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3 February 2008

Random Gawkery

I haven't subscribed to the Gawker feed for a while - too many posts and not enough of interest to me for it to merit interrupting my day via Google Reader. Still, there are some amusing posts in there (much as I might pretend I'm not interested in celebrity gossip, if it's NYC celebrity gossip, I can be persuaded to take a look) and I'll often take a quick look once or twice a week.

1. How to Market an Academic Book. Gawker disses a Stanford academic for invoking Bible stories to sell his book on birds who go for older guys. According to Publishers Weekly, "[The author] casts a wide net over literature... to argue that the power dynamic between younger women and older men--in which daughters fall in love with their father's lives and older men are tempted by the intoxicating power and promise of youth'--is integral to our society."

This just reminded me of the amusing tale of Woolworths getting into trouble for naming a bed marketed towards young girls "Lolita" and (best of all) for their efforts to pretend that they hadn't Googled "Lolita" before going ahead with the name before committing themselves to ridicule, scorn and mockery. Then again, I've heard of marketing decisions with less foresight...

2. Depressed, Estranged Spouses Find Stability In Virtual Fantasy World. "While they're not the first (or thousandth) couple to marry after meeting online, Kristen Birkin and Steve Sweet sound like the most heartbreakingly redeemed. They met in Second Life, where both had dealt with their loveless marriages and dead-end lives by bravely escaping into a virtual world on the Internet."

The blushing bride said, of her altar-ego [hee], "The avatar I am now is quite stunning. She is everything I should have been years ago, slim and attractive. I finally felt I could be who I wanted to be. I felt stronger." The couple have now married in real life too - isn't that a nice tale of the Joyz of Teh Interweb?

3. Moby Busking in London Tube Makes £5 (filed under the tag "failure"). Poor old Moby. It's a good thing he didn't need the cash as the Sloane Rangers weren't impressed with his busking... Dear, dear.

4. Facebook Outrage: Insurance Company Demands A Peek At Kids' Profiles. This might serve as a warning not to be so emo in your Facebook status as an insurance company, which refuses to pay out for treatments for anorexia and bulimia as they are "psychological," has demanded access to the FB and MySpace accounts of a couple of teenagers to determine their "psychological state." Never mind that the causes of eating disorders are far from fully certain or that the online persona people choose to display online doesn't have to be an accurate reflection of either what they write in their own private journals or, for that matter, their "psychological state."

I'd better not start writing "Bex has a migraine" as my Facebook status in case my insurance policy goes up; hopefully, "Bex is tired, among other things" is more acceptable - it certainly is accurate but not debilitating.

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