how to slowly murder your child

I’ve had enough of the politics of pigment for a while. Back to what I enjoy the most: bitchin’!

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7-Year Old Daughter was give the “reward” of a coupon for a free pizza at our local suburban Pizza Hut for reading five books. I love junk food as much as the next guy but, holy Mother of God, why do they feed this stuff to kids?

The salad bar had four metal containers filled with gooey dressings in various shades of grey, yellow and brown. One container was filled with chocolate pudding and another with vanilla pudding. I commented to the waitress that it was the first time I’d ever seen chocolate pudding offered at a salad bar and she said, “Oh, yeah. We do it for the kids. They love it.” Yea, I’ll bet they do.

I saw a mommy share her Coke with her 18-month old. At another booth were two brothers, about 9 and 11, who where a bit “weight-challenged.” One had a t-shirt that read “Thing 1” and the other had a t-shirt that said “Thing 2.” Their faces were buried in a Game Boy Advanced. Neither spoke to the other. They would only pause their game long enough to shove more pizza in their faces.

The desert menu featured Hershey’s chocolate dippers. Here’s the menu description. Remember, these are supposed to be consumed right after you’ve eaten a pizza.

Freshly-baked, soft, melt-in-your-mouth dessert sticks topped with white chocolate and HERSHEY’S® milk chocolate – served with rich chocolate dipping sauce!

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I wanted to puke.

Now, ain’t that America? Look, I know I’m suppose to set a good example for my daughters and be humble and not put on airs or do anything to appear elitist, but sometimes it’s hard not to feel just a wee bit smarter than some other parents I run across. Please forgive me. As far as I’m concerned, the reading program should be restructured so that if you don’t read five books, you have to eat and work at Pizza Hut. Forever.

the one where i alienate the few readers i have left

I didn’t make any new friends with my last post—someone even took me to task in the comments section for being too old and out of touch to comprehend rap music—and this sure isn’t going to help matters.

I was able to watch quite a bit of today’s news coverage of President Obama’s inauguration and I am in full agreement with my colleague Daisyfae; there was WAAAAYY too much emphasis placed on the fact that he is African American. We don’t have a new black President, folks. We have a new President.

Prior to the election, there was a fear that white America was just paying lip service to the pollsters. There was a theory that Joe/Jane Sixpack would say they were voting for Obama but once inside the voting booth, he/she would never pull the lever for a black man. They even gave it a name: The Bradley Effect. Well, it turns out that white America didn’t give a shit about the pigment in Obama’s skin. We voted for him because he was clearly the right man for the job.

So why did today’s media coverage obsess on the fact that he’s black? While it’s important to acknowledge the historical significance of the moment, it’s practically an insult to give the short shift to his qualifications and accomplishments and talk, talk, talk of little else but his black father and black wife and black children.

Daisyfae said it more elegantly than I did. Would the last reader out please extinguish the lights.

in da clubz

On Friday, January 16th, in Greensboro, North Carolina, a patron open fired on a crowd in the packed lobby of a theater that was showing Notorious, the bio pic of rapper The Notorious B.I.G., hitting one man in the abdomen.

Also on Friday, four people were stabbed in a Brooklyn nightclub at an event that was promoted as the “official” after-party for the film. A 21-year-old victim is in critical condition. Fox Searchlight (the film’s distributor) denies any involvement with the event.

In other news, the KKK rejoiced, proudly proclaiming, “We told you so.”

Way to go, playas’. You get an A+ for perpetuating a stereotype, you low-expectation dipshits. And just before first African American takes the oath of office!

feeding my addiction

I attended the semi-annual rare bookfair at the Lexington Avenue armory. God, what a glorious afternoon. Think of the one material thing you love the most in life. Now, imagine an armory chocked full of the very best of that one special thing.

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It’s like going to the literature museum except you can buy stuff. I had expected to see some depressed prices. The economy is flat on its ass and I expected the prices for rare books to be adjusted downward accordingly but they were not. Stuff was still pretty pricey. Here’s a small sampling of the best of the best.

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1. Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. First edition. $3,000.
2. Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time. The true first edition of his first book, published in Paris in 1924. Only 170 copies were printed. $28,750.
3. Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. The only signed limited edition Hemingway published. One of 510 copies in its original slipcase. $15,000.

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1. J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories. First Edition. Signed. $6,500.
2. J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. First Edition. One of the all-time classic dust jacket designs. And a pretty good read, too. $6,500.
3. Ernest Hemingway’s Men Without Women. First UK edition. The U.S. first edition would be considerably more expensive. Collectors prefer the first edition published in the author’s country of birth. Graham Greene UK first editions are more expensive than the U.S. counterparts. It’s called “following the flag.” $2,750.

Recession? What recession? Not all books are priced so astronomically. You can easily find books for just a few hundred bucks. I didn’t buy anything. Nothing jumped off the shelf and into my arms, which sometimes happens at these bookfairs. The spring Park Avenue bookfair is the granddaddy of bookfairs. Book collectors from all over the world attend. This one is merely a warm-up. There are worse addictions. Don’t you agree?