How they see it: A word from the A&E assistant editors

Shea Frazier

For an artist, the greatest sign of failure is to be beloved by young girls everywhere.

Think about it: for anyone who’s ever had a problem with Justin Bieber, the Twilight trio or Miley Cyrus, what’s one of the first criticisms used to dismiss them? They’re aimed at teenyboppers, they say, and only fangirls or stupid, little pre-teens would sink so low as to support them.

Now, as a mature college-aged woman with an allegedly sophisticated aesthetic, I too have questioned the artistic quality of these celebrities and more like them. Far be it from me to say someone can’t have an opinion, even if that opinion is only as eloquent as a simple: “They suck.”

Still, I can’t help remembering when I was a young girl in love with my *NSYNC, my princess movies and my Sailor Moon. Girly and childish though they seem, they made me happy. After all, everyone needs a fantasy, role models and a form of entertainment that pleases them and them alone.

It irks me, then, to see works and artists degraded for appealing to girls like the one I used to be. Young girls’ tastes are just as relevant as anyone else’s, and I see no shame in doing something for them.

So hate if you must, but leave the girls alone.

Maggie Morris-Knower

I like asking questions. Most people eventually grow out of that phase where you just toddle around everywhere, asking, “Who? What? Why?” But somehow, I never did.

I would like to think that it’s just the unfortunate result of too many bedtime stories about mischievous monkeys, but I don’t think I can blame my eternal quest for clarification entirely on Curious George. Really, it’s more the fault of Alice in Wonderland that I have the tendency to ask first and think later.

Contrary to popular belief, there is definitely such a thing as a stupid question. Trust me, I’ve asked them, many times.

So, it’s always comforting to find someone who doesn’t pretend to know all the answers. Everybody’s favorite quirky cubicle dweller, infamous for his oddly serious queries like, “Which bear is best?” has started a website devoted to asking questions. That’s right. Rainn Wilson, aka Dwight Schrute from “The Office,” is the co-founder of, a safe haven for the innocently inquisitive and the compulsively curious alike.

Both the philosophical and the facetious are invited to ponder and discuss such questions as, “Do celebrities reflect our culture?” and, “If you were homeless, what would you write on your sign?”

I’ll leave you to mull it over while I think of some more stupid questions: coming soon, to a column near you.