Reviewing the Bible
In an impressive and funny example of recursion, Jeanette Demain* over at Salon.com has discovered the online bookseller Amazon.com's reader review page. When Americans are motivated by intellectual ideas and the cut and thrust of the life of the mind, they really are, as you might expect of a full-commitment society. There is therefore a deep well of fun when one finds them exposed to people determined to exercise their constitutional right to be stupid, indifferent, or bored in the same fully-committed way.
So, for instance, Charlotte Bronte 'spends too much time describing things'; there is not enough sex in Orwell's 1984, and that man Huxley is twice as bad (is there half as much?)
To the same Solons, Anne Frank's diary, apparently, is 'very boring' and people reading it should shoot themselves. My favourite quote, though, was this one, about the Bible;
Man, this book is boring. All this weird stuff happens and it's harder to get into than Lord of the Rings. And what's up with the red writing and the LORD says stuff. All caps = rude, peter paul and mark, whoever the heck you are. And this is just badly written. James Patterson could do better. These apostles need to get a clue and hire a ghost writer. Even Miley Cyrus's manager was smart enough to do that. Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ, indeed.
How long do you think it is until this becomes, say, a London Times editorial, or the standard piece, faxed in spidery gin-copperplate, from Christopher Hitchens? I guess, once the pay-wall goes up, we will never know....
*Jeanette Demain, by the way, is a woman with a very attractive name and picture on one of the open salon blogs. She and her husband Jim apparently go around the world for a non-profit company attempting to locate and provide beds for everyone to sleep in, which as a way of spending life is really admirable. It's that sort of practical full commitment thing that you find with Americans of all political persuasions, though not with all political Americans. If you see what I mean.