Sunday, May 20, 2007
Mother On Fire
I'm a fan of Sandra Tsing Loh. The first thing I read was her review of a book called "The Mommy Wars." In the review, she coins the term "afflufemza" to describe the malaise she feels on reading books where "the problems of affluence are recast as the struggles of feminism." Then I read her hilarious "Scandalously Informal Guide to Los Angeles Schools" on her website, www.sandratsingloh.com. If you think the public school snarl is discouraging here in the Bay Area, read about the situation in L.A. Last night, my sister and I went to see her one-woman show, "Mother On Fire," at the Women's Building. It's mostly about her search for a kindergarten for her daughter, and how she realizes the process is turning her into someone she doesn't like or recognize. She has some revelations along the way, including "Darwinism was a theory that our family just couldn't afford." (Because the parochial schools she checked out, especially the ones that taught Creationism, were a relative bargain.) The audience of mostly white, probably middle to upper class parents laughed along with her, and at ourselves. What a relief to hear our not-so-secret fears and prejudices spoken out loud, and to laugh at them.