Bloody hell again.

December 22nd, 2006 | Interviews & Reviews

Okay, I’m sorry if this is getting tiresome. But here’s yet another amazing Fun Home thing. I knew it was going to be on Entertainment Weekly’s “best of 2006”  list, but I didn’t know it was going to be their number one nonfiction book. Thanks to the folks who just emailed me about it. I haven’t actually seen it, and would have been skeptical except for this photo a kind person just sent me.

This number one business can go to a person’s head. I’m getting an urge to invade Poland.

On that note, for a little reality check…has anyone seen this op ed piece in today’s New York Times? The White House forced the editors to delete all kinds of information from an article about US-Iranian relations, stuff that’s already in the public domain. Chilling news on an otherwise unseasonably warm day. Thanks to my pal Val for passing this along.

If that harshes your buzz, consider taking part in the Global Orgasm for Peace before midnight. Thanks to Maggie Jochild for alerting me to this earthshattering event.

103 Responses to “Bloody hell again.”

  1. Ginjoint says:

    Are you realizing what a great book you’ve written yet? And, um, I’m of Polish descent, I hope that means I’ll still be included in your invasion….*snerk*

    Global Orgasm for Peace? Done and done! By 5:30 this morning. (I had to be at work by seven. How else is a girl supposed to wake herself up properly?)

    And why the hell would those articles have been censored if all the information was common knowledge anyway?! I’m still wrapping my head around this….I’m too tired to think clearly/cynically.

  2. Virginia Burton says:

    I’ve been agonizing over asking this question ever since I read the book, but I really have to know. On page 63 in one of the letters from your father to your mother he writes, “‘The Sensible Thing’ was written for you and I…”

    Did he really write that? Or was it your way of subtly mocking his literary pretensions? I found it more shocking and upsetting than his interest in young men. Lust I can understand, but bad grammar from a future English teacher is really depressing. I wish you hadn’t revealed that particular weakness.

    I feel like a jerk for mentioning anything negative about the book, especially in this lovefest of a blog, but it’s bothered me for months.

  3. Maggie Jochild says:

    Omigod. Entertainment Weekly. Yes, I read it. And that photo of you, which was linked to earlier this year and which I have saved right here on this PC — a perfect choice. I think this means the Oprah interview is gonna happen.

    Back in the early to mid 1970s, there was a book called something like the Whole Women’s Catalogue or Resource Book for Women — an extraordinary compilation of women’s links (before computers, natch) edited by Kirsten Grimstad and Susan Rennie. One day I was visiting my mother for lunch between classes at college and she had on a gameshow that was one of the brainy ones — short-lived — where someone with a speciality got to answer questions all week. I think Tom Kennedy was the host. Anyhow, the new guest was Susan Rennie! In full 70’s dyke attire, down to the army boots. I was frozen in place on the couch. My mother looked at me, turned up the volume, and we watched in total awestruck silence. Susan’s speciality was even women’s herstory. The feeling I got that day, getting to watch my REAL community on mainstream TV (which has not occurred very often since, sad to say) is what I’m feeling with Alison crashing through barriers right and left.

    And speaking of crashing through — I’m getting detailed descriptions from the folks I sent out my e-mail to about the Global Orgasm Project, letting me know how they have observed the, ahem, holiday. Way fun. As Marilyn Gayle used to sing (was she just a West Coast dyke phenom?) “I’ll see on the highway / to that Big O in the sky!”

  4. Duncan says:

    Not tiresome at all! May the recognition continue, and feel free to toot your own horn. None of us can keep up with all of it, so this is a handy place to learn what’s new.

    I nearly wrote “hetboy recognition” there but realized it might sound, well, slighting of your achievement, which is not what I want to do. But I was thinking of someone’s remark in comments that even the reviewers in Time magazine were surprised to find that they liked a queer book so much. By now it’s clear (to me, anyway) that a good many straight reviewers and critics *did* ‘get’ Fun Home, though many were confused by it: which character or personage in Fun Home is a straight boy supposed to identify with, anyway? Not you, you’re a lesbian and a girl. Not your father, he’s like totally gay. But the book is so *compelling*…

    But does anyone know when the Lambda nominees will be announced? I mean, let’s not get so caught up in “They like us! they really, really like us!” that we dismiss the equally valuable recognition of gay and lesbian media and awards.

    I can’t get through to the NYT site, my home computer is too decrepit and ancient. I’ll look up that Op-ed tomorrow. My goodness, could the Times be getting frisky and mildly defiant? Heaven forfend.

  5. Arte es Vida says:

    Re the redactions: Oceania is our friend. Oceania is our enemy. Stay tuned.

  6. LM says:

    re: Redactions

    1. The NYT is not our friend, it should be punished.

    2. Confusion is our friend, clarity must not be alowed.

  7. Duncan says:

    In my Noam Chomsky voice: What rational person would rely on the New York Times for news on US foreign policy in the first place?

    That’s not to say the Times should or could be ignored, but it’s just too unreliable when the going gets weird. Oh, they’ll correct themselves a couple of years later, when the damage is irreparably done, but if you want to know what is really happening, you need to read non-corporate media in the US, and “foreign” media. If you’re reading this blog, you have access to all kinds of information through the Internet.

    Victoria Burton, people write (and speak) differently informally than they do formally. I’m reasonably sure, given Alison’s documentary obsessiveness in Fun Home, that she did not change the text of that letter. As a fellow language neurotic, I must also tell you that usages like “for you and I,” much as they grate on our nerves, are perfectly good informal English. Maybe even formal: if it was good enough for Shakespeare, Jonson, Meredith, and T. S. Eliot, it’s good enough for you and I. 😉 I’m not likely to use it — I was too thoroughly brainwashed by my schoolteachers — but it’s not bad grammar.

  8. Josiah says:

    Alison, it’s not tiresome at all — we’re all still thrilled when these (much-deserved) accolades come in. Plus, it makes it much easier for those of us updating Fun Home‘s Wikipedia page.

  9. Em says:

    Ever since Fun Home came out I’ve been going on and on about it trying to get my parents to read it. Now over dinner, my dad says that the Time thing finally piqued his curiosity and now he actually wants to read it. So I got in some good-natured teasing on “Oh so when I said it was good, you didn’t pay attention but when Time says it…” but really it is so satisfying to for once love something before the big cheeses like it to! Or as Stephen Colbert loves to say, I called it!

  10. Ovidia says:

    Congratulations on making it to the top of the Entertainment Weekly list!!!

    (and don’t worry about Poland just because Mein Kampf was also a bestselling bio and Adolf just happened to work as a struggling artist, turning out over 2000 paintings and drawings before WWI… on the other hand maybe you should steer clear of Wagner for a bit…)

    Thanks to those of you updating Fun Home on Wikipedia. Will try to get it into the libraries here!

  11. Deb says:

    Congrats again Alison. I would have posted earlier, but you know I had to do my part to contribute to the Global Orgasm for Peace event.

  12. shadocat says:

    Kudos on your newest honor!And I’ll never get tired of reading about them(as more are sure to come). Today, Entertainment Weekly,tomorrow, the world!!

    So the White House doesn’t think the American public should be reading about Iran. I suppose articles on world affairs do take up a lot of space in the paper, space that could be used to discuss the “Rosie vs The Donald Feud” or Britney Spear’s crotch. Lord knows we need on the info we can get on THAT.

    Oh Maggie–took part in the “Orgasm for Peace” this a.m. before I read this latest post; so does it still count if one “does it” before they know they’re “DOIN’ IT?”

  13. kate says:

    Poland? I’m thinking with all this success you might as well go after Russia–maybe even Canada.

    But now after reading that NY Times article, I’m thinking you should at least invade the White House.

    You deserve all of this success–congratulations and happy holidays!

  14. European fan says:

    I don’t get woken up by a cat at night (see Alison’s last sketch diary) but by my 4-year-old daughter. This morning when I refused to start the day already by reading to her – it was definitely too early! – she announced she was going to read herself and a grown-up book at that. And what did she pick up out of the big stack of books next to my bed: Fun Home! She was surprised and delighted at the fact that it contained pictures and she could actually read it. She looked at it for half an hour – an amazingly long attention span for a 4-year-old and especially for her: she is a very spunky kid. She made sure to turn the pages carefully to show me that she deserved to read grown-up books and looked at everything with a great earnestness. Four things she picked out to ask about: First the scene with AB’s dad opening up the corpse. „What is the doctor doing there? Doesn’t that hurt?“ Not wanting to go into a mortician’s job, especially since we don’t have that here, I mumbled something about an operation and anesthesia. But I thought I better wake up, this was going to be interesting. The next thing was the round 70s-like armchair in the library where AB reads up on lesbianism. She doubted that there really are chairs like that. When I told her that I had seen chairs like that before and that they had had them when I was little she wanted to know where she was then. She already knows the phrase we use in my mountain dialect that she was still flying with the bugs back then. Somehow it never satisfies her and I don’t really blame her. She also wondered what AB’s dad has in his face (shaving cream) in a frame showing both of them getting dressed: as a child growing up with two mothers she didn’t know about that. Then she came upon the scene where the young boy lies in the funeral home and asked whether that was another hospital scene. I didn’t want to lie to her at that point so I told her that he had died from an accident. She asked if it was at his funeral and felt bad for him for an instant, only to progress to the crossed out diary page one frame on. That crossing-out wasn’t nice, she informed me – living proof of how well the book works: by showing how she had to deflect her emotions, AB allowed this young reader to do the same!
    Oh, other books my daughter could have picked up were by the Israeli author Zeruya Shalev, Istrian author Marisa Madieri, Lebanese author Hanan Al-Shaykh or Eduardo Galeano from Uruguay. But none of those would have had pictures …

  15. Brooke says:

    Hi Allison,
    You may be all humble and all, but honestly it thrills me that your book is getting such rave reviews. I’m *finally* reading it (only reason I’ve not read it before now – I’m a first year PhD student), and I think it’s great. I’m glad you are getting noticed (you may not be), and – as you know – its great for the LGBTQI movement. Time magazine names a book with pictures of lesbians having sex as its #1 book. Poor Pat (Robertson) and Jerry (Falwell) – their intention to closet the LGBTQI community is failing, miserably.

