Sunday, March 8, 2009

In Defense of the Popular

No, this is not a blog post defending all those popular, mean girls who made so many people's lives miserable in high school. It's my defense of popular culture, things that so many people love but which end up being the whipping boy of critics and those who think they are above such popular things. Pffftt, I say.

Romance novels are favorites when it comes to making fun of something that has a huge and dedicated audience. I honestly don't understand this. Why, in a world where the news carries stories of murders, kidnappings, a tanking economy and a 50% divorce rate, do these critics not understand the validity and attractiveness of empowering stories of enduring love? Why is a happily ever after something to look down upon? Isn't that what most people really want in their lives?

That said, I have to say I don't like it when those in the romance genre make fun of other types of writing either. If you don't like Nicholas Sparks' writing, fine. But there are lots of people out there who do like it. If you don't like something you heard him or any other writer say in an interview, I totally get that. But, to me, calling someone like Sparks a hack doesn't do anyone any good. If you don't like a writer or his/her work, simply don't support their career by not buying or reading their books.

I saw an interview recently with Chad Kroeger, lead singer of the band Nickelback, in which he talked about how some critics say that Nickelback "sucks." He said that the band doesn't suck. They have zillions of fans and top-selling records that say otherwise. Kroeger said that they don't appeal to everyone, and that's fine. But that doesn't mean they suck. I saw Nickelback in concert a couple of weeks ago, and it was awesome! Loved the music, loved the show, loved the energy.

Another very popular figure who has been criticized very publicly is young adult author Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series of novels. Even Stephen King, who I've admired for defending genre fiction, jumped on the "attack Stephenie" bandwagon recently. I've seen many a fellow YA author publicly criticize Meyer's writing, saying it's not very good. So many times, those comments smack of jealousy to me.

Will Meyer win a Nobel Prize for Literature anytime soon? Probably not. But they've been giving out that particular Nobel Prize since 1901, and you know how many of the winners I've read? One -- John Steinbeck. I like Steinbeck, but give me a Meyer novel for pure enjoyment any day. There's a lot to be said for writing an engaging story, one that attracts lots of kids (and adults, for that matter) to reading.

So, is anyone out there a popular culture junkie like me? Is there something you love which takes a beating from the critics? What would you like to say to those critics?

And here, a little extra bonus -- the video for Nickelback's "Gotta Be Somebody," off their new album, Dark Horse. I like the lyrics to this song, which include:

"Cause nobody wants to do it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else who feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there."


sarabelle said...


sarabelle said...

OOOOHHHH Go me Go me the Rooster is coming to my house.

sarabelle said...

Great Post. I like the stand youve taken an I totally agree. Just because someone's taste doesnt mesh does NOT give them a right to bash. Excellent job!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Sarabelle, congratulations! I think he's been working hard lately, he might appreciate some pampering.

Trish, what an excellent post! I'm ready to man the barricades. I think the fact that someone's work speaks to a huge number of people says that they're answering some need in the audience - and who are we to judge whether that need is valid or not? By the way, love the towering pile of Bandita books. How cool is that? And do you know none of those were published in 2006? Because that's when we were all Golden Heart finalists and by definition unpubbed!!! Yay, us!

sarabelle said...

Hiya Anna I am defintely have some pampering in store for GR. He is schedule for a good feather fluffing. :)

flchen1 said...

Good post, Trish--just because something is popular doesn't automatically make it drivel :D

Hope the GR enjoys his feather-fluffing, Sarabelle!

And that IS a totally cool tower of Bandita books! Hooray for all of you!

Donna MacMeans said...

Yay Sarabelle - congratulations on nabbing the rooster!

Trish - excellent post. I also thought that Stephen King comment smacked of jealousy. Of course, I felt that way because I loved Twilight. I kept turning the pages, couldn't put it down, and there's not a single sex scene in the entire book (grin). Quite frankly, if it causes someone to READ, I'm all for it - no matter the genre.

Boy, those books look really impressive stacked like that. I'm guessing they represent a nice collection of fans as well.

Anna Campbell said...

