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I can't see over my shoulder...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Is there a bullseye painted on my ass?

I wasn't going to blog again today, but then I found a whole new reason to rant.

First there was this: An advertisement from the Greater Washington advertising organization that, simply by virtue of juxtaposition, paints romance readers as Not Too Bright.

First, I'm sure Ms O'Connor thanks you for the boost to her sales.

Second, you better watch your butts because she may have a libel case for you for portraying her in a false and malicious light.

I did my research and discovered that it's the ad agency that's really Not Too Bright. According to RWA's 2005 Market Research survey (bottom of p 3), 42% of all romance readers have a bachelor's degree or higher. The ad says that 45% of greater DC residents have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Taking into account a standard 3% deviation for statistical analysis, that would make the average DC citizen almost as smart as an average romance reader!

There are others who are willing to get into the arena with these people and for that, I refer you to this article. The Express is a free paper given out at Metro stops, published by the Washington Post. Follow the links to Smart Bitches and to the Post article.

After you're plenty steamed, head over to Michelle Pillow's blog. She links to an article about Fred Head, who apparently has substituted his ass for his brains. He's trying to get votes based on the fact that his opponent wrote a romance novel 16 years ago and he's calling it "pornography."

I swear. A lot.
10/11/2006 11:02:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 16 Comments


Here's one ticked off Texan! And I'm registered to vote. ;-)

By Blogger Jaymi, at 11:37 AM  

Go Jaymi Go! ;)

I saw that about Kaitlyn O'Conner's book and my first thought was to by the romance novel. LOL


By Blogger Michelle Pillow, at 12:06 PM  

Each day I teach my children basic, human ways to act. Then I turn on the TV or read the news, and realize that idoits rule the world.

By Blogger S William, at 12:38 PM  

Apparently Diana Peterfreund's quote on SmartBitches got "quoted" in the NYT article on the controversy.

I can't tell whether GWI did this deliberately to drum up the controversy or what. But that ad pissed me off.

Did you see the response in the Washington Post (not the Express, but the WP) article from the ad's creator about how he's sure most riders of the MEtro are smart enough to get the humor? Implying that those of us who are pissed off by the article aren't smart enough.

You know, I'd be pissed off about that, too, but then again, I'm apparently too stupid to understand sarcasm and humor.

By Blogger Amanda Brice, at 1:21 PM  

You and I can sit here and be stupid together, then, Amanda. And how do you say, "I'm not dumb," without sounding whiny and, well, dumb?

They've got us over a barrel on this one and that makes me madder than ever.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 1:41 PM  

Kinda scary.

A book burning?

By Blogger ivan, at 2:09 PM  

Obviously, the ad's creator has no idea about the 30% functional illiterates in the US. It is an achievement for people to read a book, any book. Advertisers should be encouraging people to read, rather to than to read books that are deemed appropriate.
I must say that I do not share the same sense of humour as the male ad creator. In most cases of this type of denegration (and here I include Fred Head who I hope loses) it is done by a male who feels threatened by anything that enpowers females.
The ad's creator obviously did not see the recent BBC documentary on the Romance Publishing Industry in Britain. According to the BBC's programme and the scientific test the presenter did, reading romacne makes you less stressed and better able to cope. It may make you smarter.
Of course, because the Romantic Novelists Association made it to the finals of University Challenge, the UK press may be a bit kinder.

The main thing is to complain! Rather than to suffer in silence.

By Blogger Michelle Styles, at 5:26 AM  

That tired, ignorant old cliche AGAIN?

By Blogger Bernita, at 11:04 AM  

You mean the word "empower"?
What the hell does that word mean anyway? Cliche-speak. Vested-interest-speak?
The way I see it, the way you "empower" a woman is to lay scads of money on her.
Then not only Uncle Tommy can be a commy.

By Blogger ivan, at 11:31 AM  

Michelle Styles talked about functional illiterates. I am amazed by how many people I work with who don't have a basic grasp of the language.

I had a co-worker write on a log sheet that he had to puase a job because he had "carpotun."

I couldn't figure out for the life of me what illness he had. Then it hit me...carpal tunnel. He wasn't abbreviating, BTW.

I also have a 5th grader cousin who is so plugged into TV that she can barely write. I am amazed that she passes each year in school. "No child left behind" is an utter failure. It is forcing schools to pass kids they wouldn't normally pass. Anywhoo....

By Blogger S William, at 12:44 PM  

It's even worse in Canada. All genre fiction is considered substandard. You're only a real writer (in the eyes of many in this business) if you live off grants and write airy fairy meaningless tripe. Anything that falls into a 'genre' classification isn't taken too seriously. Funny how most of the rest of the world has gotten over it...

By Blogger Sandra Ruttan, at 3:27 PM  

Um. Ah. I write meanigless tripe. LOL.

By Blogger ivan, at 6:14 PM  

Jaymi -- You go on and vote with your bad self, girlfriend! LOL

Michelle P-- I know! She's either ticked that she's being used as the epitome of everything that's most shallow about the genre, or she's fixing to be rolling in bucks!

S William -- I bet your kids turned out pretty well, though. People who are idiots usually had idiotic parents.

I've worked with high school graduates who were completely illiterate and it's so sad. They know they've missed something, but they often feel like it's too late to fix it. And this was long before "NCLB," so I don't think that's the incipient evil. It's been brewing for decades.

Ivan re: book burning -- sure sounds like Fred would carry the torch, doesn't it?

re: tripe -- that's why you're a Real Writer. And Important People read your writing. According to GWI(Greater Washington Initiative), it's dilettante hausfraus like me who are the True Evil.

Michelle S -- I don't think the ad creator was using his big brain at all. He didn't do research on ANYTHING about romance, just had a knee-jerk reaction.

Bernita -- it'll never go away. Most of the time it's easy to ignore it, but sometimes it just gets under your skin.

Sandra -- as long as there's someone people can set up for ridicule simply by virtue of its being something others enjoy, it'll be a target. Unless you make a lot of money at it. Notice that it wasn't a Nora Roberts novel the guy was holding.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 10:05 PM  

So Canada has bought the "intellectualism elitism" package, eh? Only the smart people know how to do anything, and the working class with their Simpsons TV show, genre fiction, and beer are so ignorant and droll?

May a thousand Stephen Kings crap on their grave. Amen.

By Blogger S William, at 12:51 PM  

I wish I could vote for this so-called pornographer.

By Blogger Danica/Dream, at 10:38 PM  

Hey. I dunno about how smart they are in DC, but I sure know which one of those two guys I'd rather have sex with.

And it ain't the one reading about Plato.

--signed, A Typical Romance Reader, BA Hons, M.Phil

By Anonymous Julie Cohen, at 8:45 AM  

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