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Let’s kick it!

Saturday, October 30, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

A long time ago, I saw this video over at Meljean Brook’s awesome blog:

So, help me decide: does the sound at the end means a parachute opens or… ?



I have seen, here and there throughout the blogosphere, posts about this or that particular plot device or trope that hit on the reader’s hot button and translate into a ‘did not finish.’

While intellectually I could understand the concept, it hadn’t really happened to me (aside from skipping a few passages from Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth), most of the time I just shrug and keep going.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I reached for an old (copyright says 1996) Harlequin Superromance by Kathryn Shay, titled Suitable Bodyguard. Though I know quite well just how unreliable back cover blurbs usually are, this one sounded good enough (neither same old, same old, nor outrageous beyond belief), so I sat down to enjoy myself for a couple of hours:

Cord McKay has quite the New York police force and come home to raise his little girl in the small town where he was born. He needs a job, but the last thing he wants to do is act as bodyguard to Stacey Webb. Stacey’s father is the reason Cord fled town as a teenager.

The problem is that Stacey’s in real danger. And even though she doesn’t remember what happened eighteen years ago, Cord does–and he owes her big time.

Not too terrible, yes?

And the writing is not bad–I found myself reading the first twenty pages at a good clip, in fact.

But it got all derailed when I realized that Cord owed Stacey (who’s thirteen years his junior) because when he was eighteen he had an affair with her mother–who was still married to Stacey’s father at the time.

By page fifty I couldn’t take it any longer–any other issues I’m having (Stacey is an idiot, for example) are overwhelmed by this feeling of… well, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! I get every single time I think that she’s going to have sex with the guy who had sex with her mother.

Even typing that gave me the creeps.

Mind you, I don’t believe that anyone else must feel about this the way I do–there’s a pretty good chance that there are as many people who agree with me as there are who are wondering what’s the big deal.

But it does mean that I finally found the one plot device that will make me stop cold, never to return to a particular book again.

Urrgghhh, there is nothing worse than sanctimonious twats who happen to have columns in a national papers. I know, there are just too many of them.

Liz Jones has annoyed the crap out of me this morning with her latest column in The Daily Mail, entitled “Oh Do Put Them Away!” With the strapline: “They’re intelligent, talented – and role models for the young. So why do so many TV anchor women dress like barmaids?”

Liz starts:

So, is cleavage acceptable at eight in the morning? Last week, Daybreak presenter Kate Garraway wore an astonishingly low-cut dress on the breakfast TV sofa.
Halfway through the programme, she must have been told to change, as she appeared later on in something decidedly high-necked.
But the image of ample bosom so early in the day set me thinking: why do women on TV, and particularly those on news programmes, have to dress like barmaids?

Here’s a pic of the lady she’s talking about:

You tell me guys, is there anything particularly offensive about how she’s dressed, and in the bars that you’ve been to, is this how they all dress?

The sanctimonious dick continues:

This need to look not just attractive and well turned out but as if they were heading off for a night at Stringfellows infects not just those who present the, shall we say, more populist news programmes, but ones who do the more high-brow stuff, too.
Kirsty Wark is in her 50s and has proved herself professionally, and yet still you get the impression that she spends the day in the run up to Newsnight with her head stuck in Grazia, not The Economist: the Twin Towers shoes, just waiting for disaster; the ill-judged print prom dress; the primary-coloured boxy jackets; the exposure of those knees; and — oh, dear God, no! — the chunky jewellery at her throat.
Kirsty is not brassy, not in the way Kate is, but she offends my sensibilities just as acutely. Here is a woman with no sense of style whatsoever (and who cares, frankly, with a brain like that?), but who still feels the need to dress like French Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld.

Jesus, I’m annoyed right now.

And don’t even get me started on her Newsnight colleague Emily Maitlis, an Oxbridge graduate who speaks Mandarin, but whose experiments with fashion make Isabella Blow seem as conservative as the Queen.
I did email Emily and ask for her input for this feature, posing such probing questions as, ‘Where do you buy your jackets?’ and, ‘Which women on TV did you look up to growing up?’

I’m not going to post any more quotes, my blood is boiling far too much. Anyway, this was the toned down version of my response on the Daily Mail site:

I can’t help feeling that your comments are a generational thing. I watch the news constantly, and I have to say, I’ve never noticed this phenomenon of female news anchors dressing like barmaids.
I’d like to ask how you think barmaids dress though, because unless you frequent somewhere like Hooters, the regulation clothes worn by most bar girls that I’ve come across are jeans and a nice top.

I think you and others like you, who like to think you’re channelling Emmaline Pankhurst, don’t understand the real meaning of feminism. Women should be able to choose what they wear, without being subjected to ridicule by a columnist in a paper that has a history of showing scantily clad ladies in order to boost its circulation.

You, Liz Jones, are part of the problem in this nanny state of ours. Your next commentary should be entitled Woman-On-Woman Hatred, Whatever Happened To Sisterhood?

What say you?

Thanks to Mark (@Borehamwood50) on Twitter for alerting me to the article, and yes Mark, I do believe her remarks probably stem from jealousy.