A Moment of Jen
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Thursday, March 02, 2006
posted by Jen at 3/02/2006 02:19:00 PM

Dwight Schrute of "The Office" has a weblog.

My Newsweek subscription, which brought me this happy news, just paid for itself.

Went to Target yesterday and got Ziploc baggies (indispensible for stroller snacks), three-year-old birthday party gifts, an a copy of LOVE MONKEY, with a hopeful little orange circle on its front cover reading "Catch the New TV Series Love Monkey on CBS!" (Said TV series was cancelled after two outings, permitting exultant entertainment writers nationwide to combine the words "spank" and "monkey" in their headlines).

If you read enough of what's politely called lad lit -- books like BALLING THE JACK and THE FROG KING and LOVE MONKEY -- something quickly become apparent: namely, that single guys in the city are basically identical to their single girl counterparts, from the loneliness to the crazy friends and family to the workplace misery and the weight obsession (only sometimes it's the hairline, not the waistline, that's the problem).

They're basically the same as the Bridgets and the Emmas and the Kates and the Janes, except they tend to binge drink more frequently...and they're way more superficial.

For instance: the passage in Love Monkey where the hero, a fellow named Tom, takes a break from his seduction of the lovely, lissome, ten-year-his-junior Julia to slip into the bathroom for a chat with his penis.

He wants his private parts to behave themselves and, as incitement, he names a string of unattractive women. "Hillary Clinton...Camryn Manheim....Rosie O'Donnell...Oprah."

I think the narrator's suppose to be sympathetic...or at least accurately reflect the true-life dialogues men have when they're trying to stave off visible signs of arousal.

And that scene, in a nutshell, could be why that lad lit never took off. Women read more fiction than men. Women especially read more of the kind of witty, topical, looking-for-love-in-the-big-cold-city fiction than men. And if this is really how men view the world, they don't want to know it. They want to leave that rock firmly in place instead of kicking it over and spending four hundred pages peering at what's squirming around underneath.
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