I was so excited about this book. Way back in the day I read Mimi’s blog, so I’d been waiting for her book for years. I’m one of those geeks who reads the covers and introductions and blurbs and everything. The jacket said a bunch of stuff about stripping being bad, the underbelly of it all, etc. I’d read the blog and thought Mimi was too complex and talented to simplify things like that, so I ignored the blurbs and jumped right in.
She starts out, first paragraph, making fun of people who’s mothers are crackheads. Nice, but I guess we don’t all get raised with the advantages of knowing people with crackhead mothers. The second paragraph she started with the “we:”
“It’s all about the quick fix of money, like that hasty illicit cigarette outside when the boss isn’t watching, covered up with a gargle of mouthwash. Our mouthwash is our own mantra, repeated over and over in our heads, It’s not forever. I think we keep coming back because standing on that stage, posing and preening in the mirror, turning and arching so the light strikes our luminous, smooth skin, is the only time we don’t think of things. You know – things.Guilt things. Hopelessness. Boredom.”
Oh yeah. WE are all just so sad. Sad little strippers with sad lives that we must strip to dissociate ourselves from. Good thing Ruth is smart and went to Cambridge so she can tell the world how sad we all are. Seriously, that’s how the publisher promotes it and that’s how Ruth presents it.
All the way through the book she has drunken horrible experience after drugged up horrible experience, explaining it all with the great WE. You see, WE strippers can’t strip sober. That’s why WE all have such horrible experiences. Lucky for her, a year or so after she descends into our underworld, Ruth gets a book deal and quickly ascends away from us (only to reappear in a book dictating our experiences and g chats asking about strip clubs in Alaska).
Positives: Incredibly artful.Â Accurate enough depictionÂ of stripping in New York. Â Maybe it’ll scare some young women away from stripping – less competition for me!
Negatives: Another book by an Ivy Leaguer who descends to our horrid underworld for a few months and then appropriates our voices in the public arena.Â