Worst YA Boys, Pt. 1

To refresh your memory, the “best” YA boy toys are here and here. But of course, doing the worst ones are way more fun.

10. John Pfeiffer, Sweet Valley High: He went from being your friendly Oracle news reporter to a mad rapist. All because he was scorned by his ex-girlfriend. And we all know you don’t fuck with Lila Fowler. Who would play him?

Zabka, obviously.

9. Lenny from the Linda books, as in, My Heart Belongs to That Boy. Break up and made-up almost as much as Liz and Todd, However, his bad boy image didn’t make up for all his whining and neediness. Who would play him?

Jared Leto, the Jordan Catalano years.

8. Chad from Fall Into Darkness. Yea, so he kind of likes to murder girls that scorn him. Which, is like a lot of Christopher Pike male characters, but he was the one that was mostly all evil. Whop would play him?

Jonathan Brandis, duh.

7. Presley Travis from Sunset Island. We get, you’re Southern. And flirty. And named after Elvis, because you were born to rock. Also, he feeds Sam’s ego, which is annoying. And then he cheats on her with Emma. And he’s no Billy Sampson. I also will never forgive him for wearing bike shorts and a neon green tank top. Who would play him?

The Nelson twins would share the roll.*

6. Logan Bruno, The Baby-sitters Club. More Southern annoyingness! Maybe it’s how is accent is spelled phonetically, not that he is actually Southern. I could never really understand out what the big deal was about him. And then he tried to control Mary Anne’s life. And seriously, would a 13 year old boy really want to belong to a baby-sitting club? Who would play him”

Zefron! Don’t hate!**

Top 5 coming soon…..

*I have to share that in seventh grade I was BEYOND obsessed with the Nelson twins. It was almost clinical. I listened to the After the Rain cassette about a thousand times. I had a huge poster of them that I would stare at before I went to bed. [hides in shame]. Between them and Sebastian Bach and all the other hair metal guys in mnakeup, I was really into men that looked like women. Hmmm. Not sure what that means.

**This also made me think that Troy and Gabriella are kind of like Elizabeth and Todd. She’s the brainy studious one, he’s the tool on the basketball team. Quarrels and misunderstandings are almost central to their relationship. Does that make Sharpay Jessica? If you have no idea who these people are, you’re obviously a mature adult who doesn’t watch made for cable Disney Channel movies.

The Odd Couple

You ask, you shall receive. Recent polls indicate you all would like some non-SVH stuff, and would really like the BSC. I also just spent some time locating some Sunfire romances, so stay tuned for those. One day. I will admit, I didn’t reread this one, but it was very memorable.

Dawn looks gorg, as usual and I totally wanted to look like her. MA looks beyond horrendous. She looks about 45, and has the highest waisted jeans I’ve ever seen, and don’t even get me started about women over the age of 12 who wear their hair in pigtails. Or even women in their twenties, who think it makes them look adorable. And if you reading this do that, even at the gym, I am so judging you. Live with it.

Speaking of judging, the one thing I remember from this book is that MA is getting ready to go to a dance with Logan, and Dawn is at home but not going, and MA pulls some shit like “Dawn, when you get a boyfriend, you’ll understand about making yourself more attractive.” ZING! Seriously, the BSC are constantly looking for ways to insult each other and put down their friends.

But let me back up. This one takes place right after meth-addicted Sharon and anal retentive Richard get hitched, and MA and Mr. Spier move into the farm house. Instead of taking the spare room, Dawn and MA decide to share a room. For real? What 13 year old girl wouldn’t want her own room? And then, I believe, they push the beds together. Wtf? Isn’t that a little much? Are they going to spoon or something?

Eventually they make up and I think they realize that they should have separate rooms. And then fast forward a little and the farm house burns down. ZING!

And you know I love this new poll feature, so here’s one that gets to the heart of MA’s core.

There’s nothing like cutting down your friends and exploiting children, huh Dawn?

I don’t have this one in front of me right now, but I know I read the shit out of it. Stoneybrook is jumping on the JonBenet Ramsey trend and having a Little Miss Stoneybrook pageant. And the kids get the fever! The girls anyway. Instead of spending their free time getting felt up at the mall and doing meth behind the TGIFriday’s like all the normal thirteen year olds, they decide to coach the kids for the pageant.

