Tea Recommendation: Irish breakfast.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned earlier, but I am sick to death of dystopian fiction. I read a surfeit of it as a teenager, and sometimes it seems like there’s very little besides paranormal romance and dystopias available in the YA section. So I’d pretty much sworn not to read any more. And yet. I read this despite the blurb describing it as a “chilling post-apocalyptic adventure” and I loved it.
Ripping a still-beating heart from the chest cavity that shelters it, as the blood washes all over you in a warm, red fountain. It runs in rivulets, like miniature water falls, down your face; some even winds its way toward your open mouth.
The penny-copper tastes coats your tongue before making its way down your throat. At first you double over, gaging for a moment before feelings of…
BUT THESE CHARACTERS DON’T LOOK LIKE ME
Nope, they don’t. And they may have experiences not indicative of yours. So what? What do you think everyone who isn’t like you has been experiencing all this time? That same feeling. And yet they still read Batman or watch the same television shows.
Confession time: I’m a jerky white dude. I’m clumsy in my assumptions and preconceived notions and — hey, I acknowledge my privilege. The privilege of privilege is being blinded by it and blind to it. You can walk around all day, whistling like a happy asshole, completely unaware of all the toxic douchebaggery splashing all around. We step on flowers we don’t even notice.
Sometimes, though, you have your eyes opened to it, and it’s a real holy-shit-we’re-in-some-kind-of-sexist-racist-Matrix moment. Rape culture doesn’t seem like a thing until someone starts pointing it out and then it’s a really awful Magic Eye painting, except instead of seeing a dolphin you’re seeing how we ask rape victims what they did to deserve getting raped. Once someone tells you, “That Terrible Thing is really an actual thing,” it’s ants, it’s dust, it’s fingerprints-on-glass. Didn’t notice it before, but now you realize it’s freaking everywhere.
And one of those “it’s freaking everywhere” moments is when you realize, oh, yeah, okay, our pop culture has been speaking very directly to heteronormative middle-class white-guy culture for a long time. Comics, television, novels, whatever. It’s time to share the storytelling. Time to pass the Talking Stick. Besides, maybe if we saw more diversity on the page, we might be willing to acknowledge the diversity outside our doors. I often say that the most valuable multitasking we can teach our kids and express in ourselves is to dual-wield Empathy and Logic, and if this helps in that, so be it. If this makes people more open? More aware? How is that possibly a bad thing?”