November 17, 2018

"Sara Lynn Michener, 39, stopped shopping at Victoria’s Secret about 10 years ago. She said she was frustrated..."

"... by the seemingly inexperienced sales people, the overwhelming 'pinkness' of the brand and the inauthentic 'glamazon images' in the store. She now mostly buys her bras online and at Nordstrom, environments that are mostly free of the sexed-up imagery that makes Victoria’s Secret the store it is. 'Even if I walk into the Nordstrom section, I’m going to have a bad day, so you can imagine Victoria’s Secret,' Ms. Michener, a writer who lives in the Bay Area, said."

From a long article in the NYT called "In 2018, Where Does Victoria’s Secret Stand?/The lingerie company has clung to the idea that women should look sexy for men. And sales are plummeting."

Of course, my question was: Ms. Michener, a writer — is she related to James A. Michener?

Googling her name, I found her page on Medium: "Sara Lynn Michener/Writer. Maker. Feminist. Internet Curator. Spitfire. Ravenclaw. Trekkie. Social Justice Apologist." Ravenclaw — what is that, some Harry Potter category? Yes — "6 reasons to get excited if you’re sorted into Ravenclaw" ("Ravenclaw is the house that champions those with a 'ready mind'"). Do people pushing 40 really think of themselves in terms of Harry Potter classifications? I guess it's better than astrology, and it looks like you just pick the one you think you are, so it's probably also better than the Myers Briggs system.

But is Sara Lynn Michener related to James A. Michener? The closest I got to an answer was an essay by Ms. Michener, "The Life and Times of Thurber James Michener/Obituary of a Beloved Dog."
... I placed all the love I had left in this dog, knowing he could never hurt me unless he was parted from me, like my own little pantalaimon. He licked my tears and put his head on my chest or dove between body and arm and seemed to make it possible for me to breathe. He followed me around extra closely, he was happily affectionate when I was happy, and gently affectionate when I was sad. I came to understand that the magic of this town I had loved, was merely how I had seen it — along with everyone else who comes to love a place to the point of fiction. Every American small town has a dark underbelly once the veil of what feels so deeply like community is lifted, so easily and under the slightest pressure. When I saw it for what it truly was without that love, I left with an effort that would not have been possible without my constant. All eighteen pounds of him in fur, bone, blood, and a love of bacon and peanut butter.
Anyway, I was thinking about James A. Michener, because I've been working my way through a box set of the complete episodes of "Friends," and his name came up in "The One With The Stoned Guy" (from February 1995). Ross wants to accommodate a girlfriend who expects him to talk dirty when they have sex, Joey gives him some lessons, and Ross reports back: "Oh, I was unbelievable.... I was the James Michener of dirty talk. It was the most elaborate filth you have ever heard. I mean, there were characters, plot lines, themes, a motif... at one point there were villagers."

At one point there were villagers! Did Americans understand that line in 1995? TV writers 23 years ago expected a mainstream audience to grasp a surreal turn in the dialogue that demanded understanding of the work of a specific writer. But it was James A. Michener — and he was still alive (alive and 88) and he'd even published a novel that year — another one of his 40 books. I'm just going to guess that knowing, back then, that a Michener story would have villagers was about as difficult as understanding, these days, what it means to be a Ravenclaw.

102 comments:

gilbar said...

Internet Curator
????

People need to use REAL Job Descriptions, like I do

gilbar
Trout Bum
Standing in the middle of a trout stream

whitney said...

It's like 1995 was an entirely different world huh

SeanF said...

I've apparently never read Michener, because I did not understand Ross' line as a reference to anything. To me, it was just a surreal joke.

Of course, I just learned within the past year that it actually was Socrates who originally wrote, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." I thought that line was created for the soap opera, and Socrates saying it was just a joke in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure".

Annie C. said...

1. My all-time favorite bathroom book is Centennial.

2. I have Crohns so I spend a good bit of time in the bathroom.

3. Most of you have bathroom books too, don't judge.

4. My second favorite bathroom book is The Womens Room.

rhhardin said...

I guess it's better than astrology, and it looks like you just pick the one you think you are, so it's probably also better than the Myers Briggs system.

Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless:

"Ms. Andrews," she said, firmly, "I'm sorry that you're not happy. I know you probably feel I was a bit rough with you this morning, but astrology is, after all, just popular entertainment, which is fine. It's part of showbiz and it's a part that you have done well out of and good luck to you. It's fun. It's not a science though, and it shouldn't be mistaken for one. I think that's something we both managed to demonstrate very successfully together this morning, while at the same time generating some popular entertainment, which is what we both do for a living. I'm sorry if you have a problem with that."

"I'm perfectly happy," said Gail Andrews.

"Oh," said Tricia, not quite certain what to make of this. "It said in your message that you were not happy."

"No," said Gail Andrews, "I said in my message that I thought _you_ were not happy, and I was wondering why."

Tricia felt as if she had been kicked in the back of the head. She blinked.

"What?" she said quietly.

"To do with the stars. You seemed very angry and unhappy about something to do with the stars and planets when we were having our discussion, and it's been bothering me, which is why I came to see if you were all right."

Tricia stared at her. "Ms. Andrews --" she started, and then realized that the way she had said it sounded exactly angry and unhappy and rather undermined the protest she had been trying to make.

"Please call me Gail, if that's okay."

Tricia just looked bewildered.

"_I_ know astrology isn't a science," said Gail. "Of course it isn't. It's just an arbitrary set of rules like chess or tennis or - what's that strange thing you British play?"

"Er, cricket? Self-loathing?"

"Parliamentary democracy. The rules just kind of got there. They don't make any kind of sense except in terms of themselves. But when you start to exercise those rules, all sorts of processes start to happen and you start to find out all sorts of stuff about people. In astrology the rules happen to be about stars and planets, but they could be about ducks and drakes for all the differnce it would make. It's just a way of thinking about a problem which lets the shape of that problem begin to emerge. The more rules, the tinier the rules, the more arbitrary they are, the better. It's like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the hidden indentations are. It lets you see the words that were written on the piece of paper above it that's now been taken away and hidden. The graphite's not important. It's just the means of revealing their indentations. So you see, astrology's nothing to do with astronomy. It's just got to do with people thinking about people.

"So when you got so, I don't know, so emotionally focused on stars and planets this morning, I began to think, she's not angry about astrology, she really is angry and unhappy about actual stars and planets. People usually only get that unhappy and angry when they've lost something. That's all I could think and I couldn't make any more sense of it than that. So I came by to see if you were okay."

AllenS said...

I believe that Sara Lynn Michener's parents are Lester Dwight and Karen Lee Michener of Columbia MD.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I read Chesapeake when it came out in 1978 or so and it took me a while. I read a lot and fast back then and it was kind of a slog but fascinating, as well. I'm pretty sure I was a member of the Book of the Month Club and I got it that way. Somewhere around that time, I came upon and read The Drifters which made a big impression on me. I may have heard about Pamplona via Hemingway but the actual name of the city didn't stick with me. After The Drifters, I was going to go to Pamplona and run the bulls for sure. Haven't yet.

rehajm said...

The joke doesn't turn on the esoteric Michener reference, it is the complexity of the dirty talk what makes the joke.

Wince said...

"I was the James Michener of dirty talk. It was the most elaborate filth you have ever heard. I mean, there were characters, plot lines, themes, a motif... at one point there were villagers."

Georgina Spelvin, the female star of the Devil in Miss. Jones, was essentially crowned the queen of "dirty talk" in Showtime's "X-RATED: THE GREATEST ADULT MOVIES OF ALL TIME".

curt said...

Yesterday was the local library’s big fund raiser— a used book sale. As usual, most of Michener’s 40 heavy hardbacks were well represented, with multiple copies of many. According to the ladies in charge, no one actually reads him anymore, and the books keep piling up, year after year, even at the special price of 50 cents each.

Glen Filthie said...

That’s two minutes of my life I’ll never get back. Woulda been more if I followed the links.

A-house, you seriously need to focus your intellect. There is is nothing more dreary than women writing or complaining about other obviously stupid women.

Ann Althouse said...

"The joke doesn't turn on the esoteric Michener reference, it is the complexity of the dirty talk what makes the joke."

Yes, you can generally get the joke without knowing what sort of thing JAM wrote, but you can't specifically get it.

