Can we really be mad?

The review by By MICHIKO KAKUTANI seems to be complete and utter crap. I’m sorry but there is no educated way to say that….

He seems to be upset at the fact that the book lacks love, romance, conflict, pretty much anything we’re typically used to seeing in a book. He says, “In choosing to make Christopher his narrator, Mr. Haddon has deliberately created a story defined and limited by his hero’s very logical, literal-minded point of view. The result is a minimalistic narrative.” Really? In choosing the make Christopher his narrator Haddon allows a perspective to be explored that we hear such little from. We’re too consumed with the 50 shades and the twilight saga to wrap our heads around other types of writing.

“Christopher’s inability to lie about the events he is recounting and his inability to sentimentalize his actions or the actions of others lend the story a visceral, stripped-down power, an understated precision that enables the author to talk about the big issues of love and mortality and loss without sounding maudlin or trite.”

I thought this was disgusting to read from his review as well… “his inability to lie about the events he is recounting…” Uhm okay? I think that’s what makes Christopher’s character so unique. When he’s being questioned by the police in the beginning, although they bagger him with questions, his first instinct isn’t to lie because he knows what it looks like isn’t what it looks like…he’s consistently honest and allows us to deem him a reliable narrator.

Personally this guys review doesn’t even make me fear not getting a job anymore. But anywayssss…..

The second review I’m looking at is “When Popular Novels Perpetuate Negative Stereotypes: Mark Haddon, Asperger’s and Irresponsible Fiction”

It kind of bothered me… especially since we discussed in our last class that Autism isn’t a universal thing—meaning different people show different symptoms. “When you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism” if i remember correctly. But it bothered me because of this one particular line, “I’ve come to see what an inaccurate picture of Asperger’s Curious Incident paints.” It seems to me that even if this was a non-fiction instead of a fiction —which i think the author of this review seems not to realize—the reviewer dismisses the symptoms that Christopher demonstrates. You can’t just simply say the depiction is inaccurate especially because no two cases are the same.

Furthermore, I think the other reviewers claims

“Stereotyped, inaccurate, horribly offensive… this isn’t how it is.” “Haddon does not understand Asperger.” “Stereotypical view of an autistic child.” “I find it hard to believe that Mark Haddon is an autism expert, because Christopher Boone isn’t like any other child with Asperger’s that I’ve ever met.” “A major disservice to the Autistic Community.” “An excellent portrayal of autism…NOT!”

are more upset at the fact that they think Haddon makes this novel out to be an over exaggeration of what Autism is. With such a delicate—and new topic—such as Autism there just isn’t a “right” way to talk about it.

By Haddon’s own admission he didn’t do any research on the topic, however, this is a fiction so imagination is free to run its course here. Because the subject is a touchy one writing a fiction on it maybe wasn’t the best choice, but I mean can we really say anything?

The author of this review makes a good point though, whether or not he knows anything about the subject really doesn’t matter at this point because now people will believe what they will about the subject because of his book. It kind of teeters on a fine line here and I’m not sure whether I’m mad at him for the stereotypes now associated with Autism or if I don’t blame the guy because the book is a fiction.

Strategy 8

Crossbreeding: Why was mother stopping me from climbing

Strategy 8: Crossbreeding with Something New – Inject really new material into the critical conversation to produce a new argument. For example, bring in a theory from another discipline to reinterpret the evidence, bring in new evidence to upset an old theory or interpretation, or establish an original framework (a combination of theories, a historical understanding) to reinterpret the evidence.

So this is the approach that Mukhopadhyay takes in the section “Why was mother stopping me from climbing.” Clearly no one in the office realized that the child had a medical condition, especially cerebral palsy they just thought that the child was unmannered or untrained. The author clearly interjects new thoughts and ideas into the conversation because she puts the thoughts and emotions of the patient into the conversation. Usually with medical cases we hear the perspective of the patient from the doctors or family members point of view.

