Youth and the Inbetweeners

Finished another J.M. Coetzee book this weekend; ‘Youth’ is about a young white South African who moves to London. He aspires to become a poet, but feels he lacks the fire of his heroes. As he struggles life goes on, and destiny has other plans for him.

My favourite comedy shows on telly all force me to stay up late to watch them. I’m loving the Inbetweeners at the moment, a comedy about four sixth-formers trying to get laid but getting nowhere. Their language is so delightfully crude and irreverant, with gems like “vag”,”clunge” and “the lion, the witch and the speccy kid that shat himself”. Renting the DVD soon.

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Playboy babes.

Literally.

I was rather surprised by this little news item that popped up on tea-time telly yesterday regarding the stationer W.H.Smith. Apparently they have discontinued their ‘Playboy’ line of school stationery that was being purchased, amongst others, by primary school girls.

What I don’t understand is how the decision was made to launch this line in the first place. Was it National Straw-for-Brains Week? Imagine the electric brainstorming session at W.H.Smith Product Development and Marketing!

Alex: “Fire away all the words you associate with school, my homies”
Max: “Lunch”
Daryl: “Exams”
Trix: “Playground”
“Bullies”
“Rabbits”
“Playboy”
“Cricket”
“Science projects”
Alex: “Whoa, back it up, back it up. Playboy, you say”
“That’s catchy!”
“We have a winner”
“Everyone knows Playboy”

And apparently there has been pressure on W.H.Smith by parent and consumer groups for years before they retracted the line. What’s to argue? Couldn’t they just apologise, hold their hands up and admit it was daft. This is of course part of a larger debate about sexualising youngsters, and reminds me of a stand-up comedian on telly doing a routine about what slogans can be seen written on kids t-shirts / etc. nowadays.