they are easy reads. however, i think i missed # 4 now that i have no book stores.
  39. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    I have read a different book by that author (Silence of the Grave). I found it a good read, but very bleak and somewhat depressing. Definitely NOT a cozy!

    I like another Icelandic mystery writers work as well- Yrsa Sigurdardottir. She too has a real sense of place in her books- you do get a real feel for modern Iceland.
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  40. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Still on the JCO mess. Now I am getting really pissed at her and not because of her skating cluelessness. Despite the disclaimer, it is clear that the novel is inspired by the JonBenet Ramsey murder. When it actually happened I didn't pay too much attention to the coverage and really don't recall anything other than the basic facts and suggestions that she was killed by her parents. Please correct me if you remember it better.

    But now I started reading about it because of the book which in turn created a lot of resentment toward the author. From what I read, the finger of blame was immediately pointed at the parents. There was no evidence to tie them to the crime and they were never charged. The media went into overdrive with various public officials saying or implying they believed John Ramsey to be the murderer. Another theory from the police was that Patsy Ramsey killed her in a fit of rage over JonBenet's bed-wetting.

    But the Ramseys were never charged. They did hire several attorneys and filed several libel lawsuits (can't recall if they won) against some of the tabloids that screamed their guilt. They'd spend their considerable fortune (John Ramsey started computer business in his garage which he later sold to a major company) fighting the accusation. I understand that Patsy Ramsey had died of ovarian cancer in 2006. At the time of the murder, the family was living together in their custom-built home in Boulder, Colorado. I also found a picture of the Ramsey children together, JonBenet and her older brother Burke. No doubt that picture and the differences between the siblings' level of comfort in front the camera inspired JCO to write the book from the older brother's point of view. She actually describes this picture where the brother looks awkward and in his own mind "freaky" next to the cute JonBenet. He is portrayed as a neglected, overly medicated and extremely unhappy child. This was not what the lengthy interviews with Burke revealed. Yes, I know, consider the source, the embittered, forgotten, neglected and at times falsely accused brother. Still, I consider the narrative to be in large part the authorial voice.

    But that's not what made me :mad:. In the book the Ramsey parents are absolute monsters with no redeeming qualities. Daddy Ramsey is a soulless racist corporate climber with every repulsive quality imaginable. And Mummy Ramsey is even worse, living out her dream and insecurity through her daughter. JCO reveals the murderer in the end although IRL the case remains unresolved. Daddy lives with the family on and off, always has a mistress, is a sexist of the worst kind and is basically and overgrown frat brother.

    SPOILER!

    In the book, the mummy did it. In a fit of rage of an abandoned wife, she used a scarf that she and Daddy Rampike (Rampike--Ramsey) used to play with along with other sex toys during their happier days as a couple. She wrote the infamous ransom note and also told Daddy Rampike who was living in a hotel during his off times from the family, that brother Skyler (Burke IRL) did it but that they have to cover it up to save their only surviving child. She confesses this to her son Skyler a decade later, before she dies not from ovarian cancer but a liposuction gone wrong. The cover story of cancer was leaked to the media in an attempt to hide the embarrassing truth.

    But imagine for a second that the Ramsey parents didn't to it--there is some evidence that they did not. There is some evidence of intrusion into the house per a documentary and a few articles I've read. If the Ramseys are indeed innocent, a possibility, imagine the hell they went through. I am not a fan of toddlers in tiaras but that doesn't mean such parents are murderers. Yes, yes I know what JCO is doing, she does it in every book, the exploitation of women by the society via sexualization, objectification, etc.

    However, it's probably a lucky thing Patsy Ramsey is dead so she can't read this book, copyrighted in 2008. Or perhaps, JCO felt free to write it since Patsy died. But John and Burke Ramsey are alive somewhere and are likely aware of this book's contents. JCO decries the media circus around the murder, but isn't she herself a willing, an extremely active and profiteering participant?

    HuffPo weighs in on the murder.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
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