Archive for June, 2011

Glorious weblog! How simple on my eyes.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I get a lot of spam on my blog.  The sources are not that surprising: the usual assortment of designer purses, ink cartridges, and sexual performance enhancers.  And while (spammers please note) I immediately delete all that gets caught by my filter, I do occasionally get a kick out of the quality of the English.  As one fellow notes, “an attention grabbing dialogue is value comment” and so while it may not be a “taboo subject”, “people are not enough to talk enough on such topics.”  So here’s my go at it: quality bad English is unmimicable by native speakers.  Sacha Baron Cohen makes a valiant attempt as Borat and manages to capture it in the title of his movie – Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – but after that, from what I’ve seen of the movie, it is the usual accented English that’s actually pretty understandably if not necessarily perfectly grammatical.  It is not “topic to become actually something I never comprehend” no matter how “brilliant thought process in my mind” even if  “utterly pent written content”.  I certainly can’t make the real thing up as much as I “recognize what I am speaking approximately” because I can never “remember to next” no matter how “the articles is exciting” or, more importantly, “in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog”.  So in parting I note, “many girls with Gucci when they are join in important party”, which is, I am sure many of you will agree, “an outstanding leaping for personal hair.”  I appreciate it for putting out.

Not For Your Eyes

Monday, June 20th, 2011

My book club’s most recent pick was a graphic novel.  I had never read a graphic novel.  I still haven’t.  Well, not the whole thing anyway.  I couldn’t make the meeting and so didn’t feel the pressure to finish, so I didn’t.  The book, Essex County by Jeff Lemire, has been critically claimed and, I am sure, deservedly so.  I, too, appreciated the haunted, hallow eyes, the effective “splotchy” drawing, the gravitas of the words.  I just couldn’t handle all those pictures.  I would want to skip them.  Of course, skipping them – there are pages without words – meant skipping the story.  So I resorted to scanning them, but that still left me flipping back to look again, having missed some critical – drawn but not mentioned– development.  It’s not like I didn’t like the drawings.   I did.  There were just too many of them.  Leading me to conclude that graphic novels are just not for me.  So much of our lives revolves around the visual, and while reading is, of course, also visual, it is so in a very limited way.  In a way, as it turns out, I find to be relief.

Don’t Resist

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Adam Sternbergh writes in a recent article in The Walrus (“Why you should resist the lure of book clubs”) that “… if reading – in the sense of pleasurable invasion – is a sexual experience …”  Woah, I was going to quote more of this sentence, which goes on to address the book club issue, but I’m forced to stop there.  Reading is a sexual experience?  This, of course, begs the obvious questions on the nature of the book or, more depressingly, the nature of the sex, but leaving these aside, the bigger question is the nature of the reading experience.  Sure the words are in your head and that’s kind of cool and maybe even pleasurable but it’s a mental experience.  And sex, well, isn’t.  The good stuff at any rate is wholeheartedly, unabashedly, wonderfully physical.  Mr. Sternbergh goes on to say “the book club is the equivalent of a locker room … clumsily recounting the deal in a way that can’t help but undermine and cheapen the very experience we’ve gathered to celebrate.”  Hmm, one can’t help but wonder whether the book club he is a member of (and makes no mention of quitting) trashed a book he held dear (buddy, it happens – see my Feb 21, 2011 blog).  The very idea that someone can “cheapen” the reading experience through words speaks to the intellectual nature of reading.  As for sex, even if the recounting is clumsy and the reception not quite what the recounter had hoped, it doesn’t change the fun they had.