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ONE TWISTED SISTER: Musician Dee Snider flashes the devil's horns to the crowd at Monster Circus, a rock mecca in Vegas. Click Arts&Life or a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Home-ec feminists and Barbie bashing

By R.M. Monk

March 23, 2009 | The Women and Gender Studies club had a retro bake sale at the TSC patio before spring break to promote Tuesday's "Reinventing Barbie Bash."

Fearing that selling baked goods for a feminist cause would have been seen as sexist, the organizers dressed as June Cleaver, the homemaker from the 1950s television program Leave It to Beaver, to point out the sale's absurd nature.

"The hardest part was wearing heels all day," said Katie Reeves, who co-organized the sale with fellow student Katie Matekovic and Dr. Brenda Cooper.

The event raked in more than $335 and featured goods prepared by faculty, such as the "Double-A Cupcakes" by Farol Nelson and "Male/Female" cookies by Dr. Fran Titchener -- the male cookies had nuts.

The Barbie Bash invited students to submit America's favorite doll in an altered state to challenge gender stereotypes and societal norms. The dolls can be seen in the bottom of the Merril Cazier Library or at the Women and Gender Studies club's Web site.

The winner of the People's Choice Doll will be announced during the Barbie Bash from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Merrill Cazier Library.

RETRO GOODIES: Student Katie Reeves shows off her baked goods. / Photo courtesy of Christie Fox




Copyright 1997-2009 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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