This part of the book also presents the information in a clear concise way, so clear that it actually sounds like a child’s perspective which is also a new take and perspective on this specific subject matter. Most medical cases are explained with really confusing language that still doesn’t quite describe the patients point of view.

This specific story is also a memory which makes it seem much more credible even though told by a child point of view. Usually stories told by children are deemed less credible the author manages to incapsulate the child’s voice while remaining credible because its a memory from the same child when he’s older.

Eve and Adam: The reversal of gender roles

W.E.B Dubois says “[Africans] simply wish to make it possible for a man to be both Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face” (Dubois 3). This quote seems particularly interesting when looking at Greeniage’s We Love You Charlie Freeman because I think this is exactly what Laurel and her family tries to accomplish. In the beginning she goes to her hairdresser and tells her hairdresser to give her a different hairstyle, one that can be easily maintained because where they are going doesn’t have any hair stylist that know how to deal with her hair. She also makes her younger daughter, Callie, cut her hair as well. It seems interesting because Charlotte, the eldest daughter chooses not to. It seems that the entire family depicted is trying to maintain some sort of their “blackness” (which I don’t even think is a thing) but also trying to assimilated to what is “accepted” in their new community.


Finally, we have a reading that I couldn’t put down!

Obviously this book is embedded with race relations and racism and all, but I was immediately taken when I realized that the book was lead by females…Did anyone else notice? In all the relationships among people WOMEN were the reason. We start off with Laurel Freeman and her family moving out of their city in Massachusetts– Dorchester. First of all, it shocked me that the person driving the vehicle was the mom…usually if the father or male figure is in the vehicle he would be driving. Then the whole reason behind their move was because of Laurel who was the one that decided to have the whole family participate in a research project. Cool. Now we get to the facility, the main researcher is Dr. Paulsen  **ding ding ding** another female. Women and science? Whoa! Hold the phones there! I was shocked. I’m still kind of surprised and happy that Greenidge did this. Then we get to Charlotte’s romantic relationship with Adia—another girl.

I think it’s also interesting to note that the Freeman family is subjected to being in a research project involving monkeys….maybe this is me reading too much into this, but I can’t be the only one to have heard black people referred to as monkeys before. It’s also interesting to note that Laurel immediately treats Charlie as her child without even trying to start an initial bond…her motherly instincts just sort of kick in and allows Charlie to sleep in her bed the first night they are introduced sort of like how a toddler has a bad dream and then hops into bed with mommy and daddy… All in all the subtle details that Greenidge puts throughout the novel help to make this novel a masterpiece.

Black Damnation Cont.

SO, yesterday I left the class pretty pissed off, but rightfully so. I couldn’t clearly articulate what I wanted to say without having everyone interrupt so I just thought I would do it here. Enjoy.



A man that obviously committed a crime. Incest. BUT like I was TRYING to say. Let’s look deeper into his character. Obviously he’s uneducated because of the way he speaks: ” She’s droolin’ green stuff and gits to pukin agin, and when I goes to touch her it gets worse” (Ellison 65). Clearly Ellison made the deliberate decision to make him speak this way. Ok. Now that we’ve established he’s uneducated, let’s now look at the circumstances in which he lives. True blood says, “You see suh it was cold and us didn’t have much fire. Nothin’ but wood, no coal: I tried to git help but wouldn’t nobody help us and I couldn’t find no work or nothin’. It was so cold al of us had to sleep together; ” (Ellison 53). Cool, now we see the extent of his poverty. NOW THIS IS THE PART WHERE I LOST EVERYONE… YES! He did screw his daughter and knocked her up committing the horrible act of incest. BUT let’s remove Trueblood from the equation shall we? What if we were to Substitute Trueblood with a middle class white citizen? Where he had heat and separate rooms and a job…Would our feelings about the incest be different if the white man then deliberately went into his daughters room and raped her? Maybe, Maybe not. I think the social factors around Trueblood influence our perception of him and his actions, A LOT. Poverty effects people in ways that privileged people like us aren’t aware of. A lack of education? Well, obviously having no education is something foreign to all of us but those things, I would imagine take a really big toll on a person and their thought process. Ok, I have more to say, but that will cover my bases for now.


