The Inappropriateness of Glee

Let me preface this blog post by saying I am not a Gleek. I think that the first half of the first season was extremely well done – clever, funny, sometimes poignant, and very well acted. Then, the show got really popular, and the plots just became insane – but more importantly, in my opinion, much less funny. So feel free to disagree with me, particularly as my opinion is never unbiased (making it more interesting to read than a history book).

I randomly began watching season 4, both because I was bored, and because my little beansprout likes music – win, win, right?

Kind of.

The fourth season is interesting, because many of our favorite characters have graduated, which means the show had to pull in a whole new set of characters to keep the whole “Glee” title making sense. It would have been nice if, in the process, the show had also made the audience care about the characters – but I just don’t. Britney does not work as a main character – she works much better as a kick-ass dancer with the occasional (hilarious) one-liner. Pretty much all of the new characters are just boring, except for Kitty, who is possibly the devil incarnate.

There was one little snippet of a scene that made me giggle endlessly, and still makes me crack a smile when I allow my mind to drift back to that delicious moment: the scene where the audience is definitively told that Tina has a crush on her gay best friend, and is doodling “Blaire + Tina = Blatina” in her notebook. And considering that I am a new mother, and therefore, very sleep deprived, there’s a good chance this hilarity is a fluke.

And even if it’s not – that’s one moment.

Yet what began to strike me a few episodes back (the sectionals episode) is how completely inappropriate some of the songs these high school kids are singing are.

Remember in season 1, when Rachel gets on Finn’s radar with her talk about sex being natural, and then the Glee club performs “Push It” for the entire school?

And what happened because of that display? Mr. Shue – who didn’t even know that the club had switched songs for the performance – was reprimanded by the principal, and the club was given an approved list of songs (a selection that the members were very unhappy about).

That reaction makes sense, and is a realistic portrayal of how such an incident would be handled in a Midwestern high school.

You know what doesn’t make sense? An all-male choir singing “Whistle” and “Live While We’re Young” and not getting disqualified. Sure, high school students listen to music about blow jobs and having casual sex – but that doesn’t mean they can perform such songs penalty-free in a school setting.

There’s a subsequent story line about Sam working to prove that the Warblers should be disqualified because the members were obviously on steroids (possibly inserted to explain why their dancing & acrobatics display was full of so much more awesome?), and I was scratching my head saying: “Really? It’s steroids allegations that you’re going after?”

Even if the audience members and judges were too obtuse to realize what dissembling lyrics such as “Tonight let’s get some” are really about, how about a song in which the high schoolers are explicitly saying the word “sex?”

Yeah, ’cause that totally happened. Picture it: Sadie Hawkins dance. The female Glee club members are onstage in their appropriately puffy dresses, diluted-Rachel front & center, of course. “Locked Out of Heaven” is not a school-appropriate song, plus, it’s kind of gross. (Don’t get me wrong – no girl wants to hear that sex with her sucks, but most girls also don’t want to think it’s the only thing you like about them.)

Returning to the sectionals episode, let’s take a moment to note the racism inherent in the choice of having Tina sing “Gangnam Style.” (This choice would probably not be noted at a Midwestern competition, but it’s still not cool.)

So, are you a Gleek? How are you liking the new Glee crew? Do you feel that the song choice has been slightly inappropriate this season?

Advertisements

Sex – Does it REALLY Sell?

So. I recently read this article:

7 Rules for Writing Sex Scenes in Novels | Massey on Writing.

(You should read it, too.)

I think we’ve all read the romance/erotica novels that had us scratching our heads in confusion, or feeling completely inadequate. Instead of five orgasms to the sound of the surf pounding against the sand (I think this is where Quagmire would say “Giggety”), all we got was sand in our underwear, and a trip to the police station*.

Now, Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means we all need to laugh about romance & sex. I want to hear your stories – real or imaginary – about sexcapades** gone awry, or another rule for what not to do while writing a sex scene (for which an example must be attached – no exceptions!).

Let’s make each other laugh. Because let’s face it – sex can be embarrassing & hilarious.

(Also – the title is a rhetorical question. Do any of us really doubt that sex sells? *eyebrow raise*)

*Just to clarify, I am not drawing on personal experience with this example.

**I’m pretty sure my spellcheck is wrong, and that this is a real word.

V-Day

Not all of us want, or can afford, a night filled with lustful advances cleverly disguised as romance. So for those of us who are spending the night alone, why not fill your evening with a book? I stole this idea from the Confessions of a Homebody blog. She listed 10 of her favorite romantic novels. I would like to take this idea a step further. We’re not all in the mood for romance on V-Day (though many of us certainly are). Thus, I present: THE LIST OF BOOKS I MIGHT POSSIBLY WANT TO READ ON VALENTINE’S DAY, DEPENDING ON MY MOOD*:

  • If I want to read a book with a too-cutesy ending that makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit:
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

This book is magical (literally, and figuratively). I love the way that the novel highlights the importance of family and love. I also really like the feeling that the writing gives me – that little shiver, like I am reading a fairy tale story. The only problem, as I mentioned before, is that the ending is a bit too cutesy.

