Game of Moans

A review of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and the suggestion of a better book.

Painting: "Battle of the Scythians with the Slavs" by Viktor Vasnetsov
Viktor Vasnetsov, Battle of the Scythians with the Slavs

I recently finished reading George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones (just the first book, mind you, not the entire series).  First, let me admit:  it was entertaining.  It was not imaginative.  It was not breathtaking.  But it was a page-turner; that much must be admitted by rights.

It was not, however, a good book, and it does not deserve the accolades it has received.  It suffers from many of the problems which the fantasy genre has suffered after the advent of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.  Let’s start with a nod to the ladies.

I do not frequently repeat this most shrill of charges, but the author does warrant the accusation of sexism.  He considers, apparently, narrating from the mind of a woman an insufferably uninteresting setting, so he instead resorts to narrating between her legs.  Inevitably, the worst writing takes place in this location.  There are, as far as I can recall, three types of women in Martin’s first book:  those who care about breeding, those who use sex as a tool (and are generally perverted in some way), and those women who are really just men with breasts.  He reminds you about the breasts.  Allow me to share some of the gems. Continue reading Game of Moans

Why “Helplessness Blues” is the most important song of my generation

Guest article by David Somerville. This article first appeared on his website.

“Helplessness Blues” is the “Blowin’ in the Wind” of our generation. It sums up the spirit of people our age in a way that’s so winsome that it can be hard to analyze or explain. It could be an anthem for Occupy Wall Street kids, for hipsters, for Twitter-happy self-marketers, for post-college non-starters, for up and comers, for any one of my peers. But, unlike “Blowin’ in the Wind,” it not only asks questions — it offers meaningful answers. Let me show you how. Continue reading Why “Helplessness Blues” is the most important song of my generation