This also gives the all opportunities to compete with each other and make themselves feel bad about each other and living out some sort of sick fantasy vicariously through these kids. Dawn the big feminist caves in her principles. I am not sure who coaches who, but I know that Charlotte Johannson is totally scared but Stacey forces her to do it and she recites some story while wearing a shitty costume, right? What the point of forcing her to do it? And Claire or Margo or one of those younger Pike brats peels a banana with her feet while reciting a poem. I’m sure Karen was in it and acted super bratty but everyone thought it was adorable.

One of the kids is good, and there’s some wunderkind named Sabrina that takes it home. And the gals make up at the end and claim they are glad it’s over. Yea, like the kids’ parents forced the BSC to coach their kids in the pageant.

Speaking of the BSC, I was sick the other day so I layed around and watched Mary Poppins, which is a fantastic thing to do when you are sick. But of course as soon as I started watching it what came to mind was “this is Stacey’s favorite movie.” Sometimes I hate myself.

This post was really a ruse to talk about my third favorite cultural phenomena, child beauty pageants. Yea, we all know they are creepy, but if you want to see one of the most bizarre and depressing things ever (and who wouldn’t?) you must check out the documentary Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen. I don’t think you can get it on DVD, but it is in parts on youtube. Watching Swan Bruner force that creepy pageant smile to please her mother is the saddest sight I’ve ever seen. Even creepier is this “pro-am” thing that the kids do when they are modeling their sportswear. Kind of a spastic dance-walk thing. I hear Leslie Butler, another contestant, is doing porn. Raise your hand if you are surprised.

Also, VH1 did a special called Little Beauties, and it is just as fantastic. Note Kynndey, who has the face and body of a 22 year old. Scary.

Best YA Boy Toys, Part One

I’m getting ready to move, and my book collection is all packed, so I can’t read anything this week. So, I’ll combine my two favorite things: countdown lists and horndogging on male celebs.

Best YA Boy Toys, Part one:

10. Jeffrey French, Sweet Valley High; okay, so he makes it on this list from sheer comparison. He’s not as annoying as Todd, he and Liz fight about 2% less, and he actually has some valid interests (photography) and can be rational when Liz gets mad at him. I’m kind of ignoring the whole situation when he reinvented himself as DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Celeb who would play him:

MPG!

9. Pete Stone, Sleepover Friends; feeling kind of weird having a fifth grader on here, but it’s not like I said “hottest boys” or something like that. Pete was man enough to talk to girls like real people and be cool with talking to them. He did have a fling with Jenny Carlin, but then went back to liking Lauren again. No idea why, she’s got zero personality.

Celeb who would play him:

Cody Linley! Holy shit why do I know who this person is!

8. Trevor Sandbourne, Baby-Sitters Club. We don’t really know much about him, but with a name like that, how can you go wrong? He took Claudia to a couple of dances, but I think early on he prank-called her. Oh well.

Celeb who would play him:

One of the Jonas Brothers. I think he’s the oldest.

7. Ernie from Breaking Up With Ernie. This book is kind of obscure, but it’s about this girl who finds her boyfriend Ernie so annoying, she tries everything to break up with him, only to find when he breaks up with her, she wants him back. Supposed to be slapstick, came off more as the gal’s a beyotch and Ernie is just lovable.

Who would play him:

Seth Rogan (xoxoxoxo)

6. Damien from The Vampire Diaries, because he’s the bad guy and way more exciting than that boring Eurotrash Stefan. At least he did something about the gal he wanted, instead of mopey Stefan.

Who would play him:

Louis Garrel: ooh la la!

Stay tuned for the top 5!

Who the hell are you and what have you done with the BSC?

The scariest thing about this: it was released when I was a senior in college. Ann, can we please advance these students past the eighth grade? This is the series that was birthed after the end of the original series, after Dawn moved back to Calfornia and got angsty, and Mal and Jessie got lost in the secret passage, Abby peaced out, and then…the barn house burned down!

Maryanne is becoming all feminist and shit, and wants to think for herself. Logan always makes the decisions for her. Well, MA, when you run home crying because your shoe flies off at a dance, someone might take you for a pushover.