He specialized in stories of the south Pacific Islands and other exotic places. That adds zing to the whole joke. Specificity like that adds a lot to the comic writing, but there's always the problem of what references an audience will get. I'm very aware that there are a lot of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones references that are used in writing today, and I can handle them generally, but not specifically.

Ann Althouse said...

And Michener isn't "esoteric." He was the most popular best-selling writer for many years.

Shouting Thomas said...

... the idea that women should look sexy for men.

God, please take me. This world is no longer fit to live in.

Some Seppo said...

Ms Michener should have been more frustrated at VS for their cheap quality and exhorbitant prices. But that doesn't sell clicks.

Ann Althouse said...

On the late night talk show monologues, they do this thing of explaining the reference before delivering the joke.

Phil 314 said...

The only Michener book I read was “Centennial” back when we lived in Colorado. It was a decent story though I have to admit, starting with the life and death of a dinosaur, how he felt, what he was thinking, etc. lead me to wonder “ Where is this going?”

Professor, how do you reconcile the world views of James Michener, Edward Hopper and “Friends”?

Heartless Aztec said...

Quite humorous. You should make like Twain/Sedaris and take your act on the road. I'd spring for a couple of tix.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

And Michener isn't "esoteric."

Michener may not be but the reference to villagers is.

traditionalguy said...

Tales of the South Pacific is still an all time favorite. The Musical has the same characters, but the book is really an amazing work for a first time writer.

Annie C. said...

My third favorite bathroom book is The Stand.

The key to being a good bathroom book is the ability to pick it up, open it to a random page, amd be transported out of the bathroom.

rehajm said...

The key to being a good bathroom book is the ability to pick it up, open it to a random page, amd be transported out of the bathroom.

Indoor plumbing is a marvel.

iowan2 said...

Only at Althouse do you get Victoria Secrets in the title of the post, and don't get any lingerie talk in comments, sad.

Rick.T. said...

This is triggering. When I was a college freshman my parents took my sorta girlfriend and I on a dinner and movie date to Chicago. They picked the movie Hawaii. All was going normally until the missionary ship arrived in the islands and the first nubile bare-breasted wahine turned around.....

Fernandistein said...

All eighteen pounds of him in fur, bone, blood,

We enjoyed the "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" last night, [SPOILER] including the part where the dog - maybe less than 18 pounds - gets the woman to kill herself after she tried to get someone to kill the dog.

Shouting Thomas said...

Why do the children of the rich rebel against being useful and performing the simplest natural functions of humans, like being attractive to the opposite sex and having children?

Will Cate said...

Well let me just slip this in... (see what I did there) ... When you think about it, esoteric humor is about the only form of humor which is politically acceptable any more, in the age of Nothing Is Funny. I vaguely remember Ravenclaw as one of the student houses of Hogwarts, but I suppose the reference goes infinitely deeper than that.

Ann's right -- the Friends' joke doesn't rely on esoteric knowledge to be funny

Wince said...

Althouse said...
Specificity like that adds a lot to the comic writing, but there's always the problem of what references an audience will get.

"Stop me before I sub-reference again."

Yet not even one of Dennis Miller's more esoteric sub-referential rants.

Ann Althouse said...

"Only at Althouse do you get Victoria Secrets in the title of the post, and don't get any lingerie talk in comments, sad."

Just click on the "bra" tag. I'm sure you'll find something.

I find Victoria's Secret a pretty boring subject. I've never watched the televised fashion show. I consider it a mall store with inferior merchandise.

By the way, when I was growing up, there were always catalogues from Frederick's of Hollywood in the house. Now, that stuff had more of a sense of fun about it.

Ann Althouse said...

"This is triggering. When I was a college freshman my parents took my sorta girlfriend and I on a dinner and movie date to Chicago. They picked the movie Hawaii. All was going normally until the missionary ship arrived in the islands and the first nubile bare-breasted wahine turned around....."

That gives me a flashback to the time I went to check out the University of Michigan for college and I went to the movies with my mother and grandfather. The movie chosen was "Blow-Up."

Wince said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wince said...

Annie C said...
The key to being a good bathroom book is the ability to pick it up, open it to a random page, and be transported out of the bathroom.

