Monday, November 1, 2010

Cop-out though it is ...

... and date me though using "cop-out" does, I'm going to go with what I've got. And what I've got is a hodge-podge. To whit:

I haven't read any of the books, but this piece about three Young Adult novels with trans teenaged characters is important. Although I haven't been blogging about it consistently, by no means have I dropped my interest in learning more about YA literature in general and in particular YA literature that features characters of color and/or LGBT characters. I've got several on my pile, and I've lately read several. When and if I've got something new or worthwhile to say about them I'll do so. In the meantime, these titles are added to my to-read list.

For 10 years or so I've been on an occasional drive to read "classics" that I'd never read. By classics I mean, yes, books considered central to "the canon" by the literary establishment, mostly Dead White Men stuff. I went to a hippie college in the early 1970s and was able to study what I wanted with few requirements, which is why I never read many of these volumes, and on through the years what I've read for my own pleasure has, as will be obvious to anyone who follows this blog or even looks at its name, not been the roster of DWMs. But for some time, a decade or more, I have been reading, or trying to read, some of them because it became frustrating reading book reviews or other literary commentary when so many of these make reference in one way or another to the "standards" and I couldn't fully get the reference. So. I've read a fair number of Shakespeare's plays. I tried reading Henry James until that proved almost fatal as the boredom damned near killed me. I finally read The Great Gatsby. And so on. All of which is my long-winded way of noting this news about another volume that, sorry all you book clubbers, I found impossible to read since I'm unable to read when I'm asleep.

This news is over a month old, but I'm still pissed off about it. I don't know why anyone should be surprised that there's a move to privatize the public libraries since the public education system is under the same attack. Good to see that there's some effort at fighting back.

A couple weeks ago I said I wanted to read a new book about the brain-cancer threat from cell phones. I'm happy to say that good science indicates there is no such threat. So that's one less book I've got to read.

I've got more. There's always more. Maybe later. For now, check out what looks like a great site, Poets for Living Waters, which describes itself as "a poetry action in response to the BP Gulf oil disaster of April 20, 2010." I'm not sure how I feel about that formulation "a poetry action." On the one hand, poetry is not the same as action, and action, mass militant united action on so many fronts, is desperately needed at this time of unemployment, murderous imperialist wars and invasions, and the ever-emboldened march of reaction (to which I simply must add a big Fuck You to Jon Stewart who's getting mighty rich off of fronting for the capitalist system's status quo as in his insipid speech at his anti-struggle Washington rally equating working-class organizing with neo-fascist mobs). On the other hand, I certainly do believe in, spend most of my words on this blog arguing for, partisan political poetry and fiction, which I think can aid the struggle in several ways. So it's always good to see these sorts of efforts to collect and promote it. I hope to spend some time reading the poems here. One I already have, and I commend you to it: "The Day We Added Ecocide to Our Vocabulary" by Andrew Rihn.