Sunday, November 16, 2008

An Update from the Martha Stewart Blog

Photo courtesy of Dean Perry and

For at least one day, I was able to post a note to Martha Stewart regarding her misrepresentation of Halloween under "Halloween at My House," created on October 28, 2008.

Here's what I wrote:

Dear Martha,

How could you allow Michael Boodro to make such self-gratifying remarks in October's Editor's Letter? He wrote of your enterprise as being "no small part responsible for Halloween becoming an international phenomenon." I'd like to know why he thinks so. Mr. Boodro also heralds the letter with "HALLOWEEN has gone global," and please correct me if I'm mistaken, but that's not news. Halloween didn't begin in America as he suggests; it has European origins deeply rooted in Gaelic culture. Also, this holiday should hardley be considered "global" since predominantly western cultures celebrate it. Boodro only names the U.S. the U.K. and France as participants.

Also, in 2006, I read that this holiday has all but died in France because of anti-American sentiments. Boodro's remark seems to ignore this since his core descriptions relate his past Halloweens in France.

This editor's note reminds me that your magazine is all about being a business. Like Boodro's letter, your inclusion of comments from the public are always positive, hardley critical. I am offended that MSL only publishes "how-to" questions, as if your audience doesn't posses enough analytical skills to pick apart the cultural agenda set by Martha Inc.

Many thanks for your attention,

Audrey K. Tran

I checked the blog just yesterday and couldn't find my post.

1 comment:

M. Dery said...

Smart decision to followup on your previous post, reporting this story. Yet, there are some bugs in your logic. You claim that the notion that Halloween has gone global is news to no one, since the holiday has European roots. (Wish you had given your reader a little historical background about All Saint's Day, Hallow's Eve, etc.) But it doesn't logically follow that, since Halloween has distant historical roots in Europe, the modern American version of the holiday is universally celebrated there. In fact, as you note a few sentences down, it's only celebrated in a few countries outside the U.S. You can't have it both ways; your argument contradicts itself. Point taken, however, about the Western rather than "global" nature of the holiday. Last graph feels like a U-turn, unrelated to the rest of your argument. A transitional sentence would have helped. Errata: "hardley," "posses." Again, spellcheck, ALWAYS spellcheck, then cut and paste into blog post.