Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sight is King

Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? I just finished reading it for the first time. Some parts of it I really thought were ok and others I thought were out in left field. Well, here's a prime example offered by an English professor at Southern Methodist University, English 44A, Creative Writing, Prof. Miller.

In-class Assignment for Wednesday:

"Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with someone else. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."
"The following was actually turned in by two of my English students:Rebecca - last name deleted, and Gary - last name deleted."

STORY: (first paragraph by Rebecca)At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.

See what I mean? This woman was trying to make it about feelings and the man was putting it to something he could 'fix' or conquer. I do think that men and women have different ways of communicating. Lord knows, I live and am married to a man who CAN NOT put into words how he feels about something. If I try to push the issue, it ends up nasty or he starts saying the things he thinks I want to hear and I can see through that. I've read that just after sex, is when a man is at his most 'feminine'. He's contented, sleepy and feeling loved. Now, THIS is when Gary is the most revealing in his feelings. Strange isn't it?

This review of the book cracked me up:
"While "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" is a useful guide to maintaining a healthy relationship with one's mate, I can't say I agree with the title. I don't mean to sound like a raging misogynist, but the planet Mars is typically associated with invasions, ruthless attacks, and unspeakable horrors. Considering most guys I know are laid-back schlubs who want to spend all day on the couch, who does this sound more like?
For example, I recently decided to play "Cap'n Sensitive" and help out around the house by making the bed. Now, aside from the pillows that my wife and I actually sleep on (the purpose of a pillow, unless I'm mistaken), we have seven "cute, cozy, decorative" pillows that rest on top of the bedspread. Apparently, there is a very specific order to follow when placing the pillows. It's partially based on rank (i.e. size) and color, but logical analysis would be unable to determine the proper structure upon first glance. Needless to say, my head was removed when my wife learned of my ignorant pillow-placement. She spent five minutes "explaining" that the one with the frills goes flower-side-out, because "nobody wants to see vertical stripes on the bed." Why she felt the need to impart this information at the top of her lungs is beyond me.

My point is this: Mars is often depicted as a hostile aggressor to quiet, unsuspecting planets. I'm definitely the quiet, unsuspecting planet around here."

This poor man. Doesn't he KNOW that throw pillows have an order and hiearchy? What the F is wrong with people?

I guess what it all boils down to is that men and women are different. Always have been and always will be. Now..... how we go about dealing and getting along with each other is up to the individual. I sometimes like to play the "Imagine This" game with myself. So, I ask you, my readers... imagine this:

We are all blinded in a terrible world-wide phenomenon. How many generations would it take before we all got along? How long would it be before racism was gone? Discrimination? Prejudice? How could one blind person explain fat, skinny, black, white, gay or straight to another blind person? AND have that other person understand?


Vanessa said...

LOL. It sounds like Gary isn't from Mars, but is trying to conquer it! :)

Melody said...

Great Post...Lloyd can not express his emotions AT ALL...MEN... Those questions are very thought provoking...I'll have to think on those.

Beth said...

I do think men and women are different, but I've never needed a book to say the exact same thing. I'm always amazed by these relationship gurus. They're all divorced. =)

Stephany said...

That book sucked..i think so anyway...that may be some relationships but for us normal people it just dont work the way the book says it will...not in my case