Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile My Website Previous Previous Next Next
Markian Gooley disturbed me back in '92 - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Markian Gooley disturbed me back in '92

If you saw my Christmas post, you might remember that I got a whole bunch of books, and lemme tell ya, it was a mixed bag. The detective novel which I had the highest hopes for ended up being very simplistic. Although the premise was novel, it wore thin quickly, and also padded its pages with miscellaneous irrelevant factoids. A nice surprise in that padding was a visual diagram explaining the Monty Hall problem that my friends and I had a heated debate on a few months ago. If only I'd had the book then!

cjthomas gave me an artsy book on grotesque humour in 19th century German art. The best part were the images in the first chapter which included some some fantasy paintings. I'll eventually scan some of them to submit to specialized web sites. Like this image:

Arnold Böcklin, Kentaur in der Dorfschmiede, 1888 (Centaur at the village smith)

Then there was the humour collection that my sister gave me, sub-titled The best of McSweeney's. At first I thought McSweeney's was a magazine or something, but now I think it's just a publishing front that publishes... I don't know, some large extended group of people who are probably friends with each other. They're kind of like people who post to the talk.bizarre newsgroup, only with less bizarreness and more inflated literary aspirations.

My sister probably picked it up at a Goodwill; it feels like the sort of thing you'd find there. Still, it's the thought that counts and she's a great sister. The book's introduction says the collected items are supposed to be funny without being humorous, and... well, not much of the book was funny... more like midly amusing, but no more fleetingly than that. There was a lot of intellectualism applied to nerdy or popular culture subjects, like "On the implausibility of the Death Star's trash compactor".

Some of it really stretched what the audience had to know to understand the humour. Like "Unused audio commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, recorded summer 2002, for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD (Platinum series extended edition), Part One". I mean, wha? Oh, and let's not forget "The name game", by Stephany Aulenback and Sean Carmen, which they plagiarized off the Internet. ("Take the name of ... [snip] ... That's your porn star name.")

Here are the bits of the book that I found funny:

Bad names for professional wrestlers: Magic Realism.

Possible follow-up songs for one-hit wonders (by John Moe):

How are we going to get these dogs back in?
Bust an additional move.
Seriously, Eileen, come on.
(Won't you give me a ride home from) Funkytown?
Remember when you lit up my life? That was great.
I will now pass the dutchie back to you and thank you for passing it to me originally because I really enjoyed the dutchie.
The morning that the lights came back on in Georgia.
Everybody was Kung Fu making up.
Whoomp! There it continues to be.
867-5309, extension 2.
We never took it and persist in our refusal to take it.

Later on, I suddenly remembered that I'd seen the word "McSweeney's" before... on this website. There's all sorts of eclectic stuff around that site, like interviews with barbers in New York on how they learned to become barbers.

Earlier this week I got a book for myself. To explain the context behind it... back in 1991-1992, I was attending my first year of university at Queen's U. in Kingston, Ontario. I didn't like most of my fellow students and my only solaces were a small local theatre group, a reperatory cinema, and the Internet. Most people hadn't discovered the Internet yet, but I'd had some mild exposure and was using it for e-mail and telnetting. pobig did me a great service by e-mailing truly strange works of prose from the aforementioned talk.bizarre newsgroup to me, and keeping my brain confused and active. One of the newsgroup messages purported to be from a kid's dictionary published in 1978, but I thought no, it was too weird to be true.

As it turns out, it wasn't made up. niall_ stumbled across the real thing, and it brought back those memories from 13 years ago. I just had to get this, and within a week, thanks to the Abebooks, a credit card, thirty dollars and a bookstore in Hamilton, I can give you this, from The Super Dictionary, in which heroes from D.C. comics explain words by repeating themselves, saying the same things using different sentences:

And if you're still reading, here's music for ya. Not humorous, but kind of sad with a hint of happiness and warmth now and again. Andy Bey, covering a song by Nick Drake, "River Man".

Current Mood: silly silly
Current Music: Wonder Woman tv theme

1 comment or Leave a comment
niall_ From: niall_ Date: February 6th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure booksellers around North America are puzzled why SO MANY orders for this bafflingly bad book are happening right now. :) If we're ever again somewhere together, you must bring it. A shame you can't be at C-ACE, it'd be a hit there...

Glad I could help. :)
1 comment or Leave a comment