Recently, through a five-year old relative, M.Snowe found out about an “interactive” toy/book product for little ones called “Elf on the Shelf.” Perhaps this has existed for years, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it or heard of it. Here’s the Elf’s “story.”
So let me summarize: You read your kid the book about the Elf. You give the Elf a name, and then it magically acquires some sort of “Christmas Magic.” This Magic allows it to travel back to Santa every night, and REPORT BACK TO SANTA WHAT AN ASSHOLE YOUR KID IS. Also, if the child touches the Elf, they are warned it will LOSE ALL IT’S SPECIAL MAGIC and there will be no Christmas gifts. The Elf travels back to the owner’s house and magically appears in a different location in the morning.
Okay, so maybe these mind games aren’t on par with the Little Albert experiments or anything, but M.Snowe still finds it a bit perverse.
As with all perversities, let’s come up with some other, perhaps more adult-oriented, options:
JoePa on the Sofa–supposedly a nanny cam to make sure your babysitter isn’t feeling up your kids. (This toy was recalled a few months ago.)
Illegal on the Beagle–This underpaid worker disappears at night to take that job at the seven-eleven you wouldn’t condescend to take, even though your damned dog is totally starving.
Pepper Spray Cop on the Laptop— Every time you visit MoveOn.org, you’re basically asking for a capsicum shower.
Chupacabra on the Candelabra–I’m just saying, look up when you enter the room.
The Terminator on the ‘Frigerator–He’ll be back…for your Häagen-Dazs.
- A vampire baby eating another baby vampire
- John Boehner’s disembodied head
- A cogent, leftist argument against the human rights and constitutional violations that would necessarily accompany any passing of a “Personhood Amendment”
- A clone of Bella, except one with an actual personality and a will to fucking live
- A temperamental ferret
- A black swan
- A sobbing Twi-Mom
- A delicious Thanksgiving dinner
- A new, actually super, Super Committee
- Arya Stark, sword in hand
- More jobs?
- Some crazy shit out of a Goya painting
- Two free tickets to The Book of Mormon
- A signed, first edition copy of Bunnicula
- 283.5 Million Dollars
Good day, fair readers. A bittersweet day, alas.
The good news is, my review of Jeff Eugenides‘ The Marriage Plot is up on Hipster Book Club. Anyway, you should read that book, and then we should argue about it. It was a strange read for me, as I experienced two very different higher-learning literature departments–an undergrad program very much connected to tradition, the classics and old school interpretation, and a grad school committed to a strong knowledge of semiotics and deconstruction (personally, the deconstructionist arguments, while engaging thought experiments, felt more out of date than the classic lit. crit. thinkers of old, but msnowe digresses). Eugenides’ book is absolutely wonderful reading, and at the end, reader, I blush to admit to you that I got emotional, which is almost never the case. All that said, you should read it so we can talk/fight about it, because as much as I was engaged, I don’t feel like Madeleine (the main female character among two main male characters) got a fair femilady treatment. Let’s just say the book fails the Bechdel test. But damn, it was a good book. But, damn!
In other, sad news, Hipster Book Club is shuttering its online doors after this month. This is very sad, indeed, especially for me, as I was just getting comfortable with the reading and reviewing and working with the wonderful editors. Do yourself a favor and check out the review archives on the site.
On to bigger and hopefully better things!