Now, see, this is sanity….

I googled the phrase ‘time travel romance,’ which I’ve realized is a genre – or sub-genre? – I like, and lo and behold, a site appears and it makes me think, Can this be? You’re kidding!” But, there it is. In 2002, the Missouri Secretary of State appears to have published a recommended reading list of time travel romance.

Instantly, this Secretary of State got my stamp of approval. Now, I don’t know her politics (or anything about her, really), but obviously the woman has good taste in novels, at least insofar as the Diana Gabaldon ‘Outlander’ rec is concerned.

Actually, looks like an adviser chose the books (there’s a position I wouldn’t mind having), but this is the first government site I’ve ever seen that may discuss bodice ripper romances. I’m not sure, I haven’t read the whole list yet. I’m just saying. And I think it’s nice.

The site calls the books “pure escapism, and pure fun.” Probably, it’s to encourage an interest in libraries and reading. I’d like to think it’s also an attempt at de-stressing society by turning thoughts to, well, silliness. I mean the good kind of silliness that relieves your mind of its burdens and re-energizes it to face the horrible real-life stories we necessarily have in our lives.

A key component to avoiding insanity, I believe, is the responsible indulgence in fantasy. Unless you’re willing to be a little bit crazy, you can’t be sane. Unless you’re able to deviate from rigidity, you can’t find your way.

And reading helps you relax in ways necessary to the psyche.

This government recommended reading list doesn’t take the place of a strong social infrastructure with national health care, strong public education, truly affordable housing, as well as a transparent government and politicians who speak in substance instead of slogans….but, hey, it’s sane. At least, it’s a step toward understanding that people are complicated. It takes even silly mass-market paperbacks with fairy-tale covers to raise a society.

Would that whoever thought of this list knock some sense into today’s errant political environment and persuaded our leaders that we’re humans, not automatons; we can’t be afraid of ideas simply because they come with words like “government-funded” and ‘”social.” The proper way to to see society is through the gray, not the extremes.

And this is why I thought this little discovery of mine was so refreshing. There’s no stale, meaningless posturing on important issues here. Imagine, an actual government site that acknowledges our humanity.


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