Mondays at The Variegated Life: three favorite links.
This week, my links are all via Twitter.
Via @thebookslut herself, Jessa Crispin at Kind Reader asks, “When the world thinks your partner is a genius, how can that affect your own work?” The world might not consider Brian a genius, and I may not be “layer after layer of crazy,” as Crispin describes Cosima Wagner, but I do recognize a bit of myself when Crispin writes that “putting aside your own talents and ambition for the sake of your partner is easier than pursuing your own passions.” And, too, haven’t I sometimes thought of Brian’s paintings as The Other Woman? Why yes, I have.
Artists will always be overlooked, and they’ll always complain about it, but if gender (or any other) bias can’t be questioned until we have first mastered an otherwise perfect cultural meritocracy, we’ll be waiting a while.
One manifestation of this indiscriminate biliousness is the statement that gets aired every four years: that in presidential elections we are asked to choose the lesser of two evils. Now, this is not an analysis or an insight; it is a cliché, and a very tired one, and it often comes in the same package as the insistence that there is no difference between the candidates. You can reframe it, however, by saying: we get a choice, and not choosing at all can be tantamount in its consequences to choosing the greater of two evils.
But having marriage rights or discrimination protection or access to health care is not the lesser of two evils. If I vote for a Democrat, I do so in the hopes that fewer people will suffer, not in the belief that that option will eliminate suffering or bring us to anywhere near my goals or represent my values perfectly. Yet people are willing to use this “evils” slogan to wrap up all the infinite complexity of the fate of the Earth and everything living on it and throw it away.