Now that I Don’t Have Facebook, I Have to Find New Ways to Let the Internet Suck Up My Time

A month or so ago, Jules introduced me to 7 Minutes in Heaven with Mike O’Brien because there’s an episode featuring Kristen Wiig, who we both love (and who grew up in Rochester, because we’re just cool like that here). After I watched Wiig’s episode, which is hilarious, I had to watch the rest. They’re all pretty funny, although my other favorites are Patricia Clarkson and Elijah Wood. Honestly, it just cracks me up every single time O’Brien uses the phrase “in the closet,” which he does kind of a lot, since he and his guests are, in fact, in the closet.

On a less funny note, Mark Bittmann had an interesting piece in yesterday’s NYT called “Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?” There’s nothing there that will surprise anyone who knows anything about food, but reading what he had to say about raising up the next generation to have a better attitude toward food reinforced my efforts in this regard. All of us who work with children should care about this.

Related to this is an article that ran in the January/February issue of The Horn Book Magazine, “YA Fatphobia” by Kathryn Nolfi. I’ve had a note to write about it for quite some time, but I’ve been at kind of a loss for what to say. I appreciate Nolfi’s shining a light on a thorny issue, and her observations about the way authors poke fun at overweight characters are very worth reading. Her thoughts about Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, which I loved and recommend quite a lot, made me think about the book in a new light. I’m still not sure what to say about the article as a whole, and I don’t think I’ve changed my mind about loving Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I’m really not sure I agree with all of Nolfi’s points, either, but I keep mulling the whole thing over.

And here’s another one of my favorite TED Videos. Those videos are like potato chips, I swear.

8 Comments

  1. Posted September 26, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Whoa. Read that YA Fatphobia and — whoa. The authors of Will Grayson, Will Grayson would certainly never think themselves to be phobic or exclusive in any way, and yet, as products of culture and heavy participants within popular culture, they, too, can be perceived as culpable… from one point of view, at least.

    I recently read Marjorie Ingall’s piece on Ezra Jack Keats and how offended some people were about the mother in The Snowy Day — and how too many equated blackness with fatness. After thinking about it, I agree with some of the people who protested were right – not about Ezra Jack Keat’s cultural interpretation of African American women, but about the broader idea that within some dim corners of the cultural consciousness, the mammy idea is still very much alive and well. Writers. have. to. be. careful. At all times.

    So, having read both those pieces, I’m going to thoughtfully make my next Caucasian character a fat ex-cheerleader, blonde sidekick.

    There. That should fix everything. ☺

  2. adrienne
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Ingall’s piece is thought-provoking. I knew there was some debate about The Snowy Day, but I didn’t know a whole lot about it.

    Sometimes it is so hard to see things clearly, both as authors and as readers. I appreciate commentaries like these that increase my awareness. It is important to me as a librarian, especially, as I try to ensure that we have a collection that meets a variety of needs and also as I recommend books to people.

    This whole thing got me reading and thinking again about Manic Pixie Dream Girls (http://johngreenbooks.com/on-the-destruction-of-manic-pixie-dream-girls/), which is something that gets under my skin in books and movies–even ones I like. They’re kind of all over the place, Those Girls, making the rest of us look bad for having real things like thoughts and feelings and responsibilities and careers.

  3. Posted September 27, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read Marjorie’s piece yet. Will check it out.

    Adrienne, did you cancel Facebook? I am not crazy at all about some of the new changes. Facebook is becoming a sea of Too Much Information.

  4. adrienne
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Yes, I did. I found that it was, indeed, just too much information every day, and I am not good at looking away/not checking it. It’s restful being away from it, although I have had some powerful urges to sign back on. Last week was bad, but that finally passed. It’s been a month, so I suppose I’ve hit the point where not having it is normal, at least for me.

  5. Posted September 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Whoa. I just read the Manic Pixie Dream Girls link (http://jezebel.com/5033744/manic-pixie-dream-girls-are-%20the-scourge-of-modern-cinema), all new to me, and I didn’t know *that* had a name!

    Really, I thought something was wrong with me that I didn’t like Garden State. Every time I pass my dishwasher, I think of the implausibility (is that a word?) of dude’s mother dying by tripping over a dishwasher. I mean, not implausible, I guess, but ridiculous. That is, this was not supposed to make me roll my eyes and GIGGLE during the film, but it did. (GAWD, I hope you don’t know anyone who died by tripping over a dishwasher, or I’m looking like a big jerk right about now.)

    But then maybe it was the Manic Pixie Dream Girls syndrome that bugged me, too.

  6. adrienne
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I liked the soundtrack to that movie, but not the movie so much.

  7. Posted October 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I think I’ve complained here about the “Garden State” dishwasher thing before. I should really check my redundancy in some kind of Julie-comments search.

  8. adrienne
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I’m getting to that age where I’m starting to repeat myself all the time. It’s hard to keep track of what I’ve said to who and what I thought in my head and never said. Life just moves by so quickly.

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