“My idea of rich is that you can buy every book you ever want without looking at the price and you’re never around assholes. That’s the two things to really fight for in life.”—John Waters (via detailsdetales)
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has—or rather had—a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.
Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
”—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the sound I heard when I was 9 and my father slammed the front door so hard behind him I swear to god it shook the whole house. For the next 3 years I watched my mother break her teeth on vodka bottles. I think she stopped breathing when he left. I think part of her died. I think he took her heart with him when he walked out. Her chest is empty, just a shattered mess or cracked ribs and depression pills.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s all the blood in the sink. It’s the night that I spent 12 hours in the emergency room waiting to see if my sister was going to be okay, after the boy she loved, told her he didn’t love her anymore. It’s the crying, and the fluorescent lights, and white sneakers and pale faces and shaky breaths and blood. So much blood.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the time that I had to stay up for two days straight with my best friend while she cried and shrieked and threw up on my bedroom floor because her boyfriend fucked his ex. I swear to god she still has tear streaks stained onto her cheeks. I think when you love someone, it never really goes away.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the six weeks we had a substitute in English because our teacher was getting divorced and couldn’t handle getting out of bed. When she came back she was smiling. But her hands shook so hard when she held her coffee, you could see that something was broken inside. And sometimes when things break, you can’t fix them. Nothing ever goes back to how it was. I got an A in English that year. I think her head was always spinning too hard to read any essays.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s that I do.
”—It’s not that I don’t love you. (via exoticwild)
“So therefore I dedicate myself to myself, to my art, my sleep, my dreams, my labors, my suffrances, my loneliness, my unique madness, my endless absorption and hunger - because I cannot dedicate myself to any fellow being.”—Jack Kerouac (via thatkindofwoman)
“Natalie Blake and Leah Hanwell were of the belief that people were willing them to reproduce. Relatives, strangers on the street, people on television, everyone. In fact the conspiracy went deeper than Hanwell imagined. Blake was a double agent. She had no intention of being made ridiculous by failing to do whatever was expected of her. For her, it was only a question of timing.”—"158. Conspiracy", NW, Zadie Smith
“In the most ironic twist of all, feminism is often used as the stick – actually, a stick is inappropriately phallocentric, maybe ‘a furry cup’ – to stop women behaving as freely, normally and unselfconsciously as men. Even – in some extreme cases – suggesting that acting as freely, normally and unselfconsciously as men is destroying other women.
Like with bitching. There is currently this idea that feminists aren’t supposed to bitch about each other.
‘That’s not very feministic of you,’ people will say, if I slag off another woman. ‘What about the sisterhood?’ people cry, when Julie Burchill lays into Camille Paglia, or Germaine Greer has a pop at Suzanne Moore.
Well, personally, I believe that feminism will get you so far – and then you have to start bitching. When did feminism become confused with Buddhism? Why on earth have I, because I’m a woman, got to be nice to everyone? And why have women – on top of everything else – got to be particularly careful to be ‘lovely’ and ‘supportive’ to each other at all times? This idea of the ‘sisterhood’ I find, frankly, illogical. I don’t build in a 20 per cent ‘Genital Similarity Regard-Bonus’ if I meet someone else wearing a bra. If someone’s an arsehole, someone’s an arsehole – regardless of whether we’re both standing in the longer toilet queue at festivals or not.
When people suggest that what, all along, has been holding women back is other women, bitching about each other, I think they’re severely overestimating the power of a catty zinger during a fag break. We have to remember that snidely saying ‘Her hair’s a bit limp on top’ isn’t what’s keeping womankind from closing the 30 per cent pay gap and a place on the board of directors. I think that’s more likely to be down to tens of thousands of years of ingrained social, political and economic misogyny and the patriarchy, tbh. That’s just got slightly more leverage than a gag about someone’s bad trousers.
I have a rule of thumb that allows me to judge – when time is pressing, and one needs to make a snap judgement – whether some sexist bullshit is afoot. Obviously it’s not 100 per cent infallible but, by and large, it definitely points you in the right direction.
And it’s asking this question: ‘Are the men doing it? Are the men worrying about this as well? Is this taking up the men’s time? Are the men told not to do this, as it’s ‘letting the side down’? Are the men having to write bloody books about this exasperating, retarded, time-wasting bullshit? Is this making Jeremy Clarkson feel insecure?’
Almost always, the answer is: ‘No. The boys are not being told they have to be a certain way. They’re just getting on with stuff.’
Men are not being informed that they are oppressing other men with their comments. It is presumed than men can handle perfectly well the idea of other men bitching about them. I think, on this basis, we can presume women can cope with other women being bitchy about them, too. BECAUSE WE ARE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME AS MEN WHEN IT COMES TO BEING VILE ABOUT EACH OTHER.
This isn’t to say we should all start behaving like bitches towards each other, and turn every day into a 24-hour roasting session, in which people’s lives, wardrobes and psyches are destroyed before our eyes. All along, we must recall the most important Humanity Guideline of all: BE POLITE. BEING POLITE is possibly the greatest daily contribution everyone can make to life on earth.
But at the same time, ‘Are the boys doing it?’ is a good way to detect spores of misogyny in the soil, which might otherwise seem a perfectly fertile and safe place to grow a philosophy.
It was the ‘Are the boys doing it?’ basis on which I finally decided I was against women wearing burkas. Yes, the idea is that it protects your modesty, and ensures that people regard you as a human being, rather than just a sexual object. Fair enough. But who are you being protected from? Men. And who – so long as you play by the rules, and wear the correct clothes – is protecting you from the men? Men. And who is it that is regarding you as just a sexual object, instead of another human being, in the first place? Men.
Well. This all seems like quite a man-based problem, really. I would definitely put this under the heading ‘100 per cent stuff that the men need to sort out’. I don’t know why we’re suddenly having to put things on our heads to make it better. Unless you really, genuinely like all the gear, and would wear it even if you were alone, watching EastEnders, in which case carry on. My politeness accepts your choice. You can be whatever you want – so long as you’re sure it’s what you actually want, rather than one of two, equally dodgy, choices foisted onto you.”—Caitlin Moran, How To Be a Woman (via relatedworlds)