  16. mary anne says:

    Ok, (knuckles in mouth)…I’ve got to throw it out there… Fun Home is the first coming of age book in 50+ years to truely equal the stature of Catcher in the Rye. I haven’t read every book that has come down the pike by any means, so I would like to hear other’s comment on this thought. I know it is the first book to affect me in the same overwhelming way(well, Autobiography of a Yogi also is in this league for me, that is, it comes up as a reference a touch point, for just about anything in my life). So you see alison, no matter how much downtime you take, we will all be happily anticipating your next book, even if it’s untill eternity –I hoping it will be a look at the world of high fame and reknown, come suddenly upon a starving and worthy artist.

  17. mary anne says:

    …of course Fun Home is non fiction and catcher is fiction-does that mean they can never be fully compared? It’s funny but they are both so “real”. And I should have put parenthesis around “starving” in above comment.

  18. Robin B. says:

    I am giddy with joy for you, Alison.

    And by the way, I’m assigning Fun Home for my intro course in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. I’ll let you know how the conversation goes (I think it’ll be great).

  19. Yes, Virginia, my dad really did write “for you and I.” In his defense, he was only 23 and hadn’t become an English teacher yet. Though he did continue to be an indifferent speller. I corrected most of his misspellings because they were too distracting.

  20. shadocat says:

    OK, My last post SHOULD have read “Lord knows we need all the info we can get on THAT.”

    Alison, this may sound weird, but somehow it makes me feel a little better knowing your dad made some errors in spelling and grammar. Maybe I’m not as dunb as I think I am.

    Speaking of dumb, I still cannot beleive that even after the people have spoken so vociferously in the last election, the Bush administration still doesn’t get it!!
    I was all for letting him twist slowly in the wind for the next two years, but maybe we should impeach him, before he has us at war with everybody…

  21. Maggie Jochild says:

    Shadocat, my dear, it ALWAYS counts. We’d like to take this moment to thank you for flying our airline. We realize you had a choice of carriers…

    And the response to this just goes to show that Alison’s readers have their fingers in all kinds of pies.

    Alison, how wonderful for you that a reader on this date gave you the delicious opportunity to begin a reply with “Yes, Virginia”. I was also entertained (highly) by the irony of you writing an extremely intimate and revealing family memoir but choosing to correct your dad’s spelling. I completely agree with your ethics and priorities, but it is hysterical, in the bigger picture.

    We have not allowed my 8-year-old godson to read Fun Home. It might have been okay at 4, I think, because enough of it would have gone over his head (although, at that age, I’m not sure he would have bought the hospital vs. funeral lie). So, feverish AB fan that he is, he is having to wait until his G life slides into PG-13 for the glory that is Fun Home. Even though Alison drew a cartoon of him and his dad in their copy, which he was over the moon about.

  22. Ng Yi-Sheng says:

    This might be of interest to you, Alison: a few months ago, I was interviewed by the Straits Times about a documentary book on GLB Singaporeans I’d written entitled “SQ21:Singapore Queers in the 21st Century”. (I have a blog about it on http://sq21.blogspot.com .)

    Alongside the story, another journalist covering the books section asked me what books I’d recommend – I mentioned both “Spawn of Dykes to Watch Out For” and “Fun Home”, but she informed me that her editor had insisted that I couldn’t mention *any* other books with queer themes.

    http://lastboy2005.blogspot.com/2006/08/book-meme.html

    It’s not just happening in America, honey. (Oh, and guess what – I write articles for the paper now.)

  23. Santorum says:

    Just saw this in the wikipedia entry on famous last words, and thought it should have been in Fun Home in the section on the absurdity of death:

    Who: Sigmund Freud
    Last words: Das ist absurd! Das ist absurd!
    Translation: This is absurd! This is absurd!

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Last_words

  24. Duncan says:

    European fan, that’s a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Maggie, I love the irony, too, of Alison’s correcting her father’s spelling errors. I went back to the book after I posted before, and found other grammattical quibbles in his letters. I think there’s a further irony, though, in someone’s getting so upset by a supposed grammar editor in someone who was in so many ways not a very nice man: mean to his wife, mean to his kids, a shoplifter, and so on. But “for you and I”? Horrors! *that* I can’t forgive.

    It reminds me of Naomi Klein’s article in The Nation a year or so ago, about the reaction of many Americans to a widely published photograph of a young American Marine who’d participated in the “pacification” of Fallujah. But he was smoking a cigarette! they lamented in letters to their editors. What a bad example for Our Youth! “It reminds me,” Klein wrote, “of the joke about the Hasidic rabbi
    who says all sexual positions are acceptable except for one: standing up, ‘because that could lead to dancing.'”

    http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041213&s=klein

  25. LM says:

    I strolled through Buns and Noodle this morning and was pleased to see an adequate, though shrinking, supply of Fun Homes. Merry.

  26. shadocat says:

    maybe I am dumb-I can spell “vociferously”. but screw up on “believe”…

  27. Maggie Jochild says:

    Shadocat, you are SO not dumb. All of us make errors in our posts. Just think about it — not to be elitist or anything, but if we are reading these books, coming to this blog and interacting with these folks, we are literate, intellectually curious, and bold. We should have satin gang jackets made embroidered with “I posted at Alison’s blog!”

  28. Ginjoint says:

    Hey, Shadocat…didja notice how you spelled “dumb” in “Maybe I’m not as dumb as I think I am?” {wicked, wicked evil cackle…I’m dancing away before Shadocat can hit me, which I richly deserve} 😉

  29. Ginjoint says:

    Oh, great…I’m a smartass after Maggie Jochild is so sweet. I’m so going to hell…

  30. Ovidia says:

    Thought Shadocat’s “Maybe I’m not as dunb-” right after all the spell talk was on purpose? I thought it was so clever… maybe I is dunb too…

  31. genevieve says:

    I just got my issue of Entertainment Weekly (yes I’m a subscriber….) and was thrilled to see Fun Home at #1 for non-fiction books of 2006! Well-deserved congratulations!!

  32. Ginjoint says:

    Ovidia, I thought of that too, but I decided to be an asshole instead! I guess that’s why my own friends hiss the phrase “little shit” at me so often. I’m slinking away in shame now…

  33. Duncan says:

    Maggie, I don’t know if I’d bother to get an “I posted on Alison’s blog” gang jacket. If I ever got a “tip o’ the nib” in the strip, now, that would appeal to my innate elitism!

    I agree with Maggie about spelling errors, especially in posting comments. I make plenty of errors posting here, and as I get older that bothers me less, though it still makes me wince when I spot an error in a comment I’ve made. But remember, too, standardized spelling is unnatural and a relatively recent development in English. (Not that there’s anything wrong with unnatural!) It’s not like the spoken language, which everyone can learn about equally well. “Though NO one speaks perfect “standard English” all the time.) Some people just don’t have a good memory for spelling, especially for the insane spelling of our dear Englysshe.

  34. Ovidia says:

    dooble dunb dooble dunb… must get me a ‘posted on Alison’s blog’ gang jacket to wear over me hed now…

  35. shadocat says:

    Yes Ovidia, I is dunb–I was REALLY tempted to go with your idea of “I did it on purpose” but my lapsed catholic guilt won’t allow it. Maggie. I’d love one of those jackets-I can see them now,maybe in the green color that permeates “Fun Home”, or the burnt orange of this blog. Duncan, perhaps I need to make a New Year’s resolution not to be so hard on myself when I goof up. And Ginjoint, I’m rapping your knuckles with my imaginary ruler. And don’t worry if you do end up in Hades, ‘cuz I’ll probably be there, waitin’ for ya by the door :>}

  36. AnnaP says:

    Thanks to the people who mentioned Iran, i just had to go trough news sites to see what`s up. Found nothing in my mother tongue. Must not be something that news offices bother to mention in Finnish.
    I find it interesting that the news shown here are very different.

    Happy Holidays everybody!

  37. Pam Isherwood says:

    A very tenuous connection, say it’s about referencing if we need one – just found this on another messageboard, the Archers UK – which BTW chooses the same colour background and calls itself Mustardland, sometimes I wonder where I am – anyway here’s this geat dictionary from 1811, the Vulgar Tongue Dictionary
    http://vulgar.pangyre.org/

    The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue is a treasure-trove of late eighteenth-century/early nineteenth-century English slang. Francis Grose wrote the first edition in 1785. eg “As much need of it as a toad of a side-pocket; said of a person who desires any thing for which he has no real occasion.” nice one for xmas.

  38. Pam Isherwood says:

    Still browsing there – look what is tucked away under T:
    Tip, To:
    To give or lend. Tip me your daddle; give me your hand. Tip me a hog; give me a shilling….. To tip the velvet; tonguing woman. To tip all nine; to knock down all the nine pins at once, at the game of bows or skittles: tipping, at these games, is slightly touching the tops of the pins with the bowl. Tip; a draught; don’t spoil his tip.

    Tee hee.

