Friday, October 1, 2010

The Funeral Song of our Bookish Haven

It's about time for another our-celebrity-culture-is-bleeding-into-and-taking-over-our-sacred-bookish-world rant, ladies and gentlemen.

Earlier this year, when Tyra Banks announced she was writing a novel -- Modelland (I sneer and repeat caustically to myself) I was peeved enough. (see my rather controlled comments about it here). But now, while struggling writers with possibly the next To Kill a Mockingbird, the next Catcher in the Rye, even the next Harry Potter receive rejection letter after rejection letter, their manuscripts likely never to see the light of a printing room, we have people like Justin Bieber writing a memoir and Snooki writing a novel

SNOOKI, who admits openly that the only two books she has ever read in her entire life are Dear John by Nicholas Sparks and Twilight by Stephanie Myer. Now, our favorite bookstore shelves will be favored with this rich, Pulitzer-worthy novel by a literary genius: A Shore Thing -- the story of a girl “looking for love on the boardwalk (one full of big hair, dark tans, and fights galore)”.

And Justin Bieber. A sixteen-year-old fad pop star who has been famous for less than a second, telling his success story about how he "made it." Smart move, Bieber -- capitalize on your fleeting fame and fortune before your voice changes and everyone realizes what a horrible dancer you are. Please, do give us your sage advice, recount for us your harrowing journey -- tell us, just how did your first love break your heart for the first time, and how you were like baby, baby, baby, oh.

Am I alone in deploring how pop culture continually tries to commandeer -- nay, assault! the sacred literary space? Can our bookish universe not resist the allure of a Banks, a Bieber, or a Snooki? Can it not rise above? I am alive, and yet this still feels remarkably like me rolling in my grave.