My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, August 29

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

I made a big mistake yesterday: I talked my wife Rosalie into going to see The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Not that it wasn’t a good movie. It was, especially in the acting of the title’s teenage girl, Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze, a 15-year-old living in the 1970’s San Francisco hippieland. Minnie is busy exploring her adolescent sexuality, worrying about her too-small breasts, her fear of being a little chubby, her desire to lose her virginity, which she manages by seducing her mother’s boyfriend, the 35-year-old Monroe (Alexander Skarengard). She’d love to tell everyone about it but instead consigns it to a taped diary she hides away in her bedroom, taping the details of her affair with Monroe and her dreams of becoming a successful cartoonist. Her mother Charlotte (Kristin Wiig),a hippie with no husband and two daughters, doesn’t suspect what her daughter is doing, seemingly more interested in booze and drugs than family affairs (no pun intended). That’s the plot setup and that’s pretty much it. No spoiler alerts here. It’s a tale of a young girl’s search for identity, done well but not as well as Juno or The Perks of Being a Wallflower or The Breakfast Club. My problem and my wife’s problem with this Teenage Girl is with the explicit sex scenes. To tell this story of Minnie’s awakening, was it necessary to be so graphic in the telling? We’re not old prudes, and the modern liberation of language with its F-Bombs and MF-Bombs no longer bothers us . . . too much. We’re more broad- than narrow-minded. But the sex scenes seemed so gratuitous, more pornographic than artistic. I guess the constant inclusion of young girls having sex, drinking booze, and taking drugs simply depressed me instead of enlightened me or ennobled me or filled me with hope for the future of our youth. It was the kind of depression I’ve always felt at one of the hometown carnivals of my youth—sleazy with the overpowering smells of greasy food and cotton candy, selling superficial fun on Tilt-A-Whirls, Ferris Wheels, and other mechanical rides designed to thrill and nauseate riders, tempting us with unwinnable games that involved tossing pennies on a board, nickels into glassware, baseballs at fringed dolls, operating a crane arm to pick up toys or silver dimes (never quite catching a toy or any dimes), then luring those of us who were old enough or had enough cash to come into the back-lot tent where we could view all kinds of examples of human and animal oddities, the two-headed pig, the bearded lady, or the woman who would have coitus with a Shetland pony. You know the old carnie spiel, “She walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a snake!” I always felt like I needed to take a long, hot shower whenever I came home from those carnivals. I felt a little like that when I came home from The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
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