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But we all need to reflect on times like these:
Sooo here’s another one!
This summer, I’ve had some spare time, and, instead of spending it watching seasons 1-6 of Dawson’s Creek (which was a distinct possibility), I did this (check ‘em out!):
I want to clear something up right now. There are things in this world that go unmentioned because we feeble humans are scared to challenge the status quo. We live our lives under a blanket of conformity, fearing the moment we peek from beneath our covers and feel the sun’s burn against our retinas.
But not I. Nay–though I know the path be jagged, though the waters may be rough, there comes a time when every human has to look at themselves in the mirror and say, “You’ve got to speak up, dammit.” So I will. I will, by God.
EVERYONE. The phrase “BACK AND FORTH” is a fraud! It is a lie! It has infiltrated every home, family and short story on God’s green earth, ransacked our libraries and raped our basic understandings of fundamental movement.
How, my friends, if one is, for instance, pacing about, HOW can one pace BACK, before one has paced FORTH? One simply cannot do this, my friends, and it is this critical miscommunication in juxtaposition that is tainting our minds and altering all we know about relativity and space time!
Ladies and gentlemen of the internet–one must, indeed, journey forth before one can even conceive a journey back! It has been this way since the brave William Lewis and Meriwether Clark set a moccasined foot forth in their brave expedition to achieve manifest destiny; since Moses journeyed forth into the sea he so divinely parted; since our all-powerful creator journeyed forthin his quest to create this living, vibrant,
pulsating universe that, now, risks destruction at the hands of faulty syntax.
But fear not–we can stop this grammatical bullet before it pierces the heart of mankind. If you, and I, and your children, and your grandchildren who are still only a glint in your eyes, can manage to spread the word, to make it known to the world that the only and correct phrase to use in describing one’s travels is “forth and back,” then, by God, the human race still has a chance.
So please, go forth on your mission, and then back to this blog for further updates on the state of humanity.
I recently joined a book club–an all-girl book club, in fact. I wanted to call the club “Chicks Before Dickens” but because a member of the group said the title reminded her too much of chickens (wtf), we went with “Girls Gone Wilde,” which I’m okay with, but still harbor some resentment for my lost cause.
Anyways–right now, I’m excited about this club, though I don’t know why. I’ve always wanted to be in a book club, so much so that I’ve tried in the past to get several book clubs off the ground, but they’ve all burned up on the runway. One would think I’d have learned by now.
I think the problem with creating and maintaining a book club is this: people want to–and think they might be–smarter than they actually are. Too harsh? No. I’ve lived it. Just listen.
An experience I’ve had more than once: I’m at lunch with some friends and we’re talking about The Catcher in the Rye like we’re the first people ever to do so outside of a classroom, and because everyone at the table shares the UNIQUE perspective that The Catcher in the Rye is a “really fascinating book,” we all think (and say out loud), “OMGZ WE SHOULD START A BOOK CLUB,” and then there’s discussion, and some people (me) think we’re serious.
Book clubs are great in theory: you do something smart, meet up with friends to show them how smart you are, and repeat until you die or books become obsolete (I give it 10 years?). It sounds like a fantastic idea, and then a reading list is created and everyone goes, “omg our reading list is soooo cool we’re reading Little Dorrit, have you heard of it? Yeah, it’s one of Dickens’ lesser known books. Yeah, it’s certainly worth a read.” But then people get the book, see that it’s a billion pages long with font the size of our IQs, read the first chapter and go, “Oh look! American Idol’s on!” The book gets set down and a Diet Coke is placed on top of it. Periodically throughout the week, we think, “Hm, I should really read that book–oh but its long and, wait! I need to watch that marathon of Jersey Shore today!” and we hope against hope that everyone has just forgotten about the book club. And no one does. Everyone remembers the club. But they’re also hoping no one will ever bring it up again. And no one does. Because they’re all watching Jersey Shore.
This is obviously a bit exaggerated, but you get the picture. People forget that reading involves using your brain for an extended period of time, and are shocked to realize it only after it’s too late. I was in a book club that decided to read The Omnivore’s Dilemma as the inaugural book on the list, and I was excited (I was naive back then). I read it, though it bored me and was, admittedly tough to get through. I, myself, almost resorted to shitty daytime television–but I didn’t. I maintained my resolve and got all the way through. I sent an e-mail to the others in the club, confirming our first meeting date and got no
response for 2 days. I became suspicious and worried. I fretted. I sent another e-mail saying, “Guys?” And they responded like I feared they would: “Can we push it back a week? I’ve been soooo busy” “Yeah! Push it back just oooooone week, definitely”.
