succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Books finished - Citizen Girl

Ok, this book somewhat redeemed itself. Partially because it dealt with some themes I've been struggling with - where and how do you draw the line between personal ideals and survival? And how do you know when to work from within a system with which you disagree because it provides the best way to enact change and when do you become a tool of that system? It doesn't deal with these things in a particularly new or brilliant way, but since these thoughts have been rattling around in my head a lot lately, it was sort of nice to hear them from a character's mouth. (I've been having numerous conversations along these lines with Dad lately; as a hippy who grew up to work for a major chemical company he knows of what he speaks.) But also because I'm a sucker for an apt description of what it feels like to be my age and idealistic and temporarily beaten by the system and momentarily believing all those people who tell you you can't make a difference and you're silly and foolish for trying (and for an interaction that easily could have happened between April and I):
"G?" Her voice thickens with tears. "Is it going to keep being this hard?"
"Oh, God, no, no," I rush to comfort her. "Well, maybe, yeah." I pull her into me. "And then it won't be," I say into her hair. "At least, that's what I've heard."
I lower the window. The warm salt air whips the hair off our faces, bringing with it the promise of summer and more flights landing, more compatriots returning, the city once again infused with amity and opportunity, because we're only twenty-four for fuck's sake.


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