Monday, March 21, 2011

Finishing "Poplorica." Sort of.

This may be the first time I have ever accidentally finished a book. I was sitting there last night, Poplorica in hand, reading a really interesting chapter about product placement in movies. It might have been my favorite chapter in the book. The next chapter was about the invention of a certain golf club driver. I don't know if the chapter was as boring as it sounded, because I decided to skip it. The golf club chapter starts on page 225 of 284, so I thought I still had another chapter to read. Turns out those last 60 some pages are all chapter notes and index. I thought about going back to read the golf club chapter just so I could say I read the whole book, but the overwhelming boringness of golf persuaded me to just call it a day.

The boringness of golf leads me to the point I want to make about this book: your enjoyment of it is directly related to your interest level in the subject matter. As a Mad Men fan, I enjoyed the chapters about the birth of product-placement and market research. Reading how these now commonplace marketing strategies were started was really interesting. Also extremely interesting were the chapters about Night of the Living Dead, graphical user interfaces, and tabloids. Even the chapter about the slam dunk and how it shaped the NBA carried a certain amount of nostalgia. As a kid growing up in Chicagoland in the '90s when The Bulls were Gods, everyone liked basketball. That chapter brought back memories of watching games with my dad, watching Michael Jordan soar to the basket.

Other chapters were less interesting. Seriously, who cares about golf? (Yes, I know. Abby's husband golfs. He would probably like that chapter.) After reading Bonk, the chapter on Kinsey seemed really light. And I get where they were going with the chapter on pantyhose, but I think a chapter about bras would have been more interesting. How did we go from longline bras and girdles to modern bras? From custom-fit to ABCs? I also think discussing the invention of the birth control pill would have been fantastic. As it is the chapters that talk about women's liberation are the ones about frozen dinners, pantyhose, and disposable diapers. I know I'm biased, but I would have loved more chapters about women and society.

Overall it was a good book. It was easy to read and well researched. Definitely worth the $1 I paid for it.

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