Michaeline: Diversity and the Hugos

A shining priestess leads a minotaur through the darkness.

Margaret Brundage did win a Retro Hugo 1945 for Best Professional Artist at the 2020 WorldCon. Here’s something from the January issue of Weird Tales. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

I should have written about the Hugo Awards last Saturday when it was a hot fresh mess. But, I’d already written something, and was following the Hugo story from my car as my daughter popped into stores to get necessary items.

Now, it feels like the storm has died down. The last time there was a big SFF brouhaha, some wit on Twitter said (about cancel culture, not the SFF drama) if people would just shut up and stay off social media for four days, social media would forget and move on. It certainly seems true – I saw a lot of the villains of the last uproar commenting and getting likes this week.

https://twitter.com/HillaryMonahan/status/1280879423399628805

From my narrow perspective, it seems like the Hugo Award show, hosted by George R. R. Martin (you know, Game of Thrones?), was executed for a mostly white, mostly old live crowd of people who can afford to travel to New Zealand. However, due to COVID-19 concerns, CoNZealand (the 2020 WorldCon for members of the World Science Fiction Society) was virtual. Which meant younger, more diverse and poorer people could afford to participate.

The interesting thing about the Hugo Awards is that they are a fan-based award. Anyone who paid NZ$75 in time could vote for their favorites in the many categories. Heck, anyone who paid that fee OR was a supporting member of the 2019 WorldCon was eligible to nominate their true favorites to the ballot.

While the awards ceremony featured some huge gaffes and awards to racist, sexist white dead geezers, it also featured amazing winners and nominees from all over the spectrum of color and sexuality. And some of the acceptance speeches, such as the one by Rebecca F. Kuang for the 2020 Astounding Award for Best New Writer.


I think it bodes really well for the future of the SFF field as a whole. Readers like these people who put the nominees on the ballot are shaping the future of SFF.

(2020 Nominees and winners list at i09 website here.)

Michaeline: Virtual Fun, Australian RRA style!

 

RKO radio pictures logo with a radio antennae on top of the globe

Calling out, around the world! Romance readers, here’s a special bulletin for you! (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Just a quick update on Elizabeth’s post on July 22, 2020. The Australian Romance Readers Association’s virtual weekend has begun! Their A Romantic Rendezvous: Locked Down began releasing interviews on YouTube this morning, and by the time people in Europe and North America wake up, there should be almost a day’s worth of fun stuff up!

I spent a half hour watching the Jennifer Crusie interview; it was my first time to see her in live action! She’s just as I imagined she would be: articulate and full of good humor.

I’m tempted to spoil it and tell you what was in the interview! She talks about using collage to create characters, and why she doesn’t like to base a character on a real person. She tells us what books she’d recommend to someone new to her catalog. She adds her theory of humor. She tells us her best reader feedback, and then the conversation winds up with book talk, of authors living and dead that she likes.

I’m making the comments a spoiler zone; if you haven’t seen the interview, you might want to bookmark this to read the comments later. Please feel free to discuss and fan-squee! I’ll be checking back through the weekend (Saturday, Sunday and Monday for me).

There are a few other ARRLD events that I’ve got marked on my calendar for this weekend, but the wonderful thing is that it’s all on YouTube, so you can enjoy them any time, on your own schedule. (I’m just lucky that Australia is only one hour different for me – LOL, first time I’ve ever been first on a video.)


Michaeline: The World of Your Story

 

A large young woman holding a saucer of tea. On the table is a samovar, watermelon, fruitcake, apples and grapes. Next to her, a cute kitty rubs her shoulder. Affluent and full of sunshine.

Boris Kustodiev’s A Merchant’s Wife’s Teatime from 1918 shows the kind of sunny August afternoon I wouldn’t mind living in forever. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

I’m always a bit in awe of people who write intricate, dark, depressing stories like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. They do such a good job, but . . . they have to live inside that world in their heads for however long it takes to write the book.

I guess that’s why I prefer to write things with ultimately happy endings. I have a good real life, and I’m content, but in a story, I can stir up just a little trouble, just a little drama, and then resolve it all with cake and a brighter future ahead.

I wonder how many people set their stories in the Now. When I write these days, I studiously avoid plagues, invasions of insects, racism, floods, global warming and riots. They may creep in, but they are not what I set out to write.

