Wednesday, October 08, 2008

How Do Writers Determine When To Reflexively Express They Know What We're Thinking?

So you know how when you read a magazine article or one of these blogs with "professional" writers, and it sort of starts off with a subject you've heard or read about elsewhere, or were interested in exploring, and then the writer basically tries to have a conversation with you on the subject? They establish the definition of what they're talking about and then follow a train of thought to an ultimate argument about the original subject. And as they do it they sort of anticipate what you are thinking?

Usually this is how it works.

So I often wonder how writers determine when they're going to announce that they know specifically what we're thinking as readers. Like they've been hit by a vision, and it revealed for a moment the inside of our brain, and now, THEY KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING.

In this piece on Sarah Palin's Milfy Hotness, Amy Alexander writes:

Few Beltway commentators would dare call this stealth device by name, but the ever-crafty McCain/Palin camp seems to be counting on it to help pull its overmatched ticket across the finish line come November: "MILF" appeal, as in "Mother I'd Like to F...."

Oh, I know what you are thinking,


This is where I pause to look to my left and my right and crouch down a little because I'm only at the start of the second paragraph and I'm sort of like, uhhhh, ok, Amy, please tell me?

but as Chris Rock might say, don't kill the messenger.

Huh? Wait, what was I thinking again?? When did I get so offended???

Is Amy suggesting I might kill someone who uses a capital "F" and some ellipsi-dots in my person? On my computer screen, no less! ARGH, I'M GONNA KILL THE PERSON WHO INSINUATES FOUL LANGUAGE IN MY CONTENT!

No, no Amy. I do believe you AND Chris Rock are safe. For now at least.

(Seriously, does Amy know this is all online? i don't understand ...)

Now, I know what you're thinking .... so I checked out a couple other pieces by the prescient Miss(?) Alexander and I'm gonna say this nit is no real knock on her skills; if this meta career-analysis piece is any indication she enjoys playing with the 4th wall. Soooo, just having some fun. And really just curious.... but I guess I'll dig in more some other time.

The piece itself is solid, though a bit reserved. The sexualizing of Sarah Palin the last month or two is great fodder, but getting ruffled feathers over her being a "MILF," such that we need to spell it out and and gasp for breath? This is an indicator of pop culture coarsening? I thought everyone had seen 2 Girls 1 Cup -- aka our moral abyss manifested on youtube -- but I guess not. Our pop culture "morality" got sodomized to death a long time ago. A "MILF factor" in politics is child's play, even Obama himself got those beach pics out there to rally the Jungle Fever demo.

Now I know what you're thinking: The MILF vs. The NILF (nullus) ... EGADS!

Wait, you weren't thinking that? Well, you should.

And don't kill the blogger.

xo

The MILFy Way [The Root]

linking the messenger [pic]

4 comments:

  1. Hi TAN,

    This is Amy Alexander.

    Interesting post today!

    I agree with your premise, and appreciate the Socratic approach you take to the question, How do writers decide when to make assumptions about what the reader is thinking?

    Thanks, also, for noticing that I do, sometimes, enjoying "playing with the 4th wall." An astute observation that is lost on many others, I'm afraid.....

    Finally, as you have suspected, I am relatively new at the "new media" tip, and so, yes, I'm sure I am naive about the extent of what is "out there."

    You mentioned the infamous "Two girls, one cup" clip from YouTube. I have read about it but have not had the interest (or courage?!) to hunt it down and view it.....more evidence of the time warp I live in!

    Anyway, just wanted to give a shout. Please do feel free to write back; I've read your blog in the past, and will continue to.

    Regards,
    Amy Alexander
    The Nation
    The Nation Institute
    http://www.nationinstitute.org/bios/amy_alexander

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heh, you say this is erotic?

    ReplyDelete
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