A feather fluffing, Sarabelle? He'll never leave you! You'll have him raiding your pantry forever now!

Keira Soleore said...

Pfft, I saw back to you, Trish. All those snooty pooh-poohing folks can stick their noses up till they bleed. Classical anything is better than pop anything. What a crock! This judgmental "better" always sticks in my craw.


(off to change the clocks before I forget)

Tawny said...

Feather fluffing? oh my...

Trish, I love the post. I never understand what brings people to bash something they don't like. I mean, if you like it - support it. If it's not your cup of tea, don't drink it. But to bash? Why? What's the purpose? How does that create anything positive and what does useless bashing say toward all the fans of the 'something' in the first place? My money is on those fans with all their money figuring that 'something' is totally awesome.

Like, you know, the stack of Bandita books *g* Totally awesome.

Sarabelle, congratulations ;-) don't let the bird get you in trouble!!!

jo robertson said...

Provocative topic, Trish!

Hello back at you, Sarabelle! Is this your first time to entertain the rooster?

I'm fascinated by popular culture, Trish, wondering why some songs, fashions, books, or whatever take off and others die an ignominious death. It's always a puzzle to me.

I'm this way with fashion. I loved capris when they were called peddle pushers, still loved them when they were "floods" or "highwaters" or just plain tacky, and when they made a fashion come-back, I still loved them.

Unless you're a professional book critic, it seems unkind to knock what is, as Sarabelle said, essentially someone else's opinion.

Thanks for the Nickelback song!

Natalie Hatch said...

You know I'm forever defending the romance genre with 'academic' friends. It's not high literature, but then have you tried reading that sort of stuff. It's technically correct and thought provoking but it's not that enjoyable. Give me a story where I can laugh with the heroine, cry when she hurts, sigh when her heart is full and drool when her hero manifests his love in oh soo many ways.
I want to escape from my everyday life and romance brings in so much more than I could ever have expected. To those who don't get it, that's fine, to each their own. I for one enjoy them, and my opinion is the only one in this universe that counts (well in my universe it does anyway).

Authorness said...

Well said, Trish. Good on you for supporting Stephenie Meyer. I'm sure you're right about jealously being at the core of those harsh reviews. Writing a good novel and getting it published is hard enough without the criticism. I don't see what Meyer's fellow writers hope to achieve by publicly trashing her work.

~ Vanessa

Gillian Layne said...

I'll just add my Amen! to all those bashing the bashing.

I hope Meyer takes comfort in the thousands of fan letters (ok, I'm old, thousands of emails) she receives praising her work.

And Nickelback? Love 'em! :)

Inara said...

Hi Trish! You know, it's funny because I just got into a HUGE debate with my mom a week or so ago about whether there's any way to broaden how we define "good writing" and "good literature" so it would include good storytelling, and books that reach mass markets and connect with people on a gut level, the way that Twilight, Harry Potter, and other blockbusters clearly have. Another author you hear panned all the time is John Grisham -- who is an incredible storyteller.

It seems to me that if all that "good writing" means is something that's got a lot pretty words but is inaccessible and uninteresting to the vast majority of the public, then we're got the wrong definition!

Inara said...

Sarabelle, I think I want to come to your place too! I definitely need some feather fluffing. LOL.

sarabelle said...

Jo - I beleive this is my 2nd time getting the oh so wonderful GR.

Heheee Inara we could all have a feather fluffing party, just grab some of those sexy cabana boys and come on over, i am sure we can find some feathers to fluff or ruffle if need be.

Louisa Cornell said...

Feather fluffing and cabana boys and the GR OH MY !!! I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Banditas! Have fun with him today, Sarabelle!

Very thought-provoking post, Trish. I couldn't agree more. I spend a great deal of my time at work defending the romance genre. "Why do you keep reading those old sex books?" I have managed to perfect a raised eyebrow silent look of complete disdain that shuts them up and sends them muttering away. Most of the people who have been there a while will warn the newbies "Don't bother her when she's reading. She bites."