But even before these wild days came upon us, I rarely wrote in the Now. I mostly wrote in the near future and far future, and a little bit in the distant past (80 years or more before Actual Writing Time). I am not sure why . . . maybe because I’m still processing the Now, and am not sure what to write about it. The distant past just needs a bit of research, and the future can be fudged. I don’t trust my perception of things enough to write about the Now.

But that’s me. I think people may want to read things about Now in the near future; they’ll have a basic set of reference, and can compare their experience with the author. They’ll have processed things. They might take joy in what the author got right, and they might have a sneaky bit of schadenfreude for what the author got wrong.

What is your Now like right now?

I saw a fun game on Twitter by Amber Sparks, who Continue reading

Michaeline: Book Rec: The Garies and Their Friends (1857)

A rather hard to read cover; 18 pence with preface by Mrs. Stowe

The Garies and Their Friends by F.J. Webb was published in London in 1857; mixed marriage, Black society in Philadelphia, race riots prompted by real estate speculators, battles and bravery and sweet romances (and a couple of tragic ones) are all in this little book. Image from The Internet Archive version of the book.

I just read a fascinating book this week. The Garies and Their Friends  was written by Frank J. Webb, a Mixed-race man from Philadelphia. His book was published in 1857 in London, when he accompanied his wife, Mary Webb, on a speaking tour. 


The book is a family drama, set a little before Frank J. Webb’s own time. Clarence Garie (a White slave owner) and his true love, Emily (his Mixed slave and mother of his two children) decide to move to Philadelphia on the advice of Emily’s cousin, Winston (a freed Black man passing as White), and are welcomed by the Ellises, a free Black family. The goal? To get freedom for Emily and the children.

The other major character in the book is Charles Ellis, the talented young son who was born a free Black, who must fight White prejudice to get a place in the world. He wins a prize at school, and a wealthy white woman offers to take him to the country for the summer. After much discussion, his family accepts.

The Garies soon run afoul of prejudice – particularly from their neighbors, the Stevens. “Slippery George” Stevens is a White power-hungry lawyer who wants to incite riots in order to buy up Philadelphia real estate – and if those riots should happen to spill over on his neighbors, the Garies, so much the better. The riots also wreak havoc on the Ellis family, and if I explain much more, I’ll be getting into spoiler territory.

In the foreword, Lord Brougham says Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote him that “(t)he style is simple and unambitious.” That’s good news for us 21st century readers – the style is indeed clear and lacks a lot of frills and digressions that make 19th century literature a pain. The plot, though, is anything but simple. It’s complex and multi-layered, but always clear. There are mobs, betrayals, violence, love, love thwarted by prejudice, love that overcomes prejudice, and love that will make you smile. It’s true that Webb slides into a little sentimentality towards the end, but perhaps by that time, he deserved a little indulgence.

Drawing of F.J. Webb's wife, a Black orator who toured Great Britain in the 1850s

There are no sure pictures of Frank J. Webb that I could find; you’d think the grandson of Aaron Burr would leave behind a few photos. But his first wife, Mary Espartero Webb, was a Black orator who toured Great Britain in the 1850s, during which time Webb probably wrote his book.

I won’t spoil the ending, but justice is meted, some lovers marry, and overall it’s a happy ending.

What’s extremely interesting is viewing this own-voices story from a 21st century filter. Folks, this was written more than 160 years ago, and Black people are still fighting a lot of the same damn things!! Interviews that go wonky when the employer realizes the applicant is a person of color, disdain of mixed marriages, the silly “one-drop-of-Negro-blood-makes-you-a-Negro” thing, people advising other people to erase their culture and heritage and “pass”, and just the general idea that Black people are something Other. Why is White privilege not Everyone’s privilege yet?

As a liberal white woman, I read the book and nodded along with the author’s subtext; I loved it when the smart people of color put it over on the White evil-doers. (And I did appreciate seeing White do-gooders, too, who are represented in a spectrum from White people who actually do some good, to White people who say they are going to do some good, but it’s just not financially feasible right now. It seemed very realistic.)

The book had very little audience in the US when it was published, according to Wikipedia. But maybe its time is now. Its analysis of the different ways to be Black, and how those can combine with White society to varying results can be a real eye-opener.

