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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Minutia: James Frey, Bad Man with a Bad Beard

This blog is turning into some sort of frustrated-journalist-style news aggregator these days, and I don't apologize for that. I'm trying to refine what I do, and for now this is the way things will be as I write other stories/essays for print. You know you love it. Anyway, there are a few extremely quick hits I need to touch on before they get too old.

1) Oprah's Book Club pretty much runs the publishing industry right now. Getting a book on there virtually guarantees you a million copies sold, so it's akin to winning the lottery. Oprah's pretty hype machine goes into full gear for the book of the month*, and it will not stop until the author is a rich rich man or woman. Which makes this week's revelation that James "Don't call me Glen" Frey made his memoirs** up a particularly juicy item. The bearded white author printed himself a counterfeit lotto ticket, and used Oprah to cash it in.

It was great to see Oprah verbally scold Frey two weeks after publicly standing behind him. Oprah used to say that no matter what, Frey's "story of redemption" still resonated with her. But now all that resonates with her is her own internal Oprah-rage. Frey held out for as long as he could with vague pronouncments that memoirs are subjective, but in the end Oprah, his leader and benefactor, would be the one to expose him for the fraud he absolutely is.

2) Inspired, by 1), I think it's time I got on that Oprah Book Club thingy. Here's an excerpt from my totally true and redemptive memoir:

I walked into the Mayor's office and it reeked of pot -- I mean just reeked. It smelled like somebody had just put a coat of fresh cannabis on everything. There were bongs and biker magazines literally everywhere -- the couch, the desk, and the many statues of famous cartoon characters that lined the walls. His bloodshot eyes looked up at me with the glare of death, and said one word.

Leave.

It was then that my jammy was whipped out, and I flat blasted all the bongs, the bong water, the biker magazines, the Daffy Ducks and the Spongebobs, and finally Mr. Nagin himself, who died the way he lived -- rambling on annoyingly about somesuch. These were his final words:
"I love pudding pops. You can't tell me that pudding pops are not good for you. If I had a pudding pop, life would be a-ok, even though my city has been destroyed and people aren't moving back and we built that wall out of shoddy building materials and then spent the leftover money on bongs and biker magazines...urgh."

He then died. Being careful not to disturb anything, I walked over, put the goldfish in the ziplock bag, and ran out of the mansion. Walking to the airport with 20 lines of New London in my veins, I wasn't even able to process what had just occurred. It never occurred to me until just now, writing this, that I probably killed the Mayor of New Orleans. Except I just saw him on TV last night talking about chocolate. So, the question is: Whom did I flat blast?
Now that's a book that screams Oprah if I ever saw one.

* Not being Oprahfied, I'm not sure if it's a book of the month, week, year, etc. Thankfully, I don't care.
** The name of the book is not mentioned here because I'm taking a stand against fraud, and Oprah's ramshackle book promotion policies.

7 Comments:

  • At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Funny commentary, if I ever saw it. Especially coming from a guy who has more Oprah Book-of-the-Month books in his home than I can even count. And I'm great at math.

    Consider yourself outed.

     
  • At 8:02 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    "Whom did I flat blast." For that phrase, among other things, you are a king among men. And you cold busted.

     
  • At 9:55 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    Hmm...someone who's been in my house -- or has he/she? I actually don't think I have any Oprah books in here right now. Wait, let me go to the Oprah BOM club site....

    Nope. Not a one. So, you've never been to my house, and you're great at math -- you must be Kurt Godel. Sorry, but I can't find an umlaut to put over your "o." Nice incompleteness theorem. Way to call everything into question, Kurt.

    See, this is why I resisted anonymous comments.

     
  • At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm begging to differ here...

    The Book of Ruth
    Angela's Ashes
    Isaac's Storm
    The Five People You Meet In Heaven
    My Name is Asher Lev
    The River Midnight
    She's Come Undone
    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

    And I could go on. Cold busted, indeed.

     
  • At 6:26 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    Go suck on your sudoku.

    Brian, thanks for noticing.

     
  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger the professional said…

    i weighed in on the james frey controversey in a Westword (www.westword.com) article about Frank McCourt coming to Denver to read from his new book, Teacher Man. Thanks to a recent merger between New Times (owner of Westword) and Village Voice Media, our web site is going through an awkward revamp, and this link could be dead on wednesday. just a head's up.

    http://www.westword.com/search/events.php?eventSearch=1&keywords=Frank+McCourt&x=0&y=0

     
  • At 9:06 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    I liked the article, Pro. I would like to have some hip, hop, hoo-royalty checks myself.

    So, what's it like to be writing for the Village Voice?

     

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