Watch My Library is a project conceived during and for an entirely different sort of crisis.
When I only had to worry about keeping myself from going stir crazy during pandemic-induced isolation, watching some old DVDs and writing about them seemed like as good an idea as any. But as I watch my country contend with strife once again laying bare our culture’s deep racial animus while also scooching us ever closer to fascism…
Well, it did occur to me that perhaps there are better ways to spend my time than reflecting on the romantic tribulations of well-off, British white people. Another break seemed in order. Or maybe just scrap the whole deal? I don’t know.
Right now it feels like this is a pivotal moment when there’s at least a chance to make some measurable progress, and I’ve struggled with the idea that if I (and, by extension, any other well-meaning white Americans) get distracted from anti-racism learning/work for even a second, then I’ll just slide back into bullshit passive progressivism. After being asleep at the wheel for my entire life on social injustice, I should now devote my whole attention to it. Like, I should get up in the morning and eat my breakfast in a way fights oppression, right?
So I’ve been quiet because I absolutely do not have anything cogent to add to the current national conversation. And I’ve been doing my “homework,” and when I’m not doing that, I’m either working my paid job or feeling upset with my whole body.
Realistically, I can’t focus on only upsetting things until racism is solved. That isn’t some ridiculous epiphany I just had. I already knew that, just as I know no one is asking me to do that. It’s just an acknowledgement (without letting me off the hook for actually making myself as useful as possible) that if I really mean it, then I have to figure out how to walk and chew gum at the same time. Marathon and not a sprint, and all that. It’s just giving myself permission to watch Bridget Jones’s Diary.
- Bridget poses with all my old diaries.
The red one on the far right is a Japanese day planner I purchased online back when my state first issued a stay-at-home order because I thought I would use the time to do some creative journaling. You know it’s fancy because it has superlative, extra-thin paper that can stand up to watercolor and because it’s printed in a language I can’t read. To date, all I’ve used it for is tracking where I go on days I leave the house just in case someone needs to contact trace me.