Sunday, March 08, 2009

The TBOE Sunday Roundup

Let's welcome some new readers to TBOE. First up is Don Coorough, who has become a follower of TBOE (you can do that by clicking over there to the left.) Don is a "poet-philosopher, historian, social activist, pacifist and social critic" who writes on "Shoreline Driftwood," a blog of unconventional views and excellent poetry with stunningly powerful images. Check out "The Disenchantress" and you'll see what I mean.

Then there's a two-fer from an issue of Newsweek recently in which the book "Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry" was reviewed. Jennie Yabroff, a Newsweek writer, begins her review of a book with this quote: "You've gotta have a gimmick to sell a book." Which is not true, but which echoes the refrain heard here on TBOE over and over -- that gimmicks are necessary: necessary if you want to be a successful supervillain, or if you want to encourage kids to read, or if you want to succeed via finding a mystical device that will let you become a superhero, or just want to be a writer in general.

Not convinced? How about this: Jennie describes the book, which tells the story of a failed romance via the things that are up for auction, and then says this:

"If the objects are cultural signifiers, we're the ones bringing that interpretation to them, and to their owners by association."

That's a fancy way of saying something I first said way back in May, 2008, when I derived the "My Aunt's Dog Theorem," and said this:

"the meaning the artist imposes on his or her work is secondary to the meaning that the person experiencing the art -- the artee, as it were -- imposes on that work. That is, art is meant to be and is interpreted by the artee, who brings their own experiences and emotions and thoughts to the work and imposes them on that work."

Which is how I know that the author herself, Leanne Shapton, must be a TBOE reader; her entire book is based on the My Aunt's Dog Theorem. While I don't plan to read the book, I will welcome both Ms. Shapton and Ms. Yabroff into the fold of TBOE readers; they can take their place with the rest of the media section over to the left.

And, last but never least is prolific writer, photographer, commenter, and Supertramp's Taking-The-Long-Way-Home-Er Lisa Pepin, who, in between dishing out some well-deserved criticism of French breakfast habits, read "The Four Best Board Games That Should Be Made Into Sitcoms" and said:

This had me laughing from start to finish! But now I have a theory: What if "Rules of Engagement" is actually based on the game of "Life?" Discuss.
All right, I will: If that's the case, then it shows Hollywood's lack of creativity even further. Because Life (real name "The Game Of Life") stunk as a board game. What was the point of it? To get through it? Woo. Hoo. Life was The Sims before The Sims found a way to take mundane boredom and computerize it. The only thing Life had going for it is that it was marginally more exciting than Payday, another game that tried to glamorize the unglamorizable. Take a look at the board for "The 'Game' Of Life". Job search. Night School. Join Health Club. These are fun? I rest my case.

Lisa also, maybe because she lives in France, dares to continue to tamper with the space-time continuum, heedless of the potential consequences that could include anything from creating a multiverse all over again to maybe making peanut butter 10% less tasty -- which would be terrible. We may not notice it right away, but once the horror set in, who would want to go on?

Despite that very real risk, Lisa commented on my comment about her commenting on a comment...

... now I'm dizzy...

and said:

With this comment, I have now embedded the essences of Beck, Duckie, Charles Wallace, Annie Potts and the Zoops cookies mascot into your DNA. Aren't you glad you already had kids?

And, as if that wasn't bad enough, then commented on her own comment about my comment about her commenting on a comment...

I'm joking about that, of course. My comments on your comments about my comments won't really rip a hole in the space-time continum. They're totally benign. They're just... Stackable. Like those Russian nesting dolls.

She says she's just joking, but didn't they say, too, that the supercollider wouldn't actually create a black hole that would suck the Earth into it and destroy all life as we know it? And for all we know, that's already happened and nobody bothered telling us.

Well, prove that it didn't.



lisapepin said...

Gasp! I cannot BELIEVE you could think that I would have anything to do with a nefarious plot to make peanut butter less tasty! No one appreciates peanut butter more than I do. Remember, where I live, peanut butter can only be obtained at the fancy grocery store in the INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTS section.

lisapepin said...

"Life was The Sims before The Sims found a way to take mundane boredom and computerize it." That's so true. But the advantage you have when playing The Game of Life is that you never have to deal with an avatar who gets depressed and then cries like a little bitch when you don't buy him a big screen TV.