Thursday, April 16, 2009

Books are Boring

So, I haven't had a book blog in awhile because I keep running into duds.  This is another side effect of just reading your way alphabetically through a shared collection of books.  Sometimes you end up on the bus going "Really?  Really?  Why the fuck do we own this crap?"  And since I hate being a hater*, I'm not going to tell you about all the ones I read and hated.

Except for one, because the author is long dead and everybody thinks they're so great if they read it, but you should just know it sucks before you head into its blank verse nonsense.  It is "Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained" by John "fuckface" Milton.  Now, the first problem with this book/these books is that it is (as mentioned above) written in blank verse.  That means high-falutin' craziness to all you illiterates out there.  Personally, I have liked other things written in blank verse.  I have even occasionally enjoyed the sort of lulling rhythm of it.  In this case, though, it just about put me to sleep (and I know that's blasphemy to say about Milton, but it's not like you all have a leg to stand on in criticising me, so back the fuck off).  

Anyway, the only thing that saved me from actually nodding off on the bus while reading this was Milton's intense hatred of women and radical and heretical interpretation of scripture.  First, according to Milton, The Fall happened because, even though they had been warned about Satan (which Eve overheard because she was eavesdropping instead of fetching the food like a good woman should), Eve suggested that she and Adam split up and tend to the weeding in different parts of the garden.  Then, she is accosted by the snake, who is super happy to see the weaker of the pair alone and unguarded.  The snake says all kinds of flattering things about her, which she especially likes since she and Adam just had a fight about how she's not smart or strong enough to go off on her own.  The snake also tells her that the reason he can talk is because he ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, which makes Eve want to eat it, even though she can already talk, because we know how the bitches like to gab, am I right?

All that so far is a somewhat sexist interpretation of scripture, but not TERRIBLY far off what's in the Bible.  Now is when it gets downright ridiculous though.  Eve brings the fruit to Adam, who knows it's forbidden and doesn't want to eat it, but he's so sad that Eve has been condemned to Hell that he decides to sacrifice himself for her sake and eat it so that she won't be alone in damnation.  Such an upstanding guy, this Adam.  Not to mention that, when God realizes what they've done, there is a small amount of recrimination, but it's mostly on Eve's part, who basically devolves into a crying little girl while Adam takes the punishment like a man and explains to Eve that they deserve it, and they'll just have to put their hope in the future.

So, Paradise Regained.  About 9/10ths of the book was the Paradise Lost part, and it only takes a little while to win it all back by betting on Jesus.  I guess his story just isn't as interesting.  Which makes sense, since according to Milton, God created Jesus sometime before Adam and Eve, and his only real role in the beginning was to make Satan jealous and precipitate his fall and the creation of Hell.  Way to go Jesus.  Thanks for that.  On the other hand, he does petition his dad to let him come down to Earth and save all our souls, which was nice of him.  

Close observers will notice that all this is complete heresy, seeing as how 1) God did not "create" Jesus, 2) There was no "time" where God existed and Jesus didn't and 3) I'm pretty sure God and Jesus don't have disagreements or argue about shit.  Not to mention that popular lore has it that Satan fell out of jealousy over the creation of humans, not jealousy over Jesus, which would be jealousy over God which is some kind of time warp vicious cycle nonsense.  

Okay, so don't read Paradise Lost or Paradise Regained, because even though I know I made it all kinds of fun, 400 pages of that is just not.  

* Obviously I don't hate being a hater, but I do feel bad saying mean things about books, since they're really super hard to write and I've never done it, plus there's the whole "eye of the beholder" aspect, so I'd just as soon not be a bitch about it.  Most of the time.

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