  39. Duncan says:

    Pam, especially with that “tipping the velvet” entry — so Sarah Waters used real slang for her book title! — even The Vulgar Tongue becomes suggestive. 😎

    All the cat stories here bring back memories. Though I haven’t had a cat or other pet in more than 30 years. It’s probably why I identify with Ginger: remember when Samia’s Anubis first jumped her during the Pride March, and her response was “Hello, beautiful!” before settling down to some ecstatic tummy rubbing: “Who’s a puppy? Who’s a great big puppy?” I’m like that with cats: I love the way one can strike up a conversation with a strange cat almost anywhere, and cats generally like me. (Dogs generally don’t, and the dislike is mutual.)

    Has anyone else read Marge Piercy’s memoir “Sleeping with Cats”? I suspect a lot of you would like it as much as I did; wish I had time to reread it. A lot of her poetry is also about cats.

    Back to the question of which DTWOF character we’d date: Sydney may be a challenging character, but she and Mo, I just noticed, have been together for almost ten years.

  40. Duffi says:

    Ah, congratulations, young Alison. You so rock!!!

    And nobody who posts on this blog is dunb. Or dumb. I want a jacket and a tip o’ the nib. Greedy, eh? Oh, yeah.

  41. Silvio Soprani says:

    Sydney and Mo together ten years? Amazing. Must be more there than meets my eye. (I will consider this during my annual New Year’s Eve ruminations…)

    Ginjoint–did you notice on Pam’s “Vulgar Tongue” site (brilliant!!), one of today’s expressions is:

    “dumb-founded” 1) silenced; 2) soundly beaten”

    hmmm!

    I anxiously scanned the supermarket scandal-sheet racks for the new issue of TIME. No luck. Either my local Safeway is rife with energetic lesbians and other kindred spirits who rushed in and bought all the copies, or else it has not arrived yet.

    The last time I was this eager to get hold of a magazine was when Playboy published their interview with John Lennon (1980). Sadly, it hit the shelves something like the morning after he was murdered. I rushed to the 7-11, bought my copy, ripped out the pertinent pages, and threw the rest of the magazine in the trash can. (Too many lurid photos, and I was tired of my then-husband telling me it had good interviews…yes, ironic.)

    European fan, I loved your story too. It rang very true. For a revitalizing perspective on your world, sit down and read a book with a kid. Any book, any kid. The conversation always gets interesting.

  42. Pam Isherwood says:

    Sarah Waters’ 3 victorian books came out of a PhD in victorian literature and years of immersion in the British Library reading rooms. So I’d guess that the language at least is authentic – and topped up by refs like this one. The BL has a big collection of victorian porn; how much will current stuff inform the PhDs of 2106 re our sexual politics?

    Re which DTWOF woman? Sydney again – now she’s got tenure she can support some of my (barely suppressed) gadget habits. Canon D5 to start with please.

  43. Silvio Soprani says:

    Last night I watched Katherine Hepburn in George Cukor’s LITTLE WOMEN. Great version. But I was thinking about how all little girls must grown up to become women, and things must change somewhat. Apropo of Sidney getting tenure and Mo getting a real librarian job. I suppose having worked for all that together (or at least in each other’s company), there is a payoff in staying together to enjoy it.

    Mo is not as “neurotic” as she was 10 years ago. If you’ve noticed, her rants about the government and society are not as frequent or as prolonged as they were before. I put “neurotic” in quotes because, as the bumper sticker says, if you are not upset these days, you are not paying attention.

    But I think Mo is paying more attention to the people around her and the family of friends she is part of. And compared to Sydney, who is always either cruising online or working on her work (to my eye, there is a certain element of “the chairness of the chair” in her work, but perhaps I dislike her so much that I routinely judge her unfairly), Mo seems positively mellow these days.

    Back to Little Women–the TV commentator said that in the original book, Jo gives up her writing to be a homemaker when she marries Professor Baer. I had forgotten that, because all through my childhood, it was the sequel, LITTLE MEN, that I read and re-read. That willow tree down by the creek was my fantasy home. But come to think of it, Jo was pretty busy running that school and supporting her absentminded Professor to be writing any stories.

    Interestingly, in the Katherine Hepburn role, the movies ends with her accepting Baer’s proposal, but there is no indication that any housewifery is intended. After all, his last action before proposing is to deliver her first published book to her.

    Pam, chair or no chair, if you can get Sydney to bankroll your technology, I say “You go girl!”

  44. Duncan says:

    Don’t forget, Pam — Sydney can’t even support her *own* credit card debt. 9-)

    Yep, I know about Waters’s background, and I love her books even when I don’t, quite: _Affinity_ and _Night Watch_ both had something lacking, for me at least. But even when I’m dissatisfied, she does write beautifully.

    Silvio Soprani, I’ve been re-reading most of the early DTWOF books recently, largely because of discussions here. I have two weeks off from work, with pay, so I have plenty of free time. (The benefits of being appointed staff in a university food service.) While I was going through the Madwimmin fundraiser in “Hot Throbbing Dykes” it occured to me to check the dates when Mo and Sydney began dating: late 1996, early 1997. Will Alison observe this anniversary in the strip, I wonder?

  45. Maggie Jochild says:

    Did anybody here celebrate Festivus yesterday? The former porn theater turned dot com office on Congress Avenue near where I live has Happy Festivus on its marquee — popular, here in Austin. I have not seen lots selling poles (’cause, y’know, tinsel is too distracting) but I have heard folks mentioning Feats of Strength and especially The Airing of Grievances. Lots of those to choose from, dating back to 2000. I mean, I knew it would be bad, having seen what W. did to Texas, but I could NEVER have guessed we’d let them shred the Constitution. Even in my worst nightmares.

    AnnaP, I get my news from Alternet.org, FireDogLake, Daily Kos, and Crooks and Liars, mostly. Online blogs that ferret out the details. But I don’t know if they have foreign language versions. Also, when I’m up for it, I go to Salon.com and read the Daou Report, which on the left side of the screen has the progressive news and on the right side has the — you guessed it — the koolaid crowd. I find this illuminating, to compare the two viewpoints, often on the same issue. The hate, racism, fear and violence on the “right” side often invokes in me a reminder for “Serenity now” and then prompts the question, How to bridge this divide? For me, the answer is always art. And, sometimes, go read Alison’s blog.

    Ah, yes, Silvio — Little Women. I read that book snuggled into one chair with another nine-year-old girl named Pam, who was what we then called a tomboy. I was desperately in love with her. When (spoiler alert) Beth died, Pam’s grief was so intense that she snapped and confronted her father, who was abusing her and her two sisters. She wound up so severely beaten she couldn’t go to school for two days. Her mother eventually divorced him, but the week the divorce became final, he took the three girls on a clothes-shopping trip but instead checked them into a downtown Dallas hotel and shot them all, then himself. Phyllis, the youngest, died. Pam, shot through the chest and head, somehow got to the elevator and got help. She survived, with brain injury. Patty also survived, with profound physical disabilities. Those two reprisals by Pammy’s abuser helped keep me quiet for years. But when I did break silence, in my early 20s, and helped form one of the first child sexual abuse advocacy groups in the history of the world — when I helped launched the incest survivor movement, the work I was born to do, I think — it was Pam and all the Little Women out there I did it for. Pammy, if by some wild chance you read this blog, find me.

  46. Silvio Soprani says:

    Duncan,

    I too have two paid weeks off (appointed full time instructor in my community college after three years of contract work, being broke every Christmas!)

    Well, let’s hope Sydney can convince Mo (I almost wrote “Alison”) to take some kind of anniversary vacation(but she’ll have to pretend she inherited money–or admit to a clandestine but successful lost weekend in Las Vegas or something– because Mo will never agree to do it on credit!)

    Now I suppose the question is, WHERE would Mo agree to go? (Where do the DYKES actually live? Do we know that? Some progressive parallel universe, I suppose.) what would be Mo’s idea of an anniversary getaway?

    Of course, I am the one who was shocked and scandalized when Mo agreed to have sex with Sydney in the library stacks–anybody remember that? so maybe Mo has a wild side that would let her go to Club Med or at least an Olivia cruise or something. Actually I think I have just put my finger (so to speak) on the reason Mo stays with Sydney–she gets her wild side “affirmed.”

    Okay, I’ve run out of outrageous ideas. Anybody?

  47. Duncan says:

    Silvio, first you’ll have to refresh *my* memory: when was Sydney doing a lot of “cruising online”? The one time I can recall that it seemed she was doing that, her virtual innamorata turned out to be Mo herself. Other than that, she only cruises online shopping sites, which is probably more costly.

    I agree, Sydney brings out Mo’s wild side, and that probably has a lot to do with why they’ve stayed together. (Aigo, here we go again, talking about them as if they were real people! 🙂 ) But I’d like to think that Mo still would turn down an Olivia cruise or Club Med vacation. Besides, she just started a new job and won’t be taking a vacation for a while yet. For their anniversary celebration, I had in mind something more like a new set of Martha’s 400-count sheets, some good champagne (preferably a gift from Sydney’s father, rather than on Sydney’s already spent dime), and more pool girl fantasies. But I’m sure Alison could come up with better ideas.

    I wonder if Mo is actually less “neurotic”, as you suggest; her politics have never been neurotic, just her tendency to use them as a distraction when emotion rears its head. (Clarice does the same thing, you’ll have noticed.) Maybe it’s less that she’s less neurotic, and more that her fellow characters, and her readers, have come to share her politics more?

