Saturday, July 19, 2008

Slated (Again)

I've a long list of work to do before I get to sleep, but once again made the mistake of checking out Slate.com. Last week's stuff hasn't been exactly riveting, but today (and yesterday's) entries are beautiful - material so satisfying and relevant that I want to curl up next to it with a hot cuppa coffee and a cigarette.

These include reflections on the news business and a piece about the use of anonymous sources.

And best headline IMO is So Help You, Dog. Or maybe its Victoria Secret's Dire Worldview. I read the former for the same reason why we read Reuters' Oddly Enough. Turned out its written by Brian Palmer - I assume its the same one, who visited a couple of months ago and told me some rather hard truths about the business I want to be in.

The latter article turned out to be rather surprising, I suppose it's because I had absolutely no idea what the it was about -- the headline was good enough to make me want to read it. Gold star for the subeditor. The ensuing lucid and entertaining discussion on the lingerie company's quest for "personal commodification" unveiled rather funny gems like:
"... Very Sexy ® Bra's tagline: 'The classic seduction begins with lingerie. Behind every very sexy woman is a Very Sexy ® Bra.' I've done some seducing in my day, and I'm pleased to report that such a garment is not a necessity."

It led me to a great section on Slate that I never really got around to exploring. The XX Factor is a blog by Slate's female writers. I am usually completely disinterested in anything the follows the "by women, for women" tagline (a bunch of women gathering to discuss women's issues? I will shut down.)

[To explain a little bit, its not really the topic of discussion that irks me, but such groups always come across as being rather exclusive. I have a mental image of a bitchfest disguised as a discussion on women's issues. You will be glad to know I've been harshly berated for having such a view.]

But The XX Factor is different, mainly because it is not instantly obvious that its entries are all written by all females. [Found: Great link to article on a people who welcome a child murderer as a hero, and discovered Elizabeth Wurtzel wrote Prozac Nation when she was 26. Why do I not remember anything about that book?]

And now I'm wondering what is the branding value in labeling something as being "done by women". Anyway, I'm digressing. Back to work.

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