[LMB] Miles, Joy Harjo, and adult put-downs

PAT MATHEWS mathews55 at msn.com
Fri, 20 Aug 2004 11:32:54 -0600

I was listening to poet/musician/author Joy Harjo on the radio this morning. 
(Blatant Commercial - try to get her CD "Poetic Justice" if you can. She's 
marvelous.) She had a classic Wicked Stepfather who hated to hear her sing. 
And her high school music teacher would not let her take up the saxophone 
because "Girls can't play the sax." Well, of course the interview opened 
with a beautiful sax solo, and when she told the tale, she didn't sound 
bitter. She sounded pleased with herself. And why not? She'd shown him up 

I was reminded of Miles on Barrayar in an odd sort of way. Miles' problems 
were just the opposite, of course. His parents, and one hopes his teachers, 
encoraged him. It was his culture and his peers who gave him a hard enough 
time to (as he hinted to Ekaterin) consider pulling a Columbine on the boys 
who bullied him. However - Miles is not bitter now because he showed them. 
He showed them all. Even if it was under a covert ops identity.

And I thought, it's one thing to have scars. It's another if the wound still 
bleeds. The first is normal. The second is a sign of something still wrong. 
Lois' characters wounds very rarely still bleed. (In fact Miles', over his 
deception and cutting off Vorberg's legs, healed far too quickly for the 
ethically sensitive!) The one exception to that is, of course, Tien, who has 
never let go of a grudge in all his life.

Of course, I had Tien's measure from the statement "Well? Come down here!"

Just my $0.02,