    I never read Little Women as a tender fagling, though I read lots of other girls’ books, as well as boys’ books, and everything I could get my hands on. I think I read Little Men in 4th grade, or at least made a start on it. After reading some of Alcott’s sensational fiction like “A Modern Mephistopheles”, I did finally read Little Women a couple of years ago. Jo was based on Alcott herself — but as I’m sure most of you know, unlike Jo, Alcott never married. She hated Little Women and its sequels because she had to conform to sentimental conventions — hence Jo’s marriage and motherhood.

  48. dw says:

    I see in the “who would you go with” question, we are now moving in rather than a one night stand. Which is more the way I judge people. My question is who would I drive across America with and that’s Mo, although it would take till Indiana to get in bed. Lois, my one night stand, would leave me at a gas station after about a hudred miles.

  49. Silvio Soprani says:

    Duncan,
    You always remind me of the danger of leaving out the footnotes; forgive my rather unsupported scholarship. I was thinking of Sydney’s online sessions with Madeline (is that her name?) and I’m afraid I was always confused about the geography and the history of their acquaintance. Since I don’t own the books (I have just been reading all the episodes all these years), I don’t have the ability to flip to the right part and confirm my pathetic memory.

    But you are right about her crusing to shopping sites.

    400 count sheets? Yeah, you are probably right.

  50. AnnaP says:

    Me an my some friend were givin serious thought to the matter which DTWOF character we`d go for, but as a matter of fact aswer is nobody. We are too young to any of them.

    If I was ten even 15 years older I might find Mo attractive or maybe Gloria.

    Alison pleeze!!!! why don`t you come up with an anarchist/vegan who is butch but in a nice soft way. Preferrably one that likes biking, reading books and maybe lives in a squat, Age about 20 or something.
    For the youger generation of readers of DTWOF not just me.

  51. Danyell says:

    Dammit. I missed the global orgasm!!

    No wonder I’m not filled with serenity on Xmas Eve!

  52. […] When it rains, it pours: Alison Bechdel notes that her book Fun Home was named by Entertainment Weekly as its non-fiction book of the year. A photo of the magazine spread in question can be found at this link. The Miami Herald’s Connie Ogle includes Fun Home on her 2006 ten-best-books list as well. Congratulations to Ms. Bechdel on the latest in a series of well-deserved honors. […]

  53. shadocat says:

    Maggie,
    I had a spare moment this Christmas (my gf is visiting her 102 yr. old granmother in Emporia, Ks. My children are off with their signifigant others, and in two hours, I will be at work.So I thought I’d take a look see at the website, just a skim down. But then I found your last immensely moving post, and I just had to comment.

    Someone, way back, I believe when our “Vanessa” died, made a comment on how he (or she, I’m not sure) could understand how the death of a fictional character could emotionally affect the life of a real person. Your story demonstrates that point both beautifully and tragically. When I read that book as a young girl,I identified with it so strongly, also growing up in a family of many sisters. But the March sister, (in their 19th century way) were valued people in their family. They could choose who to marry (or not). They could write, could fantacize, could be creaive. They were encouraged to contribute to their world. I longed to be one of them , as I had a brother (whom I love) that was more prized in our family, wholly due to his maleness. I believe “Little Women” was a step inchanging my way of thinking; being female is a gift, a great gift, and females can and do change the world.

    Tonight when I go to work ( a social service referral agency) I’ll be thinking of your friend Pammy and her sisters; and my friend Janet and her sisters(another story), and their families. Maybe I can help a family like their’s tonight. And it all began with Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy.

  54. shadocat says:

    Oh yeah-we did a mimi version of “Festivus” the 23rd–but somehow we can never get past the “airing of the grievances”.

    I heard there’s a company that sells a tabletop aluminum pole-anyone know anything about it?

    Happy Pagan Holiday!

  55. Duncan says:

    I’m sorry, Silvio; apparently that came off sharper than I meant it to. I heard it in my head as idle banter, not putting on my stern Prussian taskmistress mode. (“Dinner will be served punctually at eight. Those who forget their footnotes will get no fruit cup.”)

    To a gay man of my generation, at least, “cruising” means “looking for new sexual partners,” not exchanging e-mail with old ones. That’s why I didn’t follow your earlier point about Sydney. But if Sydney was “cruising online” with Madeleine, Mo had already been doing it with the Divine Fiona long before.

    My god, you don’t have the books and you call yourself a DTWOF fan? 9-) (As an old friend, a dyke as it happens, teased me when she learned that I still at 30 hadn’t read _Lord of the Rings_, “Duncan! You’re on probation as a friend until you read it!”)

  56. Maggie Jochild says:

    I went to the Journalista cross-reference in pumpkin script above (in Central Texas it would be known as burnt orange, but I’m NOT a football fan) and read the review. To be honest, some of it made no sense to me, because I don’t follow the comic/graphics scene and have not read any of the books they were comparing Fun Home against. Still, I felt a real note of condescension and (in some of the comments responding to the reviewer’s choice of Fun Home) downright hostility. It seemed to me that some of the complaints were focused on how crossover Fun Home is — not specialized enough, too mainstream. At the same time, the reviewer said that a dozen years ago, s/he was not impressed with Alison’s work then, in part because it was too political. But in fact, the specificity of Alison’s D2TWO4 focus is part of its strength, its singularity. Which got to me thinking about why the shift has occurred in D2TWO4 from “political” to more “relational”. My first guess is that Alison, as an artist, faithfully follows/reflects back the community she documents, and that shift occurred in the community. I’ve often pondered the why of the shift. Have a few reasons: One is that lesbian-feminism was part of the boomer demographic, an entire generation of us who came of age around the same time and reacted against the disgusting sexism of not just the 50s and 60s nuke fam ethic but also the woman-hating of the progressive movements we wanted to join (including, and sometimes especially, gay liberation). So many uf us felt a “click” of consciousness at the same time, we were persuaded (and persuaded one another) that we were onto essential truths — remember all the heated conversations about what was the “primary oppression”? Sometimes we were right, sometimes we were wrong. But all truths are truths for that point in time, and will change as you change and grow. When that change happened, some of us went with it, some did not. In the early 1980’s, two huge internal shifts within the lesbian-feminist community occurred: the Clean and Sober movement, which I sometimes think was a direct result of our emphasis on politics instead of bar life; and the re-consideration of sex manifested by the incest survivor movement, the schism around S/M, and the so-called “sex wars”, which were I think really a disagreement between women who wanted to do whatever it took to rid themselves of sexual conditioning that was male-identified in its source and women who felt like doing so would be robbing themselves of sex on a permanent basis. These kinds of internal struggles, some of them internal in the sense of needing to do self-examination before creating “mission statements”, diverted us from the other kinds of work we’d been doing. Necessarily so, in my opinion — once I decided to stop making messes and hurting other women in the realm of sex, I had to find a way to continue that decision, and that meant, well, something like therapy. Likewise, so many women at that point chose sobriety, and sobriety is a lot of work. Concurrently, Reagan the Fuckward was dismantling our economy, forcing people to work ever hard just to survive, and AIDS hit, to which large numbers of lesbians responded and those who did not were still suddenly approaching sex in a different way. And, honestly, a lot of the attraction of all those political meetings and rallies and circles was the lure of other women — remove the sex, and a lot of the energy dissipates. More and more of us settled into monogamy, or began raising a new wave of children that were not the result of marriages we’d left behind And, of course, the backlash had begun, not just from the outside mainstream culture (who caught on that if women defined their identity and sexuality for themselves, male domination would go up in flames), but also from within.

    All movements morph into something else. I accept that. But the attempt to stomp lesbian-feminism into silence, the distortion that goes on (Wikipedia does an appallingly bad job of covering some topics, and doesn’t have any entries at all on others, for example), the academic revisionist analysis of what those of us on the streets actually experienced, piled on by the general difficulty everybody else is having as we’ve swung toward fascism in this country — that’s not transformation, that’s an attack.

    The good news is that so many of us are still thinking, loving, writing with unflagging energy — and, way better than we ever dreamed for offset presses, the internet has linked us and given us another means of passing out flyers, so to speak. Mo in library school is not really different than Mo in a kitchen with five other women working on the wording of a chant — not in the long run. IMHO.

  57. Mordecai says:

    Maggie Jochild said: “Wikipedia does an appallingly bad job of covering some topics, and doesn’t have any entries at all on others, for example.”

    That sounds like a call to action, no? Want to list a few topics that ought to be covered? I’m sure the good denizens of this blog could get at least stubs up for them in about a day and a half. Improving existing articles may take a bit more work, but, the genius of Wikipedia is that any of us can start working on it — want to make a few suggestions there as well? With a little more energy, a working group could be formed to systematically go through and do a good NPOV job on the whole movement.

  58. Suzanonymous says:

    I was chuckling over something last night when Everybody Hates Chris started, seeing Mr. Omar seeming more generous in the holiday season: it has not been a good year for positive impressions of funeral home directors! While Mr. Bechdel and Mr. Omar both were thin and had a sort of regal dignified air to them, they both were notable in their sleeping around, and with vulnerable people (Mr. Omar always had some widow around he was comforting, such a kind man, LOL). But while Mr. Bechdel was always hard at work or abusive and wearing a rigid sort of frown (?), Omar was always smiling and borrowing things and inviting himself in for dinner. Good show.

    Oh well, I rather enjoyed thinking about that and thought I’d pass it along here.

