Posts tagged ‘teenagers’

December 20, 2010

Books for Lovers

by f

I was obvious about my intentions when I started this blog. I wanted to talk about sex. But books are better than sex sometimes. Not better, but different, and sometimes easier to handle.

A turn of phrase can get me unexpectedly horny for no good reason. Inappropriate places, too. I always turn to the line from Before Night Falls, where Arenas discusses how one of his partners and potential persecutors “dismissed him with his penis”. For a long time I took a cucumber and held it to my crotch, using my fake dick to try to dismiss others. It turned Arenas on; his prose salivates as he describes being dominated and tormented by his oppressors. Punishment and control can be sexy. Extreme control and punishment can be even sexier, something that produces resistance so sweet that the misery is almost worth it.

When I was young, I turned to books for emotional release. I needed to be loved. If not, I wanted to perceive others being loved. Different books held different promises of love for me. I turned to Dickens when I wanted to hold my ribs from being cracked open. I loved the Brontes (sometimes) for keeping me in the throes of real outrage. I adored Austen for her cool, clever quick-witted humor that hid quiet poignance.

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September 4, 2010

Thank You for Ten Years of Awesomeness

by special correspondent

This isn't him, his hair was WAY brighter.

Dear Scott,
(aka, highlighter head, Apollo’s Beard, man with two or fewer brain cells…)

We have debated writing or sending you this letter for a very long time. Ten years, in fact.

Each time we thought we should send you this letter, we were put off by the thought that your obnoxious self would read it. But the older and more awesome our friendship grew, the more we realized we couldn’t let your stupidity get in the way of our gratitude.

You see, we need to thank you for being the catalyst of our friendship. It was you, ten years ago, who brought us together.

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September 4, 2010

Secret Life: Teenagers Are Thick

by d

from ABC Family

Subterfuge continues to ogle the indulgent wreck that is Secret Life of the American Teenager.

I missed writing up the last episode or two. First because it actually didn’t upset me, and then because I was so relieved, I stopped caring. Heh. Funny how that works.

Honestly, I now get a feeling of dread every time I see the show pop up on my TiVo list. Oh god, I think, What vile lunacy are they going to inflict on me now? This is in sharp contrast from Season One, when the show was a guilty pleasure I made time to watch. I enjoyed the fantasy train wreck, though I can’t really pinpoint why. A good deal of it had to do with the lineup of characters. But then everyone started getting tangled up with EVERYONE else, and now it’s a genuine soap opera, with complete assholery going unpunished. (I’m look at you, Reuben.)

I also need to write something about the other ABC Family shows airing now. But before I get to that, here’s this one.

What I Didn’t Write About Last Time

I’m still kind of reeling from Grace’s mom calling oral sex “gateway sex.” “It’s sex that leads to other sex!” Hilarity. She’s right, but it’s a hilarious way to put it. I’m even more amused by how freaked out she looked.

Plus, Ben gave Adrian a sort of promise ring, supposedly a real gem stone the size of someone’s eye. You can be sure that this jewel will be pawned off at some point in the future to fund something important. Misunderstandings and betrayal will ensue.

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August 11, 2010

Sixteen Candles Does Not Age Well

by d

ABC Family ran Sixteen Candles a few weeks ago, so I recorded it. I just watched it, and, wow. That is some crap movie right there.

The plot is juvenile, the characters are stereotypical and there’s racism. Oh, and super obnoxious TV kids, why must there always be super obnoxious kids? I admit, it was very amusing in places, but others made my jaw drop. There were plenty of things that just were not funny to me. It alarms me that the whole theater was probably hooting.

So why was this film so popular? What made it a seminal movie of the 1980s? And what impact might it have had on the kids then, and kids now?

Sixteen Candles focuses on Samantha (played by Molly Ringwald), who is turning sixteen in the midst of turmoil. Her sister is getting married, the grandparents are coming to stay, they have to meet the in-laws, oh, and her younger siblings are brats. Her mother can’t even remember to make her lunch, let alone that it’s her birthday. On this same Friday, there’s a dance at school, followed by a senior after-party where everyone goes wild.

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July 24, 2010

Generations of Mutilation

by d

via Flickr user RNW

UPDATE: You can sign a Care2 Petition to stop breast ironing here.

When you think of Africa, you may recall photographs and video of African women in tribal dress with their breasts exposed. The image titillated paternalistic explorer/conquerors, and continues to titillate boys looking for a legit way to see some boobs. You may or may not have to turn off your Safe Search filter to find such images on the internet, women with their chests exposed, no matter how small, big, youthful, or droopy. I actually had a hard time finding an image for this post. Put “breasts” and “Africa” into a search engine and you get birds (real birds!) and topless women.

I couldn’t use any of those, because those breasts were whole, unscathed.

In Cameroon, breast ironing is a practice growing in frequency. Mothers press hot stones, tools, or wood against their prepubescent daughters’ budding breasts, intentionally harming the tissue so they will not grow. The fear is that a girl with developed breasts is a target for men seeking sex. Teen pregnancy is rampant in Cameroon, and girls often abandon their education when they fall pregnant. Breast ironing damages the breasts in permanent ways, including scarring, ongoing pain, infection, abscess, malformation or eradication of the breast.

