You will be missed 

There are some stories that stick in your mind. Years later, when you’ve transitioned from child to adult you’ll still remember that novel you read with a flashlight late into the night. For me, it was Harry Potter. When I found out today that Alan Rickman had passed it felt like two people had died. One, the actor, the other the beloved character we’ve known and loved for over a decade.
 
It’s not an easy task portraying a well-known personality especially when the story is as much loved as Harry Potter. Making the transition from words on a page to a real human being, Alan Rickman was more then up to the task. I think I speak for everyone when I say that he surpassed all expectations, he gave life to Rowling’s words in a way that will never leave us. More than that, he loved the character and the story in a way which not all actors do. Maybe, it’s because so few have the opportunity to follow their character for such a long period of time or maybe it’s the magic of the story. Regardless, Alan Rickman will be missed, it’s fitting that his most memorable persona, Professor Snape, someone who personified love and sacrifice will be his greatest tribute.
  Photo credit : tumbr 

Gloria Steinem and Las Vegas

Vegas wears glittery eye shadow, expensive clothes and is friends with everyone. Who doesn’t love Vegas? You go to Vegas to get lost and there’s an expectation that Vegas is willing to take you and love you. In the minds of men Vegas is a willing women, but for women? Vegas is a pimp in the eyes of women, just another man in a garish purple coat, driving a Cadillac and selling sex for money.

I went to Las Vegas for the first time this past weekend and it wasn’t what I expected. I knew it wound be glitzy and glamorous but I didn’t think of the sex appeal or just how much of a focus it is not just on streets but everywhere. I saw signs for orgasm clinics and strip clubs, I saw billboards with half naked women that would supposedly be “delivered” to you. I saw women young and old dressed as pin up girls selling everything from sex to pizza. It made me sick. I felt worthless, violated and dirty walking the streets of Vegas. Where was the empowerment for women? Where was the equality?

Maybe I’m being harsh, maybe the reason I’m hating so hard is because on the plane to Vegas I started to read Glora Steinem’s, My Life on the Road. Some would say I went to Vegas with my feminist glasses on but they would be wrong. I went to Vegas with my human glasses on and what I saw made me take a step back and think about what we value as humans. If Vegas is any indication, humans value sex, money and expensive clothes. 
There were two moments that stuck out the most for me. The first was while strolling towards the Bellagio fountains, much like everyone else we were stopped by club promoters. Since it was our first time and we didn’t know any better, we stopped to talk with one young man.

“Listen you bring your girls, they free and you get $10 off”

He was a young guy, well dressed but speaking in the clichéd way that men of this generation speak; quickly and without much thought.
No thanks we said and walked away. I wanted to turn around, I wanted to talk to this young man who thought he was just like any entrepreneur and tell him that the message he’s sending out is wrong. Why am I as a woman free? Why am I not worth anything? Or wait, is my presence in a club my only worth because it guarantees that the men will have someone to ogle.
But what would have been the point of dressing down this young “entrepreneur” he’s speaking a truth that society is teaching him, that women are sex symbols and little else.
On our way home after dinner one night, we came across a young man talking to a women dressed as a police officer. I say police officer because that was the intent but of course no officer wears fish net stockings and short shorts.

He asked, “Can I take a picture with you for free?”

“We’re not standing here half naked for free” she said and the grim disapproval on her lipstick smeared mouth was enough to scare away the man.
Life in Vegas isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a cemetery of dreams that never came to fruition. It’s a depressing hell hole of hope that will go nowhere. Mostly, it’s a place where all of the hard work of the feminist movement goes to waste because the human instinct for survival wins. This instinct in this world teaches us to sell, exploit and to keep on keeping on. Welcome to Vegas.

I joined Emma Watson’s book club…

And I feel it’s a life changer already. As some of you may have noticed (or not because I’ve been neglecting my blog recently) I have changed the name of the blog. The reason is simple, I’ve changed so the blog changes. When I first started this blog I wasn’t as interested in ground breaking novels, it’s been almost two years now since I first started the blog and my tastes have changed dramatically. I find myself wanting to write about change, politics and the state of the world. So, when I found out that Emma Watson had started a feminist book club I knew I not only had to join but I needed to get my voice back. So here I am. A changed blogger with a new repertoire of books. Hear me roar and expect more changes to the blog. It’s going to be something beautiful, I hope.
 

Bestseller? Really?

I stated to read The Girl on the Train with the high hopes that it would be a good book. Mistake number one. I kept on reading because I assumed it would get better, mistake number two. I finished the book thinking there’s no way the end could be rubbish, I’m clearly a fool.

The Girl on the Train is about a young woman, Rachel Watson, who develops an unhealthy obsession with a young couple that she sees on the train everyday. She creates names for them, imagines what their life is like and thoroughly invests her time in imagining that they have an ideal marriage. After her own failed marriage, Rachel is desperate (I use this word kindly because what I really want to say is psychotic) to hang on to hope that love does exist. You find out early on that Rachel is an alcoholic and a self-destructive human being. In situations where a normal person would walk away Rachel hurtles forward as if reason and rationality are foreign to her. When Megan, one half of the couple she obsesses over, goes missing, Rachel appoints herself the Nancy Drew of the case. To make things even more murky, Rachel was drunk the night Megan went missing and she also happened to be in the area where Megan was last seen, thus leading the reader into a never ending pity party of self-doubt, angst and “omg did I do it?”.

There are a few reasons I despised this book:

– The character is unbelievable. I get it, Rachel is a drunk and drunks can be irrational. However, throughout the whole book I found myself thinking that she is just not believable as a person or a character. No one behaves that way, no one thinks that way. It made for a cringe worthy read.

– The pathetic female role goes to Rachel for sure but if her drunken crap wasn’t enough to make you want to rip up the book the author did you the courtesy of adding two more nauseating female roles.

– I don’t know why, maybe it’s because the novel was written in diary form but there was something about it that reminded me of Gone Girl, which if you read my review last year you would know I also hated.

In conclusion, maybe I’m a book snob or maybe as I grow older I’ve become sick of the weak female role but this book was a waste of reading time. The only redeeming quality it had is that I was fired up to write this review and warn you all.