I have a pair of (metaphorical) ranty pants. They are bright red. Mean red, for when I go all Holly Golightly (you know those days?). They are made of scratchy fabric and they scritch and scrunch when I march and stomp and bang things around. They may have pictures of witches on them, or very scary monsters. They are maybe a little bit too tight, in a rock star kind of way. Some days, I only wear them for a few moments before changing back into my (metaphorical) happy fairy costume. Sometimes, I can wear them for a whole week. They don’t get stinky, unless you count the pungent stench of SNARK as a stink.
I wear my pants when I rant about many issues that I hold dear to my heart: equal marriage rights, environmental protection of ancient forests, prevention of cruelty to animals, whenever someone uses the phrase “illegal immigrants” to describe their fellow human beings who just need a place of compassion and kindness in a world full of chaos …
All of these issues make me tug on my ranty pants and do the ranty pant stomp.
And I’m well aware that, some days, my ranty pants are not a good look for me. I’m well aware that, some days, I should leave them hanging in the cupboard and, instead, don something blander; more beige – the sort of outfit Billy Connolly would do rant of his own about.
But, you know what? Life is short. And I think that people of every gender and sexual persuasion deserve the right to have their love recognised. For pity’s sake, they’re asking to be allowed to legally celebrate love, not kill puppies. And people desperate enough to pay to travel on a rickety boat, away from their loved ones, towards a country where they’re hopeful they won’t get murdered or blown apart by roadside bombs? It might be a ridiculous concept, but I think we owe them our understanding, and a happy place (without bars or barbed wire), to call their home because, dammit, they’ve been through enough shit already.
Chickens in tiny cages, who never get to see the sunlight or scratch in the dirt even once in their tragic little lives? That’s just so many kinds of wrong I can’t even get started (well, I can, but I’d need to go and find me a certain pair of red pants).
All of these things make me go a bit scarlet in the face, make my hands ball into fists and a highly unattractive sheen of “glow” appear on my forehead.
But, lately, I’ve been holding back a bit. Because I don’t want to be The Girl Who Has An Opinion On Everything. I don’t want to be the person blocked from Facebook feeds because – “Uh oh, here she goes again”.
So I’m trying to limit my RP-wearing.
Today, for example, I only did a Very Tiny rant (like, a tweet-long one, which is practically not even a rant at all). Someone called YA a genre. This always gets my goat. YA is not a genre. Sci Fi is a genre. High Fantasy is a genre. YA is a loose collective of books, loosely aimed at a loosely defined age demographic. The books within this loose collective are sooooo diverse. Calling YA a genre is patronising and demeaning and it annoys me.
So I got on some red pants for one hundred and forty characters, and I said so. I also said a bit in reply to a question about “How adult is too adult in YA”.
But I left it there.
I took my pants, hung them in the cupboard and put on my Tiger-playing pants, and we had some rant-free fun.
But what do you think? Should I put my ranty pants in mothballs forever. There is something a bit Zen about deciding to stay away from rant-inducing situations; to “hold one’s tongue”.
But, heaven knows, I never was quite able to do that. I’ve never been good at “knowing my place”. And I have a feeling I may be doing the ranty pant stomp again sometime soon.
Maybe to my detriment. But hey, YOLO (and don’t even get me started on how much I hate that phrase. That’s a whole other post – and I’m too tired now to go and find my pants).