December 20, 2015
from the holiday couch of Natalie
- The TRC final report was released this week, and that ending is a beginning. The truth still needs to be reckoned with, and reconciliation is just starting. All of us, but most particularly white settlers, have a role to play in reconciliation: rabble has a great guide to making 2016 a year of reconciliation, and it’s a jumping-off point to think about how to enact it in your communities.
- Billy-Ray Belcourt wrote about why reconciliation is not enough:
“In a word: reconciliation cannot be an end in and of itself. For me, it is just a stepping stone, a mode of harm reduction that might help us better survive the now such that new generations of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples can will into existence a world that can hold all of them. This world isn’t for us anymore; but we’ve know that for quite some time.”
- This week on the internet is the week of best of lists. There are a lot of them, and you’ve probably read a few already. There are even best-of-best-of-lists! What follows isn’t that, it’s just the ones I happened to find and like. You can share the great lists I missed in the comments.
- The whole Longreads set of lists could keep you busy for your whole holiday break. I liked this list of the best essays, because the people choosing them (Leslie Jamieson, Jia Tolentino, Roxane Gay, Ann Friedman, Rachel Syme and more) are brillant, and because it directed me to this Katherine Bernard essay on The Argonauts and ‘queerness’ and family. It contains a paragraph which I’ve been thinking about a lot:
“Your father and I think you have anti-men problems,” my mom tells me on the phone. In school, I was taught that the word “men” could mean all genders—it was up to the reader to be inclusive with the word in their mind. The word women always just meant women. So maybe men just need to find their path to include themselves every time I say women. Wherever I have fun with my anti-men problems, that’s not where I find my love for women.
- The Year in Great Sentences is the centre of a lovely spiderweb – it’ll take you to some unforeseen places.
- Hazlitt’s Year in Review series is a beautiful alternative to the best-of list – thoughtful reflections from powerful writers. I especially liked Stacey May Fowles’ reflection on infertility and the Blue Jays, Pilot Viruet’s year in natural hair, and Haley Mlotek’s year in found families (“I’m living through the years when my peers make the choices that comprise roots, whether they’re setting them down or pulling them up”), but they’re all worth reading.
- “The omnipresence of men raping female children as a literary subject can have the cumulative effect of reminding women that we spend a lot of our lives quietly, strategically trying not to get raped, which takes a huge toll on our lives and affects our sense of self. Sometimes art reminds us of life.” That sentence, from Rebecca Solnit’s “Men Explain Lolita to Me”, felt like a blow to the stomach for me – recognition can be painful. Her explanation of the difference between censorship and critique (“Guys: censorship is when the authorities repress a work of art, not when someone dislikes it”) was like a glass of water, reading something I’ve been trying to articulate to myself for months. I’m glad Solnit is writing while I’m reading.
- An Unbelievable Story of Rape is an incredible piece of journalism, a painful and terrifying read, and a necessary investigation. Police forced a woman to recant her rape accusation, charged her for lying, and then caught her (serial) rapist years later, after he had committed many other crimes. Read it when you’re ready for that.
- Politics is women’s work: why indigenous women should be leading the north.
- This review of Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl has me thinking about friendship and fandom and just how lucky it is to get to work and think with people I admire so much.
- Joanna Newsom was playing in Toronto on Monday and I was there and I didn’t go. Reading this article stoked my FOMO big time.
- Erica Violet Lee is one of our heroes, and Vice interviewed her about her work at COP21 in Paris.
- GUTS is taking a winter break and we’ll be back in the new year! You can take the time to get caught up on all the amazing writing and art we’ve published this year: our MOMS and FOOD/LAND issues, and interviews, essays, comics and more on the blog. We have big plans for 2016 and we’re so excited to share them with you!
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