Introduction to Misfit 23
The Misfit’s Manifesto
“Misfit. Trust me when I say there is a lot packed into that little word.”
So begins Lidia Yuknavitch’s small, intense, book about what life is like when you are one of those people who just don’t fit in. For those readers who read Yuknavitch’s memoir, The Chronology of Water, much of the personal information shared in this book will be familiar: the physical abuse she endured, the two marriages gone bad, the drug abuse, the DWI, time in jail, the alcohol abuse, and more, all unapologetically revealed. Readers who admire her, as I do, know she is a person of formidable strength, fortitude and considerable intellectual/creative gifts. And in this manifesto, she outlines how she came to self-realization, accepting her status as a Misfit, and how she made it work for her. Channel your inner misfit, might be the best way to describe her thesis.
Most creative people are misfits in one way or another. They are different, they see things other people don’t and, often, they suffer for it. Many people are destroyed by their not being fully conversant with the knowledge that: not fitting in, is what distinguishes the creative mind. It is good to be different. Dare to be different. Embrace your inner misfit.
I wish this book had been written five years previous to this issue of our magazine, the twenty third, so I could have incorporated Lidia’s thinking into our own manifesto. I was tempted to create an essay using quotes from her book which could (and would) stand on its own as definitive statement. But I demurred. Let us not offend the copy write laws. Let us let Lidia speak for herself in the proper context.
You should read her book. It can be done in one sitting. Or if you don’t care to read the book (or even if you do, maybe, especially if you do) check out her condensed version on YouTube Ted Talk at www.TEDtalk.com. The talk is roughly sixteen minutes long and anyone whom comes away from that lecture unimpressed by Lidia’s presentation, should not be reading this magazine.
And then buy her The Chronology for Water, easily the one truly unself-conscious, no bullshit memoir, I have read in a decade. Or more.
Speaking of shit, I would like to make a modest proposal. In the new year after Fake News was voted the second most annoying, overused word of the year, following perennial favorite, “whatever”, that we create a new word (one not to be confused of 2017 word of the year candidate covfefe): Trumphole. Like covfefe, it does not need a definition, it just is. As in: it is what it is, and everyone knows what it means.
Imagine the bar conversations, “You’re a Trumphole.” And the fight following the exclamation. This low pejorative declarations. Anyone you disagree with or who holds opinions that could be considered whacky, or delusional, or far off the charts, flat earth society weird, is automatically, a Trumphole.
Now that the president has forever removed one of George Carlin’s words you can’t say on TV, it is time to offer a replacement. “You Trumphole, you...”. I know it is against the current administration’s rules to actually offer a replacement for what you blow up, but when it comes to language, well, he is the exception to every rule. And it’s all about him. What could go wrong with that? What indeed?