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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Stench on the Bookshelf

If I were to die unexpectedly I wouldn’t be ashamed in the least of someone finding my porn stash. And by the way, that video isn’t bestiality, it’s just two guys in a moose suit—big difference. I would be a little ashamed of the fact that I have the first season of 90210 on my iPod, something I downloaded for a friend’s 14 year old daughter (note to self: delete it now!). I’m more worried about someone coming across Tuesdays with Morrie or Eat, Pray, Love in my book collection. I have some explaining to do.

Like any pseudo-intellectual dipshit, I wouldn’t normally be caught dead with pieces of shit like those two in my library, but I believe that, given my current living situation, there are extenuating circumstances. I buy books compulsively, especially when they are really inexpensive. I pass by a pawn shop about once a month to buy books for .50€ each. Books in Spain are generally a bit expensive so at this price I will buy almost anything—even the two pieces of shit mentioned above. I give away lots of books to friends and acquaintances, especially when they come this cheaply.

I actually read Tuesdays with Morrie, or at least I speed-read part of it for the purposes of this essay and I had read Eat, Pray, Love some years ago, or at least most of it. Both are best sellers meant for people who almost never read. They are books for people who claim a book is brilliant simply because they were able to finish it. I think that anything people read is better than not reading, but that’s all the praise I have for these particular works that promise to give the reader the deep meaning of life. Any book that claims to explain the mysteries of life and death should set off the alarms for anyone with half a brain, books like the Bible or the Talmud or the Koran.

I’m sorry folks. There are no “answers” in life. There is only wisdom and wisdom takes time, certainly more than the 192 pages that make up Tuesdays with Morrie. Answers are usually created by people who are terrified that there might not be answers. The problem is when religions or the Mitch Alboms and Elizabeth Gilberts of the world start infringing on the domain of the rational with their moronic explanations of the spiritual or existential. I would say that these institutions (religions and hack writers) constantly violate the airspace of the rational and scientific.

Tuesdays and Eat claim to be instruction manuals for life. They have about as much spiritual depth as a newspaper horoscope or a fortune cookie. In the case of the aphorisms in Tuesdays I’d say they were pretty lousy fortune cookies. A few examples:

Learn to forgive yourself and forgive others.
Accept the past as past and what you are not able to do.
Don’t assume that it’s too late to get involved.

Wisdom is difficult to define but I think I know it when I see it. I ain't seeing it here.

P.S. If I dated a girl who had Tuesdays Morrie wit on her bed table I would probably escape by jumping out her third story bathroom window. It would creep me out, like when that girl saw the fingernails in the wall in Silence of the Lambs.

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