  59. Mordecai says:

    Another best of year listing, which I haven’t yet seen mentioned: Fun Home is on the (alphabetical) list of the 25 best books of 2006 in the Village Voice.

    http://www.villagevoice.com/books/0652,books,75374,10.html

  60. shadocat says:

    I took a look at the “journalista” blog, and wow; if that is a “positive” review, it is certainly a smug, backhanded, and yes, sexist one. IMO, this was one of the most telling quotes I read (to back this up):

    “It’s not that art-comics readers are prejudiced against the Fairy Folks, so much as that, for many, the phrase “lesbian autobiographical confessional” might as well be a code words for “as seen on Oprah” — better to be dismissed than persecuted, I suppose.”

    The “Fairy Folks”? “As seen on Oprah”? Who IS this Dirk person? I thought I was a pretty big comic book nerd, but evidently I’m not, for although I have heard of some of the books he wrote about, I have never heard about him, or his stupid blog before. Doesn’t seem to be gay, unless he’s self hating. I could say that the closest he’s probably ever been to a woman is when he’s whacking off to a drawing of one in a “magna-style ” comic, but that would be wrong, wouldn’t it? Because I don’t know him, or his experience, just as he doesn’t know what it’s like to grow up homo in today’s America.

    Reading this review reminds me of an experience I had with my youngest daughter, about 7, 8 years ago. After she had studied a unit in school about WWII, she was wanting more to read about the Holocaust (age 13, BTW). I thought this would be a good time to introduce her to MAUS I& II, which she devoured. She was then hungry for more graphic novels. We went to all the “regular” bookstores, but didn’t find much (except for “magna”). So we went to three, count ’em, three, “comix” stores(which ironically, all seemed to be staffed by men looking a lot like the guy from “The Simpsons”)and asked about graphic novels. In two of them , the proprietor questioned the existence of such an item. In the third I was told (I swear!) “Sweetheart, I’ve got real customers to take care of.”, and he literally turned his back on us. As females, we clearly DID NOT belong to their club.

    We later found a treasure trove of graphic novels at (of all places) the library, then later on line. But I have not gone in a comic book store since.

    I now want to take this time to apologize to all those I’ve offended-except of course, the “jounalista” homophobes and sexists everywhere…

    (and I apolgize in advance for any errors in grammar or spelling-hey, I’m a bit pissed…)

  61. Silvio Soprani says:

    I tried to wade through the “journalista blog” item, but got a stomach ache and had to stop. My philistine “what the hell does he know?” kicked in so hard my ears and brain stopped working. So I tracked back here where all is friendlier. I am just no good at being tough skinned and I am glad I am obscure and invisible because it is so much easier that way.

    Duncan, no worries, and thank you for your kind later comments, and I don’t think you would withhold my fruitcup…that does not sound like you at all! Your point is well taken about the word “cruising” as meant by gay men. There is a downtown area in Baltimore where one whole square block has signs that say “Absolutely no cruising after 8 pm” or something like that, and they are not referring to any kind of sex solicitation; they just mean “don’t slow down; keep driving at the speed limit,” but it cracks me up every time.

    I think a better word for me to have used to describe Sydney’s online activity would have been “dallying” or perhaps “virtual canoodling…”

    Regarding Alison’s books, I rarely buy books or CDs (as the Kinks once sang, “I’m on a low budget”), but I do check both out of the library regularly. I am one of the patrons who keeps the circulation numbers high so that each year when the library considers its budget, they realize how high the need is and they buy more books!

    So it is quite significant that I have bought not one, but two copies of FUN HOME. The first I read, then gave to a friend. The second I had sent to another friend. When something is really really special, I do buy it. Otherwise, I keep bugging the library until they buy it.

    And just for the record, I never read the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy until I was (gasp!) 54 years old!!! (How wonderful for there to still be something that excellent to experience for the first time at that age!)

    My local library owns several of the DTWOF books (maybe they owned more and they walked away–although one does not think of DTWOF types as being THEIVES!), and the library immediately acquired FUN HOME. I was amazed. (This was right at the beginning before it had won anything but our unconditional love.)

    Maggie, I read your long sad post about your girlhood friends and Little Women on my cell phone in the car after I arrived in New Jersey and was getting myself together before arriving at my relatives’ house for Christmas. I just now got home and was overwhelmed how to respond to that, when I saw shadocat’s just-right post on the subject. shado, I could hug you. Let us all have a peaceful last week of the old year and be glad we all have each other!

  62. Silvio Soprani says:

    AnnaP, I just realized you are right–there is a whole generation missing between the DTWOF (adults) and Raffi and Stella’s age group.

    I suppose Cynthia is from the generation you refer to. If the story line began to include more of Sydney’s students (which for a while it did–while she was getting chemo I seem to remember that she was hanging out with them a bit–then you would get your wish.

  63. mysticriver says:

    This might be cause for another Bloody Hell post, but did you know you also made People magazine’s Best of 2006 issue? Top 10 Books, with a capital B that rhymes with P…

  64. Lea says:

    hey duncan, i agree with you regarding sarah waters. i don’t know if anyone else cares though. so i’ll shut up.

  65. Leshka says:

    Now I know that this book is cool because it has finally been reviewed in a publication that I read! I was going to e-mail, but decided that everyone else would do so… Congrats yet again!

  66. Jeffster83 says:

    Silvio Soprani, all the internal evidence that I can find and interpret suggests that the Dykes live in central or western New York state. I live in California, though, so my knowledge of that area is strictly cartographic. If anyone knows any better, or has a different analysis, please share!

  67. Ellen Orleans says:

    Where do the DTWOF live? This from Alison’s FAQ page…

    What city is the comic strip set in? It reminds me so much of Oakland/Jamaica Plain/Seattle/Pittsburgh/Chicago/Grand Forks.

    I keep the location of Dykes To Watch Out For intentionally nonspecific so that readers in Grand Forks can imagine it’s happening right there. But it definitely has a feel of the Twin Cities about it. I was living in St. Paul when I started writing about Mo and her pals. And Madwimmin Books is based on Amazon, the women’s bookstore in Minneapolis (and oldest surviving women’s bookstore in the country).

  68. Silvio Soprani says:

    Well, it is definitely a climate that has winter and autumn…

  69. AnnaP says:

    We use to have all the DTWOF books at the local library untill somebody/some people STOLE EVERY SINGLE ONE! That is why they are not getting a copy of Fun Home.
    Tghe libraries are allready low budjeted so doing something like that really pisses me off.
    My mother worked as a librarian when I was little girl so I have huge respect on them.

  70. Silvio Soprani says:

    If anyone is a Threepenny Opera fan (Kurt Weil/Bertoldt Brecht), there is a song (in German) that (very) roughly translated means “First comes the bread; then comes the ethics.” It is about how people who are hungry and desperate are not in a space to listen to philosophy.

    Baltimore had a great benefactor (like Carnegie) in the early 1800s who built the “Enoch Pratt Free Library.” The main library building is an absolute palace. Three stories high with a skylight, and in the main ground floor room you can look all the way up to the 3rd floor ceiling. In the stairwell is a carved plaque that explains how Pratt wanted people from all creeds and classes and races to have access to books.

    Unfortunately, I suppose there are still people who have been so starved for personal possessions (like CDs, books, and movies) that they steal whatever they perceive as the good stuff. (Some of them have very good taste!)

    So I suppose before a person can appreciate the concept of shared things, available to everyone as long as they take turns, first they have to reach a level beyond being starved and desperate.

    Having packed, moved, and unpacked what seems to me an inordinant number of times, I find the sharing concept liberating. Boxes of books are HEAVY!! Much better to borrow them one or two at a time and then return them. I don’t need a library in my home–although I do have about ten or twelve books of my own for bedtime reading…Sherlock Holmes, Rumpole of the Bailey, Tony Hillerman, Dorothy L. Sayers, P.G. Wodehouse, Agatha Christie…but just a few. (And yes, Duncan, a few collected DTWOF volumes would really be a good addition!)

    I suppose the library is the only place you can take as much as you want and it is free.

  71. anonymous-eponymous says:

    Bug report:

    I tried to post a comment, but for some reason it wouldn’t post. Then I tried to repost it and I got a little error message that said I had a duplicate comment. So, the comment was considered duplicate—even though the first one was never posted. So, I thought, maybe there really is just a lag between submission and posting, so I’ll just let it go. So, several hours later, I noticed that a few additional comments had been posted (none of them mine) and I tried to post again. So, again, I got the message that I had posted a duplicate. The really interesting part is that, after I hit the back button on my browser, I went back, _not_ to the page where I had just pressed the submit button, (which ahd 69 comments), but to the page as it had previously existed when I first tried to submit (which at the time had had only 67 comments).

    The is probably only interesting to me because I program for a living and yet I’m not a web programmer.

  72. Duncan says:

    Silvio, I love libraries too, and always have. And I use mine a lot. Living in a college town, I have access both to a fine public library and a very good university library.

    But I have this sick craving to own books. I know I don’t *need* a library at home, but I want it, so I have it. Now that I’m getting older, I have been thinking about to do with all those books (and lps, and CDs, and videos). If I manage to retire, I want to move out of Indiana, where I’ve lived all my life, so it’s time for a change. And when I do, I do not want to take my 6000 books with me — or rather, I don’t want to have to move them. (I have a fantasy of donating them to a university library in South Korea, and getting them to help pay the cost of shipping. Then I could live in Korea, and still have access to books that I need. Whether this is feasible I don’t know, I’m looking into it; but it’s more feasible than winning the Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes.) I like the idea of shedding all that tonnage. But you know the famous line from Augustine: Lord, give me chastity — but not yet.

