Archive for November, 2009

1843.

We’ve had access to this book for 166 years. And not just the book. Since 1901 there have been 23 adaptations of the book for film, 21 for the stage, and countless retellings, reimaginings and revisits to the source material in print, on radio and on television.

166 years, we’ve all seen it or read it or heard it. University English and Theology courses are taught on it. We know its characters and their famous lines. We think we know what it’s about, and we let our kids draw the same inferences we do.

But we really, really, obviously have no clue.

In 1843, Charles Dickens published a book called, “A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.”

Do you feel silly yet; do you know where I’m going with this one?

You probably think. “A Christmas Carol,” is a story of redemption. Of a man’s ability, even in his twilight years, to recognize his faults and correct them. Or maybe you think it’s a cautionary tale; a story about your bad deeds coming back to literally haunt you. Maybe the hero for you is Bob Cratchit, ever suffering, ever kind and unwilling to say bad words even about monsters, even at Christmas.

If you were nodding along to any of those, or maybe coming up with a few more nuggets about charity and kindness and reaping what you sow, I’m sorry. I’d like to call you an idiot and dismiss you forever from the rolls of people that count. But I can’t. I can’t, because I was once like you. The real message was obscured from me by the same fear of certain dirty words that now blinds you.

The true message of this wonderfully simplistic book is incredibly, blindingly glaring.

It’s the economy, stupid. (more…)

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I am a 1999.

If you’re over…let’s say 25, you know what I’m talking about. 1999 was the year I stopped caring about the NEW. Especially NEW music.

My fashion sense hasn’t changed much over the last decade; I still wear jeans that are a little too baggy*, and a hoody and t-shirt combo does nicely for my top. Occasionally, when I manage to strangle that strange metro streak** inhabiting all modern males into submission, I back carefully away from the twenty dollar tub of pomade on my bathroom counter and don my Superman ball cap instead. Bill facing front.

Whenever I go to the bookstore, my first stop is to check the “R” section of Fic/Lit, just in case Tom Robbins has snuck a new, deliciously subversive piece of non-linear, nonsensical literary suicide bomb onto the shelves. Furthermore, bookstores have replaced bars as my chosen stop on a Friday night; as titillated as I was for the first few months of the trend, the fact that every girl at a nightclub now dresses in a way that would make most self respecting hookers blush just fills me with a kind of ache for the days of the girl next door.

I can’t dance in public without feeling a little more than ridiculous; the days of the free-for-all mosh pit are long gone and, as I’ve never taken a stripparobics class, my rhythm –less, sub-epileptic quivering~ can no longer be disguised as anything but bad.

In short, I am no longer cool. I may as well hang a sign around my neck with an expiry date that reads December, 1999. (more…)