Reader’s Block by David Markson
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100 Word Book Review – From the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, people really love this book. It’s often called an ‘anti-novel’ in that it isn’t written with a traditional narrative. It’s more a list of weird facts and trivia with a little bit of story about ‘Reader’ and ‘Protagonist’ mixed in every now and then. That’s said, it just wasn’t for me. I’m all for putting a spin on traditional writing but this was not as compelling to me as some reviews make it out to be. The blurb promises us a ‘shattering’ conclusion. For me, it ended with the whimper it began with.
Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the.
Horseflies that keep the horse from plowing, Chekhov called critics.
When I could have used a wife, I could not support one, when I could support one, I no longer needed any.Said Kant
There is no death and art can prove it.
According to legend, Li Po drowned when he fell out of a boat, drunk, leaning to kiss a reflection of the moon.
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.
Even in the solemn moments of the mass, when prayer should be the purest…when I should groan for what I have done, I sigh for what I have lost.
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
Why do you always wear black?I am in mourning for my life.
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
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100 word review – I’m often annoyed at documentaries where the director makes him or herself the star when the documentary is about another topic. Apparently, books that are written in that manner annoy me as well. I find the subject of internet shaming immensely fascinating and would have loved it if the book focused more on that and less on the author’s journey to discover more about the subject. The clincher for me was when the author went on about how a joke he made was funnier than one of his subjects. WHO CARES?! I don’t. Great topic, but an annoying writing style.
“Part of the reason all these kids have become experts on the Internet it’s because they don’t have power anywhere else. Skilled trade is shrinking. That’s why they went there. And then, holy shit, it blew up.” – 4Chan member Troy.
After finishing up the Jim Henson Biography, I kind of made a promise to myself that I’ll read more. I have way too many books stacked up on my nightstand, so I’ve really been setting aside time each day to read.
As I read, I like to write down quotes that jump out at me from the book and I figured I’d start posting my thoughts on the books and those quotes, here. Perhaps you’ll find interest in something I’ve read and want to read it yourself. Perhaps not. At any rate, that’s what I’m doing.
I’ll provide Amazon links to the books (they will be affiliate links) if you’d like to check it out for yourself. Anyway, let’s get going with the book I just finished.
The Moose That Roared by Keith Scott
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100 Word Review – This is a thorough, dense book that is filled with microscopic detail about the shows that came out of Ward Productions. Unlike the Jim Henson Biography, I think this would be a daunting book for casual Bullwinkle fans. For example, the whole back section of the book is basically a reference book that breaks down each individual cartoon episode and who did what voices of each character in it. It is for those who want all the information. That said, Jay Ward is an idol, so I loved this book, even if it did take some time to get through.
“The real trouble with TV is that everyone is trying to please someone else. We stopped going to the networks. They’re friendly and nice, but we never get an affirmative answer. I really can’t blame the network man. I go into see them with some far out thing and they have so many nice, slick shows from universal or MGM. They go the safe route. Any ideas you take to a network has to go through 15 guys. 14 of them may like it, but it’s the 15th says no, they all want to hedge and take a second look. If it’s something wild, they back off.” – Jay Ward
“I think maybe kids are the most intelligent audience for TV anyhow. We go our happy way with our cartoons. But we are undaunted. My true Dudley do rights, we keep trying, ignoring the obvious.” – Jay Ward
“We try to do as many funny things as we could think of that would amuse ourselves. We felt the animation action would entertain children and we could do our own satire and humor based on our own adult feelings. Our main interest was funny humor.” – Jay Ward
“Much of J Ward’s behavior reflected to dominate features in his make up: fiercely independent desire for quality, and a lifelong pursuit of fun.” – Keith Scott
“Jay felt that dirty language betrayed a lack of intelligence. If someone came on his crude, it wasn’t that Jay would dislike that person; but he thought crudity itself was just a waste of time.” – Skip Craig
“We aim at neither adults not children. Our goal is to achieve the ultimate on comedy, including subtleties which escape the youngsters, but which evoke response from adults.” – Jay Ward
“If you turned off the sound and watched one of our shows, the appeal would be mostly for children. With the vision off and just the sound on, the appeal would be for adults. The whole show appeals to everyone. And if you listen, we say things that are might sharp.” -Jay Ward
“Even though animated shows have a large audience of kids, you have to remember it’s the same kids who watch The Untouchables, Twilight Zone and Bob Hope. Kids today are exposed to an adult world and they’re sharp. Our stuff is sharper and more sophisticated than many of the dramatic shows. Everything we do is satire and whimsy-that makes the fun. ” – Jay Ward
“When we write stories, we obtain the barest of thread of a plot and then write as we go.” The request for script outlines was never heard again but Ward didn’t let it rest there, adding, “We have always tried to write as funny as we know how.” He considered Johnson’s theory – that the show was “geared for children who don’t understand this type of humor” – to be “hogwash.” – From The Moose That Roared.
“This is fun work…actually, I’d be doing it if I didn’t make a darned cent.” – Jay Ward