Rather than some esoteric film school theory, I always thought that was the reason behind Tarentino's non-linear sequencing of Pulp Fiction. You come at the story at random points as if you were picking up a bathroom "Pulp Fiction" book you read for the duration of a bowel movement.

Fernandistein said...

Michener may not be but the reference to villagers is.

The line about villagers is stand-alone funny, Michener-free.

Xmas said...

She stopped shopping at Victoria's Secret when she turned 29. That is about the right time to stop shopping there for a woman. It is not a post-wall lingerie shoppe.

Ficta said...

I'm pretty sure the villagers are because many of Michener's biggest sellers would pick some place (Hawaii, Colorado, the Eastern Shore of Maryland...) and then tell stories about them from the distant geologic past down to the present day. So at some point, there would definitely be villagers.

gilbar said...

Edward Hopper and “Friends”?

I don't know about Mitchener, but these two are in EXACTLY the same universe; It's just that Friends tries to pretend that there is humor in the cold and depressing world of NOT HAVING TROUTS

The (overly?) madeup lady at the Automat? She's madeup not because she's waiting for her date, she's madeup because there was Supposed to be a date; but she was stood up. That's why she's sitting (overly) madeup at an Automat drinking a coffee (and silently weeping: Thus the big dark eyes).

If it was a Friends episode, when Monica got home; she'd say "He Stood Me UP! He Stood ME Up, to go Trout fishing in the Catskills!!" and the audience laugh track would laugh and laugh.

Annie C. said...

I've never seen Pulp Fiction. Can it be watched in the bathroom?

Amadeus 48 said...

A James Michener novel without villagers is as likely as aThomas Friedman column without a local taxi driver. See thomasfriedmanopedgenerator.com.

Paco Wové said...

A deep interest in Harry Potter in a post-adolescent is always a bad sign. (Normally accompanied, as here, by many other bad signs.)

Amadeus 48 said...

It was from James Michener that I learned why people in South Asia only eat with their right hands and why having a thief’s right hand chopped off was also a sentence of perpetual ostracism.

dustbunny said...

Seinfeld had an entire story line devoted to sly John Cheever references. I did wonder how many fans of the show were not only readers of his stuff but also knowledgeable about his private life. As to the Michener reference, all you needed to know was that his books have elaborate detail.

Ice Nine said...

I knocked around Europe in a kombi, ran the bulls in Pamplona, and hitchhiked through Africa because of James Michener. In Vietnam a number of us passed 'The Drifters' around. It was great escapism. A bunch of us resolved to "drift" when we got back. A couple of us did.

Michener writes lousy literature but pretty good and highly-researched history. I've always read the Michener book about a place, if there was one, before going to a particular country. In South Africa and Poland everyone I met and conversed with was amazed at my knowledge of their country. Hawaiians...not so much.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The lingerie company has clung to the idea that women should look sexy for men.

Here's a hint for the married ladies out there (I'm pretty sure most of the married ladies commenting here already know this):

You have a choice. You can work to encourage your man to see you as sexy, then give him the opportunity to act on the resulting urges. Result: Happy husband.

Or, you can throw off the patriarchy, wear grannie panties, and leave him to find some other subject for his fantasies. Result: Unhappy husband ( or happy ex-husband. )

Your choice.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And sales are plummeting.

Uncoincidentally, so are marriage rates and birth rates.

rehajm said...

also the copulation rate.

Matt Sablan said...

I'm going to say one of the many things that hurt my nerd credibility: I only read the first two Harry Potter books. The second book was so bad, that I never desired to read more of the series.

Matt Sablan said...

(The first book was actually pretty good for what it was meant to be, and I thought did a good job balancing narrative, character and world building. But... that second book is such a hurdle, I just never got into the series.)

mockturtle said...

Great grumbling toads! Does anyone really care where Sara Lynn Michener buys her underwear???

Narayanan said...

What about pregnancy rate?
What is keeping Planned Parenthood in business?

bgates said...

The people who, 15 years ago, were warning about the "American Taliban" (by which they meant Republicans) have since then tried to eliminate humor and sexuality. I wonder when they'll declare war on the performing arts.

Narayanan said...

@Mockturtle
Making friends here, trying anyway.

rehajm said...

What is keeping Planned Parenthood in business?

Government funding?

Matt Sablan said...

