10 March 2011

Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Currently Pushing: Katie Baker, "Sweet Valley High, the Great Retweening, and Why Boys Won't Read." I didn't know who Ms. Baker was until I found out she was one of Bill Simmons' first recruits for his new sports and pop culture website.

Since then I've been catching up on her stuff, such as The Confessions Of A Former Adolescent Puck Tease and other articles. Frankly, you should like Katie based on just her bio from the Sweet Valley High article: "Katie Baker had a Kirsten, and then was a Dawn (but was really a Kristy) before settling into life as a Miranda."

Another article I've been mulling over is this How Sassy (Should Have) Changed My Life one by Carlene Bauer. I read the book she's referring to a few years ago and thought it was wonderful. I referred to it often for inspiration and research while writing the EC sequel. In reading How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, it made me I wish I had known about it then. Of course, I wasn't a teen girl but I wonder what kind of impact it might have had on me? Or would I have just dismissed it as one of George's magazines lying around? The only magazines I remember her having around a lot was Bop. Maybe YM too. And Highlights.

If you didn't know, Tavi aka Style Rookie and Jane Pratt, the founding editor of Sassy (at the ripe old age of twenty four) are starting up a new magazine for teen girls. Color me excited.

When I was younger, like middle school, any time I wanted to learn about a topic, I turned to the magazine rack. For example, I went through a brief hockey phase where I wanted to know what the sport was all about. So I'd buy a few magazines, read them over and over to absorb the names and associations, and then start watching the games. I did the same thing with football. I'd study those suckers like they were textbooks.

And then in high school when I felt my knowledge of cars was severely lacking, I bought magazines and Consumer Reports and tried to memorize as many makes and models and horsepower specifications as possible. A few months later, I had some basic car knowledge to semi-understand my car geek friends when they talked about V6s and inline fours. This magazine education also worked for learning about military vehicles and airplanes. Remember those programs where you'd get a new pack of information cards to fill your binder with every month? For some reason I was subscribed to a lot of those for all sorts of random things. What was that all about?

I was thinking today about how easy it is to get into a sub-culture nowadays. Everything is on the internet so if you were a kid who wants to say, get into indie music or something, you just follow a few blogs, start aping what they suggest, and you're in! You don't even have to go to concerts or curate things for yourself. I feel like it was much harder back in the day because in order to even be exposed to a scene, you had to stumble into it or have someone lead the way. I feel like this is why the younger generation are so cool nowadays. Or is each successive generation just cooler than the one before them? Ha, who am I kidding, my generation is the coolest of them all!

What does "cool" even mean nowadays? I feel like I have that discussion a lot.