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Catcher in the Rye. BAD!

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posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 10:36 AM
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After years and years of people telling me I needed to read Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, I did.

This is my new least favorite book. IN THE WORLD!

The main character (I don't even care to remember his name), was a punk loser from the first paragraph of the book. Throughout the book, he did nothing but complain. Not the choice of word that works best there, but hey, what can you do?

He explains how most of his friends are also losers, and goes into detail about how big of losers are those he runs into through the course of his pitiful travels.

I really wanted to put the book down half way through it, but I imagined that there must be some profound and wise parable or moral at the end, so I read on. NO. NOTHING. Just another story, worse and less interesting than those he told in the body of the work.

So I asked myself... Self, what could it be about this book that makes everyone like it so much. Then I thought about how J.D. Salinger was some kind of spook for the Feds at one time, and wondered if it was some mind control device. Nah...

No, so I figured that at the time it was written, there was some particular parts of speech that weren't all that popular at the time, but did tend to arouse emotions in certain people, mainly young ones. I asked the fact monster, and in a review, he said, "It remains an extremely popular novel among adolescents, who view it as a testament to the purity and honesty of youth."

So I've come to the conclusion that Catcher in the Rye has become one of the many factors in the decline of American society, and has bred insolence, laziness, and whineyness into a good portion of us.

What did you think of the book? Did I just miss something?

[edit]You know what, I really did like his sister. In fact, I think she was actually the only likeable character in the book.



[edit on 22-12-2004 by DeltaChaos]




posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 10:41 AM
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Oh, by the way, according to the movie "Conspiracy Theory," this book is flagged by the FBI, and all copies bought or borrowed from the library have the person go into a database listing where they are...

So if there's any truth to the movie, you're now on "The List."

Personally, though, I think it's hogwash. And yeah, the book sucks.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 10:53 AM
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Yeah, I searched GOOGLE to find out if a thread existed about this already on ATS. I saw Skeptic Billygoat's thread about 'the list'.

It doesn't surprise me at all that the FBI would have it on the list. Once they realized that it was turning the youth of the nation into a bunch of whiney little do-nothing pieces of crap, I'm sure they had reason for concern.

I'm sure that young men who read this book came to idolize whatshisname for some foolish reason, and all of a sudden, girls were looking for the closest loser they could bear children for.

I can imagine people adopting piss-poor attitudes similar to the ones displayed by the antagonist, just because the book made them realize how cool it was to be an ass.

ASS ?! I can't write ASS ?!!! Oh, right, I understand. It's a naughty term for a particularly sought after part of the human anatomy.


[edit on 22-12-2004 by DeltaChaos]



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by DeltaChaos
It doesn't surprise me at all that the FBI would have it on the list. Once they realized that it was turning the youth of the nation into a bunch of whiney little do-nothing pieces of crap, I'm sure they had reason for concern.


Dang! I guess the FBI was right, then. A pity they didn't succeed in preventing it from happening. Now we've got 2 generations worth of whiney little do-nothings.

Perhaps it was a conspiracy of the author to postpone the apocolypse.

"Oh, mummy, must I be the anti-christ? I'm all shagged out from angst. Perhaps tomorrow, then?"



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 11:06 AM
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Yes, you did miss a couple of things.

The reason that the book is a classic is because of what it said and when it was saying this.

The book takes place at the beginning of the 1950's; that age of the Beaver Cleavers. Salinger had come back from the war, possibly a victim of PTSD and feeling as lost and adrift as many people secretly did. The novel is semi-autobiographical and dared to speak (for the first time) fairly frankly about adolescent sexuality, used foul language openly (before that, words like "damned" would be spelled "d---ned" or so forth.)

He was one of the first American "slice of life" writers.

His book provoked a lot of controversy and was both loved and hated. A whole lot of "Freedom of speech" issues came up over his use of sex (which seems terribly tame these days, but really gave the book a near xxx-rating for THOSE days) and bad language (cuss words that we'd barely notice today.) It was also an exploration into the dark world of someone with a mental illness. (at that time, anyone who was "different" was shoved into a sanitarium and labeled "crazy." It was society's punishment for being "too different" -- whether they were psychotic or not.)

That said, I found the book unreadable. Lots of people love it, many didn't. But it's not a conspiracy book or anything of the sort. It's simply a slice of life story about a young man who was shut away for mental problems.

I can see that it's lost its original context, here. I don't think that knowing the context would make it more appealing to you (it didn't to me) but knowing what it was and about the book may make it a more understandable piece.


[edit on 22-12-2004 by Byrd]



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 11:18 AM
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Thanks for making my points sound nicer, Byrd. Couldn't have said it nicer... myself.

And what was wrong with the Cleavers? I love knee-high stockings and long skirts. Damn, I was born 80 years too late.

[edit on 22-12-2004 by DeltaChaos]



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by thelibra
Perhaps it was a conspiracy of the author to postpone the apocolypse.

"Oh, mummy, must I be the anti-christ? I'm all shagged out from angst. Perhaps tomorrow, then?"


On your first point, I believe it was an attempt to bring the onset of the Apocalypse.

On your second, THAT'S FRIGGIN' HILARIOUS! THAT'S MY NEW SIGNATURE! THAT'S FUNNIER THAN NIXON BY FAR!!!



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 11:49 AM
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Wow this is so amazing you should say this.

I read (forced to) Catcher in the Rye way back when I was in school. I hated it. HATED IT. In fact, I didn't really read it at all.