But this only prolonged the agony. We were all lying–to ourselves and each other. No one had any intention of reading the book or attending the meeting. And for that next week, I’m sure every member of that club was just waiting it out,hoping no one would say anything, and we’d all just forget about everything that ever happened regarding that club. It was more like Fight Club than a book club–but only in the sense that we never talked about it. It was different in that, with Fight Club, people actually came to the meetings.
But here I am. Months later, I’m a Girl Gone Wilde and I’m hoping that the first book on our list, Catch 22, will be the novel that breaks my losing streak and returns my belief that book clubs aren’t imaginary groups like The Avengers or ping-pong teams (those aren’t real, right?).
I’ll believe, once again, that a small contingency of people of differing ages, races and upbringings, can join together, once a month to share their ideas of what George Orwell was really trying to tell us when he made animals speak in Animal Farm, as though they’re uniquely perceptive enough to notice that literary choice. We shall question as though no one has questioned before. We will remark things as though our ideas are groundbreaking. We’ll say things like, “Well, you know, I think Death of a Salesman is commenting on the greater idea of the American Dream,” and we shall hear the applause in the back of our own skulls.I’m holding out hope that it will happen. I’m sending the confirmation e-mail now. Maybe this time….maybe this time…
I know I’m really late to weigh in on this — but I like to think that it’s never too late to say congrats to my gays. It took a lot of deliberation, a lot of late nights, and a LOT of delays but finally the New York State Legislature passed gay marriage in New York and I’m ecstatic — and then shortly thereafter enraged that California is still lagging behind in it’s intolerance and stupidity. But we’ll get there. Eventually.
In honor of New York’s welcomed step into the 21st century, I took a walk down Christopher Street — the birthplace of the gay rights movement. First off, I’d like to say, New York is the coolest place ever — have I mentioned that yet? New York is the coolest place ever. But as lively and cutting-edge as the Village is now, I can only imagine what it was like in the 50s and
when it was consumed by the beat generation — when people like Allen Ginsburg and Charlie Parker roamed the moonlit streets, strung out on heroin, jazz and the rhythmic vibrations of poetry. The streets probably hummed with the energy of the art created and art that that was only just an idea flung about in a pot circle. I have a feeling that the recession hit the Village hard, because despite all the color and noise you can still see when you walk the streets at 3 am, for every club packed and spilling over, there are two more buildings that are only filled with memories and cardboard boxes.
Don’t get me wrong, though, the place is still awesome. And as I walked down Christopher Street and past the Stonewall Inn, I felt like I was a part of this thing that happened long before I was born. I stood in front of the Stonewall Inn and tried to imagine the energy and the humidity in that packed, little space
on that early, early June morning in 1969 when homophobic tensions finally reached their zenith and resulted in what will forever be remembered at the Stonewall Riots — the beginning of the gay rights movement. Police barged in that night to arrest all the men dressed as women, but to the policemen’s dismay, the bar’s patrons were not ready to go without a fight. It marked one of the first times gays stood up for their identity, saying enough was enough.
Michael Fader, a bar-goer that night, said, “We all had a collective feeling like we’d had enough of this kind of shit. It wasn’t anything tangible anybody said to anyone else, it was just kind of like everything over the years had come to a head on that one particular night in the one particular place … Everyone in the crowd felt that we were never going to go back. It was like the last straw. It was time to reclaim something that had always been taken from us…. All kinds of people, all different reasons, but mostly it was total outrage, anger, sorrow,everything combined, and everything just kind of ran its course. … And we felt that we had freedom at last, or freedom to at least show that we demanded freedom. We
weren’t going to be walking meekly in the night and letting them shove us around—it’s like standing your ground for the first time and in a really strong way, and that’s what caught the police by surprise. There was something in the air, freedom a long time overdue, and we’re going to fight for it. It took different forms, but the bottom line was, we weren’t going to go away. And we didn’t.”
I know that it is only a matter of time in this country before gay marriage is not only allowed in every single goddamned state, but it is looked upon as no different than any other marriage that has ever occurred. One day, we’ll all look back on this time and think to ourselves, “What were we thinking? What took us so long to come to our senses?” Like slavery, discrimination and segregation, our bans of gay marriage will be looked upon as a dark mark on our nation’s history, and a tarnish upon our reputation for allowing everyone their basic right to pursue happiness. On July 30, free gay marriages will be performed all day in Central Park, because, legally, that is the first day that they’re allowed to take place. I know I’ll be down there with a camera and a smile, just wanting to be a part of the happiness all around me. Eventually, that kind of happiness will be prevalent all around the country, but until then, I’ll just have to remain content with the fact that New York has finally come to its senses.