Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Turkey, voting, and freedom

My sister Patricia at Patricia's Pages has a great little post on why we should vote today on our Canadian Federal election, here.
I'd like to add, she has a military husband (now out of the army, but after 20 years in the military, I think the military will always be part of him), and one of our other sisters also married a young man currently in our Canadian Armed Forces. Whatever our views are on the war in Afghanistan, the desire is the same: to make sure all our soldiers come home safely. That's one good reason to vote.

Another reason has to do with reading. Last week many of the American bloggers were reading banned books, in support of freedom to read. In Western society, we have a lot of freedom. In order to keep that freedom, we have to vote, we have to care, and we have to realize that what we say and think, somehow, eventually, does matter. In my own personal world view, if a person doesn't vote, they have no right to complain over the next 4 years, because they didn't bother to take the time to vote. I look at book banning in much the same way - we are going to end up with the world in Fahrenheit 451 if we don't challenge the reasons why books are banned, if we don't stand up for the right to choose our books to read. I don't want someone telling me I can't read this or that book because they think it's unsuitable for me. I want to make that choice myself.

It's all about freedom, Gentle Readers. And I take the right to cast my vote seriously. So, tonight my husband and I took our children with us to the polling booth, and as I did with the eldest son (now able to vote for himself), I showed the youngest how to vote - what the ballot looks like, the names, and how to put the X on. Then I marked my choice and folded it up, and it was done.

We have 10 minutes and the polls close! Hurray!! Please don't let the Conservatives get a majority, please don't let the Conservatives get a majority.....

Yesterday was the Canadian Thanksgiving Day. We ate turkey - indeed, we have turkey leftovers for most of this week. It was a success, we ate far too much, and I managed to not read a word of my book. Either I ate too much turkey today at lunch, or I'm tired, because The House of Dr Dee today kept putting me to sleep. I want to like it, I have to read it for the 1% Challenge - so the question I put to you, my Gentle Readers, is this: if I try to read a book for the challenge, and I just can't get through it, does it count as being a book I've read? Let me know what you think....I guess not, it will end up being one I could not finish. I'm going to keep at it, but honestly, it's boring and I really want to read The Graveyard Book, Tamsin, Coraline, and Odd Thomas for the rest of the RIP3 Challenge!!! Why do I find 'good literature' so boring to read? It's like the vegetables we were forced to eat as kids: I cannot like tomatoes, will not ever, but I love spinach now. So I try and try to please my Cool Inner Literary Bookworm, but she might have to abandon me to Fantasy Book slut. I just have more fun with the latter!!!

Ok, polls are done, election results coming in.....happy day after turkey day, gentle Readers, from Canada!!


GeraniumCat said...

Commiserations on the election, but at least it wasn't a majority. I suppose it will meant that things will go on much as before?

And sympathies too about the serious reading! I've been a real book slut this year, I just can't seem to settle down to anything serious. And my copy of The Graveyard Book arrived at the weekend. I think I'm saving it for Hallowe'en.

Anonymous said...

I love your Banned Books to voting example! I'm also trying to do the 1% challenge (a little late, I know). If I start a book that I just... can't seem to finish, there's always another on the list to replace it

Though I seriously believe you should put all books aside to read the Graveyard Book. I went to the reading he did in Seattle, the night I got home, I read through half of it. It is brilliant.

Nymeth said...

Let Fantasy Book Slut win, Susan! You know you want to! Don't you want to spend the rest of the year reading books as good as Lonely Werewolf Girl, rather than books we are pressured to find good even though they bore us to tears? :P You know you do...Go Fantasy Book Slut, go! :P

Red Eyes said...

Dear Susan,
geetings from the UK!

Red Eyes said...


DesLily said...

I raise a glass (filled with a margarita!) to all Fantasy Book Sluts! Cheers! lol lol

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise that you had a Canadian Thanksgiving Day and so couldn't think why there was a 'Turkey' in your heading. I hope you had a wonderful day.

I couldn't agree more both about the necessity to vote and the need to defend our right to read what we choose. Apart from anything else, if we allow other people to make our reading choices for us how are we ever going to grow up to be discerning adults? Or perhaps that's precisely what those who try don't want to happen.

Bybee said...

I love the thought of a grudge wrestling match between Fantasy Book Slut and your Inner Book Snob!

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

I finally voted...what a hassle!

Susan said...

geraniumcat: yes, things will be the same. whew! the last time the conservatives had a majority, the decimated all social services, education, and health. It was horrible.
I think being a book slut is fun! At least we read for pleasure! :-P

buttons: welcome! thanks for dropping in! and I'm taking everyone's advice and reading for book-slut fun right now :-), but if you check my latest post, I did read Graveyard Book! It's fantastic1 and lucky you, you got to hear him read! *sigh*

nymeth: I read this and laughed and laughed! I even told my husband about your cheer : Go Fantasy bookslut, Go!" He liked it too :-) with that kind of support, my bookslut gave a knockout blow to my inner Literary Bookworm. :-) thanks!!

red eyes: greetings back at you! Go read my Neil Gaiman post and get some fun books to read! as in my literary self is taking a little break (see above comments....)!

deslily: cheers! You give me hope that one day I will be a proud fantasy slut instead of slightly ashamed of her!!

table talk: it's suprising how many people don't know we have our own Thanksgiving! Though I'm not sure how it got started, since it really is based on the first years the pilgrims were in the US back in the 1600's.
and yes - I agree totally that those in power currently want to keep people 'adolescents' in mind, mindlessly being the same as others, not discerning the truth about anything. Not that our election changed anything, but at least we get to vote, and with our pocketbooks choose the books we read. There is still freedom in the world worth fighting for....

bybee: yaay, you voted!! Here's a high five, we Susans have to keep together!! Now about your Inner Book Goddess, is she happy to have a Fantasy Book Slut as a friend? and yes, there will be many a wrestling match to come in the future, already CILB is sneaking in Jane Austen (under the guise of gothics!) under Bookslut's nose....

Emily Barton said...

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you! And I couldn't agree with you more about how important it is to vote. I won't listen to those who complain about our leaders if I know they haven't voted, because if they don't exercise this right we are so lucky to have, they have no right to complain. And my answer is that if you've put in a good-faith effort to read something, but you can't get through it, life is way too short to waste more time on it, and I count it as a "read-but-didn't-finish" (or the ones you've kissed, or maybe even fooled around with a little, but never went all the way with). But then, you know, I'm The Original Book Slut, so why should you listen to me?