My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles from January 2018

  1. You can't outrun every monster

    Mental health issues are not a personal failing

    Trigger warning for detailed descriptions of anxiety-inducing social situations.

    I went to the play alone, and that was probably my mistake. There are reasons I don’t like going to movies or plays by myself. But my friend was in the production, and I really wanted to see her and support her endeavour, so I dragged myself out to the small (but thankfully not crowded) theatre and thoroughly enjoyed the performance. It wasn’t until near the very end that I started feeling … off. The curtain came down on the final bows, the house lights came up--and suddenly, all I wanted to do was get out.

    But first I had to run the gauntlet. The actors lined the exit into the lobby. I wanted to stop, say hello to my friend, tell her how much I had liked the show and her role in it. But I couldn’t. I could only keep my head down, rush through, and escape into the chilly night air. Only when I was back in my car, body moulded to the seat, music playing through the speakers, did I start to feel better, and I wasn’t really myself again until I was safely ensconced at home.…

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  2. Best books I read in 2017

    As with last year, I’m eschewing lists of top 10 best and worst books in favour of simply highlighting some of my favourites read in the past year.

    Social Justice

    I want to start with a book that is actually being published this year, on January 16: Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race. You must read this book if you want to learn more about systemic racism and the ways in which we can dismantle it.

    Next up, one of my favourite books of the year is The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. This is a powerful book about police brutality and anti-Black racism by a Black woman. Again, it’s a must-read, this time in novel form.

    Closer to home, we have Seven Fallen Feathers, by Tanya Talaga. This book examines the deaths of seven Indigenous youth who came to my town, Thunder Bay, for high school. Talaga exposes the racism and systemic failures of our police and government. It’s a harrowing but important read.

    Science

    Lots of my non-fiction this year was dedicated to science, which I’m happy about. I requested many ARCs from NetGalley, and two science texts in particular went…

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