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June 17, 2005

Comments

fancypants

Caution: Longest comment ever below.

I would like to add my own irritation: is it really necessary to spread all of your shit out in the gym locker room, effectively hogging all of the valuable bench space? And must you sit down on the aforementioned bench and proceed to read magazines and lollygag around while it's obvious that people are trying to get in and out of there quickly and you are just in the way!!!

Re chick lit. I never thought about this as a denigrating term before. But I agree with you to an extent. But I also think BJD created a terrible craze--formulaic books that feature irritating characters who are supposed to be endearing. But they're wildly popular--and using the term chick lit is an effective marketing tool for publishers. I do see your point about the subtle misogyny inherent in the term. But, I would argue that Sedaris is freaking brilliant and you can't really compare Salinger to Prada in the Sexy City or whatever. I LOVED BJD when it first published. But when I see a book in the bookstore with some stupid garish cover all pink and full of shopping bags and martinis, I throw up a little in my mouth. I don't read anything marketed as chick lit--but that's mostly because I am horribly bored by the formula. that doesn't mean that there isn't some terrific stuff being marketed as such. But how do you find it amid the utter dreck? THen again, I've been known to read young adult fantasy and sci fi, so maybe I should shut my piehole.

fancypants

Omg. Can you tell that I'm marking time until 5'0 clock? And that I've had a ton of caffeine today?

Once More

make no mistake - I'm NOT comparing the Prada wears Devil bunk to Salinger calibre stuff. the opposite. And yes, as soon as BJD got popular - The Flood Gates of Copycat opened looking for fame and moeny using the "secret" formula. And why not, there's an audience for it and money to be made. But now the market is innudated with that shit. seriously, watch where you step.

My point was, great women writers who write about a fictional young woman in the city get sacked with "chick lit" when it's a story that's clearly not the fluff stuff like "confessions of a shopoholic" or what have you. And I'm not being a "book elitist" (I read a few, the same way I read People magazine - when I don't want to think much). Not to mention, I think for me it was a phase thinking the next one I would find MUST be the next BJD. Law of large numbers. Yeah, not so much, so you realize: enough. Ormaybe "chick lit" started as compliment and now it's a marketing technique and now a dig. I dunno.

ANY. Way.

These same writers who write a great, smart story that goes to serious to funny on a dime, similarly or inspired by Hornby, Salinger (Franny & Zooey comes to mind), Russo, Knowles, fuck, Hemingway for all I know, and critics will continue to lump them into a genre that's clearly meant as a dig. THAT'S what bugs me. If a guy were to have written it, it'd be effin required reading. Literary equiv. of typecasting is what it is. BUGS.

Once More

As far as finding it - I think if the book is NOT in a flourescent color, maybe that is at least a START. Yeah, they totally begin to look alike.

OH, can I just mention The OPRAH FACTOR. Fine, Ellen Foster ROCKED but I actually HATE buying anyting w/ her stamp of approval on it (I peeled that fucking "as seen on Oprah" sticker off). I think there is a secret giddiness one gets when they discover a great book all on their own and I think that Oprah totally robs you of that moment. make the rec onyour show, I'm totally for authors getting due recognition....but seriously, the sticker has got to go.

Once More

BTW, I did end up seeing Melissa Bank monday night, she took the "chick lit" thing as a slap in the face. If I took 6 years to follow up my last book, to put that much care and heart into it and not just dash something off to follow the cult following of my last one, I would too.

Also? people have run me over on sidewalks. Like LITERALLY RUN ON ME and not apologize even though I had the right of way. I will probably have to slap them as well...yeah , IN MY MIND.

I need a drink...

fancypants

god, I hate the oprah sticker. i'm always embarrassed when i inadvertantly buy a book with her seal of approval. same with books that have recently been made into movies and have a movie still on the front. hate that.

critics are somewhat resonsible for the label, but a lot of the blame has to rest with the publishers. Like i said, people eat that shit up and the industry responds accordingly. labels are convenient. formulas are convenient. it's convenient be a lazy thinker and an undiscerning consumer. ergo--chick lit.

Once More

yeah, well ERGO *THIS* bitches (not to you, Fance).

Okay, I am leaving now fo' real.

