literature, updated

so as I was driving home from work today, Jo-Ann Roberts and Jen Sookfong-Lee were discussing the re-issuance of older books by publishers. The books that publishers tend to reissue are not so much the classics, but more the commercial successes, and many of the new editions are of children's books. Some of the books that publishers are re-issuing include the Sweet Valley High series for pre-teens (girls, mainly). To keep the books current with kids in this day and age, they've had to edit a few things. They've taken out references to typewriters, lavender high-tops, and other dated fashions and technologies. They've also updated the girls themselves.. You remember how the main characters were a perky, preppy, pair of blond twins named Jessica and Elizabeth? They were described in the original novels as "a perfect size 6". Well, in the updated versions, they've had some lipo and are now described as a "perfect size 4".

Who the hell decides these things? The fact that you were telling young girls that any dress size was more desirable than others was bad enough, but at least a size 6 is reasonably healthy for many young girls. Now they have to strive to be even skinnier to be "perfect"?? I'm not sure if it was the publisher or the author who made these changes, but whoever it was, shame on you. With all of the publicity focused on eating disorders and the pressure that young girls face to be thin, determining the perfection of your antagonists based on their dress size is just despicable.


humanists help

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti (honestly, could there be a worse place for this to occur?), I'd like to point my friends to a few of my favorite secular charities. I'm still seething over the bigotry and hatred promoted today by this piece of garbage, so please consider showing that atheists can be better than that! Some organizations take donations as small as $5 online, and every penny counts.

Canadian Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Plan International
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Oxfam Canada

If you're not in Canada, changing the ".ca" to ".com" will usually take you to the American counterpart.