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A Very BadRep Christmas: Miranda

2011 December 22

HEY READERS. I’m actually, due to some real life $stuff, staying with my family earlier than planned, meaning that some of the stuff I’d have photographed for this post I’ve not been able to, but here’s my makeshift effort:

Photo showing blue christmas stocking surrounded by books, CDs and DVDs, by Miranda

  • The stocking was made by my mum in timeless 1980s acid brights. Some things basically NEVER go out of fashion, and let me tell you, a turquoise, pink, yellow and orange felt medley is one of those things. Talking of classic, yes, that is an original My Little Pony guarding the stocking.

Black and white image from Wikipedia, shared under fair use. Ella Fitzgerald, a young black woman in an embroidered dress, laughs

  • Immediately behind her is a pretty swish-packaged edition of Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Songbook, which was originally released in 1956 and went into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. I love the image of her on the front. She looks like she’s taking precisely no crap from anybody. In a similar vein, to the left of that we’ve got The Essential Billie Holiday, which is a three-disc gateway to the sublime.
  • Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back was our Markgraf’s Christmas present to me this year. So beloved of the internet has it become, it has an entry on KnowYourMeme, and I’m including it because throughout the entire text of the book only one animal is gendered as “he” and the rest are up to the reader to gender – if they need gendering at all. After the Dogs and Smurfs debate, I reckon that’s a good thing. It’s hardly stridently feminist, but it’s very good at not prescribing anything but a story. The second reason I’m including it is the general sense of righteous fury in the I HAVE SEEN MY HAT moment. I’ve had a dozen political click-moments which definitely come under the heading I HAVE SEEN MY HAT. If you get what I mean.
  • From bears to kangaroos, next to that is Tank Girl: The Odyssey. I’m actually (SHOCK) quite new to actually reading TG but here’s Sarah J persuading me.
  • And next to that we’ve got Serious Concerns by poet Wendy Cope, which contains important lines such as Bloody Christmas, here again. / Let us raise a loving cup. / Peace on earth, goodwill to men / And let them do the washing-up. and My cat is dead / But I have decided not to make a big / tragedy out of it – but also some really touching poems. You can read some of them here – I remember Flowers and Defining The Problem really struck chords with me.
  • WEIGHTIER TOMES: Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the 20th Century by Sheila Rowbotham, which came out this year. And William Golding: not an obvious choice for a feminist blog, perhaps, but The Double Tongue, his last novel, retrieved in draft form from a drawer and published posthumously, is told entirely from the point of view of the Delphic Oracle, and I loved it. (It’s much more enjoyable than Lord of the Flies.)

Cover art for Pre Raphaelite Women Artists, showing a painting of a pale dark haired woman with a mandolin looking serious. Used under Fair Use guidelines.

  • Pre-Raphaelite Women Artists: because the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was not the whole hood. Tired of women being erased from mainstream art history (for more on which, read this), Jan Marsh and Pamela Gerrish-Nunn’s glossy book puts the Sisterhood back on record, with wonderful illustrations.
  • Who’s Queen? Nurse your Boxing Day hangover with Miranda Richardson’s finest moments on Blackadder: The Complete Collection. (I recently rewatched Blackadder the Third and apart from her turn as a squirrel-shooting highwaywoman, I also loved Helen Atkinson-Wood’s supreme comic timing as housekeeper Mrs Miggins.
  • Forgive the big beardy patriarch figure looming in the background, but in these days of strikes and kettles, Karl Marx is looking good on everything. And in the absence of a Rosa Luxemburg shirt, he’s looking best of all on this tee. LOOK AT HIS FACE. HE IS UNIMPRESSED. Let’s not have the whole Commodification of Marxism debate now – the shirt’s ethically sourced by Fair Wear Foundation (a thing to look out for, or you’ll defeat the point somewhat) and you can purchase one from Savage London who have a shop in London’s Covent Garden. And you could do worse than wrap it around Terry Eagleton’s latest book on the topic, Why Marx Was Right, an accessible and funny primer for lefty political activists of any stripe (and much easier to read with aforementioned Yule Hangover than Das Kapital, eh).
  • Oh, and TEA. Everybody needs tea. Twinings are doing some cute tins which I kind of wanted to graffiti when I saw them in the shop with “Psst! Riots, not diets!” and “Priscilla! Are we fair trade, do you know?” so the ladies could chat to each other. But otherwise, any tea will do.

black tins of twinings tea printed with figures of ladies in dresses. Photo by Miranda

Merry Christmas!

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