"I wonder when they'll declare war on the performing arts."

-- Probably the moment they stop, by the vast majority, supporting Democrats. They might be able to get away with being harshly neutral, but if they started pushing for right/conservative leaning causes as hard as the left, you can bet there'd be some blacklisting. There's already the fear of being black listed for wrong opinions in academia and tech, for example.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

The merit of a writer's character is inversely proportional to the quality of his literary output, From what I remember, Michener never went around stabbing his wife or trying weird drug concoctions. I read a few of his books. They were unmemorable, but they espoused a decent moral philosophy and were informative. You never felt you wasted your time after reading one of his books.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I cannot stand Victoria's Secret. The products are horrible. I gave up decades ago.
I recall trying to shop for a bra and I figured Victoria's secret would be a good place to start. WRONG. Horrible experience. They didn't even have my bra size. So I tried on the nearest size I could find. Horrid. It's true that the products do not fit or feel comfortable, they are merely sexy. But actually, not sexy, because the feel is so awful. How is that sexy? If the stiff made in china lace digging into your skin sexy?

The sexy skinny models who sell their products = how to make most women feel inadequate. No longer a selling point.

I shop for bras once every 10 years. When I find the one I like, I buy a lot of them. I found some Hanes T-shirt fabric bras at Kohls. 100% fab.



Andrew said...

"I wonder when they'll declare war on the performing arts."

I've known several classical musicians. They were all either ultraliberal (think Oberlin) or closet conservatives.

Jay Nordlinger at National Review has written about the irony of so many orchestras being supported by corporations that the musicians despise (because "greed").

Darkisland said...

Victoria's Secret was in the news this week when the soon to be ex-CEO was asked why they don't have transgender men (Men pretending to be women) in their fashion show.

His response was priceless:

"People just don't want to see a lingerie show with schlongs hanging out"

OK, OK, I paraphrase a bit.

Still it boggles my mind that anyone would think that having lingerie models with dicks would be a good idea. Or even lingerie models who used to have dicks.

John Henry

rcocean said...

Mischner - liked parts of Hawaii, couldn't get through most of his books. Pedestrian prose, liberal politics, cardboard characters.

But lots of people think real history is "dry" so they read historical novels.

rcocean said...

At the end, he'd run out of "exotic" places to write about and was publishing books like "Alaska" and "Texas"

rcocean said...

He was the male Edna Ferber

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

"People just don't want to see a lingerie show with schlongs hanging out"

I do!

Howard said...

She thinks she is working out her mental illness by writing and social media. In reality, she is reinforcing it.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

It is also true that the people who work for VS are probably not helpful. I cannot verify this because I don't shop there anymore. But if you ever walk by a store, it's just young girls folding frilly nappy coochy.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Jay Leno once said something about sexy lingerie. His wife went to all the trouble but it ends up in a pile in the corner so fast.

Naked is best. Plus - it's free.

Tinderbox said...

Astounding literary ignorance and childishness today among people who should have better taste (i.e. college-educated Americans).

mockturtle said...

I buy only Olga bras and can order them online knowing that their 36C will fit perfectly. With some brands, sizes can be all over the place.

Known Unknown said...

I think Victoria's Secret does have a marketing problem. Sex as a sales tool never goes stale, but it needs updated/reinvigorated from time to time. I interviewed for a Creative Director job there and was bummed to see how little marketing innovation they employed. They rely on the Angels and the Fashion Show for most of their marketing. Needless to say, I didn't pursue the job.

tcrosse said...

Those Victoria's Secret models give off the Dominatrix Barbie vibe. I'm no Ken, but it creeps me out.

Known Unknown said...

"I buy only Olga bras and can order them online knowing that their 36C will fit perfectly. "

Humblebrag. ; )

Known Unknown said...

My wife buys nothing but VS bras/underwear. I don't know why, but she just does.

mockturtle said...

Humblebrag. ; )

I consider 36C to be about average. No bragging intended.

Jupiter said...

I don't recall any villagers in The Bridges at Toko-Ri, or The Bridge at Andau, for that matter. I guess it sort of depends on what you mean by "villagers". If a village is a small community, then

"Every American small town has a dark underbelly once the veil of what feels so deeply like community is lifted, so easily and under the slightest pressure."

is a villager's lament. But I guess villagers is a word, like "native", that has come to signify primitive foreigners.

