“U2, you sluts, you’re supposed to be giving your money to an AIDS charity in Africa,” I said to U2 on the new iTunes commercial.
There’s always something slightly slutty about an alternative rock band’s doing commercials, don’t you think?
I have a thing about slutdom. I also have a thing about “alternative.” Call me old-fashioned or call me an “ordinary radical,” because I think there is something radical about quotidian bloggers in our marketing-driven society.
I am a middle-aged housewife, a reader, a feminist, a bicyclist, and a Latinist. What I’m not is a marketer. I recently promised to trash some books here, because I am a little tired of all the positive posts I’ve written.
I have rejected as many contemporary novels as I’ve read recently. Nothing could persuade me to finish Joshilyn Jackson’s rather Oprah Club-ish Southern novel, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, in which the daughter of an unwed mother finds a buried baby under a tree. (What are the f—-g odds?) I also gave up on Edan Lepucki’s best-seller, California, a bittersweet dystopian novel, liberally peppered with details of pregnancy in the post-apolyptic age. (Can there BE any more dystopian novels? ) I also struck out with Laline Paull’s The Bees, a much-touted science fiction novel about a rebel bee and, yes, rogue pregnancy where only the Queen is allowed to breed.
Come on, women, birth control has always been my thing. I’m also pro-abortion. What’s with all the pregnant lit?
As I’ve become more connected to people on the net, my “criticism,” particularly of women’s books, has, become less strident. A couple of weeks ago, when I wrote about Mary Beard, a celebrity classicist I consider overrated, I didn’t stress the extent of her self-promotion. After all, the poor woman has received death threats on Twitter. But it’s really her writing that is overpraised: her work is aimed at a popular audience, probably undergraduates, and I question how interesting it is to scholars or even ordinary Latinists like myself (it’s not very).
Should I be quiet about my opinion of these successful women writers? Probably. They ARE my sex, after all,.
Yes, it might be nice of me, but I am proceeding with this blog from now on as though the writers won’t read this.
I promise I’ll post very soon about a contemporary woman’s novel I have hugely enjoyed.
Because there is the bad, but there is also the good.