“Oh Lordy Lordy.”
That is what my mother might have said. Were she alive today, she would be 102. She was born before women had suffrage in the U.S.
I’ve been looking for a phrase that is tame enough to not offend, but that anyone who knows me will know I am turning something on its head when I use the phrase. I am considering this one. I am not one for Lords. Nor even Ladies. Caste systems do not appeal to me. When something wonderful happens and I want to acknowledge it, I throw my hands to the sky and say, “Thank you Goddess.” I do not believe that the great organizing principle in the sky is male, nor female, nor even sentient in any way we understand the term. And me, well, I am egalitarian to the core, grown up on a farm where horse drawn plows tilled the land until shortly before I was born, tossed from a public U.S. Senate Armed Services committee for calling, rather loudly, Donald Rumsfeld a liar on my 49th birthday in 2006. That about sums it up.
For the last few days I have been quiet, thinking, listening. Doing a lot of listening… to audiobooks. I am also looking forward to attending an evening with John Cleese and Eric Idle later this month in Together Again At Last…For The Very First Time. My choices for reading/listening are telling.
First, I finished listening to The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood the award winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale. This is the second title in the MaddAddam Triology. Oryx and Crake was the first book in the series. I am on the hold list for the third volume with my local library. I listen via Overdrive, an app I love. Somehow reading, re-reading, listening to end-of-the-world, disaster, and dystopian novels always improves my mood when I am really down. I used to read Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle every time I was really, really depressed.
I cannot praise the Maddaddam series enough. The Canadian author blends contemporary scientific knowledge with a nuanced understanding of what religion does for society and individuals as well as a rather enlightened ability to talk about society and cultural evolution. Intelligent, pertinent, and skilled. What more than that can I say?
Oh, I can wish Margaret Atwood a happy birthday. Margaret Eleanor Atwood was born on November 18, 1939. She lives in Toronto.
The second book was different from my usual dystopian fix. It was Zoo by James Patterson. I’m not a James Patterson fan. I made it through the listen, but I was disappointed. The characterization was lacking and personal motivation in characters was almost totally lacking. The science was not even laughable – more like groan provoking. I should have listened to Animal Farm. But it is good to stay on top of what the masses are being fed. Best-selling should never be confused with award-winning.
The third book is an old one, Neal Stephenson’s Zodiac from 1988. Greenpeace and monkey-wrenching are thinly disguised as slightly different entities and actions in this eco-thriller. He captures the era, the feel and mindset of the 1980s incredibly well. I wanted to revel in anti-corporatist elements of the novel but instead I am listening with an ear to how he conveys the time in which he is writing. But the thoughts of monkey-wrenching are very pertinent.
American women have an enormous task ahead of us to hold the fabric of our society together. Environmental degradation is escalating and empowering corporatism, as we have just done, will only hasten the collapse of the ecosystem. Devaluation of women and all we do destabilizes progress toward equal pay and creation of support structures that allow us to act as full citizens in a society where family probably doesn’t live nearby to help with daily family functioning such as childcare.
“Oh Lordy Lordy.”