Won't somebody think of the children????

There's so many awesome things about this cover, but I just have to commend the props master for giving the doll a "black eye"!

Thanks to Awful Library Books! If they weeded all these books, there'd be nothing left to snark on!


Outside looking in

Many years ago, while in a college cultural anthropology class, I read several articles designed to demonstrate that looking at a culture from the outside often gives a distorted picture of that culture or people. My favorite example was Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, a facinating look from the late '50s at a culture - familiar to most of us - from the point of view of someone completely unfamiliar with said culture. I highly recommend reading it (and let me know if you can't identify the people being discussed). In that same class, we read another essay that purported to be an extraterrestrial's view of Human society, indicating how Humans worship balls of all sorts. Our television and in-person gatherings are often devoted to balls, as is a large percentage of time and/or space on our news-dissemination services. In fact, there's apparently one ball-focused gathering that takes place on a particular Sunday in February when millions upon millions of Humans from all over the world (although most particularly in the central part of the North American continent) stop all other life activities and worship a brown oblong ball and the priests who are permitted to handle it. Facinating. (I tried to find the essay for you, but googling "worship" and "balls" doesn't really give the result I was looking for - don't try it at work!)

These essays and others like them have stuck with me for years. When I visited Egypt, I wondered how much of the interpretation modern scholars impose on the tomb and temple paintings is as "accurate" as ball worship and the shrines of the Nacirema. Most of the prominant scholars are separated by distance, religion and culture, but also by thousands of years of development and change. Did they take these images completely out of context, simply because much of the other cultural indicators were lost?

What hope, then, for future generations to understand American society, when books like these are found by our distant descendants?


Stock up for your next road trip!

So you're planning a road trip with the kids this summer, but you want to do it old school, the way your own parents did with you. No DVD player or PSPs, no iPods or books on tape. You want the family to experience the joy of togetherness, trapped in a wood-paneled station wagon with no air-conditioning, sweaty thighs sticking to the vinyl seats, kids complaining about siblings entering "their space" on the seat, middle kid whining about having to sit on the hump, with radio stations fading in and out as the miles wear on.... Ahhhh, good times. Or, at least, they make good stories to tell the younger generation. Seriously, though, if you're going to do this kind of old school trip, you need to have a good songbook of old favorites ("She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" and "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" are always big hits!) and some games to play. Licence plate bingo gets a little dull when traveling through the Dakotas, as you're more likely to pass a cow than a car, so here are some books that will help you pass the time, while teaching valuable lessons to the kids!

First, we have What Bird Did That? A driver's guide to some common birds of North America. Finally, you'll know which bird to blame for that atomic blast covering your entire windshield! Next, we have the ever-popular Flattened Fauna: A Field Guide to Common Animals of Roads, Streets and Highways (Revised). Now you'll be able to distinguished a squished woodchuck from a splattered opossum and look like a pro!
Finally we have That Gunk on Your Car: A Unique Guide to Insects of North America. What a treasure this is. They come at you so fast and leave such a colorful mess that you can't help but wonder "what the hell was that??" (This is also useful for motorcycle riders to help figure out what kind of protein they just swallowed.) Fun for the whole family!

And finally, when you get home from your trip, tired and sweaty, you'll want to know what kind of animals crapped all over your lawn while you were away. Was it the neighbor's cat again? Or are coyotes coming down from the hills for the summer? Or were the rumors of bear sightings true? Now you'll know exactly with this handy dandy guide. What Shat That?: A Pocket Guide to Poop Identity.
Happy trails!!


Um, what??

This has to be the funniest title I've seen in a long time. I imagine that to male readers, it's also quite frightening. You're curious what it's about, aren't you? Admit it. You are. Ok, here's part of a review on Amazon.com:

Imagine a world without men where the only way a woman can reproduce is with the help of a giant computerized incubator and a genetically engineered sex toy. Now imagine that this sex toy is intelligent. It has emotions and a soul. It hopes and dreams and it falls in love. This is the premise of Carlton Mellick III's RAZOR WIRE PUBIC HAIR. One of the main characters "The Sister" is a nymphomaniac who is covered from head to toe in vaginas. Celsia is an Amazon warrior with pubic hair made of razor wire. The main character is a genetically engineered hermaphrodite sex toy named Celsia 2 who longs to be loved by his/her owner. Oh, but wait, there's more ... there's sex starved zombies, hordes of marauding rapists, twat frogs, a hoota beasts that is basically just a big hairy vagina with legs, and still another giant talking and apparently quite wise vagina built into the wall of the mansion in which many of these creatures reside. What's most bizarre is that none of this seems to be there for pure shock value. In fact, this perverse menagerie of beings are presented in such a matter of fact manner that it is as if the last thing the author wants is for you to be shocked by them. He wants you to just accept them so that he can just get on with his story. And what a story it is! RAZOR WIRE PUBIC HAIR is the touching tale of a living, breathing, thinking, sex toy that is hopelessly in love with its owner who views it as little more than an object. This book could be a metaphor for so many sexual relationships where one partner is dominant and the other is submissive, struggling to be seen as more than merely an object of lust but as a potential true love.

If anyone reads this book, you are obligated to provide a full book report here!


Sultry Sunday #33 - The (at one time) weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

I used to post stuff here. Not sure why I stopped. I'm starting again. Maughta sent me some cheesy Rex Stout pbs in the mail, so maybe I'll snark those in the near future. Til then, this ~RP

Title: False to Any Man (Bantam 80, 2nd ptg, 1947)
Author: Leslie Ford
Cover artist: "Kohs"

  • When the Bride of Frankenstein sleeps, she dreams of the facades of junior high schools.
  • I sort of like the torn cover effect, but the rest — it's both nonsensical and ugly. The color scheme alone is a nightmare.
  • "Colonel Primrose" already sounds like someone I'd like to kick in the balls.

  • If only this book were about a "gimlet-eyed" cat.
  • Always sad when the original cover is light years better, design-wise, than the paperback.

Page 123~

"He sure am smart, ain' he?" William said, with quite genuine enthusiasm.

In case you were still entertaining some idea of actually reading anything written by this woman...


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Unemployed? Broke?

Feeling a little short on cash at the end of the month? Check out this book -- it'll truly change your life.

I stole this from Monday's Fail Blog. I couldn't find any evidence that it's a real book, but it made me laugh. I hope it brightens your day too.