2017 - from genocide to cake
As 2017 prepares to shed its skin, reducing itself to a mere decaying film that a teenager will rightfully mistake for a used condom, I begin to feel nostalgic.
2017 wasn't always the used condom it's turned out to be, at least not for me. I started out the year hopeful, energetic, and ready to follow Neil Gaiman's advice and "Make good art." I decided to read real literature, if only for the aim to improve my own craft.
I was fresh off a trip to see the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, so I re-read her diary in January. My curiosity piqued, and I decided just one Holocaust book would not satiate. I read another, then another, until it was like, "Alright, I could probs take a break from attempted genocide."
Still, I read the heavy stuff, because I figured I could take it. Until today, but I'll get to that. I scoffed when people raised their eyebrows at my reading material. I said things like "Ugh, people think they're a lot more delicate than they are, amirite?"
I kept reading. I dove into the news, like, really got into the filthy crevices - and this year was filthy, hence the user condom metaphor. No need to re-live it - it's too soon.
A few months ago, I decided to diversify. I wanted to learn more about slavery, so I read a few books that either touched on it or covered it explicitly. This one was amazing, if you have the energy. I know it's fiction, but dayum. What a book. Add "The New Jim Crow" to the list, and I have successfully switched my brain from attempted genocide to systematic oppression. Yep.
So, yeah, I hit my breaking point today. I found myself listening to a podcast about cake. And it went, like, really in depth about the science behind cakes and the history of every birthday's most popular guest. They debated about the controversy of fruit in cakes. They explained that the red velvet cake originated in the Waldorf Astoria. One of the hosts even delivered a long soliloquy about the virtue of Publix sheet cakes, which made me a bit nostalgic for home.
Anyways, I finally understand why people watch reality TV. I overdosed on tragic, depressing history and news, and I found myself running into that podcast's sugary embrace. It made me smile, and that's something I haven't been doing nearly enough of in 2017. I recommend it, and if you're curious, here's the podcast. I'll be listening to it on loop for the next 13 days straight.
Roll on, 2018!