NS September 17th, 2010
Don’t try saying that three times fast.
So here’s what’s been on my mind:
– My oh-so-dreamy, clever boyfriend, Stephen Fry. I love him more and more each time I read something by or about him. And today he won me over once again with the gleeful revelation that he enjoys being hated by the Daily Mail. This line in particular* caught my attention: “I don’t read it of course: like anyone of education or sense or moral decency I wouldn’t have such a purulent creepy production in the house.”
If Stephen ever decides he’d like a baby with his partner and needs to find a womb pod, I’d volunteer mine for free. Anyone who is that hated by the Daily Mail is a hero in my book. I think we all know how much I despise that rag.
– Jonathan Franzen (of The Corrections fame) has apparently kissed and made up with Oprah after their ‘spat’ nine years ago. In a nutshell, Franzen dismissed Oprah’s Book Club as “schmaltzy” and “one-dimensional” and expressed concerns that male readers would be alienated by the Book Club logo because they associate it with ‘chick lit’.
Now, while I can understand Franzen’s reservations about his novel appearing on such a mainstream book list and think his point about reaching male readers is important (women read far more fiction than men), I still bristle at the idea that because it was mainly women buying Oprah’s suggested books that this meant said books would be taken less seriously. The message seemed to be that either a) female readers are not a desirable fan base, b) a book club by and for women is mainly about light, summer reads and not ‘serious’ fiction, i.e. it is all ‘chick lit’, or c) men being turned off from reading a novel based on a sticker on its cover from a (mainly) women’s book club is a problem with the book club itself, not the men’s (or at least the macho cultural idea that a book promoted by women is less-than and inferior to ones widely read by men).
I’m sure purist book snobs will disagree, but I’m glad to see that he’s embracing the publicity and welcoming the legions of readers he will gain from Oprah’s endorsement. Even though I don’t personally watch or even like her show, I do have a lot of respect for some of the things she’s been able to accomplish, the Book Club among them. Anyone who can get people reading deserves praise and kudos as far as I’m concerned.
– Only one newspaper out of the top 50 in the US had any mention of the winners of last night’s WNBA championship on the front page, and that was in the winning team’s home town. Sigh. Women’s sports and respect…that’s a thin leaflet.
– I’m disappointed that an op-ed on closing the wage gap in the Washington Post today by Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, did not mention the words mothers, maternity or parent(ing) once. Are there really still people who don’t realise that the gender pay gap is mainly a mothers‘ pay gap?
– The pointy-hatted one is here. Yawn.
Finally, this, which I can’t stop watching and listening to, even if I am more than a little jealous of how fabulous this woman looks throughout her pregnancy. Catchy little ditty though!
Enjoy your weekend, folks.
*hat tip to NH