Making a Lightbulb From Scratch, It's a Good Thing!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Hedgehog Talk : One Thread
I don't know about you, but I dig me some Martha Stewart. I mean, I think that she has certainly taken obsessive/compulsive disorder to it's logical conclusion, and the only thing that she has ever done that I have done as well is that I take dishwashing liquid and pour it into a tall, pretty glass bottle rather than use the one that it comes in. And someday I'll make Christmas package tags out of cookies, as I think that's really cool, but I've never gotten around to it.
It doesn't matter, though, I am mesmerized by her. What do you think of her?
-- Kymm (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2000
As someone who is decoratively-challenged, Martha produces entirely too much guilt to be enjoyed. Despite the fact that I once did a journal entry on decanting detergent, I just can't seem to find it within me to shear a sheep, spin the wool into yarn, knit a sweater, and serve the leg of lamb for dinner all in the same day. I look at doors and I don't immediately have an overwhelming desire to paint them and turn them into serving tables for my beautifully decorated patio so I can invite 100 of my nearest and dearest friends. I have never made a lampshade out of autumn leaves nor am I ever likely to make clever photo frames from old toothpaste tubes. If I ever made package tags out of cookies, the dogs would eat them.
Martha is all right, I suppose, for those who go in for that sort of thing, but I'm still trying to find the energy to corral the dust bunnies and that is entirely enough creativity for me.
-- Bev Sykes (email@example.com), July 05, 2000.
Oh, I just hate that dumb cunt. It seems like none of her projects are ever undertaken for the sake of praticality, convenience, or personal satisfaction, but simply to impress your myriad guests with how beautiful your lifestyle is and how creative you are. My home is for ME to USE, not for other people to look at. Have you ever actually been to a party thrown by a Martha drone? All anyone can talk about is the food and decor because it's all so very clever -- every dish, every object, turns into a conversation piece, and what a dull conversation it is. Look, little butter brushes for our corn on the cob made from the cornsilk itself! For Christ's sake.
The one episode of Martha's show I watched was a Christmas edition. She covered the entire facade of her house with chicken wire and then stuck pine branches through the wire, so that it looked as if she were living in an unlikely gargantuan thatched cottage. My jaw was on my chest. Of course the entire thing was done with video dissolves (We see Martha place perhaps a half-dozen twigs, then fade-out, fade-in, the entire house is done. We don't get any real idea of the volume of wood involved or how much time something like this really takes. She seemed to have an entire day left over to make felt stockings and shit by hand.)
There are so many things wrong with Martha Stewartism, but the biggest is the idea that making food housewares from scratch that could be cheaply and easily purchased is a worthwhile expenditure of your time. If you can buy candles for sixty cents apiece, what does that say about how much importance you place on your life if you spend an entire afternoon hand-dipping your own paraffin ones instead? Isn't your time worth more than pennies an hour? Pardon me for channeling Susan Faludi here for a minute, but the fact that Martha's audience is entirely female makes this especially goddamn bothersome to me. Women's labor needs to be held to a higher value than that. If I were going to out- Faludi Faludi I would even say that the deification of the Perfect Martha Lifestyle is some unspeakably horrific patriarchical plot to make homemaking expand to occupy every iota of women's energy in order to keep them out of business, politics, etc. Instead of running for congress or starting our own dot-com oligopolies, we're to spend all our time learning how to cover the wires of our silk bouquets with green florist's tape.
If dipping candles makes you happy and fills you with a sense of accomplishment, then do it. But most of the women I know who buy Martha magazines and attempt to emulate her are doing so because they think that their cute and incredibly labor-intensive wedding favors and centerpieces will make *other* people happy. As if their friends wouldn't have as much fun at their houses if all the terra-cotta planters weren't stencilled. Believe me, most of your friends don't notice, and those that do do not like you any better for your trouble but are rather imbued with a sense of guilt when they see how much better your living room looks than theirs. Or, if they are terrible people like me, they are secretly thinking: GET A JOB.
-- Kim Rollins (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2000.
