Saturday, January 15, 2011

Whitewashing the Fence

This started as a comment on Chris's post about the editing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. For more information, check out this CNN piece. I read yet another article on it, and had this thought: One of the main reasons the book should remain unedited is because the use of such language opens an invaluable dialogue about race, about prejudice and hatred, and I think that was one of Twain's main aims in the writing. History can not be whitewashed. (Nobody's talking me into painting THAT fence!) Though it is a work of fiction, I believe that the book really is a key part of Americana and the way people understand an era in US history.
Removing the word is tantamount to acting as though it were never used, and erasing the debasement that an entire race of people suffered. The N word was often used offhandedly and without thought, but that casual insult is perhaps more grievous than an intended strike against another human being, because Black people were not thought of as human beings but an inferior race! The travesty of the past cannot be undone, but to frame it differently, to edit the story of Huck Finn and in doing so edit the perception of human history at the time, to do that is to disrespect those people who lived through it. Though I don't believe the current generation holds responsibility for "the sins of the fathers", we certainly don't have the right to ease the tinge of guilt that remains by acting like it never happened.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

1.1.11 (Make a wish!)

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011!

(shamelessly stolen from Robyn, of course)

The New Year Meme: 2010

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

  • Lived with my grandparents
  • Lived in a house with a dog and a cat at the same time!
  • Photographed headshots (a favour for a friend of a friend).
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any last year, and while I have goals for 2011, somehow I don't quite like framing them in terms of "resolutions".

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A couple of friends, but no one with whom I'm very close.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, my grandmother.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just the US.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

I would like to have vision, which I struggled to find in the previous year.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

October 15th, the day that Granny died, and December 25th, the Christmas celebration with my family.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

This is a tough one for me. I have things from the last few years, like my album, and things that will be coming very soon, like my degree. This year specifically, though? Nothing comes to mind!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not finishing my degree in 2010, I suppose.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing severe, thankfully. Um, last month I fell down the stairs and I was pretty colourful in the days to follow.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A new zoom lens, I think, to replace one that broke. (From a 28-135 to 75-300mm). Also, the other day I picked up some more fuzzy socks. I love fuzzy socks.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Though I can think of one that would qualify that would have to be a private celebration.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

No one in my personal life. On a global scale there have been several instances, of course, and watching the news can be both appalling and depressing. (I never turn it on myself, but Grampy often has it on, and I end up "absorbing" more of it than I'd mean to).

14. Where did most of your money go?

Tuition and rent, debt repayment.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to see Tirzah in Washington, my post-grad road trip (which has been postponed, so I'm still excited about it!)

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

I can never tell this until the time has passed. The songs that will remind me of this year...well, I suppose September Song, by Frank Sinatra.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

a) both. b) "thinner" seems a funny word for me, but I do weigh a little less than this time last year. c) richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Taken better care of myself financially and physically.
(This answer could be [and therefore is] copied directly from Robyn's version).

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Feeling sorry for myself.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas was spent with my Mum, Grampy and sisters. (Oh, and my brother-in-law, but he sort of gets included in the 'sisters' grouping as an extension of big sis).

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

Not in a romantic way, no. I'm learning to love the Island, here, appreciating the verdancy that the heavy rains allow, and learning to cherish the sunny days when they happen. Also, it's not as cold!

22. How many one-night stands?

Ew. No.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

I have a few favourites but haven't watched in a while. The top of the list includes Glee, House and Chuck.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I try to avoid poison whenever possible.

25. What was the best book you read?

Oh man, I read so much fluff that this is actually a hard one to answer! I think that I may have listened to the audio book of 'The Kite Runner' this calendar year, so I'll go with that.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

For a musician, I'm entirely awful about getting to know new bands! One of the things I've really enjoyed musically is spending a little more time on my guitar, as well as having a Christian radio station that I can tune into in the car. While the talk is frankly cheesy and even a little obtuse, the music and the message there is good for me.

27. What did you want and get?

I wanted and got to spend time with my Granny in her last few weeks; I wanted to focus and to breathe.

28. What did you want and not get?

My BA.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

I might just have to say Harry Potter 7. I had a great deal of fun at that one.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 27, and I a) went to the doctor, b) worked a few hours at my child care job, and c) had a yummy roast beef dinner made for me by my Mama.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If I appreciated it more!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

'Fashion concept' sounds pretty far above my pay grade! I like simple, solid colours, and comfort.

33. What kept you sane?

Who said I was?

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Gerry Butler, still, and have for a few years. (Beth at sothefishsaid coined the phrase "Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend" - he's mine). I think a big part of it is the accent. I love Scottish accents.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

I think one of the issues I have found really interesting and for which my position has actually changed is that of same-sex marriage.

36. Who did you miss?

These last few months, I've been missing Granny, of course, as well as my best friend Emily up in the Loops.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

I would have to say that is probably the kids whom I care for. Nothing makes your day quite like a proclamation of "I wuv you, Hedder" or even just silly dancing around to Veggie Tales songs!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

That life should be lived passionately, and that death is also a part of life.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"You are more than the choices that you've made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You've been remade"
- 10th Avenue North