I want to write about Moranthology. I'm slightly worried about doing it justice, as I was up late last night attending my former professors' discussion about their new book, which has an awesome cover and is about Mad Men. I don't watch Mad Men because why would I want to watch sexism if I don't have to, but TO EACH HIS OWN. Also, again. Nice cover.
SO. Caitlin Moran. My journey to you has been tortuous -- NOT torturous -- and filled with lengthy detours consisting of other minor British personalities and now I am here and I like you but am also a bit wary, as one generally is with people who express their opinions rather extremely strongly. (UNLESS THEY INCLUDE GIFS RIGHT?)
Despite the awesome Laura from Devouring Texts sending me Moran's How to Be a Woman A YEAR AGO, I instead have ended up reading her essay collection, because it was from the library and an eBook. These are the life choices I have made. BUT I do quite like essay collections. One might even say they are my favorite. Because they leave you with such a sense of accomplishment and, for the dumber among us, they provide very handy resting points.
"Oh, this essay's done? And it was only three pages? BRAVA ME, I deserve to watch some Surreal Life on Hulu."
The book mostly consists of columns she's written for various publications, and since they're columns they're pretty much all delightfully short. I take forever to finish books (as some may know) and I think I read this in like two days. I do like her a lot. In a 'I will read more things you write and probably agree with most of them and laugh quite a bit' way. Which, if you think about it, is a pretty good way.
Quotes? Why, sure.
On why comedic writing is so much more important than serious writing:
[H]ow many penetrating insights into human nature do you need in one lifetime? Two? Three? Once you've realized that no one else has a clue what they're doing, either, and that love can be totally pointless, any further insights into human nature just starts getting depressing, really.
On Downton Abbey (er, spoiler for season one, but if you haven't watched it yet, let's be honest, you're not gonna watch it):
This is, after all, the drama where an evil, chain-smoking maid caused her mistress to miscarry by deliberately leaving lilac-scented soap on the floor, which she slipped on. Yeah, that's right. She killed the unborn Earl of Downton with soap. This is a plot twist not even Dynasty, at its most gibbering, considered.
He even gets around to telling Anna his plans for their future life:'I want to open a little hotel, in the countryside,' he says, holding her hand outside the scullery.The Bates Hotel? Really? That's honestly his plan?And on traveling:
Every time I think of some distant wonder I might quite like to see--Sydney Harbour at night, for instance; or Venice from a bridge--I ask myself, 'Do I want to see it so much that I would take my shoes off at Heathrow security at 6:55 AM?'
And every time the answer comes back, 'No. I would rather keep my shoes on and watch a documentary about them instead, thank you.'
Really it's all quite awesome. She even gets in some serious bits about feminism and Amy Winehouse (not...in the same essay).
Plus there's the greatest essay about libraries, which I believe Laura touched on in her review back in the day. She talks about how growing up in a little nothing of a town was ameliorated by the presence of the library. Which reminded me of my hometown's library, which used to be the most hideous 1970s aluminum thing (they have since demolished it and built a beautiful one), but I loved it SO much because it had microfilm machines and biographies of Debbie Reynolds and opera recordings that came in old plastic bags because they had to include the libretto. It was the only thing of any note I was permitted to walk to from my house. It was the first place I went when I got my driver's license.
Anyone who writes a gorgeous essay in support of libraries earns a fivefold increase in my estimation of them.
So read this. It's funny. It's insightful. It's quick. And then we'll all read How to Be a Woman and DISCUSS. Because I want to know if I can finally rid myself of my guilt over loving the song I Enjoy Being a Girl as ridiculously much as I do.