And when your eye-opener is a thrilling page-turner as well? Well, all the better. You can read The Garies and Their Friends on Gutenberg here, or buy it, and maybe get more modern analysis.

Here are some other sources you might like to check into after reading the book. Frank J. Webb seems to have been quite circumspect in his life; there’s only one photograph that I could find that said something to the effect, “The man on the right might be Frank J. Webb.” But his international life crossed the oceans, and he left his words behind.

Katherine Henry, “Garies (The) and Their Friends,” The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia (website), (Copyright 2015, Rutgers University)

Eric Gardner, “’A Gentleman of Superior Cultivation and Refinement’: Recovering the Biography of Frank J. Webb,” The Free Library (website), (Copyright 2001, African American Review/Gale Group)


Mary Maillard, “’Faithfully Drawn from Real Life’: Autobiographical Elements in Frank J. Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends,” (PDF) (Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. CXXXVII no. 3, July 2013)
 (Downloaded immediately for me, with no warning.)

Michaeline: Fourth of July

Older ladies sitting in the shade with their shoes off while others wade in the lake.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the Fourth of July — being with good friends in the summer heat, and just kicking off your shoes and relaxing in the shade. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

For Americans in the reading audience, Happy Fourth of July (fraught with meaning)! For non-Americans, Happy Fourth of July (random day, so why not be happy?).

I love the Fourth of July. It’s the day that the Continental Congress declared they were no longer subject to George III, and it’s smack in the middle of the long summer holidays from school that in my case lasted from the end of May to the end of August. My family had picnics, and sometimes family reunions, and always, always, always fireworks. There’s a streak of pyromania that runs in both sides of the family DNA, and we enjoyed setting off the mild fireworks that Nebraska allowed, then going to see the big fireworks down by the pond.

Things are different here in Japan. Fireworks are on sale, but aren’t really a big deal until mid-August in Hokkaido. The first of the summer fireworks shows start at the end of July. At any rate, much as I love fireworks, the dogs and the cows hate them, and they outvote me on this. We might do a smoke bomb or two or some wee sparklers, but that’s it at home.

Menu ideas for the fourth of July with an explanation of what the Fourth of July is. There is no "Republican," no "Democrat," on the Fourth of July -- all are Americans.

Here’s what an ideal Fourth of July looked like long ago — fried chicken for breakfast! And, “(t)here is no “Republican,” no “Democrat,” on the Fourth of July — all are Americans.” (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Back in Nebraska, being in the middle of summer vacations, Fourth of July wasn’t what you’d call an intellectual celebration. Oh, you learned stuff, that was sure. Fireworks are full of science and physics, and also about responsibility for your actions and consequences. Very educational, that. And of course, the mayonnaise-based salads could provide a health lesson, but my mom was very much in favor of lecture mode vs. the school of hard knocks (major concentration in food poisoning), and we never suffered from that.

This year might mean the smartest thing to do is stay home. My hometown had plenty of parking, and a lot of room on a wide, grassy hill, so maybe they’ll have a safe, socially distanced fireworks display. People could probably park at the old drive-in theater (if it’s still undeveloped) and enjoy the whole show from their cars and never leave the bubble.

But not every town has that sort of space (or small population). It’ll be interesting to see what kind of new traditions evolve to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Originally, I was going to write a whole blog post full of suggestions for a fun and educational Fourth. Watch a movie! Read some books! Play History Charades! Enjoy a traditional meal from your family’s heritage – because they were the people who helped build America. Enjoy a traditional side-dish from someone else’s heritage, because they made America the country it is today. Set an alert on your calendar for the next business day to make sure you are registered to vote, and to apply for an absentee ballot if you need one (you might really need one this year).

But then, I thought, who am I kidding? It’s the middle of summer. I’m going to arrange some flowers, have hot dogs for supper, set the alert on my calendar, and call it good. That’s probably good enough.

Michaeline: Writing Where the Grass is Greener

Tish, Aggie and Lizzie putting out a fire while a young heroine looks on.

Letitia Carberry (known as Tish), and her henchwomen, Aggie and Lizzie, save yet another young couple in love while putting out fires and being their unabashed spinster selves. (Image via digital.library.upenn)

Two things collided and lit up my intellectual sky this morning. First was that tweet by the guy who said being childless is a privilege*. A lot of Twitter people piled on – one of his arguments basically boiled down to “you can euthanize your pets, but you can’t euthanize your children, so stop comparing pet ownership to parenthood. Pet-owning childless people, you have no idea, so your arguments along that line are invalid.”

