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March 8th, 2005

Dead Americans (More Fiction Sold)

Shadowed Realms has purchased my little story 'Johnny Cash (a tale in questionnaire results)' for their quite gorgeous ezine.

This story is another in my trend of referencing public figures who are dead and American, either in the title, in the story, or by having them as characters. I've been calling these pieces my Dead American Stories simply because it amuses me. Should I write enough of them to have a collection, I'll call it Dead Americans and have the cover made from the images of celebrity grave stones (that have hopefully been defaced and worn away by time).

It's a reason to visit the States and deface the graves of icons for kicks, okay. Like you all haven't thought of it.
There's a banned book meme going around, which is nice, but what I'm curious in is seeing the list of fiction that Australia has banned. Anyone got that?

It's all very well and good to talk about America's banned books, but honest now, that doesn't mean anything to me. It's nice to see people saying that they want to read Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. It's a good book, you should read it. But lets be honest, none of those books are particularly difficult to purchase, which strikes me as a rather odd when one considers that they have been banned. (Or, you know, banned in one State for a couple of months in the sixties.) Show me a person who is struggling to find Catcher in the Rye and I'll start paying attention to this banned book meme.

Meanwhile, gay writers are being banned in Virginia, and it seems to me people ought to be more concerned with that, than if they can find Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.

Who designs these banned book lists, anyhow? Surely there were a few more interesting choices.

It strikes me that talking about how Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird was banned doesn't make much sense. The general thought at the end of a conversation about why it was banned these days will be, Well, that was stupid. The same sort of response you have when you hear that Christians have banned Harry Potter from their schools because they think their kids are going to fuck God off and ride around on brooms and be disgustingly wholesome. They should be so lucky. It strikes me that it's more important to talk about those books that just might deserve to be banned, the books that challenge, that push boundaries, that piss people off, that make you think about anything... Why aren't there banned book memes out there for those books? They must exist. If something like the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is being banned, then there must be some other books that no one is talking about.

I've been watching a bit of telly of late. Zoning. Waiting for illness to detach and leave. So I've been surfing the box and what I've noticed is that there a all these ads for ring tones. Seriously irritating little commercials where irritating cartoons make irritating ring tone noises for what feels like ten minutes... who's buying this shit?

Has anyone reading this seen one a ring tone commercial and responded to it? I feel like kicking the shit out of someone every time that little blue/grey thing with the censored penis comes on.

If I could just burn it eyes out.

I did find this one show on the telly, however.

It's called Dead Like Me and has reportedly been canceled in the States. It's a shame, since it has a really dark and delicious humour when it comes to killing people. The show, if you haven't heard of it, follows a teenage girl who is killed by the falling toilet seat of a Russian Space Station, and finds herself having to work as one of Death's little minions, collecting recently deceased souls.

It's not perfect. The scenes where the girl goes back to her family are laboured and unnecessary, and there's a whole, 'why do people need to die' conscience conflict in that main character that's not going to go anywhere. You could chop the family and those thoughts out of the show and turn it into a half hour thing that focuses on people dying. The episode I caught the other night had a pair of animal rights protesters mauled to death by the bear they were defending. The episode returns to the bear later, when the central character (Georgia, I think her name is) goes to pick up the soul of a TV anchor who will also die in relation to the bear. The joy of that death was that you thought he would be mauled by the bear as the animal rights people were. That is, indeed, how it is played as the reporter begins his News Spot. Then the bear escape, and he charges in to cover it, and suddenly there is the bear, looming up behind him as it lets out this huge roar--

In response, the reporter pisses his pants.

The urine runs down his leg, pools on the ground, and then flows into an open power cable where it hits the electricity and, well, that's how he died, burnt up and smelling of his own piss.

Well, it made me laugh.

Anansi Boys

The American cover to Neil Gaiman's new novel Anansi Boys is really, really hideous, isn't it?