I read all of this week's reading when I couldn't sleep at about 2am on a Saturday morning, so I may not have the freshest view of it. However- I know that it continues to be awesome. I know that within literally a three page interval, I cried and then laughed out loud, and do we have to relive the crying? We definitely do:
"I wouldn't have told her about how sometimes, when your daddy has fallen off a building, he doesn't like people to come to the house. That he won't let anyone in, or out.
I suspect I would have said I didn't feel well- that I had a stomachache, and so she shouldn't come over.
And that was true in the end- about the stomachache. Because I ate everything on the table. I ate my whole birthday."
I just... I don't really talk about this a lot* because it's too sad to think about, and I'm not even the person it's saddest for, but it came up when I was commenting on posts last week so it feels right to talk about it here. So my own papa has a lot of medical problems that are too confusing and depressing to detail in this post, he and my mum live on benefits (less tragically than in this book cause their kids are all grown, but still, they ain't rich) and I relate so deeply to days that should have been awesome but haven't been because he hasn't been well. I say this not in a blaming way, because there's no one to blame, and not in an angry way, because there's no real point in anger; but the fact is that this part of the book relates more deeply to my own experience of the world than maybe any other book and so I will never be able to be objective about it.
So, basically, you can take your unreality of becoming a music journalist, and I'll take my incredible reality of living with a daddy who isn't well.
"When the middle classes get passionate about politics, they're arguing about their treats- their tax breaks and their investments. When the poor get passionate about politics, they're fighting for their lives."Because, just yes. Johanna's description of what losing 11% of their benefits means to her family is completely heartbreaking because with that kind of crushing poverty, how is anyone ever meant to escape from it. I think it's really easy to sit back and say 'why don't they just get jobs?' but when everyone's trained for industrial jobs and Thatcher has more or less just made it so there aren't any, what other option is there? I won't go on the biggest rant ever about the way the media treats people on benefits even now**, but the point is, I don't really think it's a life anyone desires, willingly chooses, or benefits from. So STFU, The Daily Mail.
ONWARDS! Will Johanna ever get laid? Will John Kite be the one to lay her? Or will we get more of the hilarity of wanking followed by the AWFULNESS of a brotherly confrontation about it? (SO AWFUL. I cringed like I've never cringed before). All will be revealed next week, I suppose!
(P.S. You can totally preorder this book if you're in Americaland from here, and if you're in England you can buy it RIGHT NOW- I suggest getting it from here.)
*Although I guess I mention he's in hospital a lot, so there's that haha
**But I will just say that pensioners take up the biggest part of the benefit bill, but no one ever suggests euthanising old people to cut the deficit, do they? Of course not, because that would be AWFUL, but also, shut up.
***That would be me. Hi!