I am a classically trained musician, but I tend to like anything that took talent and real musicianship to create. I listen to opera. I listen to Beethoven's piano music. I also listen to Kid Rock, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Aerosmith, AC DC, Bon Jovi, Sting, Josh Groban and Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. For me, if something you have created appeals on a more than superficial level to the masses you are to be admired. I have a problem with performers whose music is created entirely in a studio, but that's just me.

What I can't stand is when critics trash popular movies. I'm sorry, but if it is hit at the box office it deserves some respect. There are many hit movies I would never watch, but if they entertain people and give them a respite from reality for a while then they deserve my respect. The critics panned Australia, but every single one of my friends who saw it in the theatre loved it. So, based on that I plunked down my 20 bucks and bought the DVD. Haven't watch it yet. I think I may spend this afternoon with Hugh without his shirt. Should be lovely.

I guess what I am trying to say is I don't let the critics of the world decide what I enjoy. If I enjoy it, I enjoy it. Period.

Trish Milburn said...

Congrats on nabbing the rooster, sarabelle. What will you two be doing today?

Anna, yes, I chose the book picture on purpose. :) Of course, it's a bit bigger Bandita stack now since I took that photo several months ago.

Trish Milburn said...

Sarabella, LOL on the good feature fluffing. :)

flchen1 (aka Fedora), I agree that it's not drivel if it's popular. After all, Jane Austen was popular in her day, and now her work is considered classic.

I guess I'm just not a fan of tearing down others to make oneself feel smarter or more important. One of my pet peeves.

Trish Milburn said...

Donna, that's the way I've been with all the Twilight books. I know Breaking Dawn even drew criticism from fans, but I actually liked it. Some aspects that other fans didn't like, I could totally understand and felt it was the only way it could be resolved. Not once while reading her work did I stop and think, "Hmm, her writing prowess just isn't up to par." Her storytelling was too good for me to think about anything else.

Janga said...

I hold no brief for anyone who condemns any group based on a sampling or on total ignorance of the group. Most of those who write off romance as "trash" have read one or two romances or none at all, and they speak from ignorance and prejudice. But to be fair, the prejudice works both ways. I also have a problem with those who label all literary fiction boring or esoteric, often because they were forced to suffer through a bad teaching of Moby Dick or Paradise Lost. I think the line between "high culture" and "popular culture" is an arbitrary one. Shakespeare and Jane Austen were popular writers in their own time.

Stephen King, on the other hand, did not bash a genre. He expressed an opinion on a particular writer in response to an interview question. He thinks Meyer's writing serves a purpose, but he does not think she and others are "good writers" according to his criteria. I may disagree with his opinion, but I don't have a problem with his stating it.

I feel the same way about book reviews. I may vehemently disagree with the reviewer, but so long as her/his criteria of evaluation are clear, I have no problem with the review. My ire results from reviewers who fault writers not for failing in the reviewer's opinion to meet criteria of "good writing," but who attack the writer for not writing the book the reviewer wanted/expected.

Sorry for the rant! This is a hot-button issue for me.

Trish Milburn said...

Yay for your indignation, Keira. :) Oh, and all my clocks are still on the wrong time. Guess I need to change them today.

Trish Milburn said...

Jo, I think there could be an entire science dedicated to figuring out what makes something popular and capture the attention of a huge part of the population. I'll admit that there have been many things that were really popular that I just didn't get. But evidently others did.

Trish Milburn said...

Natalie, I know what you mean. Having to defend an entire genre's right to exist and entertain is exasperating. To me, there's room for everything -- romance, mystery, horror, other types of genre fiction, high-brow literature, graphic novels. It all deserves to exist and be available to readers.

Trish Milburn said...

Vanessa, I honestly don't understand the Meyer bashing either. I mean, her publisher obviously saw something there or they wouldn't have offered her a gazillion dollars. And the tons of teenage girls (well, women of all ages) who bought and read the books obviously saw something they liked too.

Trish Milburn said...

Gillian, I hope Stephenie is able to focus on the positive too. Not only has the bashing, particularly of the last book, been out there, but she's also had to go through having her unedited manuscript for the fifth book posted online without her permission.

