Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lady Braindead Looselips

Just when we thought the bar could not be set lower on the Republican side of the Presidential race, along comes the queen of mangled thought and grammar, Mrs. Malaprop herself. Trevor Noah did a wonderful deconstruction last night of her garbled, hideously embarrassing endorsement of Trump, pointing out that for years, North Americans have made condescending fun of African speech and manners; now Africans can enjoy this spectacle.

It's a really fascinating spectacle, for sure, watching a crypto-Fascist blowhard know-nothing on one side and Bernie Sanders, an impractical, honest man of enormous heart, on the other. Talk about two solitudes, a nation divided in twain, the red and the blue, and never the two shall meet. Fascinating, but also terrifying. Especially after the re-appearance of Lady Braindead Looselips.

Nobody has died so far this week. At least, nobody who matters to moi. That's the good news.

And in more good news, my U of T and Ryerson classes are launched and I love them - the first level at Ry, leading beginning writers into the thicket of their own lives and past and present stories, and the advanced at U of T, digging deeper. Tonight is my home class, people who've been working with me for years, and, on-going, I'm receiving essays former and current students are submitting for the So True reading Feb. 28. I'm buried in stories, and that's exactly how I like it.

There's also my own, somewhere in there - still reading my diaries and letters from the Seventies, wishing I could jump back and take that young woman's hand and tell her everything will be all right. It'll take a few decades, honey, I'd say, but things will sort themselves out and you'll end up just where you want to be - in a big old house in downtown Toronto, with two children and two grandchildren and work you love and friends you love and a blog.

And she'd say, she in 1977 with her long glossy brown hair and smooth unlined face, who thinks she's ugly because she's ten pounds overweight, "What's a blog?!" she'd say. Unimaginable, then, what is to come, the interconnectedness of us all via our glowing, tapping machines. Just heard from a former student who's down south for the winter. I am very much enjoying keeping up with you through your blogs, which are informative, amusing, provocative and engaging. I am always disappointed to go to your blog page and discover that you haven’t written anything since last I checked - which is twice a day. And of course, I am always delighted when you have written.

So here I am again, for the 2637th time, my blog info informs me. More good news: "All My Loving's" FB page received a 1000% bump! Yes! 11 people went to the page last week, as opposed to 1 the week before! And my Likes have gone WAAY up, from 67 to 68! Can fame and vast wealth be far behind?

It's January, very cold and snowy, but the sun is shining. I'm going out for fresh air on a hunting expedition to Doubletake, which, unlike our local Goodwills which have all - sadly and suspiciously - been shut down, is still open and full of interesting things. A piano lesson at 3. I'm reading a very entertaining book by David Shields: "The thing about life is that one day you'll be dead," and the excellent Elena Ferrante at night. Trying to squeeze in more work time - not enough, never never enough, because I am so easily distracted. By blogging, for example. Eating chocolate drinking wine dinner last night with a dear friend from my teen years. Living, in other words.

BUT the incredible Diana Athill just published another book at the age of 98. Yes, 98. So what's my rush? There's lots of time.


One last thing - just watched a beautiful short clip on FB - David Bowie at the 9/11 concert, singing the Simon and Garfunkle song about America. Brought tears to my eyes, not just because his interpretation is so haunting, but because it's about an America that was a beacon to the world for many years, an America that seems to be vanishing.


  1. Beth, I've been tracking your comments about David Bowie these past couple of weeks. They closely parallel my own. Time for a reassessment. I've been exchanging e-mails with a few people with an above average interest in all things D.B. One of the e-mails resulted in a message from one of my cousins in England and a "David once bought us a round of drinks at the pub" story. The best piece I have come across so far was by Canada's own Dave Bidini (Reostatics and books on baseball and hockey)in the Globe & Mail. Very insightful, I thought. Alan

  2. Yes, I feel I missed something by overlooking him - but at the same time, he was very strange, his voice was strange, his music, his costumes, his makeup... I just was not into it, as they say. Now I see not just how original and groundbreaking he was but that he was a wonderful human being too. I'll look for that piece - I have beside me now a Star and a Globe article with lists of his best songs that I've been making my way through. Never too late. RIP, Mr. Bowie.