This blog post is a perfectly understandable reaction to the fact that no one has been paying much attention to me lately. I don’t mean my family and friends and people that I should actually expect to pay attention to me, I mean the world. I mean everyone. Everyone stop what you’re doing and look at me.
Since I’m a writer, this first paragraph will be the obligatory paragraph bemoaning, in a number of variously odious ways, the death of literature. I will begin by castigating anyone who enjoys reading books for teenagers, including and especially teenagers themselves. I will name-drop a selection of books I’m pretty sure I read but about which I remember nothing, and loudly declare that they have more literary worth than several other books of which I personally own three copies each. At least one of the books I disparage will be written by a woman now worth more than the gross national product of Lithuania. I will repeatedly point out that these are very Badly Written Books, as though there is some machine somewhere that measures badly-writteness in exact numbers.
Having found that my despair over the death of literature cannot be summed up in one paragraph, I will continue, this time in a brief paragraph comprised of a witty take-down of eReaders and eBooks. I will pepper it with stories of people I have observed on public transit and how the world was a much better place when I could see that the handsome, bespectacled, be-goateed boy across from me on the Yonge Street Night Bus was reading Life Before Man. Despite the fact that I never take public transit (in fact I rarely leave my house) I will recall wistfully looking at a man in a pea coat and speculating with some horror that for I could tell from his featureless black eReader, he might be reading Atlas Shrugged. The world was just a more open and friendly place when men were men and books were books, I will say.
And now, having said that last I will have to depart from the topic of books briefly to loudly declare my support for anyone whose gender or sexual orientation differs from my own cis-gendered femaleness, with the conspicuous exception of those who were born and remain male, of course, because they don’t need any support. This whole topic will fizzle out rather quickly because it will become horribly apparently that I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. Hoping no one noticed, I will move back into the realm of publishing, where at least I can claim some level of, if not exactly expertise, then at least experience.
And speaking of publishing, I will hoe into “self-publishing” as though it is the source of both the ebola virus and that song from Frozen that no one will ever forget. I will begin by brazenly criticizing a very successful book I haven’t read and the associated movie I haven’t seen. I will go on to say that this book I haven’t read is “Very Badly Written”, because presumably I have taken the time to run it through the “write-o-meter” mentioned above, and I will end by pointing out that the hero of this badly written book is in fact a rapist (as though to say that a well-written book about a rapist would be okay, or even a badly written book NOT about a rapist). I will quote several lines from this book out of context that support this accusation. I will not take the agency of the female author, protagonist or readers into account. I will make it clear that I believe most women are too weak or stupid to know when they have or have not been raped.
No, I will say. This is what it is and that’s final.
Now, having done my due diligence on the book du jour, I will broaden my ire to include all of self-publishing (despite the fact that the book in question was not self-published). I will say a number of things about indie authors. They are talentless hacks, for example, or they are ruining publishing. They don’t charge enough for their books, I will complain, as though it’s the author’s choice to have their big six publisher take 95% of the cover price. Indie publishing is not real, publishing, I will conclude. Real publishing has men and reviews in the New York Times and university professors for god’s sake. Does indie publishing have any of those things? DOES IT?
Having exhausted the topic of publishing will not weary me, because for a blogger in search of attention no topic is too unlikely. For this reason I will briefly speculate on the color of a dress and what it says about us, apart from the fact that for a couple of blissful days nothing happened in the world involving rape, racism or Islamophobia (often all three) and we were reduced to discussing something so brain-meltingly dumb that it was as though the entire world was being punked by some alien race.
And speaking of racism and Islamophobia, this is the paragraph in which I will not pass up an opportunity to express to the world how charmingly liberal I am, despite being white, straight, nominally Christian, English speaking and middle class. I will achieve this by quoting a lot of people who are none of these things in a way that make it seem like I really understand where they’re coming from. I mean I really get it, you know? I will make sure that it seems like my appreciation of these under-represented voices is just as important as the voices themselves, if not more so. Because I’m so charmingly white and liberal.
At this point I will nervously realize that all the books I mentioned as being worthy in my second paragraph were written by white men, so I will go back and add Beloved by Tony Morrison and White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I will feel rather smug about the fact that I have in fact read both of those, as though reading a book a by a black woman is some kind of revolutionary act for a white middle class Canadian housewife. Sing it sista, I will think to myself as I write, though of course I won’t write those words, because that would be appropriation.
My tone might take on a certain rantiness at this point, because I will begin to realize that in fact I truly don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about on most subjects, not just the ones addressed in this blog post. I will rant about many things ranging from the NSA to GMOs, the NDP and PDAs. In fact this paragraph will resemble nothing more than a bowl of organic gluten free vegan alphabet soup as I vainly search for that one final chunk of witty bloggerly wisdom that will fix me firmly in the zeitgeist du jour of the day. Live long and prosper, I will bleat desperately. The dress is blue! No, white! No, black! No, gold!
I am the dress. I will conclude, inscrutably. All of us are the dress.