Solutions, and Other Problems
I have started and stopped writing a new blog post for almost six weeks now. There is so much going on in the world and in my own life that I was struggling to find focus and meaning in the words I knew wanted to come out and land on the page. I have always turned to writing in order to help make sense of chaos but where to start? Politics, Economy, Remote learning, Pandemic, People, Wellness? Every time I would start writing and get a paragraph in, it was as if my brain popped like a cartoon balloon because there is just.so.much.stuff.right.now.
So, while waiting for students to finish a writing assignment in my Communications Seminar (how ironic that I have been struggling to communicate), I read Chapter 14 in Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. Allie is an incredible graphic artist and author who writes and draws over 500 pages of short monologues and 1600 drawings about things most people don’t take time to consider. This book is 25 chapters (well, really 24 because she opted not to include a Chapter Four) of sometimes hilarious and sometimes sneaky stories of ideas and stuff she wanted to say.
But let us get back to Chapter 14: Fairness…I think we could all use a little fairness right now. Equal shares, equal pay, equal treatment, equal housing, equal opportunity…The idea of fairness has been tossed aside. “At this point, it doesn’t even seem unreasonable to wonder whether everyone at the Universal Fairness and Balance Department has given up, and we’re alone now, and its only a matter of time before the bad guys figure it out too,” Brosh writes in the context of this story about a man and a hammer and a stick and a banana. Of course, we all know there is no fairness in anything. Everything is give and take but at different rates of give and take often with some taking far more than they are giving. However, Brosh, tells about her own way of creating fairness, if anything, just for her own satisfaction or entertainment. She re-writes the rules of fairness without hurting anyone or taking more than her share.
Regardless of whether you agree with her response to the man with the hammer (and you will need to read it to find out what that is all about), this book is a great way to sort through our own stories and see the value and fascinating parts of everyday life beyond all the chaos that tries to interfere.