8.08.2004

WHERE IS KIM KELLY

I have the flu, in August, what is that about? Well anyway, now that I've watched both seasons of The Office and half of Freaks and Geeks in my infirmity, someone very sweet has brought me a Sunday Times to read.

There is always a little moment of quiet dread and anticipatory anger before I open the Book Review. I almost didn't open it today, because I just did my taxes and had to look at the shocking precariousness of my finances, and in my flu-enforced quiet time I am really scared at how I have devoted myself to writing and not some sort of lucrative and stable career, and am racking my brain for a way to keep writing without having to leave my entire life in New York behind. I've tried, but I'm just not the sort of writer who can be committed to a real 9-5 and actually produce anything I'm remotely interested in. For the writing to come out of me in any true way, I have to be kind of checked out from the left-brain world for many hours a day. I can teach a bit and write, but not have a whole serious career and write.

Anyway, I'm all flu-ed up and quiet and acutely aware of this bind that is defining my adult life, entertaining visions of spending two years in writers colonies or living in a shack upstate--but this seems pointless, as I already did the sequester-yourself-and-write-a-fabulous-book thing for many years. So it's sort of like: even if I did that, what would the benefit be in the long run? Writing a serious novel seems to me just like buying a lottery ticket.

So anyway, in this state of mind, I did open the Book Review, to find that there are a whopping five fiction reviews (last time I read it there were three), and they are all of books by men. With trepidation, I counted the reviewers of those books: all men.

I was thinking: please, someone, quick, think me up some other career I could possibly be serious about. I'm sick of this. I'll do something else if there is something else I could possibly actually give a shit about. Then I thought, oh well, at least I have something to blog about, and I'm sure the Times balances this out somewhat (by which I mean has ONE woman reviewer at least) in the nonfiction reviews.

Not so.

A total of four nonfiction books reviewed by four male reviewers. That's nine books and nine critics and not a single chick in the mix. Repulsive.

So now I am thinking of the hardscrabble, fear-inducing, occasionally violent Busy Phillips character, Kim Kelly, from Freaks and Geeks, and I am dreaming of sending her into the Book Review offices to tear shit up. I am dreaming of her chasing them down in her Gremlin and giving them a little scare like she does to her almost-cheating boyfriend in my favorite episode, "Kim Kelly Is My Friend."

--Elizabeth

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