Friday, January 21, 2011

How Does it Feel to be Gamed?

I still intend to write a post (soon, soon) about parenting and what I think the goal of the whole process should be - although I believe you can get to where you want to go by a number of different paths - but I'm no longer going to do it as a response to Amy Chua's WSJ piece or her book.

Why? Because we've been had, people. We've been dragged into the mommy wars yet again for the sole purpose of enriching some remarkably manipulative people, namely Amy Chua and her brood. Don't believe me? Just follow the timeline:
  • The WSJ story is released, in which some of the most incendiary parts of Chua's forthcoming book are picked out and put together to form a picture of the Evil Chinese Mommy, Conqueror of the Universe (queue Dark Side theme music from Star Wars).

  • People explode in protest, writing letters to the editor, blog and Twitter posts, notes on small scraps of paper, all about how wrong Chua is and how she's the Meanest. Mommy. Ever.

  • Chua herself appears on dozens of TV shows, giving self-depricating interviews in which her youthful, smiling self explains how wrong we all are about her, and how her book is just a memoir, an ode to how she "got it all wrong", and nothing but a simple story of how a mother grew up.

  • Chua's book, released at the same time as all this nonsense, becomes a bestseller.

  • Finally, Chua's daughter Sophia runs the story ball into the endzone, with her "exclusive" essay in the NY Post, in which she writes a "thank you mommy" letter to her wonderful Tiger Mom.
Did you know that this all started with the $800,000 advance Chua received from her publishers? The largest undeserved book advance? A few worse come to mind, but that is still pretty steep. And that advance is just the beginning of how much money the Chua family is sure to have made by making all of us dumb Gweilos run around like little idiots, wailing and gnashing our teeth in rage.

So no, I will not deign to respond to Ms. Chua's publicity stunt. I'm sorry I didn't see it for what it was much earlier, and I'm sorry that anyone has taken her seriously enough to give her the time of day. Instead, I will sit here having yet another example of a Kyle-esqe "what we've learned today" moment, shake my head sadly, and get on with the important things in life.

And if you want to read an excellent piece on the book itself (from someone who has actually read it), I suggest Lee Siegel's. HT: Ann Althouse, of course.

Image at the top is by Cynthia Greig and can be found here.

1 comment:

TherExtras said...

Love the title of this post - for its truth, not because it is true. Happens in the press everyday.