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July 21, 2010

Chelsea Clinton Can’t Get No Respect

by d

I caught this snippet of MSNBC’s Countdown (sans Keith Olbermann, sadly) last night, and something about it struck me as… odd.

Sadly, WordPress won’t embed it, so you need to follow this link to watch it.

Symphony music. “A royal wedding.” “Versailles-style mansion.” (And what is Andrea Mitchell doing wearing a fluffy pink scarf?)

“Chelsea, the Clintons’ only child, has come a long way from the teenager who grew up in the White House. Today, she has an elegant poise and style, and an impressive career as a hedge fund manager to match. A bride who knows who she is, and what she wants on her big day.”

Hmmm. “Come a long way,” huh? Oh, right. That’s code for, She used to be ‘unfortunate looking’ but she got the curls straightened and some blond highlights put in so now she’s pretty!

via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

via Flickr user philgarlic

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July 20, 2010

And I Took It

by V

via Flickr user pitzyper

This is something I really haven’t talked much about, not since I was in my brooding early and mid teens. And even then I don’t think I honestly ever delved very deeply into it.

When I was a kid, I was a follower and not a leader. Growing up I was not one of the In crowd. I wasn’t even belonging to one of the Outcast crowds. I had my own special form of Outcast crowd of which I was the only member. To this day, I don’t know why.

Most of my friends back then were only friends with me when it was convenient for them. In other words, when nobody else was around to see and when they were bored enough, I was good to be friends with and do things with.

I had one friend in particular, whom I’ll call P. She and I were best friends. Okay, let me rephrase this. She was my friend when it suited her, and I was so desperate to have someone to play with and hang out with that I generally took whatever she dished out at me. She and I first met when we were in first grade, and we remained “friends” until she was 13 and I was 14. 

She sometimes would invite me over when she had other friends over with her. But, this was not to share in a play date. Not really. This was because they were bored and they wanted me to be around to gang up on. And she would be right there in the middle of it, laughing about it, cheering them on, purposely lying right in front of me because she knew they either wouldn’t care or wouldn’t believe me if I said it was a lie, and she would actively participate in the name-calling and even (with certain friends of hers) hitting, grabbing, shoving, or pulling.

And I took it.

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July 4, 2010

Pretty Little Liars – Inoffensive? How’d that happen?

by d

Forgive my delays, I have TiVo. I just watched episode 4, and I felt it was pretty mild. The tension was fairly low throughout, and nothing leapt out at me as blatantly bad. That makes this a great point write an intro to the series itself.

Billed as Desperate Housewives for teens, PLL was born in the marketing department, then shopped to writers and TV studios. I haven’t heard good things about the books, but the show seems to be taking off.

Like DH, PLL is set in a pretty little suburban town. Like DH, our primary characters were a group of five friends that has been cut down to four. We knew Mary Alice was dead–she shot her brain out. But no one ever found Allison’s body, she just  went missing. Now, a year after her disappearance, her four remaining friends are getting mysterious–and dangerous–messages from someone who signs themselves as “A” and knows secrets only Allison could know. A appears to be stalking them–creepily appropriate messages are delivered at just the right moment, mere minutes, or even seconds, after things take place. It begins with text messages, then branches out to letter, radio dedications, items left in strange places, and, at the end of tonight’s episode, a message on a mirror in Allison’s favorite lipstick.

Each girl has her own terrible secret going. If her friends know, she doesn’t want anyone else to.

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June 29, 2010

TV Time: Secret Life Soap Drama

by d

I just finished watching Episode 4, Season 3, of Secret Life of the American Teenager. I was already resolved to write about this show, and this episode, but I’m having trouble getting started. I’m still reeling from the next-to-last encounter.

Essentially, a father just told his pregnant daughter that if she doesn’t have the baby, he’s going to divorce her mother and dismantle their family.

If you haven’t been watching, Secret Life is a show on ABC Family that insists its intention is to depict teen pregnancy in a realistic light. I have watched from the beginning, because I was curious. I like the mix of characters, the writing and acting aren’t terrible, and it’s fairly funny. I also have a sick fascination with Hollywood’s ongoing aversion to abortion. The obvious reason for this is that a baby creates more drama than not having a baby. But doing so both panders to anti-abortion opinion and strengthens the idea that babies are better in the audience.

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June 28, 2010

Hills Like White Elephants, the Sequel

by f

I met my sorority sister for lunch at the old alma mater. I had a great time. If you’re reading this, T — thank you!

Since I overspent on food, I wanted to get home cheaply. (Damn you, delicious ABP black bean sandwich!) Actually I had no choice  — I couldn’t afford a train ticket. Those were $5.25, up 35% from just a few months ago. Instead, I tried the coach bus that runs between the college and the P library, where I do my work.

(When I graduated from college in ’08, I thought I tried every mode of transportation the city of NB had to offer. Clearly not. A few days ago, W told me about the suburban NB-PSquare coach. PSquare is much closer to the library than the Transit’s dinky station.  Total win-win. I saved $3 — and I didn’t have to transfer two trains and then walk a half-mile up steep sidewalk.)

Today, I learned two things.

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