I’ve had Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’ signed out from work for a week. I’m only supposed to sign books out one at a time, and only for a week. Yet I haven’t cracked the cover. I’ve meant to read the book since I first saw it in the bookstore. I began reading her new book “Moranthology,’ today while at work. I’d finished a new post for this very blog, while on lunch and thought, “God/dess I’ve got to work on my blogging skills,” when I discovered Moranthology on the shelves. She had me at “People like people who bring cake!” And I had to finish the book. So I bought it. So I’m halfway through it. While her book, How To Be a Woman sits languishing, whispering, “I’m do back at the store, Sweetie!” In a creepy Poltergeist-y, ‘there here!’ voice. I’m hooked.
Is it the allure of consumerism that made me buy the newer book while the free signed-out book sat languishing? Or was it just my frustration at my own prose and the fact that I usually want to crack the cover on something escapist when I go to bed, and so avoid nonfiction in the wee hours of the night?
So I was supposed to go to the house of some friends to see the last episode EVER of Downton Abby tonight, an invitation which I have habitually blown off the last two seasons. The only excuse I could come up with for not going has been that it’s cold in winter in Vermont, and DARK… <petulant foot kick> and I don’t feel like going out once I get home and comfy in my chair with my cat shedding in my lap… All of which are true. This weekend, I was determined to go.
“See you SUNDAY!” I said with a pointy gunny finger and a wink, but the time came and – yeah, nope.
So I was watching a documentary “Winter on Fire” on Netflix when the time came to go. So I’d been struggling to write all day with some kind of – ANY kind of – clarity and feeling like it just wasn’t happening. So I had a wicked headache as I watched the Maidan Square in the city of Kiev in the Ukraine burn and the police beat the shit out of people who had been protesting peacefully and was feeling a bit like – really? We’re going to go watch a PBS show about the dying aristocracy in England circa 19th century while the Ukraine STILL continues to burn? (At the time that I am writing this, the body count for the Ukraine Civil War is 9,000+) while Donald Trump gets more and more popular here in the US even though his speeches have been paralleled to Hitlers? (And yes, let me say I am not unaware of how many comparisons to Hitler have been made during the five decades since WWII ended and how often they’ve been conflated.)
And it dawned on me that I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t indulge in escapist television tonight, even though the main goal was socializing. I feel so strongly that our society here in the States has gotten further and further anesthetized to the realities of the world – I’ve been likening the US to the last days of Rome for a good many decades – since college – and I just realized THAT 30 year reunion has come and gone recently – that I couldn’t spend the night imitating the country we broke from over 20 years ago – for good reason.
It’s time for Sleeping Beauty to wake up. Perhaps she needs to be willing to be pricked by a few needles. Perhaps she needs to just put on some chain-mail gloves and just spin the fucking spinning wheel. Get out there and DO something. Kill her TV.