Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bury Me with Fake Stories not Dummies

This image is from the '99 Holiday skits put on by the students of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona which has since closed up shop as unnecessary. The remaining faculty now simpy hawk Dummies books on eBay.

When it comes to any information worthwhile in human history, Dummies.com knows all. Los Angeles & Disneyland for Ds even has a nice- tie in article for my purposes on how the morbidly curious can meet the stars in their apres vivant estates.

I can't believe it's been since last Friday that I posted. I always have the illusion that it was just a day ago at most, and I must've thought that for three days now.

I'm getting ready to go at week's end to South Carolina's (perhaps the nation's) capitol of mini-golf: Myrtle Beach. Certainly, I must have something to say before gathering in unholy, gravy-covered congress with the grandparents and siblings and parents and cousins and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews. Well, not really. I'm in the scrivening trench and my mind is occupied with my own inventions. Narcissistic to the end.

Still, I scraped the dirty pots in the sink and gleaned some squeezings for youse all.

1) Today, Publishers Lunch pointed me to a press release about a convention of Dummies authors from the ubiquitous Wiley's series of books covering subjects from metaphysics to DNA sequencing to carbon dating archaeological finds. Of the now thousands of Dummies titles, 150 authors will meet and... and I don't know what. If the topics represented range from acne and computer viruses to poker, what do the diverse authors have to talk about? How to pick what tips got the funny face guy and which got a block quote with a cartoon light bulb? May I assume, if so many authors are rarin' to congegate that they got paid with royalties and not a work-for-hire arrangement? If you see the point, let me know. Then again, they're all dummies, right?

2) Nathaniel Hawthorne's wife and daughter have been reburied next to him in the Sleepy Hollow cemetary in Concord, MA through the efforts of the nuns in the order he founded. He was a Catholic and loving husband, not an adulterous Puritan minister. See, The Scarlet Letter was a story. He made it all up, and it didn't suck.

3) In the just-though-glacially-slow category, the University of Colorado creeps closer to firing fake-Indian, fake-artist, fraudulent scholar Ward Churchill who will, of course, be appealing ad inifinitum.

4) Since faking isn't just for academics anymore, but now for "memoirists" everywhere, I introduce you to Wandering Scribe- who I'd meant to comment upon before- the latest spazbag to start a blog, while homeless no less, and to score a book deal in an auction between publishers. No doubt, we writers are a scrabbling, desperate bunch. So, from the first, some fellows of the pen have questioned whether WS was authentic, especially since she repeatedly declined all offers and suggestions of concrete help, although many on the streets do, too. Still, I got the whiff of "No thanks, I'd rather live in my car and follow my agent's advice to build up the post archives." Grumpy Old Bookman is similarly cynical. Glad I'm not alone.

When this fad runs its course through reader fatigue at being deceived, I hope readers will rejoice to return to fictionaires like Hawthorne who lied, without subterfuge, not to earn victim credentials but all for the reader's benefit.

1 comment:

tom said...

it's still true that truth is stranger than fiction, but now the truth is that the truth IS fiction. i'm sooo confused!