Perhaps you remember the viral advertisement where Isaiah Mustafa of the impeccable pecs encouraged women to “look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me” and then, accordingly, buy Old Spice so their men could “smell like he’s me.”
The advertisement’s self-aware ribbing of the gulf between the clichéd perfect man and the ordinary guy was cheeky and hilarious, but a sign of the times? With E L James’ adult novel Fifty Shades of Grey still dominating the New York Times bestseller list, I’m starting to wonder. Because though many have marvelled at the runaway success of the erotic novel, its popularity isn’t at all surprising given our collective enthusiasm for romance as a genre - featuring, of course, a male romantic hero against whom men in real life simply cannot compare.
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Damn you, Fifty Shades of Grey, for keeping me up all night. And, no, it’s not what you think. While you were blushing and trying to co-ordinate your index finger (page-turning being somewhat challenging when reading erotica), I was having an ‘if only’ moment.
OK, maybe there was a little ‘If only Christian Grey would ditch his linen shirt on my bedroom floor’ (I’m not explaining the plot for the three people living under a rock or too tight to drop $9.96 in Big W for what is, admittedly, one shade literary; 49 sensation). But mostly it was ‘If only I’d written that freakin’ book, I’d be a squillionaire.’
Everyone who strings words together for a living wishes they’d written a bestseller. I’ve often mused I was Jane Austen or JK Rowling, or even that drug fiend Enid Blyton. You’d have to be on some sort of substance to cook up The Faraway Tree and protagonists called Fanny and Dick. They were gifted at creating characters and getting them into trouble (although I’d have hooked up Lizzie and Mr Darcy 100 pages earlier, and left that brat Dick to languish in The Land of Spells).
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Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod. Kristen Stewart TOTES cheated on RPatz. Do we care? Apparently we do - it was a wildly popular story on news.com.au yesterday.
But the really interesting thing was the reaction from fans. Here’s a little taste: “I BELIEVE KRISTEN STEWART DIDNT DO ANYTHING AND IF YOU AS A KRISBIAN THINKS THAT SHE DID THEN YOU ARE NOT A KRISBIAN YOU ARE FAKE!”.
Have you ever gone fan-crazy? Freaked out over a celebrity? Anything else going on today you want to talk about?
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With a blockbuster film adapted from a popular book series, hot young cast and devoted fans, the dystopian epic that is The Hunger Games was always going to be compared to that other huge franchise, Twilight.
The books might sell the same theme: Teens vs the world. But they’re different where it counts.
After having to swallow Twilight’s mellow and passive lead heroine Bella, her Hunger Games counterpart Katniss comes as a breath of fresh ass-kicking air. Finally, there’s a popular teen heroine who can kick butt without a dude by her side.
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I have long resisted writing about Twilight.
As children and adults across the world scrambled to hoard Robert Pattinson posters and glow-in-the-dark vampire soaps, I averted my eyes – lest I became a motionless pillar of salt.
Every time you mention Twilight, a puppy kills a fairy and then runs into oncoming traffic. It’s akin to uttering the word “Sandilands”, which I am told is either a kind of small crustacean found in less than two per cent of the world’s oceans – or a range of designer doorbell tones.
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Saturation marketing might have alerted you to the fact the new Sex and the City movie is nearly on our shores, and I bet there’s a whole load of teenage girls either begging their mothers to take them to see it or planning on going with their friends anyway.
You might think they’d be better off skipping the sexually-charged antics of Samantha and co and instead heading to the latest installment in the chaste Twilight saga.
After all, Twilight is all about saving yourself for marriage, getting off on holding hands, and personal sacrifice. But as role models for young women go, I’d pick Carrie and her friends over Bella any day.
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Watership Down – remember it? It was a cartoon about bunnies on a common in England.
Fiver has a weird dream; Hazel gets killed by the brown rabbits; and Art Garfunkel sang Bright Eyes while we wept buckets.
The Harry Potters – you must have seen them? Did you see the last one where Hermoine finally got control of her hair? No? In the beginning there were books and we all used our imagination to live the vision of a good writer who took us on a magical journey exercising our imaginations.
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