Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A trouser-rubbing timewarp that needs no new balls

Not my headline: Marina Hyde's, for a brilliant piece about the ongoing objectification of female tennis players:

They [the Lawn Tennis Association] recently launched their Think Pink campaign, a new initiative "to raise awareness of women in tennis, and sport in general". A couple of weeks ago they got lots of promising nine- to 11-year-old girl players to dress up in pink clothes and demonstrate their skills. "We're looking to bring out the glamorous side of the game," explained Think Pink ambassador Claire Curren, "and really tap into what appeals to girls growing up these days."

Wait: that's the big idea? To wear baby pink and emphasise "the glamorous side" of tennis? Why, we'll be producing Grand Slam champions inside a decade. It's a little-known fact that as ambitious tweens, Venus and Serena Williams raised their game by repeatedly asking themselves, "What would Malibu Stacy do?"

Hyde, Charlie Brooker and Laura Barton have become my essential Guardian reads. Brooker's last piece was about, um, hats, so I won't link to that. But consider this piece from Barton, on being a fan of William Elliott Whitmore and searching for new music:

When you are awaiting new material by a musician you love, you become a man roaming with a terrible thirst (goodness only knows how Guns N' Roses fans are getting by). And you find you are quenched, just a little, by rough new songs posted on MySpaces and played at shows, by duet records and live albums and by snippety journal entries on homepages; they are the clink of the glass and the splash of the tap, the promise of what is to come, and we stand like hens drinking rainwater before it has landed, nipping at tiny liquid insects, taking anything we can get.
That'll do, while we wait for more weather-beaten banjo classics from the man himself

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