    I don’t know if there’s any way to know who steals books from libraries, or why they do it. I think it has been established that in some cases, antigay Christians steal gay-friendly children’s books so no one else can get to them. And I suspect that happens in other cases as well. From what I can observe, it’s not necessarily poor people who do it, though I’m sure some of them do, sometimes. Very often it’s middle-class folks who have that sense of entitlement to whatever they want to take. (I know this because I know some middle-class folks who have stolen library books, even if just by “forgetting” to return them.) *If*, as you say, “people who are hungry and desperate are not in a space to listen to philosophy,” then it seems to me that books are not what they’d steal. And it’s not poor people who can’t “appreciate the concept of shared things”: poor people know and appreciate that concept very well. In my experience, it’s middle-class people who are hostile to the notion of the Common, and who are retreating into their gated communities and home entertainment centers. I think you’re making unwarranted assumptions here.

    Maggie Jochild, thanks for all those interesting ideas. I agree that the strength of DTWOF is its specificity. It’s always been my belief that “universality” is a chimera, and that consciously striving to make a book or movie or whatever accessible to everyone will just make it bland and boring — or at best, lowest common denominator, which is probably the same thing. Because Alison makes her characters’ world so specific and vivid, people find things they can relate to even if they aren’t 40-something lesbian feminists. A lot of complaints about “lack of universality” really boil down to a refusal to (being afraid to?) identify with characters from a different subgroup. Usually this is higher-status audiences refusing to identify with lower-status characters; women are usually more ready to identify with men than vice versa, gay with straights, people of color with people of pallor. And certainly the idea that straight white upper-strata males are “universal” should always be greated with the derision it deserves.

    I’m not so sure about your remarks about the history of second-wave feminism, about which I’ve done a fair amount of study. While I understand the move to a therapeutization of feminism, why women chose to privatize their lives (which ties in, come think of it, with what I said above about class and the Commons), I don’t think it’s specifically feminist: indeed, it was a move that went along with American society at large at the same period. Still, there is evidence that people who are involved in political activism are happier and more self-actualized than people who rely on a more individualized approach to change. I strongly recommend Nina Eliasoph’s book “Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday Life”, and also Stanton Peele’s “Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control.” These aren’t the last word on these issues, of course, but I think they have a lot of useful ideas and information.

  73. retry (take 4) says:

    “for you and I” really is bad grammar. In English, the rule is pretty straightforward: If a pronoun is the object of a verb or a preposition it should be in the objective case. In the distant past, when English pronouns were declined much more fully, the accusative and dative case were distinct, much as in Latin. Now they seem to have more or less collapsed into the single objective case. But the objective case is still distinguished from the subjective case, which is used when the pronoun is the subject of a verb. Most people would no more say “for I” than they would say “Me Tarzan, you Hellboy”, but for some reason when an additional pronoun and a conjunction get stuck in the middle of the phrase a lot of people go astray. If people weren’t taught to be polite they would put themselves first and get the case right, since “for I and you” is clearly wrong to most people, whereas “for me and you” is just right. Of course, anybody is free to be ungrammatical in both the spoken and the written word.

    ==========================================================================

    By the way, thanks to the person who posted a link to a discussion of the uses of “singular their”. It was a lot of fun. From now on I’m going to sling my “they”‘s, “their”‘s, “themselves”‘s, etc. around with precise abandon 😉

    ==========================================================================

    “We later found a treasure trove of graphic novels at (of all places) the library, then later on line. But I have not gone in a comic book store since.”

    Aren’t library’s great! They have so much good stuff. And often the physical quality of the books is so much better than you can find in a book store. The bindings are sewn, not glued, the quality of the paper is much better, and so forth.

    Times change. Years ago, I went into a skateboard shop to look at a pair of shoes and the people in the shop treated me as if I was invisible. Six months ago I went into a shop to buy myself a skateboard and the guy working there spent a good half hour helping me in the most friendly and useful fashion. Don’t put yourself through any unnecessary pain, but don’t be surprised if the next time you go into a comic book store you see an enormous live countdown of the days until the release of Alison Bechdel’s new book.

    ==========================================================================

    Most of the insular, obnoxious stuff that people are reacting to in Journalista’s post is stuff that Journalista is deriding. Some reviewers feel obliged to write less about the art itself than about the reactions of various groups to the books; they must describe the book as much as possible in terms of its relation to some zeitgeist and that is what half of Journalista’s article is about. If you distill Journalista’s _own_ opinions about Fun Home and Alison Bechdel’s art from from the article you’ll find that these are the main points: (1) The book is really good. (2) Alison Bechdel’s writing and drawing have both improved tremendously since she started out. (3) Fun Home is the most accomplished thing she has done. I agree with all of these points.

  74. --MC says:

    Shadocat and others, I’m sorry but I should have written this earlier. I know Dirk. He’s the former editor of the Comics Journal, the best one yet; he’s also an out gay man, and has been a backer of “Fun Home” since before it was released. In fact, the last time I saw him was at Alison’s signing in Seattle.
    It’s true, though, that yer average comics nerd has his back up about “Fun Home” as being not-comics — in the TCJ message board thread I started about the book, one respondant actually said that “..Fun Home is merely a novelty, an example of the Oprah-ization of comics.” (Which I should go over there and pin him down on .. What, is it because it’s not a book about white males and their radioactive spider bites?)

  75. shadocat says:

    MC- I apologize for insulting your friend Dirk by insinuating he was a sexist het man. Like I said, I don’t know him or of his work. But his review, IMHO seemed to me me like it was written by a condescending, anti-female, anti-lesbian sexist, which I took as a straight male homophobe. I should have known better. And so, apparently, should he.

  76. Katie says:

    Hi anonymous-eponymous,
    This is Katie, Alison’s assistant- I just wanted to let you know that your comments got caught in the spamfilter. I suspect that it doesn’t like the word “anonymous” in your delightfully-creative name. I’ve been marking your comments as not-spam, so hopefully you’ll have an easier time posting in the future!

  77. Silvio Soprani says:

    Duncan,
    Great post. Especially “people of color/people of pallor.” Never heard that one before; very amusing.

    Your point about it being the entitled middle class rather than the disenfrancised poor who steal from libraries was interesting. That sounds plausible.

    Don’t forget that a lot of “the poor” may have begun as middle class. It happens. So there may be a lot of cash-poor well educated people out there. I will never forget going to a feminist conference once and sitting through a workshop about class. The presenter said that the middle class is a group of people very busy hiding how much money they have from those poorer than themselves, and hiding how little money they have from people who are richer.

    Maggie, I went back and read your long post and this time it made a lot of sense. (A few more paragraph breaks would humor my belabored eyesight…). i think you have outlined pretty accurately the last 30 years or so of the feminist movement.

    I think your statement (with regard to women’s involvement in political activity and that the attraction was being with other women) “remove the sex and a lot of the energy dissipates” is so true. The world is fueled by enlightened self interest, and that is not a bad thing. There was a lot of joyousness in working together with other like-minded people, whether it was with lesbians, or with lesbians and gay men, etc.

    But what I find rather interesting is that historically, women’s inclusion in the arts and history, etc. was limited by (besides sexism) the fact that often they were home taking care of the children. So many gender outlaws who did get into the history books were women who did not stay home taking care of children, or perhaps women who had other people take care of their children, the way men always have.

    In the 90s, many lesbians began raising children, and this coincided with a certain amount of affluence for lesbian couples because a lot of women had gone through law school or gotten their MBAs by then. They were making more money and had more power. A lot of the glbt media began focusing on more commercial matters rather than the grass roots stuff that had been popular earlier. I would say there was a major middle class upward shift in image (Those ads for AIDS drugs showing men mountain climbing; all the marketing of vodka to the Club generation; the L Word; etc.) And people with more privilege tend to be less political because they are getting more of their needs met.

    I remember the March for Gay Rights in Washington DC in 1987. The Quilt was being displayed on the mall; people were chanting “None of us are free until all of us are free.” (Yes, the grammar was flawed but the sentiment was true.) Not to get all heart-on-the-sleeve here, but speaking as a lesbian mother who lost custody, it was very energizing to feel that anybody with an issue could righteously feel they were supporting each other, whether the issue were race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, or whatever. For a few hours one could let go of any guilt or fear or doubt and be assured that by saying those words out loud, one was voicing the intention of making it right for eveybody.

    Of course later, doing the hard work of networking; putting on events and making sure you invited everyone who should be invited and not offend anyone by saying or not saying the right thing…then those few hours of feeling okay sometimes evaporated into a terrifying, exhausting feeling that you could never get it right.

    But back to Maggie’s comment, being around others who are similarly passionate about the thing you are created a wonderful bank of energy which is so necessary to get through the other exhausting, confusing times.

    Through all this, there was DTWOF, specifically putting everyone’s image up there. Creating a mythology, if you will, of how it could all work. And also of how funny it could be when it went wrong. To be able to recognize oneself, laugh at oneself, and love oneself by looking at a cartoon character was so valuable, which is why Alison has this hearty bank of supporters twenty years later.

    I don’t know how I would have felt about DTWOF if I had read them without being a lesbian who had gone through all that stuff. i would like to think I would have been charmed nonetheless. (And judging from all the diverse people who post here, it seems to be true.)

    I agree with Maggie when she says that people who try to create something “universal” just end up with something boring. It is the specificity that creates the truth, and truth is universal. Who said that “fiction is a lie that shows you the truth” ? (At the risk of starting another grammar rant, WHY does the question mark have to go INSIDE the quotes when it is NOT part of the quote? )[sorry, just had to let that out.]

    I wish I could be more succinct. How do the rest of you do it? When a post starts me thinking, it just takes quite a few lines to get it all up there.

    Duncan and Maggie (to just name two), thanks for always elevating the conversation.

