Posted by: Mark Nielsen | June 29, 2008

O Magazine & Other Alien Propaganda

Having company for the weekend means leaving oneself open to all variety of pop-culture viruses that the visiting family might have in tow.

Like my mother’s copy of “O” magazine. Normally I’d go through the recycling bins of various neighbors, just for the joy of bringing home a copy and shredding it. But with Mom, I have to settle for a neverending debate over whether her beloved third sister (which is odd, cuz we’re white) is actually doing good, or just turning the world and its real problems into a bit of weepy but light entertainment for comfortable middle class do-nothing Americans. (Who are you calling a “do-nothing”?! I do something. I watch Oprah. And I read O, in which Kyra Sedgewick tells me how fiercely she’s embraced ‘green living’ .”)

One of the cover stories this month is “Why Men Do Stupid Things”. Just read my blog, silly, and you’ll know.

But the story my mother wants all adults present to read is “Mom Drives 2 Hours To Do Son’s Laundry! : The new superparents–are they crazy like a fox or just plain crazy?”

Okay, Mom. This may be sensational. It may even be a way to justify your lesser methods of steering your children’s lives (“See! I’m not *this* bad.”) But hovering parents enabling over-dependent young adults is not news.

And mediocre journalism about the phenomenon is simply a national opportunity to watch the familial equivalent of a 15-car pileup on Bad Parenting Boulevard.

In other words… you’re not helping, Oprah. It just looks that way, as you stuff all our cash into your pockets.

So that’s my mother’s alien propaganda. Meanwhile my 13-year-old nephew brought TWO Adam Sandler movies into my home. Ugh! I’d rather he’d brought a Stephen Segal triple feature.

Not that I’ll be reading Proust and watching Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet when they leave… but it will let me breathe easier knowing that “Going From Lovers to Friends” and “Chuck and Larry” are out of my son’s reach, until he’s old enough to know better on his own.


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