Trish Milburn said...

Inara, I completely agree! Although I've not read his work and can't comment as to whether I like it or not, another popular author who is constantly being panned, especially by other authors, is Dan Brown. But something he did must have connected with people because his books are best sellers and are made into movies. If I read them, I might or might not like them. But I defend his right to put them out there and for his fans to like them.

Trish Milburn said...

Louisa, you've hit on another of my pet peeves -- movie critics. I hardly ever agree with them. I like all kinds of movies -- bittersweet, thought-provoking, shoot-em-ups, paranormal, romances, romantic comedies, period pieces, you name it. Again, if everything was high-brow enough for the critics, I think it'd be the death of the movie industry.

Trish Milburn said...

Janga, you make excellent points. What you're saying is my stance that there's room enough in the bookstores and libraries and homes of the world for everything from romance to westerns to horror to Silas Marner. I think the classics are just like any type of genre fiction in that some appeal to people and some don't. For instance, I enjoyed The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and Silas Marner, but I couldn't get through Last of the Mohicans or Walden. But that's just my opinion. Others out there may have the exact opposite opinion, and that's okay.

catslady said...

Great post. Stephen King came to mind for me too. My 25 yr. old daughter is a reading snob lol. We do exchange lots of books but she won't read my romance books - I keep telling her she doesn't know what she's missing. She read a couple she didn't care for and judged the whole genre on that which is ridiculous. I keep working on her. She is going to inherit quite a library and I told her I would come back and haunt her if she didn't give my books a good home (think she's planning on donating them which is fine - her loss).

Trish Milburn said...

catslady, I don't understand the whole judging an entire genre based on a couple of examples. Every genre, every form of entertainment, has excellent examples, so-so examples, and some that make us wonder how they ever came into being. And each of us would put different books/movies/whatever in each of those categories. It's all subjective.

Cassondra said...

Sarabelle, congrats.

Yeah, he'll be wanting some pampering. He had to cut and stack wood all day yesterday. He whined a lot.

Trish, of course you know I feel the same way. What is up with criticizing an entire genre of fiction? Or an entire genre of anything for that matter? I get irritated at the cultural bias against the happy ending--and I don't understand it.

Somebody said it was the same reason the "experts" keep trying to find another person who ACTUALLY wrote all those amazing stories like Romeo and could not have been the poor commoner who claims to have created the work. This theory said it was the old "if the masses appreciate it, it must be low and isn't worthy of the notice of the elite."

It's the only theory that's made sense to me thus far.

Now, I WILL criticize an author who repeatedly makes stupid errors in his/her work. Dumb stuff that a little (or a lot) of research would have fixed. Because that's one of my pet peeves and I think it's lazy. Every author makes mistakes, but some popular fiction authors are horrible about stereotypes and stereotypical ideas. I think it does all fiction--and popular fiction in particular, an injustice. But criticize them for WHAT they write? Nope. Won't do it. I just don't think I have the right to appoint myself judge and jury over what is "acceptable" entertainment--within the boundaries of the legal of course. (I do get a little bent about child porn.)

If the masses are gobbling it up, it has some merit usually. I may not like it, but that makes me the strange one, not everybody else.

As to popular culture, I admit that I'm WAY behind. It's not something I have particular interest in, except genre fiction. But I'm in the minority for certain. And glad that I am, since I want to eventually sell books!

Cassondra said...

Donna said:

Quite frankly, if it causes someone to READ, I'm all for it - no matter the genre.

This is how I feel!

And it used to be how Stephen King felt as well...if his older writings were any indication. If it is jealousy, it doesn't wear well on him. I love reading his opinion of writing and other pop culture phenomena. He's just brilliant.

He has a right to his opinion of course, but...ya gotta wonder why.

Helen said...

Congrats Sarabelle have fun with him

What a great post Trish my Mum always taught me that if you can't say anything good don't say anything at all and that is pretty much they way I am. I read lots of romance books and I gotta say there are not many that I don't really enjoy but I don't email the author to tell them that I didn't like the book and I am always talking to friends about the great books I have read and encourage people to read romance and I listen to them about the books they read and although I may not go out and get them I don't put them down either.

