Women in 2013 and 2075

Sharla Here!

Spoiler alert: If you are reading my little blog before you’ve read Twist, it may ruin a few surprises. Also, if you have not yet read it, some of this won’t make sense. So, please read Twist before proceeding!

Well, here I am again!  As promised, I will be blogging about women in Myron’s novels. Today, I will be focussing on Twist. While I hope to later delve into more obscure and subtle gender relationships in Myron’s works, let’s deal with the most obvious point of discussion first: violence against women. Take Sal for instance. She represents a major issue that women face, domestic violence. Sal, one of the first female characters Adam Twist interacts with, is repeatedly beaten by her husband, Dake. While a lot has changed in the dystopian future of Adam Twist, this situation is eerily familiar.

Adam cannot understand why Sal stays with her husband. He asks Sal, “Why do you let him beat you up like that?” This question is one that many victims of domestic violence often face. It is a difficult question. Here are just a few of the many and complicated reasons people stay with abusers:

1. Fear: What happens if you leave and he follows and hurts you more?
2. Love: Most people love their partner, regardless of the abuse.
3. Embarrassment: They are ashamed of what has happened and unwilling to talk about it.
4. Normality: Some people think that such a relationship is normal.
5. Reliance: Some are reliant on their abusive partner emotionally, financially or otherwise.

After exploring some of Sal’s responses, I believe she stays with Dake because of love and embarrassment; of course, you’d have to ask Myron to be sure of her motivations. Sal tells Adam her husband “had a good side, he just got in with Calley, and that bunch, and it made him crazy.” That sounds a lot like blind love to me.  Let’s appreciate Adam’s response, he says,

“Sure. Like maggots weren’t really meant to live in garbage, except they’re a little mixed up.”

He can see right through Dake and realizes his behavior is not excusable. Sal also struggles with the third reason, embarrassment. When Adam tells her he can see the remains of yellow bruises on her face, “Sal jerked her head, turning the bruised side of her face away…” and then she snaps, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” This is a common reaction, denial of the abuse and an attempt to hide it from others.

Sal’s situation is resolved, to my personal satisfaction, when she shoots her jerk of a husband. However, this is a novel — that solution is not a good or a plausible one for the real world. If you or anyone you know is dealing with domestic violence, here are some resources.

I know that was some heavy stuff, but I think it is important to talk about these issues and look at Sal’s fictional character in 2075 and how it represents the situation many women face in 2013. If you have any comments or questions please post them here!

I’ll be back next week to talk more about Women and Myron. If you have any suggestions for next week’s blog comment below! Check back here or Myron’s Facebook Page next Wednesday, to see more from me!

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A Drummer To Beat All Drummers

ginger baker

Red hair flying, eyes glazed over, skin pulled tight over bulging bones, hands flying at the speed of light, and a perfect beat flowing out of drumsticks. This is Ginger Baker. You want to meet a badass rock star? He is your man.

Yesterday I finally got around to watching the documentary Beware of Mr.Baker, and it was worth the wait. Talk about an all-star cast. The film features interviews with Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Neal Pert, Johnny Rotten, and the man himself, Ginger Baker.

If you’re not a follower of jazz (because Baker is at the end of the day a jazz drummer) or ’60s & ’70s  rock-n-roll, you may be unfamilar with Ginger, but I suggest you get familiar! Give him a listen. My personal favorite is his drum solo in “Toad.”

This man is a raving lunatic, an asshole, and a drum genius. In my personal opinion he is one of the most talented drummers around, and Eric Clapton agrees with me. I can put a record on and listen to him play the drums for hours, but after watching this film I can’t decide if I would love meeting him or feel compelled to punch him the face. I wonder who would come out on top, Myron or Ginger? He is over 70 years old, and age has not mellowed him one bit! He broke the director’s nose on the last day of filming, with his cane! This man played with some of the best musicians of all time, and I mean the best! He has been married 5 times, lived in at least 5 countries, been in countless fights, was a relentless chain smoker and major junky, and is somehow still alive.

This film’s name says all you really need to know: Beware of Mr.Baker! But no matter how much you may want to hate him, you’ve got to respect him.

Just to give you all a taste, here are some of my favorite quotes from the film: “He looks like the devil.” “Ginger Baker is a motherfucker.” “He, personally, is what drums are all about!”

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Good News, That Is Basically Bad News

17248_Beachy_Head_shutterstock

It seems the Earth is constantly full of surprises. She is tougher and more fragile than we all thought. Would you prefer the good or the bad news first?

