The Gossip about Gossip Girl

My high school friends and I were devoted readers of Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar. Back in high school, Misu, Catherine, and I borrowed the books from Saab. When we graduated, my sister Kim, bought her own stack. It's just so easy to get hooked to it, especially when you're young and fed with frivolous popular culture everyday.

Gossip Girl is about a bunch of high school kids living in New York City's Upper East Side. You got it. It's like an NYC Laguna Beach on paperback. But these Upper East Siders are wealthier than the Laguna people, and are better looking. They wear designers items from head to toe, and study in private, single-sex high schools (private schools in the US are for the privileged few). In the latter part of the series, they move to Ivy League biggies. And they party hardER.

Cool life, huh? Except that it's not really cool.

These kids are usually depressed or troubled. It's as if their wealth is not enough to buy them satisfaction. They want more, and they want less at the same time. The books can influence you two-way: convince you that it's the kind of life everyone should (or aspire to) live, and no matter how privileged and comfortable that life is, it can still be horrible.

Then there's petty gossip. Gossip Girl is the myterious online correspondent whose signature byline is "You know you love me." One clue is that GG is also a part of that crowd of kids, or at least pretending to be. She's so sneaky. She knows everything that's happening in the NYC elite sphere, more than any society page can ever feature. Plus her blind items only contain the initials of her subjects. S for Serena Van der Woodsen. N for Nate Archibald. B for Blair Waldorf and so on.

Man, I resent those kids. They're wasting their time, money, and at best their lives. But what's incredible is that the characters are lovable. Me, I don't love them. 'Cause y know, if I had their life, I'd probably put it to good use.

Yeah, right.

You know you love me,