Martha Stewart does -not- seem to treat people very nicely (read the unauthorized biography of her, "Just Desserts," and you'll see what I mean), so of course that means she's completely written out of my book. To paraphrase the Bible, if you can make it all look preciously perfect but have not love, your precious perfection means nothing.
-- Robert (email@example.com), July 05, 2000.
I've watched Martha Stewart once - she made party favors in the motifs of the Twelve Days of Christmas and then supervised some children in decorating cupcakes - and didn't find her particularly threatening. My first grade teacher was a lot further off the OC scale than Martha.
Bob Vila, on the other hand, horrifies me. He makes fixing a fixer- upper look much easier than it is. And you can't just stick a house in the back of the closet when you're tired of working on it.
-- Diana (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2000.
I don't like her, not one little bit. I don't mind fingering through her books to get the occasional idea, but actually watching her *gasp in hor-ror* nooo! Her admonition that something is a good thing, how very far she will go to stretch out the endless possibilities of the lowly carrot, that faux dulcet, soothing voice. . . 'fraid! She makes me 'fraid! She's like a housewifery religion, designed only to guilt trip you into doing bigger and better things, shaking her head in consternation when her lowly adherents fail.
Okay, maybe that was a bit much. . .
-- Saundra (email@example.com), July 05, 2000.
Well, I'm not ashamed to admit that I really like Martha. I do think that, what with her show being on daily rather than weekly, she is running out of ideas and therefore resorting to more and more extreme projects. However, I don't see any difference between the topics and projects in her magazines and those found in Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living, to name a couple. If you don't love cooking or decorating, yeah, the projects are going to seem completely overdone. However, if you don't already love those things, you're probably not reading/watching (at least not willingly, or you're only doing once out of some strange fascination).
Frankly, I admire Martha for all that she's accomplished. She figured out a way to turn something she loves - entertaining - into a multimillion dollar career. I think it's a bit hypocritical for some people to snub their noses at that; in my view, it's no different than when someone who loves computers makes millions from inventing some new chip or code.
I do agree with Kim on one front -- there are people out there who will make Martha style crafts and throw Martha parties to say something about themselves, rather than because they actually enjoy it. You can always tell who is who -- the ones that enjoy the creating will offer to teach you or give you the recipe if you compliment a craft or dessert. When you compliment someone who does it to say something about themself, they'll go on an on about how long it took, and how hard it was to find the parsimmons and date nut shells, and how they "got the idea from Martha Stewart."
-- Kathy Sinniger (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2000.
I pick up an idea from her from time to time, but I'm not a worshiper.
-- Catherine (email@example.com), July 05, 2000.
Thank goodness for Kathy, somebody else likes her! I remember the first time I saw her show, it was a Christmas episode, and she was making a gingerbread house, and I was mesmerized. I thought that she was completely insane, but I couldn't stop watching. I think the reason that I like stuff like that, is because I love the idea of doing things like that, but I know perfectly well that I never will--and I don't have to, because Martha does it for me!
I can't imagine feeling guilty because I'm not doing stuff like that, why should I? It's getting done without my lifting a finger!
-- Kymm (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2000.
I'm not a Martha Stewart worshiper, but I do get her magazine in the mail. I think it's beautiful. I scoff when I read most of it, but I even enjoy that part. Mostly I get it for the recipes, which are always wonderful. My mom and I have been making her potato pancakes as part of Christmas morning breakfast for three years now. It's the best recipe I've ever found.
And her hors'd'oeuvres cookbook is really terrific too.
But I don't like HER. Besides, most of her shit is thought up by staffers anyway.
-- Melissa (email@example.com), July 05, 2000.
Martha Stewart and that slightly lower-rent version of her, Katie Brown, both make me shake my head. If they descended on my house and filled it with their mostly frou frou crap, I'd have to move. Some of her recipes are alright, but I actually prefer the recipes I get from http://www.epicurious.com and http://www.foodtv.com.
Having said that, I've picked up the occasional idea from her, or her ideas have synched into something I've been pondering on myself. Mostly to do with a different way of wrapping something, or a combination style gift. Almost always the most simple things she sets forth tends to have the most merit for me, as in I can use it, or see my friends/family using it. A lot of the rest of her stuff comes under what my Nanna would call "dustcatchers"
-- Amanda Page (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2000.
