Monthly Archives: January 2012

Newflash: Marriage is suuuuuuper traditional; deal with it.

Marriage has been around for a long time. It actually predates reliable recorded history thank you Wikipedia. That is how old it is. It is a tradition. It is a tradition rooted in patriarchy and religion (specifically, in the patriarchal nature of organized religion). Everyone knows this. So can married/soon-to-be married people writing on the internet please spare me these bullshit modifiers about how THEIR wedding isn’t “traditional” because they eloped/got married in a barn/got drunk/had a total DIY wedding? Seriously, just stop. You are participating in a historically patriarchal, religious institution that is on its last legs. You can dress that up however you want, but at the end of the day, getting married is a very traditional act. DEAL WITH IT.

The catalyst for this post was this line (why do I read xoJane? Ughhhh): “Ed and I are not really traditional people.” This type of language comes up in basically every conversation that any soon-to-be-married person has, ever. It’s super ridiculous. Like, oh, I’m sure YOUR wedding will be completely different from the billions of other weddings that have taken place since like 10 CE because of your paper flowers or cowboy boots or whatever. Nooooooope.

I hate to rain on your wedding, but if you are getting married, you are, at least in this one major way, a very traditional person . Getting married is like, LITERALLY, the poster-child of tradition. It would be hard for you to be doing something MORE traditional. If you are uncomfortable supporting marriage, or being viewed as a supporter of this institution, and feel as though you have to couch your decision in phrases like “But the bridesmaids can wear whatever they want!” or “But we’re dancing to Arcade Fire down the aisle!” maybe you should think about why you feel as though you have to justify your decision.

Because seriously, you have a choice: Honey, don’t get married.

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Filed under general ranting, metaphorical US suburbia

At what point are we going to talk about Kim Jong-un’s haircut

I mean, seriously. Come on. Right???

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Filed under crazy junky mess, goin' places, things I can't do

Top 7 books I read in 2011

I read 57 books in 2011. Initially that sort of sounds impressive, but really, it’s barely more than a book a week. BOOOO! That is not that great. Regardless, here are my top 7 favourite books that I read in 2011, in no particular order:

1. Swim Back to Me — Ann Packer

The last book I read in 2011, this is a collection of short stories that inspired me to resolve to start writing something substantial in 2012. One of the stories falls a bit flat, but the rest more than make up for it. I look forward to reading more of Packer’s (older) work in 2012.

2. Hark! A Vagrant — Kate Beaton

She’s smart, she’s Canadian, and I have a total crush on her. 2011 was a great year for Kate Beaton, and for me fans to stalk see her at comic shows and author festivals. I love her clean drawings and the way she perfectly captures facial expressions. And let’s face it, anyone who can make Wonder Woman interesting is clearly an amazing talent, ha ha.

3. Eating Animals — Jonathan Safran Foer

I was already vegan when I read this book, but if I hadn’t been, Eating Animals would’ve tipped the balance for me. At times a very painful and sad read, this book should be required reading for those who choose to remain ignorant about where their edible animal products are coming from.

4. Ten Thousand Saints — Eleanor Henderson

If you’re at all interested in reading about New York City in the late 80s, this is a great starting point. The story lags a bit at times, but the way that Henderson uses major cultural and social touchstones of that place and time — the AIDS crisis, the straight-edge movement, CBGBs — as a backdrop to her story is deft.

5. The Historian — Elizabeth Kostova

HAHAHAHA oh boy this book was ridiculous! But in the best way possible! Very entertaining, and I inadvertently learned a lot about Vlad the Impaler, so.

6. The Paris Wife — Paula McLain

Paris in the 1920s with Hemmingway. What else do you need to know? Read this, and then watch another medium’s interpretation of that place and time in Midnight in Paris. A great, nerdy combo.

7. Sarah’s Key — Tatiana de Rosnay

A heart-breaking work of historical fiction centred around the Vélodrome d’Hiver roundups. I hadn’t really read anything about the Nazi presence in Paris during World War II, so this book was very illuminating for me. A definite page turner until the book’s central mystery is solved — it should’ve been wrapped up a bit sooner after that.

Honourable Mentions:

The Leftovers — Tom Perrotta: Not as strong as some of his previous work, but certainly well-written and interesting.

Zone One — Coulson Whitehead: I found the main character (and narrator) a bit dull, but the ending is realistic and spectacular.

Cutting for Stone — Abraham Verghese: To be blunt, this book is way too long. Almost 700 pages! I mean, come on. However, the final 300 pages were worth the initial read.

The Uncoupling — Meg Wolitzer: Like Tom Perrotta, Wolitzer is one of my favourite authors, and I found that The Uncoupling just didn’t measure up to previous work.

Anything by Jennifer Haigh: Besides Ann Packer, one of my favourite new-to-me author discoveries!

For a complete list of the books I read in 2011, see Books I’ve Read 2011!

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