Jupiter said...

Now,what is a Social Justice Apologist?

FullMoon said...

Courtney Stodden says she'd 'rather go naked than wear Victoria's Secret' after exec's controversial comments

rightguy said...

I see Michener as a writer who wrote books for people who don't read books.

Stan Smith said...

I was stuck in the Rome airport for 26 hours during a "labor dispute" trying to come home from Europe in 1980. One of the other folks in the same situation was a gay architectural student who had been in Florence restoring buildings damaged by a flood. He was also a researcher who had done work for Michener on one of the author's novels. He told me that Michener was basically illiterate, that most of the writing was done by editors and researchers; the only portion of the book Michener had anything to do with was the basic plot.

I spent most of the 26 hours trying (along with an American college basketball player who was in Italy for a summer league) to avoid the incessant advances of the architectural student, who spent the entire time either trying to get in our pants or telling us about the delights of the gay "scene" in Rome ("glory holes" and meetups in the Forum).

So take his comments for truth or not, as you will.

Sebastian said...

"the James Michener of dirty talk"

Good line.

We could have a contest: "the ___ of dirty talk."

What writer/cultural figure would work today?

"the Dan Brown of dirty talk"?

Zach said...

“Why don’t you do 50?” Mr. Razek said, referring to garment sizing. “Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”

This is the kind of gaffe where you accidentally tell the truth.

But it still might be a real gaffe.

It's one thing to say that fat people don't make good underwear models. But if you're selling the fantasy that the buyer will somehow partake of the "Victoria's Secret" glamour by buying their underwear, maybe you don't want to be quite so explicit about that. There are a lot of overweight people, after all.

A lot of times in movies you see an audience participation character -- someone who is obviously not as cool and accomplished as the fantasy figures they're hanging out with, but is accepted by the fantasy figures anyhow. They're there because it's easier for the audience to relate to someone who reads as "average" on the screen.

Audience participation characters can get kind of tiresome, because it's easy to see how they're pulling your strings. But they work.

Victoria's Secret, which is fairly explicit about selling glossy perfection, seems like it could have a real problem when people stop being able to see themselves as part of the fantasy.

Zach said...

Sara Lynn Michener, 39, stopped shopping at Victoria’s Secret about 10 years ago. She said she was frustrated...

She turned 30 and stopped thinking of herself as an underwear model.

It's an interesting choice. Do you try to soften the image of glossy perfection in hopes of keeping customers who've lost connection to the fantasy? Or do you try to keep the brand the same? Keep in mind that there's lots of companies that sell underwear, and your ability to charge a premium comes from the fact that some customers see your brand as special. Lose the perfection and you might lose the premium, too.

Zach said...

I consider it a mall store with inferior merchandise.

Malls are having a tough time of it, too. 1995 is starting to be a long time ago.

ALP said...

Do people pushing 40 really think of themselves in terms of Harry Potter classifications?

*****************
LOL I'm pushing 60 and I'm a recent convert to the Ferengi belief in the Great Material Continuum.

mockturtle said...

Michener was, at best, a mediocre writer.

William said...

The last WWI veteran is gone from the earth. The last veteran of our war in the Pacific will also soon be gone. I wonder which book will endure: The Naked and the Dead or Tales of the South Pacific. I'm betting on the Michener book, not because of its merit but because of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical........I looked up Michener on wiki. He didn't publish hs first book until the age of forty, but he kept cranking out at least one a year after that. He would sometimes sit writing for twelve to fourteen hours at a stretch.......He gave over one hundred million dollars to charity, and wiki doesn't report any flagrant vices. All in all, a decent man who led a productive life and left an enduring legacy. I think it's kind of neat that posterity will give him more attention than Mailer.

madAsHell said...

....or did she decide that a thong really isn't that comfortable?

mockturtle said...

So who would argue that Mailer was a great novelist?

JackWayne said...

Shorter Sara: I’m not good-looking enough to wear Victoria’s Secret.

Paddy O said...

As someone who read most of Michener's books in high school, watched Friends as it was airing from it's first season, and liked the Harry Potter books, I am right in the target of that quote. The Michener reference is about the length of the talk, the villagers aren't conneced to Michener just a funny line about the complexity of the talk and ravenclaw is a cue indicating a smart type without using the term nerd or geek.

walter said...

