Showing posts from September, 2012

I Make My Own News... Literally

Because my three faithful readers deserve to suffer as much as my students through my attempts at humor, below is a goofy, fake news story I wrote to fill a PowerPoint slide for my Sociology of Mass Media course. We're discussing newspapers and news this week.  Enjoy, or at least try not to hurt yourself rolling your eyes. SOCIOLOGIST WANTED FOR CHALLENGING NEWS Rapid City, SD      Local authorities are on the hunt for Elle Hill, a local sociology instructor, for her participation in questioning media ethics. Hill, who teaches a course entitled “Sociology of Mass Media,” was quoted by one of her students as saying, “ We've  turned our mass media, major sources of knowing and understanding, into money-making machines, and this makes news and information into commodities . Should news be something purchasable, something shaped by market forces rather than human decency?” “I was like, ‘whoa,’” one student, who asked to be called “Moe,” commented. “Maybe we should

Making My Subliminal Messages, Well, Liminal

You know those YouTube videos everyone watches about the hidden sexual messages in Disney movies ? I’m like that. Seriously. Just like those smirking Disney animators, I’m all sneaky and smug, giggling into my clenched fist as I tuck subliminal messages into my novels. Subliminal message #1 : Race doesn’t exist . No, really, it doesn’t. I don’t mean this in a whack-job, White-supremacist, or even  Colbertesque way. I mean, scientifically speaking, race has no biological basis. It’s a totally made-up concept. That doesn’t, of course, mean, race has no meaning; of course it does. It just means we made it up. So, knowing this, it’s hugely important for me to, at the very least, include a lot of racial and ethnic diversity and, if possible, maybe even challenge notions of race. Subliminal message #2 : Looksism is so 1980s. Judging beauty based solely on physical features is, well, partial. To reinforce this, I build characters that don’t embody cultural beauty ideals and tha

Fantastic Reality, or Realistic Fantasy?

I love Disney. Lifetime movies make me blubber like a baby. Heck, if they’re gooshy enough, Hallmark cards turn my eyes all shiny and moist. I’m a romance author, which means I have to be a hopeless romantic, right? Yeah, but, but... But in my day job, I teach sociology. Not just any sociology: social inequalities. You want to know statistics about gender income equalities ? Interested in discussing looksism ? Dying to hear all about racial microaggressions ? I’m your woman. Given my two very different vocations, it’s inevitable that I experience some workplace confusion and ambivalence. For example, in the classroom, I have been known to say, “ Jews report the highest rates of hate crimes perpetratedagainst them .” Silence. “Hey, you want to look at pictures of puppies ?” Is it any wonder, then, that I constantly grapple with how much reality to stick in my romances? I’m a huge fan of escapism, of romantic conventions, of the predictability and simplicity of happily-ever-

National Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week

Yes, I know this is an author’s blog. Yes, I’m aware I’m an author. Yes, I have some idea that I should probably, like, write: 1. More often (my three readers should never be taken for granted!), and 2. About, well, writing and stuff. But, come on – everyone knows I’m a Crazy Animal Lady™, right? Right! That said, I would like to once again point out the annual Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week. Let’s say you’re in the market for a new friend. Natch, your first stop is this blog, in hopes that I have words of wisdom for you in adopting a new BFF/soul mate. What a coinkydink! Me with Biscuit, an older, purebred, rescued pug. 1. Do not buy from a breeder. Ever. I don’t care if you think English Bulldogs are the cutest things in the multiverse. I don’t care if you once had a bad experience with an animal shelter. There is no excuse for helping perpetuate the pet overpopulation/euthanization problem . And don’t let the nice people working at pet stores fool ya into believ