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Posts Tagged ‘books’

It’s the little things, like a ribbon that has been built-in to the spine of a book for use as a placeholder, that make life pleasant. So simple, so logical, so useful.
Built In for Your Pleasure
So why don’t they put them in all books? After all, what kind of book wouldn’t need a bookmark? Are the publishing houses in cahoots with the bookmark manufacturers or something? Is it like when the oil companies killed the electric car? Are there bookmark lobbyists in D.C. making bribes and negotiating under-the-table deals?

Regardless, simple ideas are often the most effective ones, and it feels good to take pleasure in them. Like cupholders in cars — why did it take them so long to think that one up? A car with a built-in cupholder was practically unheard of until the late eighties, and probably not due to technological limitations. It’s just a molded piece of plastic ferchrissakes. And ribbons have been around for eons, so they got no excuses there.

Regardless, built-in bookmarks are effing awesome.


Edward Gorey

Most children’s authors would probably try to avoid topics like mutilated children or macabre, gothic visions of demons and death. But Edward Gorey devoted a whole alphabet to the concept. The Brothers Grimm had nothing on Edward Gorey.

Mutilated Children - Fun For All Ages!

He wrote morbid, surreal books with surprisingly subtle titles like Donald Has a Difficulty or The Inanimate Tragedy and then filled the pages with gruesome illustrations that were as intricate in their detail as they were devoted to their sadism. And then he made everything rhyme. Cuz kids dig stuff that rhymes.

Macabre Concepts - That Rhyme!

Even the pseudonyms that he used to pen some of his publishings — actually anagrams of his own name — were brilliantly disturbing: Ogdred Weary, Regera Dowdy, Eduard Blutig, Dogear Wryde, E. G. Deadworry, D. Awdrey-Gore, Edward Pig, Wardore Edgy, Groeda Weyrd, and on and on. It’s as if he was destined to do this the moment his mother named him, assumingly after a particularly difficult and bloody birth. Then he went on to influence the influential, like Tim Burton, Nine Inch Nails, and countless others.

For understanding that both children and adults alike might enjoy a visit to the dark side from time to time, Edward Gorey is effing awesome.


Public Libraries

Public libraries! There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of books and periodicals there! All perfectly indexed and easy to locate! Including movies, magazines, newspapers, hardcovers, and softcovers! It’s all there and it’s all free! Yet another successful government-run program! Bored and broke? Go get a free book!

Back before the internet, you could go there and find pictures of naked people easily enough. You and your friend could share steamy passages from sexy novels and titter quietly. You could also possibly encounter a pedophile in the bathroom or a homeless person sleeping in the stacks, but now we are digressing…

Books! For free! All in one place! Categorized! Archiving and preserving some of the most awesomest videos ever produced but rarely seen!

Educational and Informative:

Poor public libraries. The internet has made you seem irrelevant when you really aren’t. You serve an entirely different function and a very important one. And when is the last time anyone actually appreciated you? Probably the last time people actually read books. Never you mind. You’re ripe for a comeback.

Public libraries are effing awesome.


Judy Blume

Back before J.K. Rowling was writing about witches and goblins or whatever the hell is going on in those Harry Potter books, there was Judy Blume, who was much less subtle when it came to dealing with touchy teen-aged topics like sexuality, masturbation, racism, menstrual periods, being fat, and oh so much more.

Hey Jude, Take a Sad Song and Make it Better

Her books were often challenged in public libraries as being inappropriate for children, but that’s exactly who benefited from them the most, because elementary school is an unwieldy sexual cauldron of wild rumors, tall tales, raging hormones, intentional disinformation, and downright lies. The teachers are afraid to mention sex as an educational topic, the parents certainly don’t seem excited to broach the subject, and the other kids are wildly misinformed, sharing whispered speculations about how even accidentally touching your own genitals could instantly give you hairy palms, macular degeneration, and forever halt the growth of your penis.

Then there’s Judy Blume, like a modern day Kinsey for Kids, whose titular characters might need to learn some rather saucy lessons. Such as in the case of Deenie, the chronic masturbator whose own coming-of-age story involved learning that her self-abuse was in fact NOT the cause of the scoliosis that threatened to ruin her burgeoning modeling career. Finally, a source you could trust. Judy was definitive and irreproachable. You could almost hear forty million kids breathing a huge collective sigh of relief.

But it wasn’t just all sex. Judy was able to remember that sometimes little things are a REALLY BIG DEAL when you are twelve, but she also knew how to setup a juvenile public urination joke like no one else. Most importantly, she could teach you a really important life lesson in 120 pages or less. In fact, you should probably go back and re-read a couple of them right now, because frankly, everyone could use a Judy Blume booster from time to time, if only as a reminder of the kinds of problems you used to have.

Judy Blume is effing awesome.


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