  78. Duncan says:

    Thanks, Silvio. I think you’re right about the effect of downward mobility; but even a lot of shoplifters are middle- or upper class. (When rich enough, they used to be called “kleptomaniacs.”) According to _Fun Home_, Alison’s father was just such a one.

    It occurs to me that when poor people do get tired of sharing and so steal, it may be an effort to be like richer people, who don’t have to live on leftovers, handmedowns, and share share share. It’s a cliche I used to run across in some fiction, of the younger kid from a working-poor family who is determined someday not to have to wear hand-me-downs.

    I’ve been trying to remember where I got “people of pallor” from. Could it have been Greg Tate, from whom I swiped “greyboy,” another favorite of mine? I am pretty sure it was an African-American writer…

    retry (take4) / anonymous-eponymous: Um, no, “between you and I” is not ungrammatical. English is not Latin. To quote Jim Quinn, who says it better than I could:

    “It is an idiom. In Early Middle English, says Henry Sweet (New English Grammar, Part I, p. 340: `You and I were so frequently joined as nominatives — you and I will go together, etc.,that the three words formed a sort of group-compound, whose last element became invariable.’
    “Shakespare uses that idiomatic _you and I_ (Merchant of Venice, III.ii.321): ‘All debts are cleerd betweene you and I.’
    “The OED notes that use of the nominative after a verb or preposition, especially when the pronoun is separated from the governing words by other words, was `very frequent in end of 16th and in 17th c[enturies], but is now _considered_ [Quinn’s emphasis, meaning that the OED’s editors do not consider it so, but others do] ungrammatical.
    “Shakespeare, As You Like It, I.ii.18: My father hath no childe but I. Shakespeare, Sonnets, LXXII: And hang more praise upon deceased I. Ben Jonson, Every Man in His Humour, V. iii: Brayne-worme ha’s been with my cossen Edward and I, all this day. Hughes, Tom Brown’s School Days (1857): Let’s you and I cry quits.”

    And Quinn adds, don’t forget “one of the most famous examples of the use of the nominative pronoun in an accusative sense: the famous opening lines of `The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.’
    Let us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky
    Like a patient etherized upon a table.”

    So even in “the distant past, when English pronouns were declined much more fully, the accusative and dative case were distinct, much as in Latin”, “between you and I” and the like were normal idioms. Which, as I said before, doesn’t mean that “between you and I” doesn’t annoy me, but in this case my ear is wrong, corrupted by ignorant teachers of Englysshe. You’d have a stronger argument if you reversed it: in the distant past, “between you and I” was grammatically acceptable, but since the 20th century it isn’t, at least in formal writing.

    I couldn’t help noticing, retry, that you fell afoul of Coren’s Law (which holds that any ‘net posting pointing out grammatical errors will contain errors of its own):

    Aren’t library’s great!

  79. retry (take 4) says:

    Ummm, I said “for you and I” is ungrammatical. I would never argue that “you and I” is somehow unconditionally ungrammatical. That would make no sense. I’m not sure why such a sentiment is being attributed to me.

    Have you read Jonson on Shakespeare? “Would that he had struck out a thousand!” Jonson is referring to the many lines that Shakespeare wrote and the fact that he had no editor, poor guy. What is my grammatical error? I’m proud to be in the same boat as Shakespeare (editor free, not a great playwright) but if you’re gonna[sic] tell me about my little error, isn’t it sporting to tell me what it is? Oh, I see, “library’s” instead of “libraries”. Well, I am glad you read that part of my comment so closely and quoted it so accurately. It’s not correct, that’s a fact. I made a typing mistake. I don’t maintain that it is correct. I know how to construct the plural of “library” and the plural of “library” is what I intended to type.

    But is one misspelling really proof that I’m an ignoramus? That I can’t tell the plural from the possessive or a contraction? That nothing I have to say has any value? Maybe it’s just an indication that the connection between my brain and the rest of my body is kind of faulty. I’m not alone in that.

  80. judybusy says:

    Duncan: “It’s a cliche I used to run across in some fiction, of the younger kid from a working-poor family who is determined someday not to have to wear hand-me-downs.” Yeah, it may be a cliche, but that is me as a kid! I remember being so pleased when in eighth grade, my mom finally relented and let me get my new school clothes at Kmart–a huge improvement over all the garage sale stuff I was used to wearing! Class is also not so simple, in that working-poor families can also have elements of their lives that look more middle class. At the same time I was picking out my Kmart clothes, my dad was buying (on borrowed money) farm equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars. He was one of the larger farmers in the county. We were also expected and encouraged to go to college. I have alswyas had much difficulty in figuring out which class I grew up in, because of these various elements. Most literature on class also doesn’t mention rural economies or farmers.

    Sometimes when people talk of class, there seems to be an assumption that the working poor and poor have no sense of their position or that they want a better life for their kids. In the descriptions, there is a stasis to people’s lives that I am not sure reflects reality, which at least in my experience was more dynamic. (Can’t really name any sources here, just relating my overall sense of things.) Thanks for provoking all this thought and discussion.

  81. Silvio Soprani says:

    Judybusy,

    Regarding your point about that assummption about the working poor, etc:

    Well, I suppose that is supposed to be the American condition–that we affirm the fluidity of classes (in both directions!). That it is supposed to be okay to move “above” one’s class. In practice, it is more like Henry Higgins’ statement that:

    “An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
    The moment he talks he makes some other
    Englishman despise him.”

    The fictional Higgins was talking about Englishmen, but I think it is true of Americans too, whether the accent is Bal’mer, Southern, California, or Chicago, to name just a few of the more recognizable. (For affirmation of ALL ACENTS, see that NPR documentary, “Do You Speak American?” that was broadcast about a year ago.)

    Some people change their lives and eventually change their accents too, but even that is like cutting out a piece of oneself.

    Back to Shakespeare (oh dear, Retry, no one called you an ignoramus — nor would anyone on this blog–)
    What we always tell the high school students (who have not yet learned the joys of being high-falutin’ about grammar–they are still trying to pass their exams–) is that Shakespeare was a most inventive writer at a time when English was in “its adolescence.” This is supposed to accomplish two things: 1) encourage the students’ desire to be creative by showing them they can emulate Great Writers; and 2) show that adults think adolescence is an okay developmental period that leads to something greater (in this case, the “correct grammar” that has evolved now four hundred years or so later.) (that “or so” is a must now in all my posts or Duncan will withhold my fruit cup for life…just kidding, you know I find your posts stimulating in the most positive way, dude…)(Hope you don’t mind being called “dude,” I only do it when I’m in a good mood and channelling my inner 26-yr old.)

  82. Ellen Orleans says:

    Has anyone read the anthology QUEERLY CLASSED? (Susan Raffo, ed., South End Press, 1997). One of my favorite essays is “Losing Home,” by Elizabeth Clare. It elegantly engages questions of class, small towns, anonymity, education, and the commodification of the gay civil rights movement in the 1990s.

    Another good one is William Mann’s “A Boy’s Own Class,” about Provincetown.

  83. judybusy says:

    Silvio, about “Some people change their lives and eventually change their accents too, but even that is like cutting out a piece of oneself.” So true! My partner teases when I go home and I get a little of the rural Minnesota accent going. I used to be so embarrassed about where I came from, but now I see it was just the way we lived. If some want to look down on it, they are only cheating themselves of understanding many interesting lives. I am going to think more on “That it is supposed to be okay to move “above” one’s class.” Thought-provoking, but *sigh* work calls….

  84. Jana C.H. says:

    Duncan–

    Ah, another irrational book-buyer. My personal library is approaching 2000 volumes, so I have a long way to go to match you. But I’m working on it. When people point out that I could easily borrow all these books from libraries, I have my answer pat: “Some people drink, some people gamble, some like whips and chains. I buy books.” Feel free to use it.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Floss Forbes: If you don’t know the tune, sing tenor.

  85. --MC says:

    Wow, this discussion is moving fast! Shado — no worries.

    It’s quite an issue. Now, on that Journal thread, they’re arguing over whether or not “The Road” (another book on the list) is any good.
    Earlier there, I wrote that I thought “Fun Home” was easier to identify with if one had grown up in a houseful of chilly academics (for the record, my folks were working class, but K.’s dad was a sociology prof, and quite a lot emotionally like Bruce Bechdel). Another adherant to the thread jumped straight down my throat because he thought I was saying only smart people should read the book!

  86. boltgirl says:

    This is apropos of nothing, but I put Fun Home at the top of my Christmas list, stars and underlines, and… did not get it. Why does my family hate me?

  87. judybusy says:

    boltgirl–go give yourself some love and buy the darn book for yourself! And enjoy, fully. Re: the book-buying “addiction”: I am firmly in the library camp, although I did receive the Lord of the Ring series and three Lucia books (by E.F. Benton) this Christmas, because I can see re-reading them.)

    The closest I come to over-buying is with plants for the garden. We have also just moved up a zone (5!!!) thanks to all of our cows and cars. Just got the White Flower Farm catalog, which is basically porn to folks like me. My partner acts as a nice brake, though, as she reminds me when I get that certain gimlet look in my eye that “we have no more room!” for another plant.

    Oh, and if I had unlimited amounts of money, I would have to buy closets to house my clothes. I’ll be making up for my childhood garage sale raiments for as long as I live.

  88. Virginia Burton says:

    Hey judybusy~do you know about gardenweb.com? I trade plants there all the time and they have wonderful forums with advice on any kind of plant you can imagaine. I must have 150 irises that were sent to me in exchange for plants that I can easily grow. The people are kind, helpful and generous.

