Friday, August 05, 2005

Celebrity Teddy Bears

So like I totally thought I found this amazing book. I mean with a name like The Little Book of Celebrity Teddy Bears how could you go wrong? It should be perfect for me, right? Not only am I a teddy bear, but I LOVE teddy bears. I mean Goofball and Wagsy are so *cute* how could you not want to hug them. And don't even get me started on celebrities, cuz I like know TONS about celebrities and I totally want to be one and I would be totally psyched to hang with them. So like I didn't care whether The Little Book of Celebrity Teddy Bears was a how-to manual or a book on famous teddy bears or about teddy bears owned by celebrities. [And the fact that the book is little is a plus too cuz my paws are short and big books are hard to hold.] I'm gonna like it no matter what, right?

Wrong. I mean, I didn't hate it or anything, but it didn't do much for me. Basically, like Pauline Cockrill might know a lot about teddy bears, but she doesn't know the first thing about writing about celebrities. Like she didn't do any market research whatsoever. How hard is that? Just go down to the local grocery store or gas station and pick up US Weekly or In Touch or even one of the mean magazines like The National Enquirer. I suppose The Enquirer would be a bad call cuz like it specializes in scandals and like teddy bears don't have any scandals. We might have food spilled on us or misunderstandings about funding for silk sheets, but nothing that would be of the slightest interest to The Enquirer. So scratch that last one. Anyway, like the point is, it isn't hard to find a celebrity magazine. If she had even glanced at the covers of the magazines, Ms. Cockrill would have not broken the 3 cardinal rules of celebrity writing:

1) The celebrities need to be doing something. In the The Little Book of Celebrity Teddy Bears the bears are just sitting there like against a mono-colored background. Talk about yawnsville. Celebrities should be hanging out with other celebrities so you can figure out who is in and who is out and where you can hang out to see celebrities. Cuz like if you start only appearing in pictures with Kathy Griffin at the Hard Rock Cafe, then you know you better cash in while you can. The reader wants to know who Paddington hangs with, ya know? Is he down with Pooh and Piglet at the Ministry of Sound or is he chillin' with Courdoroy at his crib? And if you don't show the celebrity with other celebrities, you show them doing something really shockingly ordinary like shopping for groceries. It is shocking because you expect a celebrity to look all glamorous and do glamorous things and stuff, but then you see them look like a schmoe doing schmoey things. I think this gimmick would totally work. "Celebrity Teddy Bears are Just Like Us" would be hot. Tell me that you wouldn't want to see a picture of Paddington putting fish sticks in his shopping cart. Like all I am saying is that this isn't hard and she messed it up by having the bears just stand against a blank background.

2) The writing shouldn't be totally lame. I didn't know "little" referred to the word count. I mean there isn't much text in celebrity rags, but there is even less in this book. I suppose like that wasn't such a bad thing since the text was awful (at least the portions were small *giggle*). There were a few uplifting anecdotes about surviving fires or a rise to stardom, but mostly it was just dull. The writing could use just a little snarkiness. "Brown Fur: Who wore it best?" would totally work. And why didn't they tell me how the Shirley Temple bear curls her hair and keeps her youthful figure? Did they even talk to her stylist? Where were the workout routines and summer diets and shopping tips? Does Paddington get his gear at Marks and Sparks or does he sharp somewhere upscale like Harrods? Inquiring aardvarks want to know.

3) Dynamism is way important. Like everything was static. The bear is famous and valuable -- end of story. Like there were no has-beens or rising stars. Is Teddy Ruxpin the teddy bear equivalent of Eric Estrada? What bears are up and coming (other than yours truly -- two of my flickr pictures have 900 views ... I would like to thank each and every one of my fans personally, but that would take so long because there are so many of you and I type with my snout). Have some teddy bears gone from nobodies to really famous to washed up to really famous again like John Travolta? Is The Heffalump Movie Pooh's Pulp Fiction or his Battlefield Earth? And what about signals that your career is totally down the tubes? Are there teddy bear reality TV shows? That would be so sweet. Put six bears in a house with Tammy Fae Baker, Naomi Campbell, and Jennifer Lopez and see what happens. I would totally be glued to the set.

And my biggest complaint is a little unfair because the title of the book is celebrity teddy BEARS. There were only bears in the book. No aardvarks. No platypi. No dogs. No ducks. Bears are fine and all, but it is a little narrow. It's like US Weekly decided to run an issue with only movie stars and totally ignored musicians, television personalities, has-beens, Paris-ites (okay, I know that is so played, but it still cracks me up *giggle*), and people famous for being famous (like have the Steiff bears done anything except show up on Antique Roadshow?).

Maybe I will have to write my own book of celebrity teddy bears and show them how it is done. It could even be a good vehicle for me. I mean, if I put myself in the rising stars selection, who could object? It would be great exposure cuz people would buy the book for Pooh and Paddington and end up seeing me. And when I'm making the book, I could include lots of pictures of me partying with the celebrity bears. Oh my god, I totally need to do this.

Amelia, get my blackberry ... we're making some phone calls!


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