You say you are a lover but then you say hateful things. Basically your attitude is, "I don't agree with you so you suck." What a loving attitude!
Let's take a look at some of the comments on my recent Fortress of Solitude post. The hater himself called me to task. Did he bring up some good points or is he simply full of hot air? Let's see!
Motherless Brooklyn did not "suck" It was a great character and idea in a suspect plot line. I personally loved being inside the head of someone with OCD/tuerettes. MB seems to really inspire strong emotions in people...Hot Tub Eric and Amie hated, Amy W (A DOCTOR OF LIT!) loved it, I liked it and think that the first half of it is a great character study....
On your first point, he is right. I was clearly baiting my readers for a response like this and I was happy to get it. Instead of stating "Jonathan Lethem's last book Motherless Brooklyn sucks. I would like to know from people who loved that book what it is they liked about it. Complete crap." I should have started each statement with the disclaimer "In my opinion." Maybe that would have cleared up any confusion as to the difference between my opinion and fact.
On your second point, you are correct- the book does inspire strong emotions in people.
On your third point, you make sure to point out that a fan of the book is a doctor of literature. On this point, I'm not sure what you are getting at. Since she is a doctor of lit, her opinion is more valid than mine, yours, Eric's, and Amie's? Confusing indeed.
Lastly, IN MY OPINION I did not particularly like the book as a character study. However, you say you only liked the first half as a character study? What about the second half. IN MY OPINION the book really tanks in the second half after a passable first half. Does Lethem have a problem finishing books? Perhaps, perhaps, IN MY OPINION.
I have also recently read FoS. I loved it, even the last 200 pages. Here at the MT&R the education staff is reading it for our book club.
Okay, I'm not sure what the second sentence has to do with your argument. The fact that they are reading the book proves the point that the book is good?
Dan the whole point of the music industry stuff was he hated himself as well!!!! and I know MANY Music industry people and if Dylan was real he would instantly be towards the top of the list as "coolest", you always hate anyone in fiction involved in culture you like. You hate movies/books that are set in the music/youth culture realm ALWAYS. Maybe if he was in Iranian Music Indutry.....
One thing that drives me crazy is when people assume that just because I don't like something it is because I didn't understand it. On one hand, you accuse me of being a snob but then immediately turn around and tell me that I didn't like the book because I didn't understand it.
How obvious was the second half? Of course, he hated himself. This is not hard to figure out, but apparently you think that I can't quite get my head around that point.
You do make a good point though that Dylan is a realistic portrait of many industry people. But if this is true, these are the people that I choose NOT to spend my time with and reading about them is irritating to me.
As far as the point that I "AlWAYS hate movies/ books that are set in the music/ youth culture realm," you might have a point. Although saying that I always hate movies/ books in question makes no sense. Give me some examples of books/ movies that I hate. Are you still pissed that I didn't like the movie version of High Fidelity as much as you did? Well, I absolutely loved the book and recommended it to everyone. And let's see, I am a teacher and I love rock music but somehow I also loved School of Rock.
As far as the overall point you make though, maybe I am harder on movies and books in which I have a sizable amount of knowledge about because I can see all the inherent flaws more clearly. I'm reminded of reading about articles about indie rock back in the early to mid 90's in the Washington Post that were so clearly wrong and simplified. If I didn't have first hand knowledge of the bands in question, I would have taken the article at face value rather than being overly critical of what was written.
And for the record in 2004 I saw three films starring your boyfriend Vince Vaughn compared to only one Iranian film. But even if I had seen 200 films from another country, I'm still not sure how my desire to see films from other countries makes me an asshole. Although according to your logic, if I had a degree in film studies, my opinion would matter more than yours.
So what about changing voice???
I did not like it. I was so into the first 300 pages that the shift in tone annoyed me. But again, that is only MY OPINION.
The college chapter was great I thought.....
I was annoyed by it.
Of course Mingus is in prison?!?!?! The whole message of the book is the diffrence in oppurtunity and expectation between white and black males!!!!!!!!
And where was it in my original post that I wrote about how I was shocked by Mingus being in prison? I simply wrote, "Mingus is in jail." There was no value judgement implied. You are right, OF COURSE, he ended up in prison- it makes sense. I simply wish that Lethem had taken us to that point or caught us up without completely shifting the tone of the book. Thank you for explaining the message to me, Chris, because as you have already seen, I am a snob who doesn't understand anything.
The ring IS magical....duh!
You are right on this point. But the real problem is that I didn't really state what I meant. So I will now. I liked the way the ring was mysterious in the first half and it was left up in the air about whether or not the ring really had magic powers. I did not like how obvious and silly it became at the end when Dylan turns himself invisible. I liked the parts of the book that were painfully realistic with touches of surrealism. IN MY OPINION, Lethem took this idea too far at the end. He should have left the ring's powers ambiguous.
This said, and I could go on on....the first 300 pages were beter, but not the chasm that you suggest.
What? Did you almost just agree with me?
And why do we always attack the people who at least are attemptng to contribute something worthwhile, go compare MB and FoS to 90% of the drek, you may not like it, but it becomes harder to savage.
Um, I don't have much to write about books that are complete dreck because I try not to read books of that sort. Of course, this book is better than most books out there. So what is your point? Simply because this book wasn't written for the lowest common denominator, people can't have a critical opinion on it? That is absurd, Chris.
And I think outside of Gilmore Girls, I agree with your wife/youthlarge/Bibimbop on NOTHING.....except I had brunch at that joint near you she suggested and LOVED IT....so maybe a few things but she is WAY more a hater than me
And then as a final cheap shot, you have to bring my lovely wife into the fray? Geez, you really are a hater. Just because you spew so much bile and venom yourself does not mean that I'm going to start making fun of your wife. Wow. I also find it amusing that in the post where she professes her LOVE for Duke basketball, Thai food, South by Southwest, rock shows in general, stickers, The Concretes, and all things Gilmore, you have the audacity to call her a hater. Bad form, Larry, bad form.
I think not.
But when it is all said and done, these are the kind of comments that we all are hoping for from Mr. Hater. Comments like the one you left on my recent music post don't quite cut it. You commented, "Great blog. Wont quibble tastes, or your walkmen fetish." What? Come on hater, you don't have choice words about M. Ward, My Morning Jacket, Dead Meadow, or the Decemberists? We all know that you do. Let them out. Go with your inner voice. You are a hater. That is why we love you. You have an opinion on everything and we love hearing them all. You named your blog Bile and Venom and then you are going to go around calling yourself "The Lover?" That is not what we all signed up for. Be yourself, Chris. Be a hater.
P.S. Bring it on, Hater!