Mr. Razek walked his statement back the following day, saying that his comment “came across as insensitive” and that “we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show.” (He added that while transgender models had come to castings, none had yet made the cut for the show.)
--
Once they make the cut, they do better justice to the panties.

Clyde said...

"What's wrong with being sexy?"

-- Nigel Tufnel

reader said...

The only Michener that I’ve read is The Source. I enjoyed it but not enough to read anything else he wrote. He reminds a little bit of Tolkien with his fixation on details. Tolkien was worse though. I’ve always felt guilty about not being able to get through The Hobbit.

I quit shopping at VS in my twenties. They were always out of stock of the size and style I wanted. I was also always left with the feeling that they were laughing at me. That one is on me though, I was extremely insecure at that age.

walter said...

#saggyboobsmatter

walter said...

Heidi Zak, the chief executive of ThirdLove, said she used to dread having to drive to the mall to go to Victoria’s Secret and buy a bra.

“I came out and I took the pink striped bag and stuffed it in my bag because I was embarrassed I’d been shopping there,” Ms. Zak said. “Nothing about the brand — the aesthetic, the product — nothing really resonated with me.”
--
It's awful that Vics has for so long had a monopoly on bras.

reader said...

Gretchen Wilson

Victoria's Secret
Well, their stuff's real nice
Oh, but I can buy the same damn thing
On a Walmart shelf half-price

JAORE said...

After The Drifters, I was going to go to Pamplona and run the bulls for sure. Haven't yet.

Don't wait too long. I ran last year at age 65.

richard mcenroe said...

I'm pretty sure Sarah Lynn is gonna be a miserable human being no matter where she buys her unmentionables...

richard mcenroe said...

"Victoria Secret, real nice.
But I can get the same damn thing
At the WalMart Store half price,
And still look sexy, mighty sexy,
Like a model on TV..." Redneck Woman, Gretchen Wilson

BudBrown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
funsize said...

like most of the clothing industry, a brand gets you the name on something poorly made that only fits a small section of women. Men, you are somewhat easier to fit so I don't expect much sympathy. I sew clothes, including bras, partly as a middle finger to the industry. The industry doesn't care, but I have well-fitting clothes with real pockets.

GRW3 said...

When we first met, sexy underwear was kind of fun. In fairly short order, however, our mutual preference for her nightwear was an old T-shirt of mine and whatever panties she found comfortable. A man’s T-shirt is usually easy access and easy off. She’s told me this is very normal for steady couples.

Sara_Michener said...


I am Sara Lynn Michener. You could have just asked whether I was related to James A Michener. I don't exactly hide my contact information on the internet. For the record, he was adopted by the Micheners. The story from my parents was always that he "used to show up at the family reunions" but these must have happened before I was born.

As for how those "pushing 40" who are thankfully blessed with not taking themselves too seriously, self-identify? Rowling wrote a test for being sorted into Hogwarts houses, which you can find on the Pottermore website. I took that test, got Ravenclaw, and Potter fans tend to embrace the house they are given as a badge of pride. It's just a more specific and personal way of letting people know that you are a fan. But "it looks like you just pick the one you think you are" is inaccurate, which should have been clear from a cursory Google. I was already an adult when the Potter books came out, so it took years for me to get into them properly. The books don't pick up in adult tone and complexity until midway through the series. But there is a lot more there than what's in the films, and they grow on you and take root. That said, I do not read Potter for the same reasons I read Nabokov or Blake. There is enough room in literature for all sorts of different kinds of writing, so nothing is so basic bourgeoisie as grown adults who actually sort literature by something as arbitrary as age.

As for the NYT piece, I was interviewed for 30 minutes via Skype about my lack of love for VS. During that time I talked about the crappy quality, the poor fits, dying mall brands who refuse to help themselves, AND that the models all looking different shades of identical, is downright creepy. The reporter, as reporters do, both paraphrased me and didn't use 95% of what I said. That said, my only issue with the piece was the reporter wrote "Nordstrom section" instead of "Nordstrom bra section" and when I emailed her about the error she neither fixed it, nor replied.