I tweeted that not having kids is a privilege, and having kids is a privilege – just very, very different privileges that carry their own burdens and responsibilities. I added that the grass seems particularly greener on the other side when we are fed up and anxious about things.

And goodness knows, the pandemic has increased the number of bored, anxious, fed-up-to-the-gills feelings.

So this idea of childlessness being a privilege (with caveats) ran into the reading I’ve been doing recently. Problematic early 20th century writer Mary Roberts Rinehart is racist and classist – but it’s a closely observed racism and classism that make her characters live and breathe. And in addition, she’s good at plotting, and turning rather ordinary situations into screwball comedy.

Her casual sideswipes at great swathes of humanity make me deeply uncomfortable, but she’s got good ideas that would work well in this time period or even the near future.

One of the perennial calls from readers is for books that have mature heroines. Most of Roberts Rinehart’s books do feature narrators out of their first blush of youth, and in particular, her series of stories about Letitia Carberry, a “spinster” who has a taste for adventure (motorcars, boats, that sort of thing) and her two friends. Tish Carberry buys an island where her friends go to hang out in the summer, and they rescue young couples who are crossed in love. (The young men in the stories are often appalling stalker-boys, and the girls often don’t know their own minds before realizing that they luuuurve those awful wretched boys. You have been warned!)

Older woman swimming in an inner tube calling to an older woman washing a white sheet on the shore.

“Get the canoe and follow. I’m heading for Island Eleven.” Actual caption to the original, and I can’t add much more. Tish calls to the narrator, Lizzie. (Image via digital.libary.upenn)

But if you boil the muck down and distill the essence, this is a great idea! Three happy spinsters, merrily following their own interests and pursuits. They go camping! Tish enters a car race and blows away the competitors while her friends cheer her on (and fear for her life!). The women have time, they have money, and they have a certain amount of respect as “elderly” women (they are in their 50s, IIRC), and can also totally Karen their way out of a situation by pretending to be weak and fragile. (And sometimes it’s funny that their fragility is real, but they don’t want to admit it.)

I think it’s very much a “grass is greener” situation. Roberts Rinehart married a doctor after graduating from nursing school. The Tish books were written from 1911 to 1937, so she would have been about 35 when she published the first Tish book. According to Wikipedia, her sons would have been about 14, 11 and 9 in 1911. Since her first book, The Circular Staircase, was published in 1908, she would have had at least three years of writing while juggling her job as wife and mother.

I can easily imagine that the Tish books were a mental vacation from those responsibilities. Just think: what fun it would be to buy an island away from everything, provide homes for your best friends, rent a few cabins to make ends meet and then indulge in camping, fishing, crafts, motorcars and whatever else struck your fancy – without having to justify it to a husband or feel like you were stealing the college education from your children!

Her kids were a success, and her writing paid for extensive renovations to a house in town that she bought, as well as a rural retreat. Letting her imagination stray to a place where the grass was greener certainly seemed to pay off for her! A room of her own? Let’s aim for an island of our own!

*Privilege confers certain advantages, and I don’t see privilege as a zero sum game in every case. Childfull/childless is one of these cases. Renting/owning is another case where both sides have pros and cons. In race and gender discussions, privilege is more fraught and puts the burdens and deprivation people have in stark contrast. Imbalanced privilege that we can fix is definitely worth doing something about. 

Michaeline: Mystery Architecture

A man either sinking or rising in a stage trap door with a woman being frightened. "Then let it be the kiss of death" reads the caption.

See? Trapdoors are not as cool as a bookcase that swings open at the push of a button or hidden lever. They are frightening, and not always reliable. I really do wonder what is going on in this play, though. Whiteley’s ORIGINAL Hidden Hand — do not be misled by false pretenders who come after. Or it WILL BE THE KISS OF DEATH! (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve been thinking about homes lately. If you followed the Friday Sprint Adventures of Porky Pie the Wonder Dog (summer of 2019; particularly episode five and six), you’ll remember the secret passage that leads from summer breakfast room to the gazebo by the creek. I just love a good secret passage! Built-in features like safes behind paintings, or a vault hidden in the floorboards really thrill me as a reader, and I like to incorporate them into my writing.