MA talks about her relationship with Logan like she’s 38. Finally it takes the magical teachings of the contractor fixing up the barn to tell MA that she’s her own person.

For a bit, MA thinks Logan is hitting on Kristy. Shyah right.

Why in the hell can’t they advance a year? Are we supposed to believe that Stacy moved back and forth from NY to CT about eight times, Dawn and MA’s parents fell in love and got married, Ms. Brewer adopted a foreign baby, and the club took like 10 vacations all in a year. What’s more is that MA actually mentions that it’s currently October. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

At least there was less baby-sitting in this one. You know what? I actually missed it. With the dumb handwritten entries. At least I am a purist.

Key parties and quaaludes: the parents of Stoneybrook, CT

I came to a realization with a friend the other day (because we somehow incorporate the BSC into everyday convo) and that many of the BSC parents are our age, especially if they have younger children. Weird! So what’s up with their lives? I’ve always wondered:

  • why do they let 13 year olds not only babysit, but constantly allow them to take their kids in baby parades, impromptu day camps and arts classes?
  • So any one them hang out with each other? What’s the scene like? Is Jamie Newton’s dad secretly diddling Ms. Prezzioso? Does Dr. Johansen host key parties? I wonder if there is a seedy bar in Stoneybrook, similar to Kelly’s.
  • Ms. Shaefer/Mrs. Spier otherwise know as Sharon. Cleary she takes hallucinagens and/or smokes copious amounts of weed. Why else would she leave shoes in the fridge and wear dishpans as underwear or whatever other weird stuff she does. Hmmmm…why did Mr. Shaefer leave her?
  • Mr. and Mrs. Pike: Jeez, stop fornicating like bunnies. What’s the rush? Trying to start a cult?
  • Ms. Thomas/ Mrs. Brewer: here’s the real mystery. How does a single mom have time to snag herself a millionaire? I’d love to hear that story. What about Emily- I think that she’s really the bastard child of some Stoneybrook teenager.
  • Can someone call Child Protection Services on Mrs. Barrett? Isn’t Marni left with a three-day old diaper on her?

Stacey’s mistake…..was having that ‘tude

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Whoa! My eyes! A forest green cardigan with an olive green skirt! It’s like she dressed like baby puke. The look on the little girl’s face is painful. What the hell did she do to deserve those looks of utter disappointment and punishment? Try to steal the rhino bones?

So lots of other retro YA blogs have pointed out Stacey’s shitty attitude, and remembering this book, it totally makes sense. She invites the gang in New York and then gets annoyed at them the whole time, because they are not “New York cool” enough.  And conveniently there are children running the streets who are in need of babysitters. Well, what an opportunity for the BSC! Because even on vacation, they need to babysit. Although, I do get this one confused with the Super Special where they go to New York.

I remember how Stacy was all hot shit about living in New York, but from what I remember just hung out at Bloomingdale’s and like, the Empire State Building. Really, nothing that actual New Yorkers do. I mean she is a kid, but even city kids have a clue about the real New York. Although I do remember her taking cabs around the city by herself. Like it was the most normal thing ever. At thirteen? I don’t know about that. Although, back in the eighties, New York was still pretty dangerous, so the subways were probably worse. (Now NYC is one big Bed, Bath and Beyond, so I can see it happening now). I also recall there being a homeless woman that lived outside her apartment building, and she treated it as just another quaint feature about living in New York. Like her fucking purpose is to remind Stacey that she lives in New York.

Oh yea, and Laine Cummings was a holier than thou friend because she got mad when Stacy wet the bed once and she has permed hair. And lives in the Dakota. Which, as we are reminded almost as much as we are told Jessi is Black, is where Rosemanry’s Baby was filmed.

I don’t even remember how it ends, I guess they all make up and Kristy says some gross comment about food and they all have a good laugh over it.

Kristy cures autism!

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I am continuuing to remember my favorite BSC books, this being one of them. The basic plot? Kristy gets a regular sitting job (they get like thousands of regular sitting jobs that last exactly one book) for Susan, who is autistic. Kristy tries to make Susan “normal” so her mother won’t send her away to a specialized school. Finally, Susan does go away. Probably for the better. Who is Kristy to deny her a good education and the attention she needs? Kristy is such a fucking egomaniac.