Kymm, that's a really healthy attitude to have towards Martha, and you definitely aren't included in the Martha Drone category, nor is anyone else who recognizes that you would have to be seriously cracked to attempt to undertake even 1% of her cunning little ideas. I like watching that guy on channel 9 who teaches you how to paint landscapes even though I have no desire to paint and if I did I hope I wouldn't produce his boring-ass canvases of evergreens, because I found the unfolding of the picture somehow relaxing.
Being assaulted by tiny cats, must end this now
-- Kim Rollins (email@example.com), July 05, 2000.
Martha Stewart is pure evil. She is the spawn of Satan.
Ok, maybe not. I love getting creative, making presents for family, decortating my apartment and all that, and would probably watch her show for ideas. But I can't stand her. I can't listen to that freaky patronizing voice or look at her soulless eyes without every hackle raising.
A few weeks ago I had Food TV on in the background while I surfed the net. I was shutting down my computer to get ready for bed when Cooking Live ended and I heard the opening strains of Martha's cooking show. I leapt out of my chair to change the channel when she mentioned that her show was about garlic. That stopped me in my tracks. Mmmmmm, garlic. OK, maybe she'll have some good recipes, I thought. I'll stay up a little bit and see what's on the show.
Fifteen minutes later she's still in her damn garden talking about the perfect time to plant garlic and what kind of garlic is best for whatever. This is a cooking show, fer crying out loud! Where are the damned recipes? I muttered at the screen. Fuck this, you obsessive-compusive, anal-rentive freak, I'm going to bed.
Harumph! See if I give her another chance. (I'm sure she'll be heart-broken.) Just as well. She gives me the creeps.
-- Carol (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2000.
Martha used to make me ashamed. My idea of decorating was throwing a couple of plants on the tv stand, and slapping a Van Gogh print on the wall. Matching pillows? Ha! So she'd do all these lovely things with bows and paint and, it felt like, go as far as match her shoes to the rug so that everything was perfectly coordinated. It just made me sad, and unhappy to be my ham-fisted self.
Now she makes me angry. She makes me wonder why she has to push her projectsprojectsprojects in everyone's face, why she needs to dominate the whole of the decorating world, why she has to own a collection, a magazine, a tv show, tv specials and go public.
This could be an offshoot of my insecurity, yes. But dammit, she's just gone too far. Women don't need this shit. She's nearly as bad as Oprah, that pusher of spirituality. Feh.
-- Jen (email@example.com), July 05, 2000.
Her wedding cake designs are beautiful. Simple, elegant and just gorgeous. When I got married, I decided I wanted to have one of her designs made for my cake, but by then it was too late.
-- Jackie Danicki (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 06, 2000.
In defense of Martha: She does do some really nice-looking stuff and does have some interesting ideas. And honestly, I just don't hear "YOU MUST BE LIKE ME AND DO IT MY WAY!" emanating from her. Also, I was watching Inside Scoop on FoodTV and on the "Diary of a Mad Food Stylist" episode, the food stylist in question pretty much attributed the end of fake and too-perfect magazine pictures to Martha, who brought about a more natural-looking style (even though it still tends to be too-perfect in a different sort of way).
BUT, I do have to mention the scariest Martha-moment ever! I don't know if any of you saw her Mother's Day FoodTV show, but she had a group of girls on to make flowerpots with fabric coverings and stuff. All the girls were working on their own and Martha kept saying "adornments" over and over. That in itself was enough to make me scream, but at the end, when they all stood for a picture together, she ACTUALLY SAID: "Just think of me as your second mother."
Martha is something of a tragic figure. Millions adore her and follow her "teachings" but I've read that her neighbors pretty much hate her. I also think it's funny that we trash Martha for holding up stereotypes about women only caring about decorating and creating the perfect home and blah blah, when in actuality, she HAS created a multimillion dollar empire. So do we hate Martha or just the people who blindly wrap corn husks around everything in sight?
-- Stef (email@example.com), July 06, 2000.