Jennifer

The reading the monitor thing- What's that all about? Drives me crazy. My life isn't that interesting. Really, any personal email would be like married cave people code anyway- we have made up dozens of acronyms and new words in the past 8 years. Good luck trying to figure that out!

fancypants

I keep my type preferences set to small to stymie the nosy nellies. Course, this means that I have to read my email with a microscope and my nose pressed against the monitor. I think the inevitable myopia will be worth the privacy.

Teri

How ironic...I was about to mention my love of many female southern authors, the likes of Carson McCullers ("The Heart is a Lonely Hunter") These women would probably be considered yesterday's chic lit writers...Southern belles being known for their charm, grace, manners etc. While, in fact they are some of the strongest writers and individuals of "grit", we have. Their coming of age" novels canot be rivaled. The irony is that when I was checking out the book, on Amazon, It had Oprah's sticker on it! Actually, while I totally understand wanting to discover books for onself/not neeeding another's stamp of approval etc., I must admit that Oprah has led many toward reading some classic authors, who might otherwise be spending thier time watching Jerry Springer reruns.

Megger

My comment about cell phones at work:
When I worked at my last job (those of you who know me remember the grief I constantly shared with you about that place) everyone's cell phones rang as much as their regular lines. These were salesmen, so cell phones were essential. Not a big deal, we were all really used to how crazy the office was when the salesmen were in. There was this one hot shot who would not answer his own cell phone. Someone else had to take his calls and messages for him. He was very successful and very busy so when he was in the office his cell phone would be ringing all the time. One afternoon his assistant was out and his cell phone was ringing. He looked around for someone to answer it for him and saw me sitting in my cube minding my own business. Mind you, I was not anyones assistant, I was in marketing, but to these guys, I was an admin, everyone's admin. He actually threw his ringing phone at me. I caught it like it was a fragile egg or a bomb about to go off and looked up at him like what the hell am I supposed to do with this thing? He yelled "Answer it!" Well, sucker that I am, I answered it and took his damn message for him. Thank GOD I'm not working there any more. This is the same office where during a meeting, a man turned to his female assistant after she was about to give an opinion on something by starting with "I think..." and he interrupted her by saying "I don't pay you to think, I pay you to type!" As you can imagine, my jaw hit the conference table.

Once More

Meg-

THREw THE PHONE AT YOU? Oh you are a better woman than I am....how you managed not to hit him,...and that woman? "I pay you to type"...that place, how did ANY woman work there???!!

Megger

Lots of women worked there...most of them admins with low self esteem. I look back on that job like it was a bad dream. I could tell you more horror stories... but I'll save them for another day. The hot shot would make your life miserable if you didn't kiss his ass, so it was just easier to answer his phone rather than be threatened and/or sworn at. I thought about making a big stink when I left but thought better of it, because having references can be a good thing.

Emily

Jen I think I told you the day I sarted my new position within the company....the job they PROMISED would not have ANY adminstrative function (not that there is anything wrong with that) first thing in the morning I was given ten bucks and told to get coffee for 15 (uh gonna need more than 10 bucks people).....caught off guard I did it pitching in the extra loot to cover the 15 coffees, then lunchtime came and I was told in the dead of winter during snowstorm to walk and pick up lunch for those fifteen people.....(told by someone else) so I walked into my boss' meeting with his boss all bundled up (guilt factor) requested a credit card because they do not accept our company card (and heck if i'm fronting this one too)and picked up the lunch. Left a note on my boss' desk saying come get your credit card at my desk we need to talk. I said if this was what he wanted it wasn't me. And we'd need to decide that day. Apparently he liked my...how did he put it "spunk" others call it witchiness...and that he didn't realize people were abusing me that way. The next time he asked me for lunch I said sure but while I'm gone can you pick up my drycleaning? Thanks doll. Since then he now buys all the admins lunch when he is in (goes and picks it up for them) and remembers them at Christmas time and birthdays etc... He also knew that if I went to pick up coffee or lunch and he gave me money....I don't give back change.....:) I call it my "fee". Love the man dearly though just didn't realize how things come across or inflation rates...coffee costs more than $10 for fifteen people. He has actually helped me quite a bit since then too (held onto a good reference lord only knows how!!)

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