I have a frighteningly huge collection of books I haven’t read. There are reasons for all of them.
First, there are the books that I rush through and read like crazy. These include: YA, regency romances, suspense, and fantasy mass-market paperbacks. The fun, easy, happy books. The ice cream. Yes, I read those first. Just like I eat dessert first, if given the option. These are the bulk of my bookstore purchases, since I tend to race through them.
Then there are the GOOD books. The Rushdies, the big fat trade paperbacks that you have to chew solidly through. They’re worth it, but they take some time, like a good filet mignon. I tend to collect these, but I hesitate to jump into them. It’s a commitment, and one that I’m embarrassingly rarely ready to make. I’d rather eat a quick bowl of ice cream.
And then there are the tapas. The rare books that you can dip into and out of at will, having a bit of this, a bite of that. I love these ones, because they make me feel like I’m reading really good shit, without the commitment. My favorite one of these at the moment is my Punk Planet collection, interviews with really fucking interesting musicians.
I started the one with Kathleen Hanna tonight. The bit that inspired this post was actually a single line in the intro, a bit about how conventional media and conventional girls groups felt threatened by the Riot Grrrl movement and Bikini Kill.
I’ve always kind of walked the fine line in between conventional and non. In high school, I was an honor student, it’s true. I also smoked pot out behind the theater, and ditched class in my VW bug. Even then, I loved the contradiction I was living and never saw a reason to choose one path or the other.
Even earlier, when I was in 6th grade, I received an exclusive invitation to be a part of the International Order of Rainbow Girls. I was flattered. I was tempted. I dithered for days. They did some pretty awesome stuff, and I was totally into their mission statement. In the end, I decided to decline. My reasoning? I had to wear a long skirt (ankle-length) to the entrance interview. Ignoring the fact that I only owned jeans at that point in my life, I was immediately mistrustful of any group that required me to dress as a conventional “Girl.”
So Rainbow Girls? F# you, if I can’t also be a Riot Grrrl at the same time. F$ you if you can’t understand that I can be both at the same time. The old ways are changing, and you can’t deny that shit.
Oh yeah, and by the way? I’m totally drunk while I write this, as I had friends from the non-profit I work for and college dorm friends over to play board games tonight. We had vodka tonics, talked about hallucinogenics, played Taboo! and made dates to go rock climbing tomorrow. Fuckin’ rock on. Variety rules.