That leads me to something else: who in their right mind would leave their severely autistic child in the hands of a thirteen year old? From what I remember, Susan doesn’t even communicate.

This book sparked my keen interest in autism as a subject. I think because this book didn’t exactly explain autism very well. Firstly, it led me to believe that all individuals with autism have some like special super power (i.e. Susan playing any piece on the piano by heart). Also, it described Susan as being “inside herself in her own world” which I guess could be an accurate description, but I took it too literally. As in, while she is walking around Stoneybrook, her mind was in another dimension and she was talking with magical elves and dragons. I mean, she may very well be, but I couldn’t really comprehend it. After that, my mother rented Rain Man for me, which I think was my first R-rated movie. Then I did a whole research paper on autism for school and got acolades and shit. Thanks, Baby-Sitters Club!

One other thing that I kind of remember about this one was that Kristy was surprised that Susan was so pretty. As if being differently-abled automatically disqualifies you from being good-looking. And she took Susan to hang out with the other kids and tried to get her to act “normal” but she just did “weird” things.

In my work now I work with some individuals with varying levels of autism and when I work with them I still sometimes think about Susan! Goddam you BSC!

Kristy has a very “you are so fucking pathetic so I need to butt in and help you change your life” look that reminds us of a certain blond twin.

There’s no business like show business…except when the BSC fucks it up

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Wow, after I stopped reading the series, the BSC got really cranky and was more interested in cutting each other down. I just read this one for the first time, because you know my feelings about super specials. What a mess.

So SMS is putting on a play- Peter Pan, and it’s really a district-wide thing, because kids from the high school and elementary school are also auditioning. Because the producer, Mr. Cheney, must be on crack. Because putting on a play with lots of little kids is a good idea. Chya. BUT of course that allows the BSC to further hang out with little kids in their free time, which we know they love to do.

I don’t know who Watson paid off or Kristy’s Mom slept with, because Kristy has the lead as Peter Pan and Karen and David Michael get major roles. Karen is the most spoiled brat on the planet. She throws a temper tantrum because she wants to play Tinkerbell in the human form and wear a fairy costume, and the school gives in. And THEN she screams she wants fairy dust. Oh, dear god, how I hate this child.

Jessi is so sure that she will get the role of Peter Pan and is overconfident and then is bitchy to everyone when she gets a small part. Eventually Mr. Cheney makes her assistant choreographer, because it’s a genius idea for an eleven year old to be in charge of that. When Jessi sees that she is not listed as “assistant producer” in the program, she takes her name out. She is really a bitter brat almost on the Karen level. Jessi is black, btw.

Mary Anne of course doesn’t want a part, but she hangs out with the kids anyway so Mr. Cheney makes her the “backstage babysitter” so of course Mary Anne foams at the mouth and is all proud to work for free. In fact, she gets pissed when Mallory tries to talk to her OWN brothers and sisters, who are all conveniently in the play as well and MA gets all huffy and is all, “I’M the backstage babysitter, so fuck off Mallory.” Geez, the older members still get a kick of acting superior over their “junior members.”

Mal’s plot is that she is the assistant costume whatever, and is embarassed to take the boys’ measurements. Thrilling.

Logan is a pirate and acts like a tool and gets kicked out of the play but then asked back. He gets a chapter from his perspective, and thank god it wasn’t written with his southern accent, which the writer usually likes to express phonetically.

Claudia’s painting scenery and is afraid it will fall over. Again, thrilling.

Stacey is dating Sam Thomas and is pissed he never introduces her to his high school friends. She and Sam are cast as Mr. And Mrs. Darling and she is all embarassed when Sam loves to joke about them being married. Shut up Stacey, you got what you wanted, why are you so pissed. Sam, in his chapter, describes Stacey as “gorgeous, sophisticated, and popular” when in fact she is not so popular because she only hangs out with the BSC (until she grows some ovaries later on in the series). So really, by that theory, Kristy is as popular as Stacey.

Jackie Rodowsly is cast as the youngest Darling child, and of course hilarity ensues when he falls all over the place. THEN WHY CAST HIM? Although, I always felt bad for Jackie, he seems like a sweet kid but the BSC hate all over him.