Have Fun

Trish Milburn said...

Cassondra, I think Janga made a good point about Stephen King responding to a question when he talked about Meyer's writing. I can't say it didn't disappoint me, but still, he wasn't going out and deliberately spreading his opinion to anyone who would listen. I have to say I enjoy his columns in Entertainment Weekly.

Trish Milburn said...

Helen, thanks for spreading the word about great books to your friends. That means a lot to authors and the sales of books.

Cassondra said...

Trish said:

I think Janga made a good point about Stephen King responding to a question when he talked about Meyer's writing. I can't say it didn't disappoint me, but still, he wasn't going out and deliberately spreading his opinion to anyone who would listen.

Yes, I just got through the comments and saw this and I admit I wiped my brow and went "whew." King has earned the right to say what he thinks is good and what he thinks isn't, that's for certain, and I'm relieved to learn that he didn't purposely bash. I love his columns and I'd hate to think of this every time I read one.

He's always been very opinionated about what is good writing and what is not, and I've never blamed him for that. Been scared of him? Oh yeah. But blame him? No. You know, if you have a book published by a big house, it used to be that you could send it to Stephen King and he'd do a critique--tell you what he liked about it and what he didn't. I probably won't be doing that cuz the reviews we all get are tough enough.

I haven't read Twilight, but I've heard people who have read it--on both sides of the fence. And everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, King included.

The interesting thing is that a lot of books that were not great make great films, because the premise is good and the screenwriter is good. A lot of great books end up being lousy films for some of the same, but opposite, reasons. Somebody obviously saw some good stuff in Twilight--the editor who bought it for one thing--and the producer too.

It's a great example of different strokes for different folks.

Beyond that, with regard to critics...Some of the biggest and best bands--or at least we know NOW that they were icons--were shunned by critics of their time. I think it takes a little hindsight to recognize a turning point of popular culture. Critics hated Star Trek. They also hated ET.

You have to wonder if the people who rejected King's books, or were harshly critical of his early works, look back on it now and go, "Duh,(smackhead) missed that one," or if they wish they'd bitten their tongue.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Great post, Trish!

I love things that are popular, especially romance novels! I am though a little slow on the uptake of popular gadgets. Two years ago, I made the great leap into portable electronics. In one month I bought a cell phone AND a digital camera.

I blame this all on my friend Allison at work. Allison is a native of New Deli, but after immigrating to Chicago and becoming a US citizen, she says she is from Chicago, India, (and I forgive her her Bears and Cubs obsession). Allison loves all things electronic, so after much discussion, I caved and bought two items. Since that time, she has had dozens of upgrades and now owns at least one iphone. I'll stick to the razor.

And while I didn't read any of the Twilight books, I do think Stephanie Myers should be commended for writing a story that brought millions of people into the reading world. But I have to tell y'all, that several adult co-workers were upset with the sex, scene, or lack thereof. Those I gave Dark Lover. They're hooked!

Nancy said...

Sarabelle, congratulations!

Trish, I think this is a great post. There's a discussion of this in the context of literature in Tom Shippey's J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, wherein Shippey analyzes what he thinks makes Tolkien's work so popular despite more than half a century of bashing by the literary establishment.

Maybe part of the problem is, perhaps, envy. If something Person A doesn't understand or like is hugely popular, more so than Person A's favorites, then all those people who like it must just be ignorant, whence it follows that whatever it is can't be good, either.

The literary establishment bashes genre fiction, which outsells "literature" massively (5k is a great print run in the literary marketplace), in general and romance in particular, with a sort of condescending allowance for some merit in mystery since that's an intellectual puzzle.

Genre fiction writers resent all the critical slavering over literary work that frequently focuses more on word imagery than plot or is along the line of "life is awful, and then you die," which genre readers generally don't like.

Within the genres, other writers diss romance. Which, of course, outsells them all as a group.

