Archive for March, 2006

March 25, 2006

Who’s Spending Millions Wooing Whom and How?

Twenty-five thousand evangelicals are spending the weekend across the Bay in Sodom, decrying, among the usual suspects, “a corporate culture that spends millions trying to woo the under-21 crowd.” You can buy your anti-corporate culture gear here. And there’s so much to choose from. Several styles of hoodie for $32.50; follower of Christ iPod cover for a mere $10. Unfortunately, the $79.95 Rewired DVD is temporarily out of stock. This lovely t-shirt through which you can express your concerns about the exploitation of young girls, has been reduced to $10.

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March 19, 2006


See, now I find this wayyyyy more frightening than the fact that millions of teen and pre-teen girls are reading trashy novels. Way.

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March 15, 2006

Straight into the Fire: The Right Embraces Naomi Wolf

Lots of great discussion going on all over the web about Wolf’s essay. Scott Westerfeld asked his readers to pipe in, and they’ve offered some wonderful insights about the popularity of the trashy series books. Roger Sutton’s readers, including myself, are debating the value of such values-based critiques. As I expected, folks on the right are beginning to celebrate Wolf. Here, one parent describes how if his (I can’t tell if Aaron or Pam wrote the entry) daughter brought home one of those books, straight into the fire it would go.

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March 12, 2006

Give the Girls Some Credit

I read Naomi Wolf’s essay in today’s New York Times Book Review with more than a bit of unease. I’ve tried, but have not yet been able to finish a Gossip Girl or A-List book. Haven’t tried a Clique yet. They’re not, as my seven-year-old daughter has been taught to say by her teacher, “to my taste.”

But Wolf’s alarm over these books, her concern that they “carry no rating or recommended age range on the cover” and that unwitting parents like herself “might put them in the Barnes & Noble basket without a second glance” sort of scares me. Her analysis of the story lines in the GG (and clones) books is smart. If she were a student in my YA lit class, I’d surely give the paper an A.

But, accompanied with the sidebar list of books whose “authors recognize the developing moral intelligence of both their characters and their audience,” the essay sounds more than a bit Tipperish. Why assume that books depicting exploits of overprivileged, undersupervised teenage girls running wild around New York (and the world) will harm girls? Isn’t that kind of like assuming that a Christian’s faith will be harmed by reading Harry Potter? This little anti-Harry rant has the same structure of Wolfe’s essay. It enumerates the ways in which HP exhibits biblically-prohibited practices, and then offers concerned parents a list of books that “incorporate the Christian worldview into a fantasy story that will keep your children on the edge of their seat.”

I glanced through the Amazon reviews of those books, and I see there’s a nice, healthy, smart discussion among teen readers about all the issues Wolf raises. So what’s the problem?

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March 9, 2006

This is Plus-Size?

Today is my birthday, and so maybe I’m being a little oversensitive. But when this plus-size catalogue arrived in my mail, I assumed, erroneously, that Macy’s somehow knew about the creeping poundage. Turns out it was intended for a neighbor. I took a look through, anyway.

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