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Just because it isn’t real, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

My daughter is writing a paper at the moment about Freedom and she was discussing with the family how she was going to compare the ‘Kony 2012’ movement with the women’s rights movement. And during this discussion on how ideas start and spread I pulled out one of my favourite Gloria Steinem quotes:

gloria_steinem_quote

And then I gave her a wonderful one by Jane Goodall:

Jane_Goodall_Inspirational_Quote_EnvironmentAnd finally I pulled out a deep and awesome quote that teaches us that small, every day acts make a difference, but I didn’t tell her who said it until afterwards.

gandalfAfter hearing this she nodded and said “Yeah, I like that. It’s really good.”

I asked “Do you know who said that?”

“No” she replied, looking enquiringly.

“Gandalf.”

She tilted her head and looked at me as if I had been no help whatsoever and I was just being silly.

Now I take exception to this notion she seemed to convey that imaginary people can’t be deep and inspirational. Or right. Because he is right. Just because he isn’t real doesn’t make the point any less valid. I reminded her that a very real man had that thought and wrote it down, in the same way that a Jane Goodall or Gloria Steinham did. Tolkien just did it under the guise of fiction. Fiction I might add that has graced the bookshelves and movie screens of generations for over 60 years and sold over 150 million copies in print and grossed $871,530,324 worldwide at the box office. * Fiction that makes wise thoughts and lessons about the human condition accessible to the masses.

Paraphrasing Chesterton, Neil Gaiman said “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

The Brown Coats showed us that it is important to stand together and fight; and even if you don’t win the battle – you don’t have to give in and live life like those who oppress you have won the war.

Malcolm shows us that there is strength in protecting those who are important to you. Compassion doesn’t mean weakness or softness of character.

Zoe shows us that women can stand alongside men as equals, without apology for who they are or explanation for their belief that they have every right to do so.

Inara teaches us that there is beauty and power in owning your choices, values and sexuality.

Kaylee reminds us that there is beauty in the world around us no matter where or when we are and that attitude does not have to be dictated by circumstance.

Wash is particularly important in showing our young girls that men can love and respect a strong woman and find her attractive without trying to control or dominate her. **

Simon is a constant reminder that family is of the utmost importance and that we should travel to the ends of the ‘Verse to make sure that family, in all its forms, know that we love them and will protect them from harm.

River is instrumental in showing us that no matter how broken we are, we can kill people with our minds we can still make connections the best way we know how, be a valued member of a community of people. And through the broken pieces of our lives and minds, stand up and kick arse when pushed too far.

And Jane. Jane reminds us that no matter what happens, assholes can be tolerated and useful in life as long as you remember to be cautious about their motivations and loyalties.

So read your children fairy tales. Immerse your teenagers in dragons and wizards and space cowboys. The most important lessons are waiting for them dressed in robes or carrying rings or flying a spaceship.


*According to Wikipedia. Please don’t tell my Uni lecturers that I quoted a Wiki as a credible source. I’m not sure if they can issue a failing grade for this blog post, but I don’t want to risk it.

**Also, Joss, you know that I love you, your work and your feminism to pieces but I’m waiting for my written apology for killing Wash. I still haven’t come to terms with his death and I’m not sure I ever will. Go stand in a corner and think about what you have done.


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Elmo, a leg rash and arson

Regurgitated post from 2011 from another site:

So I saw on Facebook yesterday that my best friend had been taken to hospital.  Before you judge me for finding out via Social Media that my best friend was dying of an unnamed disease, I’m not sure what, possibly testicular cancer or hemorrhoids, I would like to point out that a) I moved interstate a couple of years ago and can totally be excused from knowing what is happening half way across the country and b) she is even more obstinate than me (as hard to believe as that is) and never lets on when she needs help.
So, there you have it.
I’m totally blameless in all of this.

Stop judging me.

Having her in hospital all the way over there made me think about the last time I was in hospital and she came and brought me a care package. I don’t usually like to tell people how I ended up in hospital, I like to call it a clumsy moment.  But really is was a Coordination Failure of the Highest Order.

Here’s the thing.
I was in the middle of trying to get a restraining order against my ex-husband so I had paperwork spread out all over the living room floor, at the same time I was mopping the kitchen and chatting online to my, then, boyfriend.  My boyfriend said something that was grossly offensive that I can’t exactly remember (I can’t be expected to do all the work, people!) like No, Ryan Reynolds is NOT the sexiest man alive or I see your point and it has validity, but we’ll have to agree to disagree this time, My Darling and I got justifiably upset, turned around as I let out a curse word or two into the empty room….

This post is interrupted to bring you the “Tip of the Day”
Curse at your partner behind their back.  That way they never have the right of reply and you will always win whatever disagreement you are having – either real or imagined.  After all – Winning is what matters in a marriage.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled blog.

stormed into the living roomWherein I promptly tripped over the bin that I had moved in there in order to mop the kitchen floor, skidded on some paperwork and impaled myself between the toes on a 2 ringed binder quite deeply and convincingly.  To cut a long story only a little bit long – the ensuing infection spread up as far as my knee before I was admitted to hospital.

Knowing me as well as she does, my best friend recognised that I was going to get bored very quickly sitting in hospital connected to a drip with no shiny things to distract me or small children to make fun of and brought me a care package.  I’ve heard talk that flowers are the traditional gift in hospital, in this case my hospital gift consisted of:

  • a Mr Potato Head style Elmo toy, complete with elephant outfit and noises
  • Bubble Wrap – thank goodness it wasn’t my thumbs that were injured
  • Maccas Trivial Pursuit – all my pursuits are trivial
  • Coke Zero
  • Grain Waves

Which is why when I found out she wasn’t well, I called the local florist there and convinced her to go and buy a colouring in book and crayons to deliver with the flowers I was sending.  Cause I’m the kind of caring friend that makes sure the hospital staff delivering your gift start to suspect that you’re one of the special kids. You’re welcome!

Quote of the day:
After seeing that a chicken schnitzel was burned
<creepy stare with knife and fork by his face> “Mmmmm Dinner is arson flavoured, tonight”