Friday, March 3, 2017

Moranifesto: Oh my god, a change is coming - can you feel it?

Did you know Caitlin Moran is pretty great? If not, maybe get on fixing that. And Moranifesto is quality Moran. Much like Moranthology (exactly like Moranthology?) it's a collection of her columns from The Times of London.
Sometimes I'm on the fence about collections of things published elsewhere. Except now that I've written that, not really. I mean, I guess I'm kind of on the fence about it in theory, but in actually, I will totally buy a collection of essays (or blog posts, what's up Freakonomics: When to Rob a Bank) even if I could have gotten them elsewhere, and I love having them in a single book. Plus I don't have a subscription to The Times so this is pretty much the only way I'm going to read them. So Moran, please keep putting these books out.

Anyway, Moranifesto. As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought this cos, well it's Moran, we have established that love. But ALSO it's a signed copy. Plus I read it right around the election, and this turned out to be the perfect mix of serious and irreverent, something I was looking for in what continue to be trying times.

The book is split into three sections:
The Twenty-First Century, Where We Live (essays include "I Am Hungover Again", "The Rich Are Blithe" and "BACON!");
Feminisms (essays include "Let Us Find Another Word For Rape", "FGM - It Takes Just One Person to End a Custom" and "Why Can't Life Be More Like A Musical?");
and The Future ("The Refugees Are Saving Us All", "The Frumious Cumberbatch", and "To Teenage Girls on the Edge").

She starts the collection with a quick introduction about how she started writing, focusing on pop-culture and being funny and staying away from all things political. Because politics was for Grownups and people who know absolutely EVERY LITTLE THING about a topic* and not just people with opinions. Once How to Be a Woman came out and people started considering her a Feminist Writer. And she realized that you can write about serious things. And fluffy things. Write about ALL THE THINGS and screw what people might say. As she says:
I am going to write about politics now. Firstly, because I think I should; and secondly, because I'm old enough now not to care if people think I can't. I love getting older. You might lose skin elasticity, but you also lose the amount of fucks you give. It's awesome.
And so she does. And the book is a mix of odes to David Bowie and interviews with Benedict Cumberbatch and writing about how she doesn't wear heels anymore, and it's also about rape and abortions and refugees and services for the poor. There's stuff that's in between, such as the internet dismissing people who aren't perfect. The columns are funny and touching and there's a feeling of hope, even when she's tackling dark topics.

Gif rating:
*I believe there have been studies done around this. Where typically women won't apply for a job unless they are 100% qualified. Meanwhile dudes will apply for a job if they're like 60% qualified cos whatever, they'll figure the rest of it out. So while knowing every little thing is great and experts are a good thing, that doesn't mean that you can't have and express your opinions on things. Accept and be upfront about what you know and don't know, but don't stay silent just because you don't know absolutely everything.

Title quote from page 3

Moran, Caitlin. Moranifesto. Harper Perennial, 2016.