Based on a very small sample of opinions that were snide, mean, and a touch defensive, I'd say some men don't like romance because they don't think they can compete with imaginary heroes in some aspect of the relationship, not recognizing that women do, yes, know the difference.

I guess the main thing I'd say I like that isn't "accepted" is reading comic books, but those have a declining and aging readership because there are so many more options for your average 11-yr-old male, the target entry point customer.

Once upon a time, the comic book was the reading matter of choice for any doofus thug in a movie. Because, hey, the fact that he's reading it indicates clearly his doofus-hood.

At least that seems to be changing, and there are more women in fandom now, and DragonCon is just teeming with us! *g*

Nancy said...

Cassondra, I quit watching Matlock, despite abiding affection for Andy Griffith, when he leaned over in a courtroom scene and told a witness, "Just whisper it to me."

I doubt there's a courtroom in the country where that wouldn't trigger immediate and outraged objection from opposing counsel if the judge didn't get there first.

It would probably earn counsel a rebuke in chambers, if not in open court, about stunts. It was just too far beyond the pale for me, and I never tuned in again (though I'd admittedly been only a sporadic viewer before).

Trish Milburn said...

Suz, I like electronic gadgets. Love my iPod.

Nancy said...

Trish and Louisa, there are some critics who seem to think any movie with lots of "boom" cannot possibly be a good movie and use their platforms to bemoan the scarcity of "good" movies, by which they mean arty films, generally about relationships, that are often gloomy at the end.

If people want to go see gloomy movies, that's fine, but don't bash happy endings and escapism. It's a gloomy world. There's nothing wrong with wanting an escape. The better question would be "does the movie do what it sets out to do?" rather than "do I like this kind of movie?"

It seems to me that some critics/readers/viewers bash genre everything and romance in particular because they don't believe in happy endings and seem to think a preponderance of happy endings implies that those who don't have a personal happy ending have failed in some way. Or it's "unrealistic" or "raises false expectations," all objections raised against the extremely popular dime novels at the turn of the last century.

I think it's unarguable, though, that anything inducing so many people to plunk down their money and devour it is connecting with people, and that's an accomplishment.

Trish Milburn said...

Nancy, I wasn't a huge comics reader growing up, but I got hooked on the X-Men in college. There was a comics store right across from campus, and hubby (then boyfriend) bought the new X-Men when it came out each month and we'd both read it.

And I love superhero movies, which critics tend to relegate to the summer popcorn movie spot. I was so happy that The Dark Knight got some critical acclaim.

Virginia said...

Congrats Sarabelle, on nabbing that rooster! Have fun with him today and spoil him a little.

Great post, I totally agree with you on this one. If you don't like something just don't buy it and keep your mouth shut. Everyones taste are different. If I don't like a book I just don't go around and tell everyone I don't like it. Of course there are not many books I don't like.

I have a 13 year old niece that I have never seen her read anything until the Twlight series and she is big into them. So my thoughts on that if Stephenie Meyers can bring the young people into the world of reading then she can say she done something. I think its fantastic to see my niece reading now. We owe this to Stephenie and I admire her for it.

limecello said...

Congrats on the GR, sarabelle!

Very interesting post, Trish! I know some people/actors mentioned something like this at the Oscars- how the movies that make the most money are never nominated - b/c they're not artistic, etc. (I think it helps to have a definition whatever it is.) Critical acclaim is well and good.
Entertainment - well, reality shows. That's one. Obviously they make tons of money or there wouldn't be so many.

I'm all for pure enjoyment etc- I think what bothers me is when people who don't normally do whatever activity, here, read, say this one book is THE BEST ONE EVER. I really don't like the Davinci Code for that reason. I read the book - WELL before it was popular. I thought it was ok, interesting, not the best piece of literature ever. Then everyone had fits and paroxysm of over over it. No. Or Harry Potter - I like Harry Potter. Read all the books, watched/will watch all the movies. Do I think JK Rowling deserves all she's gotten? Sure.
Do I think they're the best kid books ever? Decidedly not. Am I going to slam her? Nope.