Two early influences were The Adventures of Scooby Doo, which often seemed to involve hidden passages or secret doors, and the Nancy Drew mysteries. There were little secret compartments in several of the books, if I remember correctly.

Attics were also great places for hidden treasure, or mysterious diaries, or even the odd prisoner of the house. To my great regret, I’ve never lived in a house with a proper attic. When I was a child living in Panama, I remember we were forbidden the attic because of the snakes, bats and other wildlife that might be up there. And, dear readers, I was NEVER tempted to explore.

The basement is usually where you’ll find the secret tunnels – it just makes sense to have them handy to the ground. You could hide the staircase and all, which will make your tunnel even more secret – people may not even suspect you have an underground component! But it’ll run you some money. Best to hide the tunnel behind the wine rack or cleverly disguise it with rutabagas.

I’m not a huge fan of the trapdoor. There’s just too much fiddly business – thrust aside the carpet, lift up the whole heavy thing, and then inelegantly scramble or crouch through the thing. Then after you’ve closed the door, you need an accomplice to put the rug back on properly.

But a dumbwaiter? Oh, I like those! You get in your dumbwaiter (which doesn’t necessarily have to be hidden, but could be), and slowly descend or ascend dramatically out of sight without ruffling your petticoats. Pop out into the third-floor ballroom, then make your way across the rooftops to freedom!

I may have been inside a little too much these days.

Michaeline: Saturday Morning Cartoons

Bugs Bunny star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Bugs Bunny’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

In my childhood, Saturday morning meant cartoons. No sleeping in for me! I was glued to the screen watching even crappy cartoons from six or seven a.m. until lunch. One of my favorites were the Looney Tunes cartoon hour. I enjoyed the tales of the Singing Frog from 1892 (One Froggy Evening, 1955), Marvin the Martian, and Speedy Gonzales, but my favorite stories were about Bugs Bunny.

I’m not sure how they got these cartoons on the air in the late 70s and early 80s. Parents were already wary of gratuitous violence – Wile E. Coyote and his plans to permanently rid his life of the cheerful Roadrunner, Elmer Fudd wandering around woods, forests and opera houses with his hunting rifle, Marvin the Martian ready to eradicate the earth and any loose Earthlings.

And then there’s the sensibility – many of these cartoons were first made in the 1950s, a whole generation before X. A lot of their humor was rooted in even earlier times – 1930s gangster movies, slapstick comedy and snappy banter. I didn’t know who Liberace was, or what a teen idol Frank Sinatra was, or a single thing about Sally Rand and her amazing fans . . . but it didn’t matter. The jokes worked anyway for pre-teen me.

Looking back, it does make sense. Violence was very much a part of our world back then – we worried about the Soviet Union nuking us, and gun violence was in the news daily. Also, those re-runs had to have been a lot cheaper than making new cartoons. What I liked best about them, though, is that even though they were accessible to an eight-year-old, they weren’t meant for an eight-year-old. I felt they gave me a peephole into a sophisticated universe. (Note, as an eight-year-old, many of my notions of sophistication were actually shaped by Warner Brothers. It was a cycle that fed itself.)

One powerful lesson that the Looney Tunes taught was the power of the underdog – a quick-talking rabbit who was clever could Continue reading

Michaeline: Plague Books for Fun and Education

Medieval painting of people enjoying the country scene of The Decameron

Seven ladies and three gentlemen escape the plague-filled city to have some fun and tell some stories in The Decameron. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Pandemic. All the stuff stemming from the pandemic including death, illness, poverty and hardship. Murder hornets (remember murder hornets?). Asteroid misses. Earthquakes. Locusts. Oh yeah, tornadoes. I’m sure I’m missing a few.

I won’t count protest. It needed to happen. It still needs to happen, and unfortunately, it will continue to need to happen, I’m afraid. I could wish that everyone had gotten totally frustrated, fed up and ready to change the system for good when Trayvon Martin was murdered in 2012 (or any of the other times a black death at police hands sparked protest and outrage). However, I see why it is happening now, instead of last August. What with unemployment and staying at home, people have time to protest, maybe for the first time in their lives. And the pandemic’s side effects have certainly intensified everyone’s anger and outrage. Maybe this time, we’ll see a long-lasting change for the better.

