Lingua Mea Vita

From the Mouths of Babes

I will never forget back in my sophomore year of college when my art history proffy came up to me in his little brown elbow-padded jacket and asked me through his awkward, gap-toothed smile,

“What does PINK mean? I see all these girls walking around with the word “PINK” on their backsides.”

And then and there I had to explain what exactly the Victoria’s Secret PINK brand was to a forty-something man, when I didn’t even own any underwear from Victoria’s Secret at the time.

For a 19-year old co-ed, not owning anything from Victoria’s Secret was a rarity, especially when the VS PINK brand was targeted specifically at my age group. But the last few times I’ve wandered in or around a VS store, I’ve noticed more girls this age (like 10 or 11):

purchasing the above pictured sweatpants, perfume, and stuff like this:

Am I the only person extremely bothered by the fact that these girls are being sexualized ravaged before they get their periods?

Despite coating their PINK stores in clothing in child-attractive colors and glitter, Victoria’s Secret has removed responsibility: they have come out and said that the PINK brand isn’t targeted at the youngins. And actually, I think they’re right in doing so! Victoria’s Secret shouldn’t have to police the children that want to buy their product. However, I still fit in VS Pink’s target age group of 18-30, and there’s no way I would walk around with “Let’s Get A Room” or “I Get Around”  in glitter on my ass.

I mean, whatever happened to just the word “PINK” or the puppies (not that I bought any of those either, I prefer solid colors). What killed the mystery, Victoria’s Secret? You went from using one ambiguous, could-be-dirty-if-you-twisted-it-the-wrong-way word (…a PINK what, exactly?) to very blatant statements calling out someone’s a young woman’s promiscuity. “I Get Around?” Why not “Always Open”? Or “Slut” or “Whore”? Don’t sluts and whores “get around?”

And some questions come up:

  1. Can a girl wearing “Let’s Get A Room” underwear get upset if a man calls her a whore?
  2. How young is too young to be wearing hyper-sexed items of clothing (the dirty lines don’t stop at the underwear).
  3. Should hyper-sexed clothing exist in the first place? (I’m sorry, shouting “I’m sexy” from the rooftops does not make you sexy. It’s like the boy who is constantly talking about sex, but is a virgin?)

It’s amazing how a couple of words on a pair of underwear can strip you of your self-respect.


If you go home with somebody and they don’t have any books…

I’ve seen it coming for a while now, but this still breaks my heart.

Borders filed for bankruptcy this week. They are closing a third of their stores down. They are millions of dollars in debt to publishing houses.

This is especially sad for me because Borders has been like a local company for me. I live near the flagship Borders in Michigan (pictured above, the woman with the yoga mat is so representative of that city it trips me out), and I didn’t realize how huge of a company Border’s was until trouble started brewing with the bookstore/publishing industry a couple of years ago. More than a little part of me was hoping that hipsters would take onto reading and making it “ironic” and “cool” again like 80’s violently bright t-shirts and 70s porn mustaches, and would actually do something worthwhile and save the book industry. Alas, no such luck.

But it’s not just Borders. Barnes & Noble, though they aren’t jangling their cups for change quite yet aren’t doing as nearly as hot as they used to be. Lots of people blame Amazon. And now they can blame Amazon and their Kindles, which makes things like this video even scarier. Replace Friendster with Facebook, and we’ve got summin’ eerie goin’ on:

Most people say to move on with technology and I have—I have an iPad!  And while I don’t mind  the fact that Winnie the Pooh is nearly 300 pages on iBooks, there is something special about holding an actual bound book in your hand. What happens to compulsive ink-sniffers like me that love the smell of fresh pressed novel? And how the hell am I going to tell that the guy I go home with is worth having sex with:

“If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have any books…don’t fuck ’em!” — John Waters

john waters and his books

Not that I’m in a big rush to fuck John Waters.

I wish Border’s the best, and I will continue to purchase books from them. Let’s be real, michigan needs another failed business like a hole in the head.

Of Snooki and Stephen

It’s a great day for ghostwriters, you guys!