I've always thought Martha Stewart was kind of the anti-Julia Child. Instead of taking something complex and fabulous and showing everyone how to do it, she takes something totally simple and straightforward and makes it ridiculous.
I like Julia Child because she says you can use a butane torch if your apple pie doesn't crisp properly (my dad did it the week before that show and then he called up his scornful friends and said, "Julia Child just use a butane torch!"), and because of the episode, which in fact I have never seen, where she dropped a fish on the floor and then said, "Now I'm going to show you how to repair a damaged fish." That's my kind of woman.
And yet, in the end you have this fantastic food.
-- Jessie (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 06, 2000.
I love to watch Martha Stewart. It's not because I'm crafty, and if I cook a grilled cheese sandwich that's haute cuisine. I watch her the way I used to watch the lady who dressed like Peter Pan and did arts and crafts on early morning Saturday TV when I was a little kid. Not because I had any intention of doing the crafts, but because I found her constant "and tape the corner, like so" very soothing. I love it when she tells you what to look for in flea market silver. I love it when her mom comes on and treats her like she's five. The magazine is pretty and thick and I never read the whole thing, but it makes me feel good just to have it there. I'm sure Martha is not a nice person. Very few tremendously successful people are very nice in real life, because in order to be successful on that level, you can't ever stop to think about other people. Note: I am not saying that's the right way to be. It's certainly not how I am, and thus I do not have an empire and several estates scattered about the country. She may in fact be the spawn of Satan. But as long as she keeps entertaining me, I'll keep watching. I'm an American. That's how we are! (No? Then explain the continued success of Jerry Springer...oh, a topic for another day).
-- Noel (email@example.com), July 07, 2000.
I really do like some of the things Martha does, though Christopher Lowell is my hero. However, one would think that with all the damn money this woman has she could do somthing with that hair of hers, and those clothes she wears...damn I wouldn't paint my house in what she wore on Letterman's show. (pick,pick,pick...)
-- Alice (Alice@diarist.net), July 08, 2000.
I just had to say: something about the Martha Stewart theme song gets stuck in my head and I walk around humming it -- but then it turns into the chorus of Fat Bottomed Girls, by Queen.
-- Falwyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 2001.
well, i love the idea of martha. actually i have a love-hate relationship with her. love her products, hate the price and the pretentiousness. i can tell she's not a nice person, and i'm fairly sure she'd never have me over for one of her tea-parties, but i watch her just to get good ideas that i may not have thought of. yes, i know she doesn't think up even a fraction of that stuff... just like my pottery barn catalog, i don't actually intend to buy the stuff, i just love looking at it, and getting ideas. i love all things domestic and crafty, though i'd never tackle some of the projects she has on. i sometimes wonder if i'm setting back the women's movement a few hundred years, but then i remember how much fun i'm having.
-- yetunde rodriguez (email@example.com), August 30, 2001.
I think she is crazy and i think she poisens monkek poop
-- jessie greenfal (Marthastewarthaters@hotmail.com), March 14, 2002.
I think Martha Stewart can sometimes be a little annoying with all of her "it must be extremely fresh" or "from my own...." kind of thing. All of those things irritate me about her. There is just something about her show, "From Martha's Kitchen" that I enjoy watching. She has a lot of good ideas and it is just fun to see how complicated she has to make a dish thats is usual very easy to make. To me, she just doesn't seem like a nice person in real life. I think she can be kind of a snob and "too good for you" sorta person. Don't you agree? But she means well, and she is only doing what she is paid to do. There is also something the theme song of her show that gets me. It stuck in my head for a while and I tend to hum it during the rest of the night. Strage isn't it? Well, if you want to talk about other things or gossip about Martha Stewart some more, feel free to email me.
-- Kevin Fahlangee (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2002.
she's long past cooko for coco puffs
-- none of your busness (email@example.com), February 20, 2003.
Martha Stewart, she is the definitive, admirable, constant, and steadfast powerful woman that I love to watch. Her perfectionism and craftiness in everything that she does, and I mean EVERYTHING, is truly amazing. It makes you wonder what she was like as a child.
-- Blair (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 18, 2004.