But, back to the Corona. Oddly enough, most of the books I read in May ( 3 and 1/2 books . . . when will I be able to read again?) had something to do with The Plague. The Decameron (J.M. Rigg translation) was a bunch of really rich people who said, “Let’s escape all this crap, and sing and dance and eat good food in the good country air, and tell stories every night.” Two weeks later: “OK, bored now. Or going to get bored soon. Let’s go back to the plague-y town.” It took me a month and a half to read through two weeks of tales (with four days off for hairwashing and piety – on the characters’ part).

The Ozark tales sometimes borrow from The Decameron. (Image via Open Library)

It’s worthwhile to read this once in your life, I think. However, if you need something lighter, I would read Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Tales, collected by Vance Randolph. The best of the dirty jokes of The Decameron, but with down-home people. (Caveat: I last read this book in my 20s; it stuck with me, so it’s good. But there’s probably A LOT of problematic material in a dirty joke book that just didn’t register on my young radar. So, you have been warned.)

The new Penric story by Bujold, The Physicians of Vilnoc, was so good. Doctors working to solve the mystery of the plague, using cooperation and understanding and compassion and BRAINS. (The people of the Decameron did not apply their brains toward solving the problem at all. They applied their brains towards distraction, which is a good strategy, as far as it goes.)

I’ve been meaning to write a review of this, and it deserves one. Aside from the story of the plague (which is an engrossing mystery with higher stakes than any country house whodunit), it also provides justification for Penric’s

Penric and his demon, Desdemona, race to prevent a pandemic in The Physicians of Vilnoc. (Image via Goodreads)

path – he trained as a healer in his 20s, but suffered from a breakdown and almost committed suicide. In this story, he has to deal with his fears of burnout, and a reckoning of abandoning a healing path. He discovers that many of the doctors he runs into have heard of his translations of medical books. As a healer, he could have directly saved hundreds of people. But through his translation work, he indirectly saves millions over his lifetime and the future. This is a sideplot, if you can even call it a plot, but it’s an extremely satisfying aside.

Finally, by chance, I picked up an old novel (1909) called When a Man Marries. I picked it up mostly because one of the cover shots I saw was an omnibus with an unfortunate design, so it looked like the book was, “WHEN A MAN MARRIES THE MAN IN LOWER TEN” which sounds like a thrilling, ahead-of-its-time sort of book.

The author, Mary Roberts Rinehart, writes very well and has great characterizations, but also slaps the reader constantly across the face with the fan of casual, middle-class white racism. In this particular book, she writes crappy comments about a Japanese butler, South American native women, and the Irish. Her characters very obviously build their lives on the backs of lower class people, and so I feel I must include this as a trigger warning before I go into the pandemic part. She was definitely part of the problem.

That said, I was very surprised when this screwball comedy (and it IS very funny when it sticks to observations about its own class) centered on a smallpox quarantine. Jimmy Wilson is depressed because it’s the second anniversary of his divorce (in 1909). Kit, our narrator and Continue reading

Michaeline: Too much world on my mind this week.

The muse Melpomene is standing on a tilted pedestal in this fresco. She holds a frowning mask in one hand, and a big stick resting on the ground with her other hand.

The muse Melpomene found in Pompeii. Her world was on fire, too. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

A Song for 2020

The fucking world is on fucking fire, tra-la-la-la-la.
Between the plague and the fucking pyre, tra-la-la-la-la,
So many coffins on the bier, tra-la-la-la-la.
We’re paralyzed with doubt and fear, tra-la-la-la-la.

Someone else is saving the world, tra-la-la-la-la.
Filmed on an iPhone, click on this URL, tra-la-la-la-la.
Listen, be silent, speak up, support, tra-la-la-la-la.
Can’t trust the government, police or the court, tra-la-la-la-la.

What can be done, what can be done?
Wring our hands and stare at the sun?
Wash the dishes until day be done?
Ignore it all for escapist fun?

The poets would sing our troubles away, tra-la-la-la-la.
Pack up, for an hour, our cares away, tra-la-la-la-la.
See something, say something, do what we can, tra-la-la-la-la.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a plan. Tra-la-la-la-la.

Tra-la-la-la-la.
Tra-la-la-la-la.
Tra.
La-la.
La-la.
Lah.

— Michaeline Duskova