Cokie gets a chapter! I have to say, I am with her in her mocking of the BSC, they are pretty lame, cliquey…AND LOVE TO HANG OUT WITH LITTLE KIDS! I wish she had her own series. She plays Tiger Lilly and gets annoyed when Kristy can’t remember her lines, which IS annoying.

Dawn, the hippy drippy California gal, decides that the play is pretty sexist and wants to update it. Of course, none of the BSC support her in this and just bitch at her to say the right lines. Meanwhile, Kristy, try to remember your freaking lines and maybe act GRATEFUL that you got the lead. I think Kristy and Dawn still have that tension over sharing MA as a bff. Is MA really worth it?

‘Member how the Super Specials have illustrations? And how the girls always look really fugly? They also never have them in fun outfits, like they talk about. And they give Mallory hideous Sally Jesse Raphael glasses. The cover though, is like the most awesome ever. Kristy looks pretty great, actually, and Dawn looks Nicole-Ritchie skinny. Claudia’s outfit- not thrilling. MA looks gorgeous. Logan looks about nine years old.

I can’t deal with all the handwritten stuff, it’s so annoying. Don’t even get me started on Claudia’s stupidosity, but Jessi’s swoopy writing makes me want to gauge my eyes out. Every Super Special has one person requiring others to keep a written account of something, like they give each other fucking homework. Taking a relaxing vacation? Let’s make a mandatory scrapbook. Your friends are missing at sea after a big storm? LET’S MAKE A JOURNAL TO DOCUMENT OUR PAIN! In this one, Jessi gets a job at the SMS newspaper and is writing about people’s experience in the play so she makes everyone submit notes to her.

So maybe it’s a new lens I am looking through, but the BSC seem to be squabbling with each other more than being besties…kinda burst my bubble when I used to read these and dream one day to have a group of friends like the BSC. And I wish that Jessi and Mallory would step up and tell the older members to stop treating them like children…but oh wait, they are.

Hey, remember those episodes of Head of the Class where they would put on the musical? And the cast consisted of basically ONLY the students from the one class and no one else in the school was in it? This is like it. Besides the BSC, and all the kids they sit for, there are like, five people not BSC-related. What is this, an episode of Saved By the Bell?

ear piercing fetish

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Many of you mentioned this as a memorable BSC book, so I decided to reread it. In fact, my parents just camr to visit me from Florida, and before they came I insisted they go up in the attic, search through my huge collection of old books, and bring it with them on the plane. Thanks mom!

This one was fucking overloaded with outfit descriptions. I guess when the BSC ghostwriters get stuck, they just describe every detail of someone’s outfit.

All Mal wants to do is get her ears pierced and to look “cooler” and pierced ears are her gateway to cool world. In fact, she goes to the mall just to watch people get their ears pierced and salivates. Until Margo almost throws up. That girl sure did vomit a lot.

Mallory is always so intimidated by the rest of the BSC. Kristy maybe because she’s a cold hearted beast, but she is really in awe of Claudia, mostly because she dresses like a mental patient. And Dawn because she’s so unique. Remember how every five seconds we had to hear how unique Dawn was? If she was so unique, why did she always settle for being Maryanne’s OTHER best friend? Also, I can’t believe that Mal and Jessi are ELEVEN! Would someone really leave their kid with an eleven year old?

Mallory is obsessed with pierced ears, so much that at the BSC meeting she practically orgasms over the earrings present. “Claudia was wearing earrings that looked like little red sneakers….Dawn had clip on turquoise triangles.” How Golden Girls of her.

Oh yea, plot. Mal gets a regular job sitting for the Arnold twins who are totally identical and their deranged mother dresses them identically but they are really pissed because they want their own identities. And they get snotty with Mal until she buys them birthday presents that are catered to their individual interests and that makes them like her and she helps them talk to their mother about it. Because all parents love eleven year olds how to raise their children. But that gives Mal the chutzpa to talk about her own parents about her need to look cooler, and they let her pierce her ears and cut her hair and buy clothes with her own money. oooo, how rebellious.

Fuck plot. Back to the outfits.

We get lots of twin outfit descriptions. “Both girls were wearing blue kilts with straps that went over the shoulders [as opposed to under?], white blouses with lace edging and collars and sleeves, white knee socks, and black patent leather Mary Jane shoes. Their brown hair was cut in a bowl shape, framing their faces, and each twin had a blue headband with a blue bow on the side of it.”

