24 February 2015

Challenge: ACCEPTED

Hey hey, wassup, lawn thyme no sea, que pasta, whatevs, okey dokey. Long and the short of it: Been writing, working, and living. Blogging, not so much.

And now for something completely different.





. . . noooo no no, not that. That’s what we do for fun on Saturdays. 

I was thinking more of this:





See, writer/critic and internet friend K. Tempest Bradford has recently issued a challenge to all and sundry: try reading books written by anyone but white cis males for a year. It’s really simple—that’s all you have to do. You don’t have to empty your bookshelves of the hetero-anglo-male-written titles that are already there. You don’t have to line up and register for a WHITE READER card that you need to carry around; as a matter of fact, you don’t even need to tell anyone you’re doing it. So, yeah, it’s pretty simple and pretty innocuous, and really not all that hard to do if you have a look around bookstores and libraries in your area.

Howeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, he said, drawing out the end of the word for effect, because Tempest is Black, and Female, and opinionated, and confident of her opinions, her rather simple suggestion has met with some slight resistance from certain quarters.


Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say resistance from certain quarters? I meant hilariously point-missing butthurt from internet goobers who apparently couldn’t find their assholes with both hands and a flashlight at high noon.


I like this one. It immediately accuses Tempest of something she never even came close to suggesting. The sheer amount of pearl-clutchery per square inch it takes to generate enough force to jump to that conclusion could conceivably fuel several trips to Mars. Which means we need to get one invented in order to save our beleaguered space program. Quick, someone put up a Misdirected Outrage Converter Kickstarter!

[waits a minute for the latecomers to figure out the acronym, moves on]

However, I came not to give internet hotfoots, but to point out, once again, that what Tempest is suggesting is really easy to do. All it takes is a little conscious forethought, some judicious shopping, and oh, I don’t know, maybe a list of potential candidates. The way these people above and their noticeably pale cohort are reacting, you’d think Tempest had advocated nothing less than blowing up all white people, forever and ever. Which would be seriously difficult as we have all the really heavy explosives.


(THAT’S A JOKE, SON! I’M TOO FAST FOR YA! I KEEP 
PITCHIN ‘EM AND YOU KEEP MISSIN’ EM! 
YOU GOTTA KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL! 
EYE! BALL! EYEBALL! ALMOST HAD A JOKE, SON!
… nice kid, but about as sharp as a sack of wet mice.)

My point, and yes indeed I have one for once, is that this challenge of Tempest’s is so uncomplicated that even a simpleton such as myself should have little to no problem figuring out the logistics. So to Tempest I say: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. BRING IT. The more, the merrier. I get lots of cool new stuff to read. Plus, I get to re-read all my Walter Mosely, Octavia Butler, and Ralph Ellison. Win-win.

And to the butthurt white people crying into their copies of The Bell Curve, I say, in the words of a commercial that was old when I was a kid: Tryyyyy it, you’ll liiiiike it! Seriously, what have you got to lose, except maybe your ingrained prejudices and preconceived notions? The potential gains are so, so much greater.

As Saul Bellow once said, reading widens human experience. And that is exactly what Tempest is suggesting we do here. Read more, not less. Read wider, not narrower. Experience the new instead of coasting on the familiar.

Why on earth would you deny yourself that?

Now if you don’t mind, I have some reading to get caught up on. I’ll be reporting back here occasionally on my findings.


Remain In Light!




Please note that comments for this post have been turned off. I really don't have time to moderate. You know, that whole writing, working, living thing.