SUBJECT OF RESOLUTION: The relative statuses of mainstream, literary, and genre fiction
SUBMITTED TO: The reading public and publishing industry
SUBMITTED BY: A reader
ALARMED BY an increasingly vitriolic set of discussions regarding different types of fiction and how they are affirmed or not affirmed by the literary establishment and the publishing industry,
BEARING IN MIND that the terms “literary fiction,” “mainstream fiction,” and “genre fiction” are highly-charged signifiers that have little use outside sales catalogs and at this point seem to have been reappropriated as both slurs and badges of honor,
DEEPLY REGRETTING that those signifiers are necessary to write this resolution,
RECOGNIZING that mainstream and genre fiction writers have a legitimate complaint as to being ignored by certain high-profile arbiters of taste,
REAFFIRMING that literary fiction is heavily though not exclusively reliant on reviews to reach a certain saturation threshold with the reading public that translates into actual book sales,
FULLY BELIEVING that some readers read genre, literary, and mainstream fiction, sometimes in the same day, even, sometimes expecting different things from those books, sometimes expecting the same things; further believing that some readers only read one subsection of fiction; further believing that this is all pretty normal,
EMPHASIZING that people will read what they like to read and that attacking people’s personal taste in books is about as useful and appropriate as attacking their taste in food (with an obvious exception made for mocking people who hate cilantro, because they are just WEIRD),
ACKNOWLEDGING that people’s personal taste in books tends to inform which books they read, which books they review or assign for review, and which books they believe are deserving of wider critical and/or popular attention,
NOTING WITH REGRET that talking about talking about books seems to have taken the place of talking about actual books,
NOTING WITH DEEP CONCERN that there is still a difference in the ways that similar books written by men and women are regarded depending on with which gender the author identifies, and that these differences appear both inter- and intra-fiction subsections,
FULLY AWARE that conversations, no matter how vitriolic, about which books get attention in popular culture and book reviews, are necessary to fixing any injustices in those places,
1. EXPRESSES HER HOPE that more people can maybe chill out a little;
2. FURTHER RECOMMENDS that conversations about the degrees of importance with which different varieties of fiction are regarded and reviewed be expanded to include children’s fiction, graphic fiction, fiction collections, and fiction published by small presses;
3. CALLS UPON all readers to be less dismissive of books they have not read, and even to give a new type of book a try every once in awhile, perhaps aided by an expert in that field;
4. ENCOURAGES those in any sort of gatekeeper position to consult with a larger group of people when curating a review section or retail establishment.
5. PROCLAIMS that she would like to be left alone for the next hour in order to read for a bit before bed, thank you kindly.
(There, that ought to do just as much good as an actual UN resolution.)
Or at least Hit Girl kicked ass. Kick-Ass was sort of annoying. He looked ridiculous, for starters, and his weapon of choice was, what, sticks? The few times he was actually fighting crime, he was usually stabbed. Or hit by a car. Or giving some boring speech about how gang violence is wrong.
Kick-ass’s alter ego, a pre-pubescent 17 year-old named Dave Lizewski, is even more unbearable. He spends most of the movie masturbating and hating himself.
T. Well, in his defense, all we did in high school is masturbate and hate ourselves.
Z. I’m masturbating and hating myself right now.
He also pretends to be gay so he can have naked sleep-overs with the hot girl at his high school. This works out for him, by the way, even though he reveals his true sexual preference after breaking into her bedroom dressed like a Jamaican Bobsledder and getting hairsprayed in the face. And then she’s like, “Oh, fine, I forgive you. You wanna have sex?”
Z. A good rule of thumb though, generally, is don’t lie to a girl about your sexual preference.
T. Yeah, the only lies you should tell a girl are: “You know what TV show I really love? Grey’s Anatomy.”
Z. “I don’t get why everyone thinks Megan Fox is so hot.”
T. “I agree, we should get to know each other better before beginning a physical relationship.”
Z. “I know what you mean.”
Anyway, Kick-Ass, despite its eponymous flaws, was really fantastic. Thanks mostly to one homicidally precocious little girl: Mindy Macready, our little Hit Girl. The purple-haired pixie spills enough blood to put Bonfils out of business. The first time we see her on screen, her father, a perfectly unhinged Nic Cage, is preparing her to do battle with drug-dealing junkies. First lesson: “Here’s a bulletproof vest, no wincing while I shoot you in the chest.”
T. Nic Cage is nuts.
Z. He should stick to being nuts. Nic Cage is great when he’s playing nuts.
T. Like, totally crazy characters.
Z. Joaquin Phoenix: starring Nicolas Cage.
When we first see sweet little Mindy Macready in full bad-ass regalia as Hit-Girl, she’s surrounded by thugs and her first sentence (we don’t remember it exactly) is something along the lines of, “Okay you cunts, let’s see what you got.”
Studio: “We want your eleven-year-old girl to be in our movie.”
Parent: “Oh, great.”
Studio: “Is it okay if she says ‘cunts’ and gets kicked in the face and shoots a lot of people in the face?”
Hit Girl steals the show; or rather sneaks up on the show and stabs it in the throat. Hopefully Kiss-Ass spawns a new genre of action movies staring tween girls.
Z. “Miley Cyrus … as Rambo.”
T. “Abigale Breslin is: The Fugitive.”
So while it may be Kick-Ass who saved Hit Girl — Hit Girl saved Kick-Ass.