June 13th, 2008

stella stella can't you hear me yella


Every few years, the good people at Coudal Partners roll out their Field-Tested Books feature. FTB is where they ask people to describe their experience of reading a particular book at a particular time and place. I've been privileged to contribute to the feature in the past, and this year, my entry -- and a sad, strange little thing it is -- joins some outstanding short essays by the likes of Joe Meno, E. Jean Carroll, Andrei Codrescu, Jessa "Bookslut" Crispin, Jim DeRogatis, James Finn Garner, Ben Greenman, Kevin Guilfoile, Lee Klein, Will "Deadspin" Leitch, Jonathan Messinger, and Mike Sacks, as well as pals of mine like Anne Logue and Nathan Rabin, and many many more.

As if that's not enough, you can watch a video about the making of this year's Field-Tested Books poster (which is also available for purchase); you can check out the index which contains an index of all FTB entries from the past and present; you can contribute your own Field-Tested Book story; and, best of all, you can buy a Field-Tested Books book, a lovely bound edition featuring some choice entries from the FTB series, and what's more, part of the proceeds go to First Book, a charity that buys new books for underprivileged kids. Why not pick one up? You'll be doing literacy a favor, and that ain't bad.

So go check it out, won't you, friends? Field-Tested Books is one of my favorite things in the world -- it's not the biggest project I've ever worked on, but it's really great, and it's something I'm proud to be a part of. Thanks!
god bless the internet

Inrsts mm

Sorry to bombard y'all with all these meme-type things. I can only blame how utterly bored at work I am. A certain worldofagwu has asked me to explain the following things on my LJ Interests list:

American Milk Solids Council: Many years ago, for reasons that are lost to the musty mists of time, I invented a sort of lobbying group/marketing conglomerate called the American Milk Solids Council, whose job it was to promote the sale, use and general public awareness of milk solids. I used them as a punchline, an element of jokes, and just generally whenever I wrote something that needed a reference to something that sounded both officious and boring. Recently, when I infiltrated the Conservative Political Action Caucus for the Beast is Red series at Sadly, No!, I used as my cover identity that of a lobbyist for the American Milk Solids Council, and discovered that once you mention the AMSC to anyone, their eyes glaze over with boredom and you can ask them anything you want.

defending The Osterman Weekend: I have always had a soft spot for this Sam Peckinpah spy thriller, even though no one else seemed to like it but me. When my colleagues at the High Hat decided to put together an issue dedicated to Peckinpah, naturally, it fell to me to give the picture its due.

forgotten cereal mascots: Like a lot of kids raised in the 1970s, I ate a lot of junky breakfast cereals, and like a lot of geeks, I am obsessed with trivia. When I was young, I was fascinated by the colorful mascots on the boxes, and developed complicated backstories and personalities for them; it was probably second only to comic books as my biggest childhood mania. Sadly, a lot of these cereals have been discontinued, and their often deranged mascots lost to memory. Some of them can be seen in my userpics, including the Corn Crackos Cracko Bird; Corny, the Corny Snaps turtle; So-Hi, the stoned Chinaman who shilled for Rice Krinkles; Corny Cornelius, the Sugar Corn Flakes cob; and the inimitable Buzz Corey, a spaceman who sold Wheat Chex in his spare time.

getting defensive about postmodernism: This is just something I do a lot because I'm a huge fan of postmodernism in both art and philosophy, and I think most of the people who attack it don't actually understand it very well. At other times, I get defensive about postmodernism because it's clear to me that I'm talking to someone who actually does understand it more than I do, and I feel like a dupe.

Prez: America's Fightin' Teen President, a deeply odd DC comics series from the early '70s by Joe Simon. Prez was the First Teen President and he had an American Indian best friend and a political rival whose head was a huge smiley-face button. Prez was weird and kinda awesome, and DC left him out of Who's Who, for which I will never forgive them.

tawdry celebrity limericks: Back in the day, on one of the first-ever internet message boards where I was a regular, I used to kill time by writing limericks about the sordid sex lives of various famous people. Here's one:

A curious figure, D. Hannah
She lives all alone in Montana
She sleeps in a teepee
And acts a bit creepy
And dreams of poor John-John's banana.

The Feast of Shame: I honestly can't remember what the circumstances of this were, but it was basically a proposed national holiday where people would throw a party where everyone would eat way too much, have sex with someone who was wrong for them, and then spend the following weekend feeling deeply ashamed.

There you have it. Hit me up if you want to do this.