Thursday, February 15, 2007

That's Ms. Fish to You

Today in the Calgary Sun, Jim Slotek has an article about “Music and Lyrics," the new Drew Barrymore / Hugh Grant Romantic Comedy. Mr. Slotek opens with this paragraph:

“It's an old feminist slogan, and the ultimate cold-water response to romanticism — ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’ Ladies and gentlemen, meet the king and queen of romantic comedies, Mr. Fish and Miss Bicycle, Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.”

Which I find hilarious. Why? Because it would be Ms. Fish and Mr. Bicycle. Leave it to a man to get this wrong. The bicycle is the thing not needed in Gloria Steinem’s infamous analogy (and incidentally, he calls it a “slogan” and doesn’t bother to credit the iconic source of the quote).

The man is the bicycle.

In spite of the fact that I am certain I make a plethora of huge grammatical errors and such (I'm such a hypocrite, my writing would never stand up to such scutiny!), I still get a nervous twitch when a journalist prints a factual error. I was raised by a print and television journalist. I can't help it. I have an uncontrollable urge to edit. I have trouble watching the news and actually hearing what they are saying because I'm too distracted by every misstep I notice. I resist the urge to make notes in the margin when reading the paper. I agonize over whether to send an email to a website when I notice that they have credited the wrong actor or writer or whatever. It's a sickness with me.

Not a bad read, though. In Mr. Slotek's interview with them, Grant and Barrymore are, as always, almost surreally endearing and self-effacing and whatnot. I know it’s his schtick, but I still fall for the whole Hugh Grant insisting he’s a grumpy old curmudgeon thing. It really works for him.

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