Years later, after getting a box of old books from a garage sale, at the bottom of the box was Catcher in the Rye. My face twisted in disgust remembering how much I despised this book. I lflipped thought the pages and went to the beginning and just casually started to read. Next thing I knew I was half-way through. I finished the whole thing in a day.

I saw the book in a completely different light, with more years (a lot more years, unfortunately) of maturity under my belt, I was able to get beyond the profanity and apparent triviality of it and really read it. I finished the book in a day, amazed at how much I liked it and how different my take on it was.

In a nutshell , this is a book about human psychology and sociology. I suppose its all your frame of mind and where you are mentally when you read it. It's definately not a book for everyone though, I totally agree. It's great that at least you tried it though, even though you didn't like it.

I can't stand when people damn books simply because they don't like them or dont understand them or for some "political reason". When they do, others who may get a lot from them may be reticent to pick them up.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 12:05 PM
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I damn this book because it has NO story and NO characters. Except the sister. She didn't suck.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 12:29 PM
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I have heard for years and years that this was a ground breaking book. Then I heard that this book was found in the possesion of several murders and serial killers. Finally in my early 30's I read it. I read it on an airplane.

I can understand why it would attract a certain "type" of reader. You mention that Holden Caufield is a whiny loser, well, I can't argue with that. But I would assert that many of the diseffected youth who read this book can relate to Holden for the very fact that he is a loser, as you put it. Being a teenage dipwad myself, I can see how some can read this book and think to themselves, "man, this guys just like me". The problem with that is then they may attempt to pattern themselves after Holden Caufield.

I don't know for certain, but perhaps some of the murders and serial killers that read this book, did just that.

I can't remember for sure, but I think Mark David Chapman, Lennon's killer, and Regan's would be assassin, can't remember his name, were but of few of the famous psychos who were in possession of this book.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 12:52 PM
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I consider Holden Caulfield to be one of the most compelling characters in 20th century literature. Inerestingly, ol' Holden is ten years older than I; he was a high-school teenager in 1951; I was the same in in 1961.

As late as '59 or '60, which was when I first read it, I got a shock out of actually reading "damn" in a book. And watching Holden sink into his nervous breakdown reminds me of the pain and embarrasment I feel today whenever I am faced with Courtney Love in her oh-so-public slide down to psychotic fugue.

But Catcher is a tough book to read. I think that either Franney and Zooey or Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenter is a lot more accessible.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 01:02 PM
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You see, most people like reading books about people like them, that's why books about "loosers" might be so popular. Good that we're not part of them!



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 01:10 PM
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``

back then, as pointed out by others in this thread,
The Catcher In The Rye

is/was a 'Re-Focusing' work
a type of dis-information work

a contemporary of JDS is Robert Alton Wilson
who as RAW is engaged in MaybeLogic

there is a movie being made, see;
>www.guerrillanews.com...<
[.....-->Title: Statuary Ape]

the 'CITR' tradition endures to re-focus & dis-info the hive minds

@73w31n



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by bratok
You see, most people like reading books about people like them, that's why books about "loosers" might be so popular. Good that we're not part of them!


Speak for yourself
Some of us still remember what it was like to be a high school outcast. Some of us can still sympathize with the Holden Caufield's of the world. I don't hide the fact that I was a teenage loser. Remember, the Geeks shall inherit the earth!



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by thelibra
"Conspiracy Theory,"


Is a very good movie.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 01:18 PM
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Just because a book is classic doesn't make it good. Is there a law somewhere that we have to respect these classical books, no matter how mundane and boring we think them to be...



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 01:36 PM
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I also was a high school outcast
, yet I consider myself a winner, as my interests were a bit heigher then the boom-boom music interests of other teens.

As someone here said that a Christian is one who considers himself a Christian.

In my eyes, a looser is the one who considers himself a looser in the first place and just LOVES to pitty himself and keep saying how bad the curel world/life treated him.



Originally posted by phreak_of_natureSpeak for yourself
Some of us still remember what it was like to be a high school outcast. Some of us can still sympathize with the Holden Caufield's of the world. I don't hide the fact that I was a teenage loser. Remember, the Geeks shall inherit the earth!



[edit on 22-12-2004 by bratok]



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 01:52 PM
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I actually enjoyed the book, once I got into it. It was dull for the first few 40 pages or so but once I got into I could'nt throw it into my cloest. First off it was'nt really a story yet somehow I enjoyed it. Holden was a cynic, I think its a bit ironic that a lot of cynics hate him.

I read it a few months ago and I am around the age of Holden so I felt some of the angst he was feeling.

When I was reading it I was surprised that he used the word "#", because it was written in the late 50s.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by bratok
In my eyes, a looser is the one who considers himself a looser in the first place and just LOVES to pitty himself and keep saying how bad the curel world/life treated him.

I will agree with you on that. I use the fact that some considered me a loser as inspiration to take over the world

But I am not ashamed that people considered me an outcast. From the fringe of society is the best place to observe it. Provides for an unbiased view of what is considered the norm.



posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by DeltaChaos

Originally posted by thelibra
"Oh, mummy, must I be the anti-christ? I'm all shagged out from angst. Perhaps tomorrow, then?"

THAT'S FRIGGIN' HILARIOUS! THAT'S MY NEW SIGNATURE! THAT'S FUNNIER THAN NIXON BY FAR!!!


(grins) Glad you liked it! I must give credit where credit is due, however. Though the line is mine, it was very heavily inspired by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's "Good Omens", where a little 5 year old British boy is supposed to assume the role of the antichrist.

That said, you absolutely must read "Good Omens". The two gentlemen who wrote it are far funnier and wittier than I will ever hope to be.




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