Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm Sorry, Cara Hoffman (or Za Za Zoo John Cusak Fish)

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When I wrote this recommendation of Cara Hoffman's book So Much Pretty for The Heat Lightning, I was looking for something to link to the phrase "she might be in for a rough ride."  I thought linking to an angry male blogger bashing the book for the way it tackles violence against women would emphasize my point.

I didn't find what I was looking for when I Googled Cara Hoffman hates men, but I did leave an internet trail to her blog.  

She wrote a post about it called Cara Hoffman Hates Men.  In the comments, "Mike D" actually characterized my search correctly.  I've added emphasis to his remarks below:

  1. I agree with your essay and am impressed that you're able to respond to what appears to be annoying ignorance so calmly. However, there's something else going on here. Google Analytics. The idea of judging someone's opinion by their internet searches sounds pretty dangerous. The thing about "Cara Hoffman Hates Men" is you don't really know the intent of the person who entered that search. How many were interested in refuting the idea or agreeing? You can't tell what occurs in the mind by one's computer history. 
  2.  Cara Hoffman responded thusly:
  3. Reasonable point Mike D. I'll try to consider the benevolent reasons one might research cara hoffman hates men. 

I almost posted a comment but in the end I chickened out.  Probably because the same post mentions searches for nude photos of her.  Also, I felt guilty and stupid.  I picked the wording; no one suggested it.  I was afraid of what that says about me.  

As Hoffman writes when embracing hatred of people who commit violence against women, "So Much Pretty didn’t get written in a state of graceful acceptance of the yearly murder of thousands."  It was stupid to search for backlash against a book with a feminist bent when we live in a culture that supports rape and fetishizes dead women.  Look around; there's backlash everywhere.    

As a side note, I have to wonder if I was the only one who searched that term.  

Google analytics tells me that second only to "Sweet with Fall and Fish," folks find my blog by searching the phrase "Za Za Zoo."  As Sex and the City is so popular, that makes sense (although, as I pointed out, Carrie Bradshaw actually spells it Zsa Zsa Zsu, so a true SATC fan would never find SwF&F).  Yet there's one I can't understand, and that's "John Cusack Fish."  What does that even mean?  I have no idea, but six people have Googled it and found my blog.

Anyway, So Much Pretty remains my favorite read so far this year, edging out Birds of Paradise, When She Woke, Bossypants, The Last Werewolf, and Half a Life.  It pains me to think I caused its author any chagrin.  It's stupid and depressing.

Mrs. Hoffman, I'm sorry.  Will sales help? 

Sweet Readers, you've heard me sing the praises of So Much Pretty before.  Now check out The Huffington Post, NPRJack Cameron, and Reading for the Joy of It.  There are many more blog posts out there about the book, but those are my favorite.  And the more copies she sells, the more likely she is to have a second book.

And the more my guilt decreases.


  1. Aaron,
    You are a champ for posting this. A real champ. It certainly clarifies at least a few searches for the term.
    I really appreciate your honesty and thougtfulness. And thank you again for reading and reviewing So Much Pretty.

  2. Whew! Thanks for being so cool about it.

    And thanks for writing such an amazing book.