A Pile of Dog Bones

“In each of us two natures are at war… the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, but one of them must conquer. In our own hands lies the power to choose. What we want most to be we are.” – Dr. Henry Jekyll

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Titillating Titling and Pleasant Packaging

Before you go any further... please understand I hate and despise blogger. Granted, I hated it more with all my being last night as opposed to this morning when it originally ate my post, but I still hate it.

As you may or may not have noticed, I tend to read a lot. Yet, I don't often speak of the books that I spend my time reading. That's mainly because for leisure I read a ton of genre fiction. While my MechWarrior and Dragonlance fascination has spread out to WarHammer and the Laurell K. Hamilton series (more Anita Blake than Merry Gentry) I generally leave those as my dirty little secret pleasures. People get upset when I say I preferred Stephen King before Tabitha did an intervention. They become befuddled when I say that John Grisham's career culmination can be defined by Skipping Christmas. Their jaws are usually left open when I say that I read no Star Wars books (blame Timothy Zahn who I refuse to link to because I think he is horrid) unless written by Michael Stackpole. Perhaps it is because I've heard the phrase, "Time is money," many more times than "Reading is fundamental". In short, I am a relatively finicky reader.

I also tend to read quite a few reference books about writing itself. So last night while at Irving Plaza for the Sepultura concert, while the thrashing and slamming went on upstairs, I read a book entitled Getting Started As A Freelance Writer by Robert Bly. Now this isn't to pick on Robert Bly, because this is a trend I see in most reference books on writing, but not for nothing if you are going to write about writing why do you feel the need to repeat the same thing over an over again? Do any other writers do the exact same thing? Not unless their character is having a deja'vu moment. So why, if you are writing about writing do you feel the need to do so.

For those of you who don't know what I mean, literally Bly wrote in six different chapters that "As a freelance writer you have to have filing cabinets for your files." and twelve different times "As a freelance writer I have made over $100,000 a year annually for the past 20 years." Then there is this gem that appears 26 times, "Your time is valuable so by going to the (insert pleasurable activity) or (insert another pleasurable activity) what it is doing is costing you money." I wonder if he realizes he is writing for adults or does he think he is writing for children? He isn't the only one... so there's no reason to single him out. They all do it, and I find it annoying.

As supposed authorities on the subject of writing, I have to wonder why these guys feel the need to repeat themselves. Do they think they did not mention this before? Perhaps they feel they haven't gotten their message across? Well simple editing would revel the repetition, and if they feel they haven't gotten their message across then maybe its time to find a new job because obviously writing effectively is beyond you.

So when I finished the book I sat there with the loud thumping above me and said to myself, "Self, that book was a waste of time. What were you thinking?" I didn't want to answer myself because it was embarrassing that I had been drawn in by nothing more than a slick title and some nice packaging. That is what separated me from my $14.47 (that's a discounted price of course... there is some benefit to being a bookstore lurker) for this book. As for the time I spent reading it... well sure I could have been writing as he REPEATEDLY says in the book... but I make more money right now sitting in a lobby of a club waiting for the slam dancers to bloody each other up.

Slick titling and nice packaging. Is that what the world revolves around? Have we been duped into buying into everything by the way it looks? What does society use as it's hypnotic training grounds for this?

Cereal. Yes... you heard it right... society uses breakfast cereal as its training ground to hypnotically induce us into believing that titillating titling and pleasant packaging contains good things. The bright colors, the cute little characters, and most importantly the toys inside all form a basis for us at a young age to be consumers driven by packaging. The question of course becomes, well who is better? Is it the rabbit or the little guy in the green hat? The ghost, vampire, or monster? What about those three little guys with the socks on their heads? So many cereal... so little time.

There is more to this story... trust me... but you're just going to have to wait until next Wednesday. To delve into something so important will take a little time and research. Plus milk. It's going to take lots of milk.

So while you all eagerly anticipate Cereal Box Wednesday... be sure to check back here tomorrow... when the enigma of Santa Claus will be revealed.

I hate blogger.

7 Holiday cards left... just email me at nycwatchdog(at)apileofdogbones.com if you want one... you know you want one... as T said, "Nothing says Happy Christmas like a stripper."
Posted by New York City's Watchdog :: 12/05/2006 09:59:00 AM :: :: 9 Bones Added to the Pile

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