Trish Milburn said...

Virginia, what your niece has experienced is what makes me admire writers like Meyer and Rowling. Kids have so many other ways of entertaining themselves now that reading isn't always a first choice. These two writers have brought lots of kids to reading, and I think that's really cool.

Trish Milburn said...

limecello, I didn't get to see all of the Oscars this year, but I did see Hugh Jackman's opening number. He mentioned the fact that summer blockbosters (aka The Dark Knight) have trouble being nominated.

Cassondra said...

Oh, speaking of superheroes, I loved Iron Man. I've never been a huge superhero buff, and I read my share of comics when I was a kid, but I didn't have a good source for a lot of them--the supply was very limited in our small town, so I think I was deprived. (grin)

I've liked the recent superhero flicks--Spidey and the older Batman films--but some of them have not really made me dance in circles ya know?

Well...I didn't dance in circles over Iron Man either, but I thought it was a really good film. I love how flawed the hero is.

Trish Milburn said...

Cassondra, I really liked Iron Man too. And while I liked the older Batman films, I prefer the newer ones with Christian Bale. I'm also a big fan of the X-Men films and am so looking forward to the Wolverine movie.

Cassondra said...

Trish I haven't seen the Christian Bale Batman films. (ducking the flying fruit) I know, I KNOW I have to make time to see this stuff.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, I liked Iron Man, too, though I wasn't of a Marvel Comics fan growing up. Lots of boom in Iron Man. *g*

I also lived in a small town with unreliable distribution, so I pestered my parents to stop in drugstores everywhere we went. I wanted to check the spinner racks.

Trish, I think Christian Bale is probably the best of the Batmans (Batmen?) to date. I do miss Robin, though, because I liked what that dynamic said about Bruce Wayne's heart.

Plus I had a major crush on Robin for years. Yeah, I know, two-dimensions, four colors, even less real than movie characters, but I was kid, y'know?

Nancy said...

Cassondra, I haven't seen The Dark Knight since it may be just a wee bit dark for me, but I own Batman Begins. I liked it a lot.

You really should see it. Lots of boom. And you can rent it now. :-)

Louisa Cornell said...

Nancy, I agree with you when it comes to movies. Most critics dismiss anything that doesn't have some sort of social conscious or politically correct message. Hey, I am all for "art" films, documentaries and socially significant films. I thought Dead Man Walking was a great film. However, I get really steamed when they dismiss a completely entertaining film because it doesn't "say" anything. Here is what that sort of film says "Relax. Hang tight. Have a ball. Leave the world behind for a few hours. Laugh. Cry. Have an adrenaline rush. Fall in love. Fall off a cliff. Fall into danger. E-S-C-A-P-E !!" THAT'S why I go to the movies. I HAVE a social conscious. I AM politically correct (in public at least.) I have three college degrees. I don't need and education! I need some FUN!

Trish Milburn said...

Nancy, I agree about Christian Bale being the best Batman. I think he's a wonderful actor. To me, he was the only redeeming quality in The New World, a film I really wanted to like but didn't.

Louisa, you said it, sister!

Louisa Cornell said...

Hey, Banditas and Buddies! I am guest blogging on Keli Gwyn's great blog - Romance Writers on the Journey! Stop by and say hello so I won't be completely embarrassed!

Treethyme said...

Wow, I've been out of town, away from my computer (or any computer, for the most part) and I feel like I've been away for a year instead of a week. So many visitors and blogs that I missed! I'm glad I caught this one.

My husband has been a Nickelback fan for a long time, but what this post made me think of was the Backstreet Boys. My daughter was a huge fan, and through her, my husband and I became fans of theirs, too. People trash the boy bands, but -- hello? -- what were the Beatles, if not a boy band?

Chick flicks and romance novels: I love both, and I have no patience for people who don't understand their appeal, but it's their loss!

Trish Milburn said...

Treethyme, I'll admit that I have a Backstreet Boys CD, along with some of Britney Spears' CDs. I like dance music, and they're music is very danceable.