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Showing posts from June, 2015

Marriage Equality in America Is Official and I'm Gonna Cry a Lot

I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I had grown up knowing that marrying a woman was possible. I can imagine growing up seeing the disgust on my mom's face when Ellen came out, the uproar the country went into when Hawaii was on the verge of legalizing marriage equality in 1996, and the years of being told that the Bible clearly states being gay is not okay. From today on, children growing up in America will see marriage equality as totally normal. They won't grow up seeing it debated in legislatures and hearing their potential marriage compared to incest and bestiality because the HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND talked about "equal dignity in the eyes of the law" and declared marriage for all a fundamental right.  This is huge. This is progress. This is human beings realizing experiences beyond their own are okay. This is us still having a long way to go in terms of civil rights, but this is such  a big step to take along the way. Let'

The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh: IT'S ANOTHER HARRIET THE SPY BOOK

If you were ever interested in children's literature, you most likely read Harriet the Spy . If you did not, it is a weird and great book about a girl named Harriet who lives in New York City under the watchful eye of her nanny, Ole Golly, and goes around spying on her neighbors and classmates and writing about it in her spy notebook. Some stuff happens. You should read it. AND THEN. Then you should read this follow-up that I never even knew about until my delightful friend Jenny casually mentioned it the other day. The Long Secret  is about Harriet and her friend Beth Ellen on vacation in a town near Montauk, New York, where both their families have summer homes. Like this dog, they are doing quite well for themselves. THE LONG SECRET  IS MAYBE BETTER THAN HARRIET THE SPY . But this is possibly because I'm reading it as an adult and more aware when Louise Fitzhugh is Doing Something Very Good in her book, as opposed to when I was a kid and thought the  Animorphs

Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "The Woman's Bible": Exodus

If you will remember, in 1895, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other noted feminist writers published The Woman's Bible , which reexamines the Bible from a 19th century feminist perspective. It is the shit. The second book of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, and something Christianity has in common with Judaism) is Exodus. Exodus has the story of the Israelites fleeing Egypt, Moses parting the Red Sea, the creation of the Ten Commandments, and the journey to the Promised Land. Basically it's this movie: 80-year-old Elizabeth Cady Stanton once again comes out swinging with: The question naturally suggests itself to any rational mind, why should the customs and opinions of this ignorant people, who lived centuries ago, have any influence in the religious thought of this generation? BUT SHE GOES ON. Women have had no voice in the canon law, the catechisms, the church creeds and discipline, and why should they obey the behests of a strictly masculi

Revolutionary Summer by Joseph Ellis: John Adams remains the greatest

Hot damn, Revolutionary Summer .   If you feel like there might be a whiff of scandal around the name of Joseph Ellis, there is! Ellis, who won a Pulitzer for Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation , also falsely claimed to have commanded a platoon in Vietnam, when what he really did was teach history at West Point.  Sir. Teaching history at West Point is nothing to sniff at. But I get that you might have some weird "I feel bad for not having fought in a war" thing when you write so much about them. But still. It's ok. You just keep writing short but informative histories about our Founding Fathers. So Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence unsurprisingly deals with the summer of 1776. The way Ellis differentiates this from SO MANY other books about that year is he says that most people write either about the Continental Congress, or the Continental Army, and you have to write about both because they affected each other. Fair. Point

Summertime Madness (hahaha I'm not reading)

So what with travel, summer doings, and general heat-produced languor, books and other reading materials have fallen by the wayside, AS WELL THEY SHOULD. Life is for living! Out! out, gentle sirs, into the world to explore its manifold treasures and wonders! Basically how I live life But no, reading's the shit, and I've been doing a little of it. I'll climb back on that horse for reals soon, but for now I'm kind of dithering by the barn. I just read volume 1 of East of West , and HOLY SHIT, YOU GUYS.  I think I've discovered with comics that if I'm not really  into them, I shouldn't continue. Because there are some comics I'm really, really into, and enough of them exist that I don't have to make myself read Hawkeye . I am not saying Hawkeye is bad . It's probably great. But after trying that, Sex Criminals , and Bitch Planet , I've come to the conclusion that I am just not on board with that guy and his wife's writing. I feel

San Francisco: Oh shit, I knew I left my heart somewhere

From Los Angeles, I flew to foggy San Francisco! To remind all, I was turning 30 but mainly stalking the sites of the 1958 Hitchcock film Vertigo . Have we all seen Vertigo ? No? Mm, maybe rectify that. YOU CAN'T STARE AT THE CAMERA, MADELEINE; YOU ARE THE OBSERVED NOT THE OBSERVER  Vertigo is the shit. The first time I saw it at age 19, I didn't like it. I hated the ending. I made my friend rewind it and stop it at a different part so I could pretend that  was the ending (...I do this with several movies). But then I watched it again. And again. And a few more times. EVERY time, I get something different out of it. The way I see it has changed almost 180 degrees in the last 10 years. And there's still a lot about it I don't understand, but I'm psyched to figure it out. When I was 19 and first getting into it, all I wanted to do was go to San Francisco and visit the filming sites. But that seemed pretty impossible. This year, I suddenly went "Hey. You