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Why am I not puking?

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Why am I not puking?

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Ok, if you love books, brace yourself.  No, I mean it, because there is horror...

right HERE

Yes, now you too can be a Mary Sue, right in the comfort and privacy of your own home, without having to write a word of fanfic!

What oh what oh what in hell are they THINKING?!  My mouth is hanging open, and it is not hyperbole to say that I felt sick to my stomach when I first looked upon this.

Now, first of all, names are very important to a story.  Names are important, in general - they are the words that mean ourselves - and the same is true of fictional characters, especially in children's literature.  Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Dorothy Gale, Alice - these are names to conjure with, magic words that can evoke the worlds that surround them all by themselves, and bring the reader inside.  I could, with a moment's thought, come up with two dozen more names that would carry just as much meaning to me as does each of those.  The names matter - and while the idea that someday soon some brat might have his dad read him the adventures of Bobby the Hobbit is hardly earthshaking, it nonetheless makes me want to start slapping people - and if I were the parent reading that travesty, I think I'd choke on every word.

Secondly, what is WITH the narcissism?  Good crap, I mean, I thought I had a huge ego, and, well, I do, but even I don't need to have the names of the characters in the books I read changed to be the same as mine.  In fact, I get a funny little frisson when I find a character who has my name.  It feels weird - and of course, it doesn't help that the only instance I can think of is a romance novel called Princess Daisy, wherein the Danielle was Daisy's mentally handicapped sister who was hidden away in an institution for a large part of the book - as if I didn't already have a horror of such things. *shudder* Ah, but I've strayed from my point, which is that this is hypertacky. Why not stick to age-old tradition and put yourself in the story with your imagination rather than a text editor? Oh, and people really need to not do such things to their children.  It's good that you love your little ones, but too much of the wrong kind of attention can be just as bad as not enough, and frankly, the personalized classical literature is freakish. Just stencil the kid's name on the bedroom door and be done with it already!

Thirdly, and worst, they are pushing this as a romantic idea - presumably as a gift for guys to give to their wimmenfolk, as I don't know ANY man who would want such a piece of crap - and I hope like crazy that I don't know any women who would, though with some of my acquaintances, I fear that is too optimistic a hope. I certainly choose to believe that no one I respect would be able to accept such a gift without having to suppress a grimace of horror. Then, too, just look what they're pushing as the main title.  As far as I am concerned, the worthwhile-reading-per-page ratio of Romeo and Juliet is very very low to begin with; insert some midwestern hausfrau and her paragon of studliness into the key roles and change the fucking ending to a HAPPY one, and that ratio drops to zero if not below - sorry, Mercutio, sorry, Nurse, you had your moments, but the two of you were barely enough to do it for me in the unmolested version, let alone one that's been neutered by having its ending changed. Stick a photo of the lameass couple on the cover and retitle the whole carcinogenic mess Rich and Jane and the transformation is complete - a tome fit for the shelves of the public library in Hades, right next to the complete Chicken Soup for the Soul line and the collected works of Rush Limbaugh.  Gestures of love can be difficult to orchestrate, and I can understand the fear that the pressure of the romantic requirements of a relationship can lay on a man ... but man, give her chocolate, give her flowers, do any of the boring same-old-same-old stuff before you give in to this hideous temptation. It might look sweet, but they do say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I could see these books as being among the paving stones.

Earlier this year, before I got distracted, I became quite riled up against censorship, and that still floats around in the back of my head these days.  Considering my strong feelings about that, I think it's a testament to the wrongness that abounds in this world that this is not even the first thing today that has made me willing to consider the option of book burning.

I'm thinking that a fun way to while away the time, the next time I go into a homicidal frenzy, would be to seek out the people from the "testimonials", and sterilize them.  By hand.  With VERY blunt objects.  Bricks, maybe - I have faith that I could make that work, if I try hard enough.

Better yet, I've got an idea - I'll insert these couples into a book of MY choosing, entitled Homo Faber, by Max Frisch.  It's German, and just in case that doesn't tell you enough already, here's the plot: a businessman on a trip hooks up with a babe much younger than him, enough so to have literally been a babe-in-arms to him.  After a whirlwind romance, she gets bitten by a snake, and at the hospital, they treat her for the snakebite, completely missing the massive head injury she sustained at the same time.  At this point, her mother shows up - and turns out to be the man's ex-lover.  Yes, in a cunning twist, Miss Young-Enough-To-Be-His-Daughter, whom he has been romancing across half of Europe, is in fact his daughter.  It's okay, though, because first the girl dies from the untreated head wound, and then the man dies of stomach cancer, the pain of which had been affecting him all through the book, and which he had studiously ignored. 

Ah, romance is in the air... and in the sink, on the countertops, smeared on the fridge... oh, wait, that's not romance.  Could somebody please pass me the disinfectant?
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