  89. Duncan says:

    reply (take 4) — I didn’t say that you had said “you and I” is ungrammatical. I said that “between you and I” *is* grammatical, and explained why.

    Silvio, I was lucky: I was an eldest child, the oldest of four sons. So I didn’t get hand-me-downs.

    I understand the appeal of referring to Shakespearean English as the adolescence of Englysshe, but it it’s still wrong to do so. Languages are not analogous in their development to organisms, and Shakespeare’s English was as developed as its successors. As was Chaucer’s English, a lovely, supple, and richly expressive idiom. The grammar of contemporary English is no more (and no less) “correct” than Chaucer’s, Shakespeare’s, Austen’s, or Bronte’s.

    Jana C.H., well, maybe I have a few years’ head start on you. 😎 The first response I use to people who urge me to libraries is that I *do* use libraries. Second is something Harold Laski (I think) is reported to have said: “Sir, it is no comfort to know that books are available in libraries! Books are the only element in which I am utterly and nakedly acquisitive. If it weren’t for the law, I would steal them; if it weren’t for my purse, I would buy them.” Then there’s Erasmus: “When I have a little money, I buy books. If any is left over, I buy food and clothing.” And someone else (Herbert? I am not sure): “A man can have a room with two or three thousand books in it, and know that there is one place in the world he is happy.” To bring it back to this blog, in Fun Home there’s a quotation from The Great Gatsby that bears on the question of the function of personal libraries.

    Ellen Orleans, I read “Queerly Classed” several years back, and don’t remember liking it too much. Maybe I should reread it; I’ve done a lot of thinking/reading about the issue since then, and it might read differently to me now. I come from a working-class background, Depression-era parents who could aspire to the middle class (but never quite made it) after World War II. But as a result of too much reading and my parents’ (especially my mother’s) aspirations, I don’t really fit in anywhere.

  90. 12bms says:

    Interesting, isn’t it, that Duncan sees fit to declare Silvio’s analogy WRONG, but argues that using the nominative pronoun as the object of a preposition is okeydokey? I guess we all have our buttons that get pushed.

    My button is the sloppiness that computers seem to encourage. People have made spelling errors and grammatical errors in speech and informal writing forever, but it seems so much worse now. That “proofreading fairy” that some poster keeps asking about…dead in a ditch, I guess.

    Duncan, did you notice that you called “retry” “reply” and “Virginia” “Victoria”–or did you think she was just being prissy? Of course, those aren’t exactly spelling errors, sorry!

  91. sturdy grrl says:

    Simmer down now…
    It seems like we need to be a little kinder to each other and not focus on the spelling and grammatical errors in postings. I enjoy reading all the different postings. I would hope for a free flow of conversation and for people not to worry about the grammar police.

    Judy busy: I have the same Kmart story about new school clothes. I still remember the stretchy yellow pant suit w/ the stripped top. I thought I was a stylin…

  92. Maggie Jochild says:

    Ellen Orleans — Yes, I love “Queerly Classed” too. There’s a great article about Lesbians and class by Claudine O’Leary in Off Our Backs, January 1996.
    I often take it for granted that every feminist has read the Redstockings Manifesto and the essays by the Furies, but really, that’s not the case, and if you haven’t, they still hold up today (not only about gender, but about class). For me, some of the best resource has come from certain essays and charts in “Out of the Class Closet — Lesbian Speak”, edited by Julia Penelope, 1994. There’s also Barbara Ehrenreich’s books (espcially “Nickled and Dimed”) and “Where We Stand: Class Matters” by bell hooks, 2000. And — Elizabeth Clare, the author of the article Ellen mentioned, is now Eli Clare, author of “Exile and Pride” which is not just fucking brilliant about class, but is the BEST book available on disability. Eli is a genius revolutionary when it comes to thinking across boundaries, especially disability — check him out, if you can.

    Judybusy — Hail Lucia! I LOVE those books. And talk about a picture of class…

    Silvio, YES to your mention of “Do You Speak American?” Accent is completely about class, contrary to the myth of America being classless or having class mobility. (We do NOT have class mobility, except for movies stars and sports figures. What we have are mixed class families.) MacNeil also, in the mid 1980s, did the amazing series “The Story of English” which I would also recommend for anyone on this list, given the debates above. When I went to college on a scholarship, I got so sick of being treated like I was stupid (and dangerous) because of my hick accent, I took speech classes to get rid of it. Something I still regret. I further concealed my natural way of talking when I moved to San Francisco, which may be liberal in some respects but has a vicious anti-South bias (for whites and blacks alike). It wasn’t until I began reclaiming my “real” speech and culture, in the late 1980s, that I started writing and thinking with the kind of clarity I have now.

  93. Silvio Soprani says:

    Accents…yes, they can be a major hurdle, if you let them. When I was in college (in New England), everybody ribbed me about my New Jersey accent. “CAW-fee” and “TAW-k, and “WAH-terr.”

    At the time it never occurred to me to fight back and point out that they all had Boston accents.

    I lived in Colorado for a while, and made the concession of pronouncing it “Colo-raaa-do” instead of “Colo–RAHH-do.”
    But I have neveto r learned say “ARR-uh-gun” for “Or-e-GONE.” (I took great comfort in Steely Dan’s song “Don’t Take Me Alive” –1975-ish– because Donald Fagan pronounced the word “Oregon” my New Jersey way, leading me to suspect that he was a New Yawker.)

    But yes, the above series on public tv(including “The Story of English”) detached all the baggage we attach to accents, and turned it into a sort of mystery drama showing the timeline of how things change, and why. I have always been interested in accents, and I have never really been interested in branding people or establishing a pecking order based on them.

    I suppose it is because I love music, and accents are part of music for me. It’s about rhythm and articulation, and identity. And as Judybusy said, people who just see accents and geography as a way to rank people up or down are cheating themselves of a rich experience.. Hell with ’em!

    Regarding plants, yes it is easy to get addicted to growing things. I have had a vegetable garden for the last 3 or 4 years and it is as fascinating as this blog. In fact, once spring comes, I may be in the back yard a whole lot more than at this computer! But judybusy, please explain what you meant by “we have moved up a zone” due to your cows. Do you mean that you moved to a new location with a longer growing season and then acquired cows? Or do you mean that the presence of cows on your land has somehow altered the growing season? (that seems to defy the laws of weather, but do please explain!)(If anybody thinks I am just too stupid to live based on the above question, try not to mention it.)

    I have added “Queerly Classed” to my list. Since communing with this blog I have begun to realize that I must live under a rock because some books that all sorts of people are aware of are totally new to me. Well, that is the advantage of conversation; it broadens the mind.

    And speaking of broadening the mind, I finally sat down to read the entire TIME issue with Alison as the #1 book of the year. There are articles in it about the web-based trends that people went crazy over this year. I realized as I read on that because of Alison’s blog, I was introduced to YouTube, Flickr, and graphic novels. Things I really had no exposure to until I followed the daily adventures of Alison on her book tour. I suppose that either adds to my charge of living under a rock, OR it makes Alison what they call an “early adopter.” Either way, my world is broadened.

    There was something very TINTIN about Alison travelling across the USA, to Canada, to London, to Paris, to Belgium, and back home again, and at every step reporting back to us using the latest technology. Sometimes there were scrapes (not being pursued by dope smugglers or oppressive governments, but occasionally losing her tools in a taxi, without even a faithful dog to bail her out…)

  94. retry (take 4) says:

    I didn’t say a thing about the phrase “between you and I”. Defending statements imputed to you by the person who is arguing with you, statements which you yourself never made, is a sucker’s game. I’m not going to play. Bye-bye.

  95. Jeffster83 says:

    Silvio Soprani, you are not stupid. I too am in the dark about JudyBusy’s comment about changing zones. I’ve seen the zone charts in the Sunset Western Garden Book and a different chart in my father-in-law’s Burpee catalogs, but it’s not clear that those zones are what JudyBusy is talking about. Although, since cows produce methane and that is thought to contribute to global warming, perhaps she really is changing the climate where she lives.

    It’s prbably something as simple as by having acquired more cows, she’s forced the local zoning board to reclassify her place as a farm.

  96. Silvio Soprani says:

    Jeffster83–
    Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but glad you were. Methane…that’s an interesting idea…but you are probably right about it being the zoning board!
    Thanks!

  97. mlk says:

    retry (take 4), I hope that refusing to wrangle with Duncan doesn’t mean that you’ve decided not to post. our more prolific posters (and Duncan is one of them) have generally managed to offend or be offended by something that somebody’s said! and you seem to be a thoughtful person who has interesting thoughts to share.

    please reconsider whether Duncan truly *intended* to defend a statement he’d imputed while ignoring what you’d actually said. it’s easy enough for any of us to respond to what we *think* someone said, especially when we’re being argumentative/clever. and, of course, when writing you’re much more likely to remember what you actually said than those who read your post.

  98. zone switcher says:

    I thought Judybusy meant global warming moved her up a zone. I’ve tried gardening in zone 4 for a couple years–no fun! Zone 5 is much more freeing. Now I’m home in the temperate mid-Atlantic and I had to argue with WFF myself (they print your zone on the catalog label) because being in a city within zone 6, I’m really zone 7, and I wanted my plants shipped accordingly.

    Any other White Flower Farm addicts out there–check out the Plant Delights Nursery sometime. Totally different attitude, very snarky and goofy rather than slick and patrician. Amazing hostas!

  99. imparare says:

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  100. Kyle says:

    i am a big fan of your games!please!!!please!!!give me free games!!!

  101. Christpher says:

    Christpher…

    This was one time where I have to agree to disagree…

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