Skip to main content

On way to the neat and green: Gentility in a decaying world (20 March 2009)

'Stop!' I wanted to scream at her. 'I just put in trickling showerheads and dim lightbulbs. I got an ass-crack rash from recycled toilet paper and you're telling me there's no hope? Don't be so depressing!' But what would that do to my reputation in the neighborhood? Instead, I just pasted on a smile and nodded along." (Robyn Harding, “Unplugged and Unglued,” The Tyee, March 20, 2009)

This isn't sad, and you (should) know it -- what you're doing here is identifying yourself as fully in fashion: Every green heroine these days lives the green life, admires its rightness but complains of its expense, and experiences the oh so very fashionable green guilt (which isn't so severe as to be crippling -- in fact it kind of pleases, in that its light continual press always reminds of your over-all ethical rightness).

The "I just pasted on a smile and nodded along" should be pathetic -- I mean, what would you do if you were living in a rascist small town (sorry small towns) and your thoughts were out of line? But of course, if this was the case you never would have admitted to just walking by without at least some reply of brash resistance you'd either have expressed at the time, or, if not, most certainly later -- for if you had you wouldn't have gotten the pass/approval from your readers you seem to depend upon and so most assuredly will get here. You'll get a pass for your pasty cat-walk pass, because it's imitable, for four reasons: 1) deference here signals over-all approval of the Green Agenda; 2) to be the good, CBC-listening, Globe-reading, "upper-crust," "Upper-Cdn," Cdn, you have to appear constitutionaly DISINCLINED to engage in overly-emotive, loud public squabbles, and INCLINED toward (gentle and genteel) restraint, repression, and shy aversion; 3) it makes you sound like all the heroines we encounter in British/Cdn lit. who move into small towns and have to deal with their always disapproving and moralizing "Cranford" matriarchy; 4) it pretends to (being about) compromise, but cat-walking past disturbance on way to the neat and green is the sexiest walk to walk these days, baby! Morally in-step, failing but trying, and maybe you'll be allowed to stay on your present course: it's worked to keep many successfully ever upward and aloof for the last twenty-plus years -- why not try and stretch it for another comfortable twenty?

Link: Unplugged and Unglued (The Tyee)


Popular posts from this blog

Too late -- WE SAW your boobs

I think we're mostly familiar with ceremonies where we do anointing. Certainly, if we can imagine a context where humiliation would prove most devastating it'd probably be at a ceremony where someone thought themselves due an honor -- "Carrie," "Good Fellas." "We labored long to adore you, only so to prime your hope, your exposure … and then rather than a ladder up we descended the slops, and hoped, being smitten, you'd judged yourself worthless protoplasm -- a nothing, for letting yourselves hope you might actually be something -- due to be chuted into Hades or Hell." Ostensibly, nothing of the sort occurred during Oscars 2013, where the host, Seth Macfarlane, did a number featuring all the gorgeous Oscar-winning actresses in attendance who sometime in their careers went topless, and pointed this out to them. And it didn't -- not quite. Macarlane would claim that all obscenity would be directed back at him, for being the geek so pathetic …

Discussion over the fate of Jolenta, at the Gene Wolfe facebook appreciation site

Patrick McEvoy-Halston November 28 at 10:36 AM Why does Severian make almost no effort to develop sustained empathy for Jolenta -- no interest in her roots, what made her who she was -- even as she features so much in the first part of the narrative? Her fate at the end is one sustained gross happenstance after another... Severian has repeated sex with her while she lay half drugged, an act he argues later he imagines she wanted -- even as he admits it could appear to some, bald "rape" -- but which certainly followed his discussion of her as someone whom he could hate so much it invited his desire to destroy her; Severian abandons her to Dr. Talus, who had threatened to kill her if she insisted on clinging to him; Baldanders robs her of her money; she's sucked at by blood bats, and, finally, left at death revealed discombobulated of all beauty... a hunk of junk, like that the Saltus citizens keep heaped away from their village for it ruining their preferred sense of themse…

It might not have been worth it, Lupita

This is how Lupita Nhyong'o describes the shooting of the whipping scene in "12 Years a Slave":  And being there was more then enough to handle. "The reality of the day was that I was stripped naked in front of lots of people," Nyong'o said. "It was impossible to make that a closed set. In fact, I didn't even as for it to be a closed set, because at the end of the day, that was a privilege not granted to Patsey, you know? It really took me there. It was devastating to experiencing that, and to be tied to a post and whipped. Of course, I couldn't possible be really whipped. But just hearing the crack of that thing behind me, and having to react with my body, and with each whip, get weaker and weaker …" She grew quiet, and sighed. "I mean, it was -- I didn't practice it. It was just -- it was an exercise of imagination and surrender." Lupita was trying to become as close as she could to the actual Patsey, out of fidelity, apprec…