Take Care



White Domination? No. Black Damnation.

So I’m going to bring up a totally different point, but its really important to me so I rather post about this instead…

The first instance that we get where a character isn’t really conscious of his actions is when Mr. Trueblood impregnates his own daughter. He basically goes on a whole ten page rant explaining that he really didn’t mean to, but what’s done was done. Trueblood reiterates the point that the black people in the community look down upon him, but the white people don’t. On the contrary actually, they reward him. Trueblood lives on the outskirts of the college campus and is basically shunned by his community for committing the crime of incest.


(Just give me a second here so you can follow my thought process)…

this book starts off with a young black boy about to give a speech, but first has to enter this ring of fighting other black for the entertainment of whites…cool, I mean not cool, but nothing new there. Then after he’s been punched until he literally can’t see he has the chance to give his speech and ends up getting admitted to this college. Now we see him driving around this extremely wealthy white guy who contributes a crap ton of money to the university. Then they go visit this guy named “Trueblood.” We clearly know that he’s uneducated by the way the speech changes when his character speaks. From his explanation of the incident in which he got his daughter pregnant we clearly see that the incest wasn’t intentionally done. The part that bothers me is why the white community rewards him for his discrepancies meanwhile the black community completely ostracizes him. This just feeds into white domination. It’s literally so disgusting to me to think that the reason they give this man money and tobacco to keep him in the same never ending cycle. Furthermore, the fact that he was looked down by his fellow black counterparts says a lot about the black community. They were not willing to accept that type of behavior because they wanted to remove themselves from stereotypical black behavior….

Guilty or Not Guilty

Dehaene sees consciousness as a process in the brain. Each part of the brain process different things such as emotions and language. Between these two sections of the brain is a link which allows everything to work together as one unit. He also believes that consciousness is seeing something and knowing you saw something.

This is the part of the theory that perplexes me. Dehaene’s argument kind of doesn’t make sense to me because it doesn’t really explain why people at the same crime scene remember things differently. Like the color of a persons shirt may be different based from person to person. Or even something more pertinent like the race of an individual. I mean it is evident that each individual saw something because they’re recalling specific things, but it doesn’t really make sense in that respect.

Damasio had three stages to the self: the protoself; the core self; and the autobiographical self. I’m more inclined to buy what Damasio is selling because he takes into account factors that can change the image of ones self.

Let’s take the same example… If the crime being committed was a white woman being raped and the witnesses were another white woman and a black woman, the race factor of the perpetrator could be misconstrued because of societal values placed upon race. Even though Damasio and Dehaene’s claims are on a “minuscule” or “microlevel” scale…those little details are what makes or breaks a case and in many cases have imprisoned or incriminated the wrong man. I’m not sure whether or not I fully believe all of what Damasio is preaching, but it definitely makes more sense than Dehaene in my opinion.

