Friday, October 10, 2008

Penguin Paperbacks, Peterman, & Politics

National Geographic ADVENTURE announced that Penguin has released a new paperback series, appropriately titled Great Journeys. The slim paperbacks span ten adventures, everything from Herodutus in the Kingdom of Egypt to Shackleton's Escape from the Antarctica. These will definitely be added to my Amazon.com wishlist.

Speaking of adventure travel, quite some time ago I added J. Peterman's Peterman's Eye to my Google Reader. As a fan of his philosphy, clothing line, and autobiography, I was eager to see what he would blog about. Thanks in equal parts to my J. Peterman catalog subscription and to John O'Hurley's Seinfeld character, I expected to find a journal documenting washclothes in "the shimmering waters of Lake Victoria," the discovery of the Pamplona beret at the Chiang Mai river market, and the nobless oblige of the "Sultan of Oom Papa Mau Mau."

What I found is more Dead-White-Male-bashing than you can shake a J. Peterman Systems Walking Stick (Constructed of English elm and solid brass, handle and hinged cap embossed with a regimental crest. WWI vintage. 37" overall, Price: $1500) at. If I want to experience Dead-White-Male-bashing, I'll re-read Zinn's People's History of the United States or re-take World History 101 at my old college. Peterman bashes everyone from Christopher Columbus (his most recent victim) to Douglas MacArthur, and while some of his criticism is valid, it's not what I want to read in his blog. It's not just Peterman. I'll listen to old Madonna mp3s all day long while re-reading a Stephen King novel, but I don't want to hear either Maddy or Steve prattle about how [insert name of prominent conservative here] is the Devil (or at least, his "retarded little brother"). Just sing dammit! Or Write. Or sell me over-priced clothes.

1 comment:

arcona said...

Yeah, celebrities have this problem where they believe everyone should actually give a damn what their political beliefs are.

If someone wants to use their fame to promote a cause, candidate, whatever - that they truly believe in, I don't mind so much. But when they start getting all preachy and in some cases angry at their 'fans' who don't follow their lead, then I start getting irritated.