Cody wasn't a bad person with whom to spend a slovenly St. Stephen's Day morning, but this book can, and probably should be read in a sitting. Less a memoir and more a sustained cooter-shot, Diablo Cody's book has all the brevity and typos of a hastily typed cash-in. She's got Midwestern smart-ass down in a way I find almost annoyingly familiar, but I do get an intensely stupid sense of satisfaction reading about my hometown - I can see my house from here!
I've never actually set foot inside any of the local strip clubs where Cody worked - except for Sex World, but that's because they have the cheapest smokes downtown, or did ten years ago. I've known a couple of strippers, mostly friends of friends, and Cody's depictions of that clucking bitchery that's tossed stripper-ward sounds about right. One I knew was stripping her way through college, and the girl who introduced us could not contain her moral superiority, while shaking her head with false sympathy to the stripper-student's imagined plight.
Cody's narrative lacks a take-home message or an anthropological bent. She didn't get into the skin trade either as an academic pursuit or as an act of desperation, but because of an almost fevered unconscious rebellion against her own total normalcy. It's a personal narrative, not tidy or especially deep, but more strip-and-tell. While this is in many ways what I prefer in a memoir - seriously, I'll take breezy Hollywood tell-alls (or make-up-alls) over self-aggrandizing tortured seriousness any day of the week - it would have been kind of cool for Ms. Cody to turn her stripperly wisdom on the cultural vagina-outing that seems to be going down.
There was a time when you couldn't turn on the tv and some starlet had bared the beaver again - can't we all reproduce Britney's vajayjay from memory at this point? (You know you looked.) Add in a bunch of semi-bs trend stories about the rise of plastic surgery for your stuff, both for cosmetic reasons and for hymen-reconstruction. Women are going under the knife both to become virgins and to look like whores, and it makes my sex-positive feminist brain itch.
I hated the Sex & the City movie a little bit - the show was alright though, please don't flame me - and the moment that did it for me was when the ladies go after Miranda for having - gasp - pubic hair. For cripe's sake, bitches, what do you care? Hey, I'm down with personal grooming, but this is crossing the line into ridiculous. But here I am engaging in the same kind of name-calling hair-pulling that ended Cody's year on the pole - the competition and cruelty is built into a system that lets men in greasy sweatpants determine the relative value of women who, in most cases, are younger, more attractive, and in better shape.
So thanks Mewes, wherever you are, for this lurid little local confection. It made my post-Christmas descent into slovenliness that much more complete.