These past few days I’ve been rediscovering the timeless singularity that is Ani DiFranco through the unexpected doorway of her newest album, Allergic to Water. The new tunes led me back to the venerable canon of the 1990’s and I’ve been weaving a path between the two. Listening to the songs that existed on the periphery of my university years through the simultaneously broader and narrower perspective of adulthood has been an interesting experience, to say the least.
The first song below is the title track to the new album. The second one is the classic “Birmingham”, a powerful track from To the Teeth (1999), that to my mind is still relevant today.
Seriously, folks, this is a debate that needs to die and stay dead. The idea that early risers are somehow morally superior, or more valid members of society is ridiculous. The reality, much as I hate the phrase, is that we live in a 24/7 society. All the white collar cubicle workers might be snug in their beds at 4 a.m., but all around the world there are still hospital emergency rooms, factories, 24-hour drug stores, and countless other round-the-clock facilities that need to be staffed by hard-working, dedicated people, who are no less virtuous, or productive, than the farmer who’s up before the crack of dawn, or the coffee-swigging commuter preparing to plunge into early morning rush hour traffic.
If the number of productive hours you put in during one 24-hour period is the same as the next person’s, it doesn’t matter what time you start working and what time you stop. It’s still equally valid, and just as beneficial to society at large. And as with anything else, there are doubtless people who straddle the divide and can function equally well at either end of the spectrum, or who fall somewhere in between the two accepted ‘types’.
On top of all that, as the video below points out (taken, as with all interweb finds, with as big a grain of salt as you prefer), it’s possible that it’s all mostly genetically pre-determined anyhow. Something to think about the next time you want to feel smugly superior over your neighbour, who’s likely working just as hard as you, and going through all the same day-to-day life crap as you are. So please, let’s stop trying to one-up each other with this endless who gets up earlier than whom competition, and get on with living our own lives as best as we can, while appreciating that just because someone next to us does things differently, doesn’t mean it’s better or worse – it’s just different.
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Tilda Swinton is my new official role model. For life and well, pretty much everything. Not all real women have curves. Some of us are born thin and bony and pale and flat-chested, and that’s just the way we are. We may be in the minority on this planet, but we’re just as ‘real’.
(Seriously, though, if someone can tell me what secret home planet/dimension Tilda and Tom Hiddleston come from, I’d dearly like to know. I’m sure I’d feel right at home. I suspect the portal to it might be somewhere in Scandinavia.)