Hysteria or Sanity

Siri Hustvedt explains Jean-Martins Charcot’s idea of hysteria as a “dramatic emotional display” (Hustvedt 71). This theory would fit well in trying to understand what is really going on the “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the story we see the narrator go insane by what she perceives to be a woman caged in behind this yellow wallpaper. Did she really go insane? That question doesn’t seem relevant, what is relevant is that she believed that there was a woman caged in. Whether or not it is true has no bearing on the argument. Her display of emotions can be characterized as dramatic because she goes to extreme lengths to see and look at this wallpaper. It seems to mirror how she is feeling. In the day the caged woman isn’t present, but only in the moonlight is it visible. This seems to be the way she is treated too. When her husband is awake (in the day) she really has no voice, no emotion, no nothing. She’s kind of just there. In the night, however, she is not under the eye of her husband and thats when this wallpaper seems to bug her. It’s interesting because before I read Hustvedt I would have never thought of “The Yellow Wallpaper” as being dramatic, I think it’s because “dramatic” has a negative connotation. I would rather, if I was a therapist, look at the reasons that make the narrator feel like she is having these “dramatic” emotional breaks. It seems to me that her husband puts her on a pedestal…and not in a good way. He completely infantilizes her calling her a silly goose. He doesn’t allow her to write or have any form of creative expression whatsoever so the only thing she has to rely on is her thoughts. I would say she’s border line schizophrenic. The only reason I don’t believe she is completely schizophrenic is because if she had an outlet of expression I believe she would be fine. I’m also curious at looking at the infantilization of her character and the idea of an “imaginary person.” I mean, it’s totally okay for children to have an “imaginary” friend but at what age do we start to diagnose people with schizophrenia? The poem is obviously a product of the time it was written in, but I think it’s important to look at the human psyche as well. Why is it that women were infantilized, but were also supposed to reproduce? Isn’t that an adult amenity? What does that say about men? Were they attracted to childlike attitudes but women that looked like women? To just claim that this was a “dramatic emotional display” takes away 99% of the reason the emotions are there in the first place furthermore calling it “dramatic” given the circumstances is completely absurd. To think being lock in a house, away from society, with nothing to do except sit there and look pretty…I’m pretty sure the only sane thing to do would be to go insane.

Pissing the Passion to Poetry

One of the most lyrical moments of Sense8 was when Wolfgang is at the funeral procession and carries the casket of an unknown person. The reason why this scene is particularly lyrical is because of the intense emotion we see Wolfgang portrays after everyone has left the funeral ground. He actually proceeds to piss on the casket once it is in the hole. This scene reminds me of a poem by Sherman Alexie, “Postcards to Columbus.” Alexie writes, “Our flag with be a white sheet stained with blood and piss.” The two connect because a flag isn’t something to be desecrated and neither is a casket (actually both are crimes). It shows such anger and resentment that it is poetic. It seems to me that even the most horrible of things can be seen as lyrical. The opening scene of Angelica killing herself is also very lyrical. The intense emotion that she shares with Jonas right before she commits suicide is so magical. She begs him to leave before she can pull the trigger. From that instance we know her love for Jonas goes far beyond just a crush. We also get the sense that Angelica was compelled to do this because Jonas allows her to kill herself. The final part of this episode that was the most passionate and lyrical is when we see Riley succumb to drugs. This scene is the most lyrical of all because she is reluctant at first to take a hit from the pipe, but then overcome with sadness she does it. She finds no other means of escaping her inner demons then to dope up….Now that’s what I call passion and lyricism.

Thinking about bats thinking

It’s interesting to think that this is what a bat really thinks. It’s interesting because…I don’t think this is what a bat really thinks. I think this is what we think a bat thinks, but in the end is still what we think about bats. Make sense? I know, confusing right? Well…I think thats the point. We as humans can’t know what it feels like to be animals. I mean sure we have primitive instincts that still come into play at times, but we are evolved creatures. Our brains can’t process information like animals. I highly doubt a bat thinks, “When it gets dark we go out to eat, insects mostly” (Lodge 90). That’s just a survival skill a bat has. Like, “hey I need to eat! let me go find some food.” I think the type of food also has to do with digestion…bats can’t really digest anything else besides insects and small critters. Furthermore, the “thought experiment” of this particular students seems to be a projection of what and how that student feels. Meaning that the student is thinking about sex in their own life and that becomes projected onto the assignment at hand “What it’s like to be a Freetail Bat.” Sex has only become sexualized because of humans. All other animals do it for survival and to procreate…It has nothing to do with pleasure so I don’t see how and why bats would mind only “fucking for six weeks out of the whole year.” It seems to me that this experiment worked so far as to show how the thought process of humans really works, not how the thought process of bats work. There’s no doubt in my mind that bats have a thought process, but I also think that it’s quite impossible to think like a bat…but then again, this could be my projection of this assignment.

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