Hitting the Headlines: Defiling Literature

Today’s headline on our hitlist: Classical Literature to get Erotic Makeovers.

Personally, I think this is an outrage. I have nothing against Erotic Literature: each to their own. What I do have a problem with is a publisher deciding she (or he) has the right to effectively steal the works of dead authors and rewrite them to include sexual scenes when obviously the book is not supposed to contain such scenes. And those authors are no longer around to defend themselves or their precious work.

The example that got me most riled was a passage from the ‘re-writing’ of Jane Eyre;

‘My master captured my wrists and secured them behind my back, imprisoning me and preventing my movements’
‘How I yearned for his mastery’

Anyone who has read Jane Eyre will see what I mean: Jane fights fiercely against the patriachal society, wanting to be Rochester’s equal and refusing to even marry him, despite their passionate love for each other, until he considers her as such. But now she is ‘yearn[ing] for his mastery’!? It is ridiculous! They could at least read the book before attempting to defile it!

Meanwhile the tragic star-crossed love story explored in Wuthering Heights is spiced up by bondage sessions between the star-crossed lovers. You know, they can’t be together because of status and family, but they have time for a quickie out of wedlock in the backroom. Also, Sherlock Holmes is rolling in the sheets with Dr Watson! Now I love a good homosexual romance, but I don’t think a “Meanwhile whilst Holmes’ brain worked on the case, I worked on him” counts as a ‘good romance’, do you?

If you ask me all this ‘Eve Sinclair’ wants to do is put her name alongside that of the famous authors of history in order to gain fame and money from their works. It doesn’t matter if she ruins the book’s original message, destroys the author’s integrity or turns the characters into kinky porn stars, as long as she gets recognised. Meanwhile honest hard working writers try to make their way into the dragons den that is the writing industry by writing their own original work. Oh sorry, is that a little too old fashioned now?

Well… that’ll be the end of my rant before I get too carried away…

Signing off furiously,

p.s This is that start of what may be a series of ‘Headline Assassinations’ that will not contain a poem. Hope you enjoy, please don’t hesitate to leave your opinion at the bottom of the page where it says ‘comments’ – I would love to hear it!


Doctor, Doctor, Why are you watching me bleed to death?

What ever happened to ‘Medical Professionalism’?

It disappeared without a trace. I mean, I’m sure it was there once upon a time, long ago when people went into the medical profession in order to be of service and help people. Now? Not so much.

The other day a distant memory came into my thoughts, as it does so randomly now and then. It was a standard vaccination, everyone I knew had to go get it, nurses went into schools, colleges, universities all over the country. Now, everyone knows what kind of questions are asked before you can have certain vaccines. Are you on any medication? Do you smoke? Is there any possibility you could be pregnant? (The latter obviously only applies to women unless you are reading this from another planet) We know they must ask these questions, we eventually grow somewhat comfortable with answering them. I have no problem admitting I answered no to all of these questions. I was perfectly comfortable sitting there answering. What I was not comfortable with, however, was the nurse’s next comment.

“Are you sure? Looks like you could have two in there.”

Yes. She actually said that. I don’t know many teenage girls who don’t care at least a little about how they look, but as a young teenage girl at the time who hated herself because of a little extra weight (looking back, there is no way I was big enough to look pregnant with twins), I was devastated.

Looking back, I wish I had slapped her. I wish I’d kicked and screamed and insulted her, because it wasn’t until I left the room that I realised: I didn’t know who to complain to. My mother didn’t know either. Where do you send complaints to a health service that is supposed to care for you? Well, when I refused to appear for a follow up injection there were questions, and I told the other nurses of the insult. They said they would deal with it, but I don’t know if they ever did.

I have many other, more heart breaking examples. An old college friend who lost faith in her dream job of being a nurse after some volunteer work in a charity hospital left her sickened by the level of carelessness her collegues displayed. A great grandmother I never met, for whom suffering Altzheimers apparently wasn’t enough as her carers forgot to feed her and stole her jewelery. A teacher whose uncle suffered kidney failure and so had to have dialysis… and contracted Hepatitis C from the machine. Which he passed on to his wife before he was told he had contracted it. And a distant family member, a young, bubbly, warm woman who left two young children behind when a hospital’s carelessness left her to die alone in a hospital room.

So: do we have a health care system? Or the illusion of one?

Obama wants to put into place an ‘NHS’ system in the USA. Well, I think it will be great. Just like football, cricket, and a number of industries, anything that originated in Britain always works better in other countries. So he has nothing to worry about.

Doctor, Doctor

“Doc I got a sliver
Embedded in my bone!”
“Then lay down on the table, son
Whilst I put my apron on.
Have a drop ‘o whiskey
And I’ll sort you out a crutch
For after I cut the bullet out
And make sure the wound is trussed.”

“Doc, I have a problem
It’s painful to the bone!”
“I’ll refer you to a specialist
For now you must go home.
Take a paracetamol
Have a little rest
Your appointment’s in a month or two
You’ll be lucky if it’s less.”

Haven’t we come far
From herbs and dance recitals
To the so called specialists
Who heal with but a title?

Oh how times have changed
As centuries move on
Drugs may be advancing
But faith in man is gone.

Do you have any stories you’d like to share? Anything mentioned you’d like to hear more about? Or any other issues you’d like me to rant about? Hey, I’m open to listening to anything you have to say. Just comment.