Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Male-Oriented Re-Installations

So here I am, writing on our crappy second tier laptop because Eric decided he should install the new OS Leopard on mine, a matter of a few moments, he promised me, which is instead due to take two hours, with me on scary deadline, and I'm sitting here thinking about Michael Cieply. And thinking, men are mysterious and strange. Also, often, asshats.

So the New York Times wants to do an article on the next generation of "chick flicks," based, in part, on the release of the film of Julie & Julia. Who do they choose to write this article? Do they choose, oh, say, I don't know, a woman? Do they choose someone, um, insightful? Or do they choose a condescending regular from the cultural desk, an "insider", which means, among other things, that he's an ex-"producer" whose sole credit, according to IMDB, is a TV movie called Alley Cats Strike, about "a group of hip retro teenage outsiders who become involved in an interschool bowling [incredulous italics mine] rivalry"?

I have not seen Alley Cats Strike, but as an honest observer of male-oriented films, I think I can safely say that it is clearly a striking example of low-grade Lad-Flick - "if Hollywood still permitted the term."

I mean, Jesus, I don't know where to begin. How about with "female-oriented romantic films"? Now, to be fair, this is a minor point that just gibes with a current irritation of mine about the spate of articles about the mysterious "Woman Voter," as if we were some strange exotic bird to be watched and courted, rather than MORE THAN HALF OF THE GODDAMNED ELECTORATE. But that is not entirely observant Mr. Cieply's fault. And perhaps it is only New York Times-style stuffiness that leads him to define chick-lit - as if it were some up-to-the-minute new phenomenon rather than a phrase that entered the lexicon an ice age or so ago - as "books written for, and often by, professional women in their 20s.... [with] covers... bright and fluffy, with amusing illustrations...and an outlook... unabashedly feminine."

Unabashedly feminine. Yes, we females are so silly and dear with our femininity and whatnot. Ho ho, pip!

I say again. Asshat.

And he can call me a secretary, fine. I was. It's irritating, but accurate.

But to write of the movie as being about me and the "cooking enthusiast" Julia Child? COOKING ENTHUSIAST?!!! Pardon my french, but what the FUCK?!

I don't consider myself a raving old-school feminist, but this article makes me want to honestly observe male-oriented body parts by ripping them from male bodies.


Blogger Unknown said...

hahaha.. You seem to be a total feminist. Although I cant help admitting that male-oriented films are rather appealing. I'm saying this coz I'm super-excited about the upcoming Prince Caspian movie from the fantasy book series- The Chronicles of Narnia. I totally adore valiant and courageous soldiers and magical stories that involve them. Although chivalry is dead (If that gives you any more reason to hate men or any consolation! hehe) I do sometimes find them in these books. But check out the trailer and I'm sure you'll love it too. Ben Barnes is playing Prince Caspian and by the looks it promises to be a great movie!! You can watch the trailer here-

6:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just read the "Chick Flick" article and thought it was a complete waste of time with a regurgitation of lists of movies that just happened to star women and men--how newsworthy!
The "Julie/Julia" movie deserved better.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

I have to say that I didn't think the cover of your book was very "fluffy". Nor do I perceive you to be a girly-girl (I mean that as a complement). I don't think girly-girls cuss that much nor hate Republicans so deeply. At least, that's true of the non-girly-girl, potty mouth,hard drinking, democrats I am hang out with.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I agree - total asshat. It's interesting that he dubbed Julia a "cooking enthusiast" in the same week that the Food Network aired its glowing "Chefography" of Julia and how she changed the way Americans look at food and how we cook. So clearly not everyone comes from the same planet as Cieply. Keep up your good work!

7:50 AM  
Blogger mamacita said...

AMEN! Well said.

And hey, Simran, yes, she is a "total feminist." So am I. We all are. You've been warned.

10:54 AM  
Blogger alyce said...

Jesus, Julie. Who is this guy?! You're spot on. The article was dreadful and I nearly choked on the cooking enthusiast bit myself.

12:11 PM  
Blogger JEB said...

Agreed with all the posters and still laughing out loud over here in Scarsdale.

Felicitations from your friendly Torah Enthusiast,
J. Blake

12:25 PM  
Blogger culturebollocks said...

Great post - I think 'asshat' covers it. I should start sending you all the stuff that drives me insane that I don't have time to write up good rants about and just ask you to take a crack at them... hmmm.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Joy Logan said...

She is woman hear her ROAR! Who plays you in the movie?

5:45 PM  
Blogger THAT-GIRL said...

wow, that's sad! I would never have considered your book to be chick-lit! I would like to castrate that doofus!

8:10 PM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

Julia a "cooking enthusiast" WTF indeed !
I just got done re reading your book, we let Stanley leave the country so he could get back to start filming.
My hairdresser ( who is called Julia) was asking me this morning if I am a reader and recommended the Lovely Bones so I told her they just wrapped filming and now Stan was working on your book, she is now going to read two books in one year, a record for her apparently.
I am glad you are back I thought you might have gotten hit by a cab or something.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Kimi said...

ok, referring to Julia as a "cooking enthusiast" is like calling Coco Chanel a "clothes horse", what a joke. And, why is it that this upcoming movie is a chick flick? I, a fellow chicklet, avoid movies with that label. Are we to assume that no men out there would enjoy a movie about cooking through MtAoC? Hmmmm, no Emerile, Mario, Jacques, Wolfgang..................
Just my 2cents

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said! I'm adopting "asshat" into my lexicon as of today. I HATE the line of thinking that women are somehow "other" - like, the magazine I work for doesn't want to put women on the cover unless the story is about women per se. WHAT? And when I say, um, guys, let's think about this, they think I'm arguing for it because *I* am a woman. Well, yes, but also because it is friggin ridiculous.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Jennyfluffer said...

While I have loved your book, and had many moments reading your blog with great humor, it was the asshats that did me in. Thank you, thank you for coining a term that I plan to propagate endlessly...!

6:46 AM  
Blogger said...

How did he confuse memoir with chick lit?????

And Julia a 'cooking enthusiast'???? Just how ill-informed does someone have to be to call an icon of the cooking world by that name?????

Geez, why didn't they send one of the food writer's from the NYT or an entertainment writer who actually knows something about the foodie/cooking world?

9:36 AM  
Blogger oddlyme said...

What an idiot. Enthusiast? Chick lit? Wrong on both counts.

And BTW, feminist is just another word for realist.

P.S. There is SUCH a market for a t-shirt --
Michael Cieply. Asshat.

I'd buy it!

12:03 PM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

Now that's more like it !
BTW I have been using the word asshat for a long time,I picked it up at another bulletin board and it stuck. It is an apt description of so many people ;)

1:38 PM  
Blogger FlorrieMarie said...

lol you said Asshats! This can only mean one thing... sometimes you lurk in the forums on
OR its just a clever co-incidence.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

I didn't see the article until you linked to it, and I tend to skip all the ones

But I feel the need to correct you on one point... Alley Cats Strike. I am ashamed to say I have watched it twice, and I am not in the Disney Channel's target demographic (nor was I when I saw it, let's be honest!) but if you like ridiculously cheesy, bad-acting late '90s movies with ham-handed themes about Teamwork, then it is the best. Of those.

Just try to remind yourself, your movie is going to premiere in theatres -- something his never did.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Diana Cappiello said...

Hi Julie- this is Diana Cappiello. I'm an Amherst '05 curious about how to get a novel published. Any tips?

I also have a food blog-

8:26 AM  
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