Carstonio wrote:I have two little girls, and twice I've had strangers in stores say they want to take them home. When I hear that, I think about applying for a CCW permit, and I don't even own guns.
Wow. That's an aspect of being a parent that I've never thought about. (Your comment bristled the hair on the nape of my neck.) My God. Now *that's scary. Probably not for this thread but --- how did you react?
Carstonio wrote:Now, I refused to follow the JonBenet story, but I refuse to follow most celebrity tabloid-type stories. They make me uncomfortable for some reason.
(Harlan has addressed the cult of celebrity many times: his essay "You Don't Know Me, And I Don't Know You" comes to mind. Give me another post and I'll get the citation for you... of course, you've probably read it and could give *me the citation
One of the points Harlan was making in the column; not so much that old guys go for young chicks, but that young girls are primed for the role of consumer and she who shall be consumed...the pageant was sponsored by "Our Little Miss", a doll created by the Royalty company.
Harlan wrote:Into another commercial, surfeited with sloppy sweet sentimentality about little girls, pushing that godamn OLM [Our Little Miss] doll that "comes complete with crown, robes, and beautiful clothes." It bulks obvious: beautiful clothes are one of the cornerstones of this entire vomitous operation. Not only is it bad enough to portray little girls as vapid creatures fit only to sit around and play momma to their dolls--an image our society reinforces from cradle to dishpan, hereby assuring itself of generation after generation of unpaid, highly skilled day-care and kitchen help--but in preparing these prepubescent Lolitas to be good consumers, devourers of the grossest National product, in preparing them to be mindless automatons who will buy every midi-length superfluosity economists and Women's Wear Daily feel are necessities to save a sagging economy, they are infected by cynical and demented hypes like the OLM pageant with the virus of believing if one does not have good grooming and thte latest clothes, one simply is out of it, unfit not merely to be Our Little Miss, but disallowed from having any feelings of ego strength, any intrinsic worth, any right to the bounties of life. It is, quite literally, the corruption of the young. (p. 148)
I think that JonBenet Ramsey was one of these young things. I didn't follow the story that much either, to be honest. I didn't know anything beyond the fact that she was a young girl who had been murdered--and that bizarre, haunting photo of her: obviously a terribly young child made up to look like a 30-year-old. I don't know the story, but I think that her parents--that the parents of all these "beauty queens" have a great deal of culpability on their hands. I mean -- to what end? Harlan has nailed it in his essay. All these things do is teach kids that if they wear expensive clothes and makeup and strut and pout they are worthy of applause and adoration.
Not to mention consumption. My friends with kids tell me that there is terrible pressure among the young to compete to wear designer clothes at increasingly young ages. It's expensive to buy clothes for kids.
There's a disturbing, ironic pun there -- in the 19th century consumption was one of the leading killers of children and adults -- tuberculosis.
Now, it's consumption -- obesity -- and consumption -- debt -- credit card debt brought on perhaps by spending and spending to try to catch those elusive feellings of "ego strength" and "intrinsic worth" that can't be worn on your back.