Thursday, April 07, 2005

Sigh. Oh, all right.

Lance Mannion has issued the challenge, and The Jingster rises to the bait:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

If I'm stuck inside Fahrenheit 451 I have a lot more to worry about than memorizing some book -- like suddenly my reality's being controlled by a goddamned science fiction writer, and I have to reexamine all kinds of philosophical gubbins I'm rather fond of. But while I'm re-pondering Cartesian Dualism (Rayum Bradburyensis cogita, ergo sum!) I'll take it as a side project to memorize The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design, by Jan Tschichold. Hey -- everybody else is busy with Content, and forgetting about Form! When Rayum lets us out of Hell, who's gonna remember how to actually design the damned texts you all have been so busy memorizing?

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Tove Jansson's Snork Maiden. And I like to believe it was reciprocated.

The last book you bought is?

Where Did They Stand? The May 1861 Vote on Secession in Loudoun County, Virginia, and Post-War Claims Against the Government, by Taylor M. Chamberlin, (c) 2003 Waterford Foundation, Inc. Better than a book of randomly generated numbers, but only slightly -- unless you're a fan of John Mobberly.

What are you currently reading?

Wodehouse: A Life, by Robert McCrum. The Master. He Without Whom There Is None. The Peerless Pippin of Blandings and Points Beyond. Only started it last night; am already enthralled and Plum hasn't even entered school yet.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

What the FUCK does John Locke think he's doing, not telling the others about that plane that smooshed Boone? How transparent is it anyway, naming the guy John Bleedin' Locke? It's like my old schoolmate Bill Watterson naming his kid and tiger Calvin and Hobbes -- you just know he got that from some dimly remembered PoliSci class and thought it'd be all cute-n-stuff giving them those names to make you run to the encyclopedia to make sure he's not getting some big Inside Joke over on the rest of us who rightly blew off that class to smoke some terrible reefer and tell lies about our stereo systems and the girls we've scored with. And that big, weird galoot who kidnapped Claire and got wasted by Charlie? Remember him? He gave his name as "Ethan Rom" which it took me 2.5 seconds with a pencil to dope out is an anagram for "Other Man," which is just exactly stupid enough for TV. And anyway I'd be spending all my time trying to get hold of Evangeline Lilly's turkey li'l pitties, so I won't be reading...
  • The Riverside Shakespeare -- Not just any volume of Shakespeare. The Riverside Shakespeare, baby. Now there's a book you can pretend to read while watching Evangeline Lilly' s taut and creamy hindquarters sashay sassily away to collect some firewood. (Just the hindquarters. The rest of her stays put. Weird. I'd say something about my knottéd and combinéd locks parting, and each particular hair standing on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine, but Evangeline Lilly might take offense.)

  • Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon. A screaming comes across this pie. Hard to read, my ass. Difficult to follow, stuff and bollocks. Only just the whole howling Twentieth Century stuck inside some book covers. The whole damned thing. You wonder how he made it fit. Just like you wonder how the costume designers made Evangeline Lilly's top-hamper fit inside that swelling cotton chemise. Woof.

  • Jumpin' Jimmy Joyce's Ulysses. ...and how she kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well her as another and then I asked her with my eyes to ask again yes and then she asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around her yes and drew her down to me so I could feel her breasts all perfume yes and her heart was going like mad and yes I said yes Evangeline Lilly I will Yes.

  • The Most of S. J. Perelman. Where the hell do you think my jokes are copped from, eh? Jokes that I would use to beguile Evangeline Lilly into my grass hut to show her my collection of erotic coconut-shell carvings...

  • The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman. While the rest of you chumps are off giving blood transfusions through sea-urchin spines or solving mysterious word-puzzles on inaccurate maps drawn by French madwomen, I shall be designing devices for my Evangeline Lilly to use for her maximum carnal enjoyment, with skillfully emplaced affordances that leave no doubt whatever as to their purpose and execution. This thing will I do. Yes. Just so long as I get to watch.
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

Stick? Stick? No, seriously, now -- stick???


WW said...

So it's Evangeline Lilly is it? Come on Ned, you're not making this mid-life crisis thing any easier.

Neddie said...

Wonder Woman makes Evangeline Lilly look like Margaret Dumont. We're talking hypotheticals, here...

Bobby Lightfoot said...

Turkey li'l pitties!! Turkey li'l pitties!!!!!

turkey li'l pitties!!!!!

Lance Mannion said...

That's it, show me up. Can't you be dull, staid, and unfunny, just once?

julia said...

Much as I love the Snork Maiden, I gotta agree with my kid. It's all about Little My.

grishaxxx said...

Big hand for championing design, and books about it (a flaw in the F451 notion, that books are just words).
I notice Edroso mentioned Phoebe Zeitgeist - believe it or not, she crossed my mind, too, in the crush category - but how to - hmm - *embody* her, if that was one's F451 choice? But, hey, EL will do just fine!
Props for being particular about Shakespeare editions; reason I mentioned the Ardens was for their textual scholarship in the individual volumes. I have the Riverside in front of me now. So many bogus compilations out there, what's an ignorant reader to do?

Neddie said...

Julia: Little My kicked three-inch-tall ass, and Lord knows your Neddie isn't exactly scraping the ceiling either, but Little My was as likely to put the boot in as offer emotional succour, and that's where the Snork Maiden had it all over her. That's what the 6-year-old Neddie needed, babe (never mind the 44-year-old): a Mommy just his size.

Grish: The requirement was crush, not raging ten-inch hogan; you're muddying the emotional waters here. Crushes are bittersweet things, all secret innocent longings and painful private yearnings: Phoebe Zeitgeist was, well, fodder for a different kind of yearning.

My kollege made me buy Riverside for my freshman lit. class. Never regretted the purchase, and still love to lose myself in the front matter -- lxxvii pages of close-set Elizabethan wonderfulness.