The Last Thing the Internet Needs Now

sterrapin Gets Easily and Irrationally Offended, Part One
January 12, 2008, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Daily life, Not exactly sports | Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday a friend was showing me a catalog for scrapbookers. I don’t really do that kind of stuff, and if I did, I could probably do it without anybody’s help, since this is supposed to be my scrapbook and, much like your own notes in class, the only one who’s supposed to be able to read them is you. Oh, you can show your friends your scrapbook I suppose, but it’s yours, and it should be you all over those pages from idea to execution. You feel me?

I don’t really know how else to describe the catalog except that it maybe came together like this: A roving pack of high school girls projectile-vomited hearts, stars, rainbows, puppies, kittens, swirly things and oompy-loopy alphabet letters onto a page. Then some print shop person took a picture, made a plate, stuck it on a press and I held the infernal thing in my hand for about five minutes. So if one of my hands happens to fall off as the result of whatever funk infected my skin through that catalog, oh well.

Anyway, what was I so offended by looking at a scrapbooking catalog? I think I was offended by the idea that a lot of the stuff offered in the catalog was pre-designed. I know I’m probably a bitch for having that rub me the wrong way, but I just wanted to snarl when I looked at page after page of nauseatingly cutesey-wutesey, fluffy-wuffy prefabricated drawings and layouts.

Cutesey-wutesey stimulates my upchuck reflex like few other things, so says the snob who thinks the most visually interesting stuff is on the bottom of skateboard decks or in moldering periodicals (I do have a serious jones for Beat Era advertising/commercial art. I also like tattoos … but my irrational fear of needles keeps me from getting any).

I actually wasn’t quite so offended by the cutesey-wutesey factor, but rather the suggestion that women (at whom this catalog seemed to be aimed — heaven forbid somebody with a penis take up making cutesey scrapbooks, at least I thought that was implied by the complete lack of men anywhere in this thing) can’t draw or paint or conceptualize a scrapbook page (or whatever other paper thing) from idea to execution using their own hands and minds. I guess I am fortunate to be in good company that 99% of the women that I know are more than capable of that.

Granted, I know not everybody can draw, but there seems to be something more genuine about your own stick figure drawings of your family on your scrapbooks or greeting cards instead of prefabricated stick figure drawings of some generic family that you ordered out of a catalog (for probably about $10 plus S&H that probably could have been better spent on food, gasoline, or tranquilizers.)