Archive for May, 2006

May 24, 2006

Treasure Troves of Naughty Bits

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I’ve been wondering where all those excerpts like those posted on the AS IF! blog a while back from Handmaid’s Tale and the ones recited by Florida school board member who got Maryrose Wood’s book, Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love on that list came from. The reporter covering the story at the St. Petersburg Times said the boardmember launching the challenge indicated that her “research” on the books came from Citizens for Literary Standards in Schools and Parents Against Bad Books in Schools.

Pabbis links to a third site, Operation Information.

The Operation Information site is scary. They make no bones about the fact that they would like schools and libraries to reflect “a biblical world view.” Makes their reviling of The Handmaid’s Tale, about a fundamentalist Christian take-over, almost funny.


What is funny is that you have to agree to enter the site to read the naughty bits, just like a porn site. Reading over the bits from all these books, I couldn’t help wondering whether anyone’s ever actually used this site as they might a graphic (visual) porn site. Late at night, in front of that computer all alone.

“Honey, I swear, I was doing research!”

Treasure troves of naughty bits.

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May 17, 2006

Even If You Are Sometimes Annoying

I was in New York during Teacher Appreciation Week at my daughter’s school. Monday, I saw all the wonderful hand-scrawled signs pasted to her classroom door, including this one:

you are a great teacher even if you are sometimes anoying (sic)

Later, when my daughter and I were walking home, I mentioned it. “Oh yeah, that was mine.” Gulp.

I blame her father.

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May 10, 2006

Like a Whirlpool, It Never Ends

I’m so dizzy.

As all (two) of you know, I’ve been done my share of ranting about Naomi Wolf’s anti-Gossip Girl ranting.

But . . .

Thanks to Kaavya Viswanathan, we now know a lot more about Alloy Entertainment and 17th Street Productions, creators of the Gossip Girl series. An article in Monday’s Boston Globe pointed to Alloy’s corporate website, where they boast of the unique marketing opportunities they offer advertisers through “brand integration,” i.e. product placement, in their “youth media.”

Alloy Entertainment’s Branded Entertainment Division partners with clients to facilitate brand integration or product placement within popular youth media – books, internet, online gaming, film and TV. Brand integration inside our popular media formats speaks to consumers directly and as multi-tasking, on-demand and TIVO render the 30 second spot less powerful, is a means for delivering the brand to them.

A few years ago, I ranted on NPR about Limited Too’s publishing books that were thinly disguised commercials for their clothes and stores.

My head is spinning.

I would love to know more about this product placement. Are the editors at the major publishing houses that partner with Alloy in on it? Okay with it?

A few posts back I quoted Fay Weldon who famously wrote a novel sponsored by Bulgari. That didn’t bother me so much because a. of all, it was Fay Weldon, and b. of all, it wasn’t surreptitious. She laughed all the way to the bank.

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May 5, 2006

Meg Cabot Says it All

In her allegorical story about Carol, the Princess Drawing Thief. My favorite passage:

But none of that happened. NONE OF THOSE PEOPLE NOTICED. It turned out they didn’t care HOW Carol had acquired her drawing. They just wanted to rush out and show it to everyone, to prove how special and talented Carol was—and how special and talented THEY were, for discovering this new art prodigy (aka Carol).

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May 2, 2006

I Wonder What Effect–If Any–These Revelations Will Have on YA Publishing

So, it’s not just Megan McCafferty who received to the sincerest form of flattery from Kaavya. Viswanathan’s “novel” contains strong echoes of works by Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot and, um, Salman Rushdie. Though apparently rhyming roadside signs are common in India and so those echoes could be coincidental.

Yeah. Right.

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