Snooki's A Shore Thing is a New York Times Bestseller

Stephen King and Snooki (Nicole Polizzi, Jersey Shore) have something in common aside from having awkwardly thin lips! On January 30, Agent Orange Snooki will join the ranks of King, Steig Larsson, John Grisham, and Jodi Picoult when her book, A Shore Thing, debuts on the New York Times Bestseller’s List.

I hope that Stephen King hears this wonderful news, retreats to his cabin in Maine, and writes a short story about reality television stars deliberately spreading a virus to American public that eventually turns them into vampires and in the end we’re all destroyed by China because they don’t have the Jersey Shore. Well…aside from the ending, it’s already like ‘Salem’s Lot, huh?

What’s so unfortunate about this is that I was flipping channels and saw Snooki being interviewed on a talk show. A horrifying exchange occurred:

Interviewer: How did you write this book? I heard that you’ve only read like two books in your life!”
Snooki: Just because I haven’t read any books doesn’t mean I can’t write one!

Oh, Honey.

Did you think Ellen DeGeneres was reading selections from your book because she thought it was a new American classic? Do you not realize that America is making fun of you right now?

Hm, or maybe not? They are actually buying your book.

And that’s the saddest part—America is buying into this dribble. Ellen wouldn’t read a section from a book that she thought was really well written on her show. The only person who did anything close to that is Oprah (and she did it full-force, guns blazing, thank goodness).

I used to be in the camp where if I thought Americans were at least reading books, I didn’t care what the book was. This is how I excused the Twilight phenomenon in my head. But I feel like this has gone too far: Snooki’s book being on the NYT Bestsellers List (despite it only being #24) is reinforcing her influence in America.

She is just a drunken pumpkin butterball that has an ugly name that is fun to say. Ugh, it sounds like I just described a beer.

I wish for the days where the only thing Stephen King and Snooki had in common were the letter “S”.

Super Sad True Love Story, anyone?

Sex and al Medina

I guess the true testament of good screenwriting is when you can go back years later and the writing still sounds fresh. In my opinion, that’s the case for Sex and the City. I just watched the episode where all the guys on the show are having ball issues.

Charlotte says,

“We’re having Trey’s sperm tested.”

To which Miranda replies,

“Is it not doing well in school?”

ZING! Witty greatness!

In light of Sex and the City’s awesome writing, my BFF sent me something that I still haven’t fully processed yet: Imaginary Lines from an Imaginary 9/11 Sex and the City episode.

“Meanwhile uptown, Samantha was having a few explosions of her own.”

“It was at that moment Charlotte resolved that if her fellow countrymen were brave enough to revolt against knife-wielding hijackers, the least she could do was take off her bra during sex.”

“Ooooh! Oooh! New Blahniks! AL BUYDA!”

“Later that day I got to thinking about Muslims and relationships. If I couldn’t even tell Big that I was upset about our dinner, was I really any more liberated than a veiled woman? How do we New York women take off our emotional burkas?”

Samantha: “Oh please, you don’t think he’s a little cute?”
Charlotte: “Samantha, no! How can you say that? He just masterminded the killing of 3,000 Americans!”
Samantha: “Probably because he hasn’t Bin Laiden in a while.”


I just don’t know how to feel about it. I want to laugh because it’s funny, but I don’t because it is so offensive.

(And all of this is crazy because on the original opening, Sarah Jessica Parker’s name pops up in front of the World Trade Center towers.)

I’ve got to give whoever wrote it credit; the lines do resemble those in the show, and I got a guilty chuckle out of the Samantha-Charlotte exchange. But there was so much guilt involved in laughing. It didn’t feel good. The whole concept is kind of tacky. It’s like a revival of Oklahoma! throwing a joke about the bombing in there.

The lines were good, really good, but so not funny at the same time. Sex and the City definitely was edgy, but it never dipped into grotesque. The actual show acknowledge 9/11 properly—I read somewhere that the episode I Love NY was an ode to the city, but also dedicated to the 9/11 victims or something along those lines.

Oh, the conflict!