  • If I want to be reminded that there are women infinitely more crazy than I am:
Euripides' Medea

Euripides’ Medea

There are many different versions of this myth, but Euripides picked one of the more disturbing ones. He examines what, exactly, would inspire a woman to kill her own children. Not a pretty story; you will never believe a man who tells you you’re acting crazy again.

  • If I want to read a snarky novel with an awesome hero:
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Of course, Pride and Prejudice is also always a good novel. Yet I have an especial fondness for Northanger Abbey. I love the sarcastic, snarky tone as Austen makes fun of the very popular gothic literature prevalent at the time. And seriously? Henry Tilney might be my favorite of Austen’s leading men. Handsome, charming, and a good guy? Yes, please.

  • If I am feeling abused/neglected (whether those feelings are valid or not – I will feel how I want to, dammit!):
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

I am a huge Sarah Dessen fan (and not merely due to my girth – I was a Dessen fan before my baby boy was born), and this novel is beautiful, as well as sad. It explores a girl’s relationship with her boyfriend, which begins in that sweet, magical way so many of our relationships do, but devolves into one full of abuse. Reading this realistic portrayal makes it hard for me to continue a self-pity party.

  • If I want to read a romance where one of the love interests dies:
Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green

So far, my favorite of the novels by John Green that I have read. Looking for Alaska is a smart read with a young male protagonist who is completely smitten. The love is realistic, and the novel does not end with the death. We all occasionally want to gasp with horror when one of our favorite characters dies, but it is nice to also read through the handling of that grief.

  • If I want to read a story about obsession:
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Yes, I could read Twilight again, if I want to feel like gouging my eyes out with toothpicks. Or I could read Nabakov, whose writing is fantastic, whose unreliable narrator makes me think, and who is very good at writing very creepy characters & situations. Anyone who thinks Lolita seduced Humbert Humbert is not reading this novel carefully enough. (And even if she did get a little flirty, which is hard to gauge due to the unreliable narrator previously mentioned, she’s TWELVE, and he is over 2 decades older than her. Twilight fans are exempted from understanding this argument, since they approve of a relationship between a teenager and a man over 100. Ew.)

  • If I want to read a story filled with atmosphere:

Rebecca duMaurier’s Rebecca.

I can’t find my copy (Oh no!), which is why there is no picture – a trip to the bookstore is obviously in order.

This novel almost seems like a romance. In reality, though, this marriage is exceedingly unhealthy, particularly when you take into account (SPOILER following) that the narrator is married to a murderer. But he loves her – at least, he says he does. Yay?

  • If I am in the mood for a YA book, and it’s inevitable love triangle:
The Hunter by L.J. Smith

The Hunter by L.J. Smith

As a teen, I read every one of L.J. Smith’s books I could get my hands on (and am, subsequently, still awaiting the conclusion of her “Nightworld” series Strange Fate). The “Forbidden Game” trilogy is one of my favorites. The first book starts right in the action, both of the love interests are dreamy, and the book is a short, quick read.

These books are the ones I will probably feel most inclined to read on February 14th. What are yours?

Books

*Think if I write in all caps frequently enough, Kanye West will want to sing on of my blog posts?

On Non-Degree Seeking Help

So. I am currently taking some accounting classes at Eastern Michigan University, as pre-requisites to get my MAcc on at a university later. Since I already have a Bachelor’s Degree (Classical Civilizations from the University of Michigan; go Wolverines!), these classes I am currently taking are non-degree seeking.

THIS MAcc...

THIS MAcc…

The classes aren’t that expensive, for university classes. I, however, am broke, since I am barely working, and spend most of my time at home, taking care of my five-and-a-half month old son.

Due to these circumstances, I recently tried to find some financial aid; due to my non-degree seeking status, I had difficulty.

I am sharing this story, because as I was scrambling around trying to figure out how to pay for my classes, I kept telling myself: “I can’t be the only person in this position.”

...not this one.

…not this one.

Unfortunately, there is not as much help for non-degree seeking students, so for any undergraduate students who have stumbled across this: Don’t finish college just to finish college. It is not always easy to find a job, and it’s much harder to find one if you haven’t figured out what career path you wish to embark on while you’re still in school.

Furthermore, the amount of help available seems to be largely dependent on the school you are attending. Depending on where you are taking classes, if you are taking pre-requisites for a Master’s program, you might be eligible for federal loans.

If, however, you are in the same boat I am currently in, where you need to take classes, but are ineligible for federal financial aid, the private student loan help I was able to apply for was through SallieMae.

I hope this entry is of help to some people. 🙂