A Critic’s Meta-Review: 4/5
Song Of Solomon by Toni Morrison (REVIEW)
I have to admit, as humiliating as its origins maybe (although I personally don’t see anything wrong with being breastfed at the age of four, as I am sure breastmilk is probably a hell of a lot better for you than whatever you are going to get from squeezing a cow’s udder), I still think that “Milkman” is a really cool nickname. In fact, I believe it is a much cooler nickname than “Eggman”, Eric Burdon is damned.
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Now, as for me, having transitioned from Lacto-Ovo vegetarianism into a full-on plant-based diet, such nicknames have passed me by. “Tempehman”, perhaps — or, much more preferably, “Seitanman”. There was a point when “Baconman” would have worked swimmingly, as well as “Creamcheeseman”, but those have since been eclipsed by “Avocadoman” and “Oatman”.
That’s my new nickname.
I remember reading this book during my senior year of high school, a year in which my fondest memories were of sauntering into the gymnasium from the parking lot after…” steaming up” my car a little bit.
Thank God for Ozium.
Milkman’s relationships definitely mirrored a lot of my own. For starters, I am a child of a loveless marriage, in which my father routinely accused my mother of being distant and having too close of a relationship with her father (in contrast to the novel, however, this relationship was not perceived to be sexual — it was much more about loyalty, which was a big thing to my dad).
I was never the closest with my sister, either. Much like Milkman’s sister Lena, my sister would often assuage me with charges of selfishness (although, unlike Lena, she never hit me in the mouth for it, and there was no urination involved in these disputes…at least not in the ones we had when we were out of our Huggies).
I was also never really involved with any of the “causes” my friends had found value in dedicating their time towards. Take Guitar, for instance (ironically, playing guitar was one of the only things that seemed interesting to me at the time…some things don’t change, I guess): his enumeration with the Seven Days and their acts of vengeance against the white oppressors reminds me of the various political allegiances adopted by my peers during our formative years — allegiances which were typically based on what their parents believed, or what a charismatic history teacher led them to think.
I did not have the luxury of grabbing hold of any of these things, as my parents did not discuss politics much (they were too busy trying not to show us how much they truly despised each other) and most of my teachers did not consider me to be worth developing a relationship with (at least, this was the case throughout middle and high school).
I’m just glad I finally learned how to fly.