Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Woolworths Merchandising Geniuses Evidently Didn't Take Many Literature Courses

Thanks to the power women at Broadsheet for finding this one.

Yes, really.

The Woolworths staff were "baffled by the fuss." "A spokesman for the company told The [London] Times: 'What seems to have happened is the staff who run the website had never heard of Lolita, and to be honest no one else here had either. We had to look it up on Wikipedia. But we certainly know who she is now.'"

A mother who had been browsing the Woolworths website commented on a parenting website: “Am I being particularly sensitive, or does anyone else out there think it’s bad taste for Woolies to have a kiddy bed range named ‘Lolita’?.”

The London Times goes on to explain (in perfect, understated snark): "For the benefit of any other Woolworths staff, Lolita was the 12-year-old girl who became the object of her middle-aged stepfather’s sexual obsession in the literary classic of the same name. Thanks to the novel the name has come to represent sexual precociousness in young girls."

Call me an ivory tower dweller, elitist literati, whatever, but I'm pretty appalled that not one person at Woolworths got the "Lolita" reference. I'll chalk this one up as one more sign of the decline of modern civilization (along with the fact that "The Bachelor" is still airing new episodes).

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