Private Parts -- We had no idea a simple five-letter word could be so offensive. After all, roughly half of the world's population has one, it performs several useful bodily functions and it even comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. That's right, we're talkin' about the humble penis.
Apparently the full page ad we've been running for the upcoming "Puppetry of the Penis" show at the Met (Sept. 9-12) -- starring the show's two stars and, incidentally, no sign of their "puppets" -- is pretty darn objectionable. We've had phone calls, e-mails and even news that one distribution outlet was going to refuse to carry us as long as the ad was running.
OK, we guess it might be a little bit of a shock to turn the page and see it right there in black and white: "penis." We don't see what the big deal is, but whatever. What does concern us, however, is that there seems to be a little bit of a double standard. When The Vagina Monologues was here, we ran entire articles thoroughly laced with the word "vagina," and yet there wasn't nearly this much of a public outcry. Some of our readers complained that the guys in the penis ad are "too naked." But just a few weeks ago, we ran a photo of a naked woman on our cover, with her "naughty bits" only barely covered by some strategically placed text. Not a single complaint. In comparison, the penis guys are even more fully clothed -- at least they have their long yellow capes.
So what's to be done? Will Spokane learn to accept, perhaps even embrace, the penis? Or will the show organizers have to tailor the event to Spokane sensibilities and rename it "Puppetry of the Down There"?
No Wire Hangers -- Sorry, we just had to. If you've ever seen Mommie Dearest, you'll no doubt remember that famously scary bit of cinematic mothering, courtesy of Faye Dunaway (as Joan Crawford). The film, of course, was based on daughter Christina Crawford's bestselling memoir. Crawford now lives in Coeur d'Alene, has a new book coming out in October (Daughters of the Inquisition) and will be speaking on self-publishing at the next meeting of the Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers, Thursday, Sept. 4, at 11:30 am at the North Division Old Country Buffet.
A-E-I-O-U -- This just in: Get Lit has just added This American Life's Sarah Vowell to a star-studded lineup that already includes Kurt Vonnegut, Garrison Keillor, Dave Barry, Lynda Barry (no relation) and more. Vowell will be part of the Friday night festivities when the festival starts in April. For more information, call the Get Lit office at 623-4286.