Mrs. Arnold dresses like an Orlando prostitute: “In a moment a fussy-looking woman came down the stairs. Do you know what I mean by fussy? I mean, everything about her was too much and too cute. She was wearing two necklaces, a pin, bracelets on each wrist, rings, earrings, and even an ankle bracelet. Her stockings were lacey, and she was, well, as Claud might have said, overly accessorized. [Claud should talk.] There were bows on her shoes, a bow on her belt, a bow in her hair, and a bow at the neck of her blouse. Her sweater was beaded and she hadn’t forgotten to pin a fake rose to it. Whew! As for cute, her earrings were in the shape of ladybugs, one of her necklaces spelled her name- Linda- in gold script, her pin was in the shape of a mouse, and the bow in her hair was a ribbon with a print of tiny ducks on it.”

Mallory gets a hard on exaaming the BSC’s outfits during the meeting. Claudia: “Her long hair was fixed in about a million tiny braids which were pulled back behind her head with a column of puffy ponytail holders. She was wearing a T-shirt she painted herself, tight blue pants that ended just past her knees, push down socks, and no shoes. From her ears dangled small baskets of fruit. She’d made those, I knew. She’s found the baskets and the fruits at a store that sells miniatures. Claudia amazes me.” I don’t understand, was the word capri pants not invented yet?

“Maryanne was wearing a short, plum-colored skirt over a plum-and-white-striped body suit. The legs of the bodysuit stopped just above her ankles, [as opposed to past her ankles?] and she’s tucked the bottoms into her socks. The neat thing about the outfit was that she was wearing suspenders.” Maryanne was wearing a bodystocking? I just can’t picture it. What a pain to deal with when you have to pee.

Mallory would copy Dawn’s entire outfit. “Dawn was wearing oversized (really oversized) blue shirt. [yes nothing more flattering than making youself look like a potato sack.]One of the coolest things about it was that it was green inside, so that when she turned the collar down and rolled the sleeves up, you could see those nice touches of green at her neck and wrists. She was wearing a green skirt- and clogs. I’d never seen a person actually wearing clogs, just photos of people in Sweden.” Dawn is SO ORIGINAL!!!! Haven’t you heard?

Mal takes the twins to the mall to get their new clothes. One of the twins gets a Jean skirt and ruffly white blouse. The other gets a sweatshirt with gold moon and stars on it, and “cool jeans”. Whaddya gonna do, they’re eight. Come to think of it, Mallory is eleven, only three years older than the kids she sits. While at the mall, Mallory buys blue push-down socks and has an aneurysm she is so excited. Does she mean slouch socks? Those are cool and her mother didn’t buy her those previously? Remember when you wore about three pairs at once and then your shoes wouldn’t fit?

She also buys earrings for herself and Jessi that look like open books. And she wants her ears pierced to be cool? I may as well buy a tapestry vest with cats embroidered on it.

Later the BSC accompany Jessi and Mal to the mall when they get their ears pierced. Claudia gets a second hole in one ear and Dawn calls her mom to get permission, and her mom lets fer get two in each ear. Probably because her Mom was drunk and was busy storing her shoes in the fridge. Mallory also gets her haircut to be short and fluffy. Um, cool?

Kristy is such an asshole during meetings. And she wears a fucking visor. Unless she is a banker from the 1940s, that is ridiculous. And Claudia eating all the junkfood and being skinny? I hate that.

I kind of forgot about the BSC notebook, which is ridiculous and such a waste of time. And we get some obnoxious entires that were written by two sitters that read like a dialogue. “Wow this was the worst sitting job ever!” “You can say that again!” “It was crazy!” “I know!” I’m paraphrasing, but still.

Claudia sits for the Arnold twins once and she hates them. “Malery, you can have the twines,” she writes. First of all, what kind of moron can’t even spell their friend’s name? And I am so over her bad spelling. Seriously, mom and Dad, get her a fucking tutor.

And with that, I am off to start reading the 6 new Caitlin books I just got in the mail. Life is good.

UPDATE: If you want to see Claudia Kishi’s impact on fashion, read some Blue States Lose columns from Gawker.