Monday, April 09, 2012

Eating Acronyms

how was last night's
performance babe?
was it better than
the night before?
are the old credentials
any good any good any good any more
or is the act beginning to bore you? - from Dory Previn's, "Don't Put Him Down"

If I hear another person say, "Do you LIKE reading on your Kindle?" I'll scream.

I get it all the time. And now that there are so many of us with Kindles or other e-readers on New York's public transport, it has become a daily chant. If they aren't saying it to me, chances are they are interrupting another reader with their banal, "I-just-love-the-feel-of-books" rubbish.

What annoys me is their holier-than-thou smugness. Implicit in their tone is their misplaced belief that they are REAL readers, that THEY are somehow superior than the Kindle/Nook people who they so rudely inerrupt. Talk about Luddites! I've given up answering them.

Maybe I should, hey yes that's what I'll do. Next time I see someone reading a dead-tree book I'll interrupt them and say, "How do you like reading on paper? Me, I can't imagine etc etc." But of course it is never the paperback readers who interrupt us e-book people. Now I think of it, it is invariably the non-readers.

The people who crow proudly about how much they love paper books have nary a book in sight. Not any sort of printed media. No New York Times. No Murdoch tabloid. Not even a K-Mart pamphlet.

Truth is, they are not readers at all.

Talking about annoying people; I just have to mention a fellow Aussie, a Mr David Thorne. He has a blog which I once found amusing. But like the paperback, it has had its day.

Blurry Man Chatting Up Red-headed Girl at Union Square
He wrote some genuinely funny stuff, mostly in the form of email correspondence between him and people he doesn't like. I remember one particular funny post where he tried to pay of a water bill or something with a graphic of a spider. The back-and-forth emails between Thorpe and some bureaucrat who was just doing her job was amusing.

His latest party trick was to use the Penguin paperback icon on his new book of emails. "Penguin" bit. I am sure Mr Thorne was delighted and in his cutesey impish I-am-an-aussie-and-I-don't-care-about-you-yanks, he re-worked the drawing of a penguin on his book cover so it held a bunch of flowers and then claimed it was a cat. This nonsense elicited more emails from "Penguin" to which Thorne happily replied.

In the heady days before FaceBook, when people conduced serious discussions on "newsgroups", such behavior was called "trolling". Maybe that's where Mr Thorne learned his trade ...

Like a little kid, who once he gets a laugh or two, continues to perform the same trick to the adoring eyes of his parents, Mr Thorpe seems to think he can keep his act going by writing insulting emails, or provocatively violating copyrights and then answering back with what I suspect he perceives as delightful Aussie irreverence. Unfortunately for Mr Thorne, it's all getting to be the same old same old.

What can one say?

I can't say it better than Ms Previn, a much under-rated lyricist, who had the nouse NOT to repeat ad infinitum, some old party trick that no one was listening to.

"he can sing!
he can dance!
he can juggle!
he a regular one-man band
his costume's a little tattered
his label says
made in japan"

Stay tuned ....

1 comment:

chinamonty said...

Make them feel bad. Tell them you are vision impaired and you can magnify the print with the touch of a button which you can't do with a paper as you need to use glasses or a magnifying glass.

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