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May 26, 2005

A Different Kind of Rainbow Connection

Simon & Schuster Young Adult Book Aimed at 14-15 Year Olds Is All About "Rainbow Parties," Where Kids Have Semi-Anonymous Group Oral Sex


I guess I have something more to say than unbelievable, but for now, I'll just link Michelle Malkin.

Thanks to Brak.

Cautionary Tale? Bullshit: An unnamed poster notes:

I don't know. It doesn't sound that bad to me. From the USA Today article:
Bethany Buck, Ruditis' editor at Simon & Schuster, came up with the idea for the book and says she hopes it will "scare" young readers. Suzanne Kelly, a buyer for the Chester County Book and Music Co. in West Chester, Pa., which will stock a limited number of Rainbow, agrees. She says the book's message that oral sex "really is sex" and that teens can contract STDs through such sexual practices far outweigh the controversial story line.

"I can't imagine anyone reading this book and saying, 'Hey, what a great idea. Let's send out invitations...."

The Claw rejoins:

Ah, that explains it...he was never a teenaged boy.

Yes, teenaged boys would send out invitations. All teenaged boys want to do is have sex. I guess some/many/most teenaged girls want to as well, but historically, they've been the brakes on the process.

The whole idea of a "cautionary tale" is just ass. In the fifties, there were dirty-ish magazines featuring names like Teenage Confidential and the like that would be all about good girls going bad and taking barbituates and having lots of sex and then having an epiphany or some tragedy that convinced them that they had chosen the wrong path.

But, obviously, no one was reading those stories for the obligatory moral point cynically packed in to the last two pages. They were reading for the barbituates and the sex.

This is so well-known and so obvious I'm surprised this guy even attempts this spin.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls spoofed this convention -- unbridled transgressive hedonism for an hour and half, capped by a judgmental and moralistic narrative that explained all the "lessons learned" -- and really, apart from the gigantic boobs and lesbianism in the film, it's really only that final two minutes that work at all, because it's funny. The narrator makes so many moralistic points, so ham-handedly, in just two minutes it makes you crack a smile (something the rest of the film failed to do).

If this Rainbow Party book is informative or a "cautionary tale," then really so is Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, or most of Russ Meyers' gigantic-tits-and-Nazi-murderers oevure, because a lot of those movies also have the quaint 50's censor-pleasing convention of the quick recap of "lessons learned."

So why not make Beyond the Valley of the Dolls available in junior high libraries, too?

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posted by Ace at 10:47 AM

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