It’s a Monday, so I’m going to start with the good news. A new study just found that the Earth can recover from high carbon dioxide emissions up to four times faster than we originally thought. Scientists got a sneak peak at Earth’s past coping mechanisms by looking at a time, 93 million years ago, when the CO2 emitted by volcanic eruptions was similar to the CO2 emitted by humans today. They found that chemical weathering speeds up, as temperatures on the planet rise. This allows the planet to cool down and CO2 in the atmosphere to decline, by storing some of the CO2 in rocks and the ocean. Thanks to this process, the planet can recover exceedingly faster than previously thought possible.

Sounds like incredible news right? WRONG! Apparently this process takes 300,000 years! That still sounds like a hell of a long time to me! Not only that, but this process only begins to work when carbon emissions cease. I don’t see that happening anytime soon. To add to the bad news, chemical weathering, while helping the atmosphere recover, can cause mass extinctions in the ocean! So, while I’m happy it won’t take over 1 million years for the Earth to recover, I would like to avoid making her wait 300,000 years. A scientist involved in the research said, “If we stopped all emissions today this recovery would still take hundreds of thousands of years. We have to start doing something soon to remove CO2 from the atmosphere if we don’t want to see a repeat of the kind of mass extinctions that global warming has triggered in the past.”

But as Adam Twist says, “We had been warned about ozone depletion, pollution, deforestation, and all that. But talking about it was one thing — trying to live with it was something else.”

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Women and Myron

Sharla Here!

Hello fellow readers! So, Myron will not be blogging today, but I will! Who am I? Well, I am Sharla of course!

This might seem a little strange, to have someone else blogging on Myron’s website, but let me explain.

I have been working with Myron this summer, and am a college student majoring in Women and Gender Studies. Now, if you’ve read Twist, you know that there are a lot of women’s issues that come up. Some of the most obvious issues are the violence directed at Sal and Dora; however, Twist contains a plethora of other material to draw on. While Myron and I share some interests we are also very different — being 20 years old, a women, and a gender studies major, I obviously have different views and perspectives from Myron. All three of his novels, Twist, Perfect Fingers, and Habits intertwine gender relationships into their plot lines. After some discussion, Myron has graciously agreed to let me write a blog once a week about his novels and the female characters in them.  Are you excited yet, because I am! This blog is a chance for me, and you, to talk about the portrayals and roles of women, as well as gender relationships in Myron’s books and society. So, next week begins my segment: Women and Myron. If you have any questions or issues you would like me to discuss please comment here!  Check back on the website or Myron’s Facebook Page for updates.

I’ll see you guys next week!

women

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Looking Into The Future

Do you ever wake up and think that new scientific developments and new technologies are taken right off the pages of sci-fi novels or the latest futuristic films? That is how I feel today. I was catching up on the news and came across articles that threw me into the 21st century. Today I read that scientists have developed a bionic eye! Now I feel like I am in Terminator. This bionic eye is a contact lens that can zoom in and out. However, this is just the tip of the spaceship. Last week, astronomers announced they found three more planets that they think are likely to be habitable and contain liquid water. I was excited when I read that there were three life sustaining planets out in the cosmos, but today my mind was blown when I read this: “Thanks to clouds, some 60 billion planets are habitable in the Milky Way.” I had a hard time wrapping my mind around this. That is 60 billion possibilities in our own galaxy for life. Soon, I may feel like I am in a Robert A. Heinlein novel, like Citizen of the Galaxy, dealing with the species of planet Gliese 667C.  

sunset_gliese667c

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Let’s Talk About Words

Rhetoric: “the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers that attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations.”

Being a writer, I am no stranger to rhetoric. I have spent years honing and applying rhetoric to my novels, plays, and even this blog. Rhetoric is a bewitching art that gives shape and meaning to language. However, I read an editorial today that made me think about rhetoric in a different way. If you own a TV or a radio, you are constantly hearing rhetoric. Whether it’s a politician begging for your vote or an ad convincing you that your dish soap is just not good enough, rhetoric is everywhere. When it comes to politics and policy making we, me included, tend to take in good rhetoric without thinking. Look at Obama’s speech that I blogged about. While I agree with his ideas, he uses a lot of rhetoric and not a lot of scientific facts. The article I read today focuses on this lack of hard evidence in public discourse. “To make the best policy decisions we need to start with all the evidence that we can gather. It must be presented openly and honestly, particularly recognizing any uncertainties.” This article makes a good point. I prefer the the fire and passion of rhetoric, but when is the last time you heard a politician admit uncertainties? It’s probably been awhile… I really don’t enjoy sitting down and reading a mundane and long scientific report on climate change; however, these often dull reports are the key to developing a position on issues like climate change. Whether you’re an adamant supporter of things like coal plants and GMO’s, or holding a protest sign against them, we should all take a minute to look at the boring hard evidence and leave the fiery rhetoric asidetemporarily of course.

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