Tuesday, September 08, 2009

BROWN AND SERVE: Whimpers on the Doorstep

(NOTE: Many readers mistake satire for the Greek word, satiros, meaning to rest one’s hindquarters on an inflated object, usually round. This is wrong. Satire comes from the Latin satira, and is used to label those works concerned with making fun of human folly, avarice, stupidity, bad temper, questionable clothing choices, and anyone else’s hair comb-over. This snotty branch of literature makes more enemies than friends, much like the office manager who drinks too much at holiday parties. You never know when satire hits. Maybe you will, or just sit until someone says it’s time to go home.)

September 10, 2009

Readers around the world anticipate the six-million-copy release this week of Dan Brown’s follow-up to his previous books featuring academic sleuth Robert Langdon. THE LOST SYMBOL promises to be welcomed in the same spirit as his earlier thrillers, ANGELS & DEMONS and THE DA VINCI CODE. Everyone is happy that the author is poised to once again dominate the bestseller lists, none more so than our blessed Bonnie Prince Charlie.

In a press statement handed out on Friday, HRH The Prince of Wales announced that the Prince’s Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping unemployed young people, is sponsoring the first PUBLISH AND PERISH public burning on Sunday, September 13, 1500 GMT. Two accredited executioners will escort Mr. Brown in chains to the recycled stainless steel pole erected in Trafalgar Square near Nelson’s Column, and set the author on fire.

According the statement, “Britons have been deprived of bloodsport ever since the banning of the fox hunt in 2005, and Guy Fawkes Day just doesn’t have the punch necessary for a jolly nice bacchanal. The Prince has warned Mr. Brown on many occasions that his books have put an awful strain on the environment and he should stop writing at least until he learns how to write. Since so many have been printed, used bookshops refuse to accept them, and we’ve got stacks of the things cluttering our beautiful countryside. A Brown novel is a barely a one-time read, never mind twice stepping into that shallow pool. Every henhouse and carport from London to Newcastle Upon Tyne is jammed with copies of his books, paper and hardcover. Recycling companies work overtime to keep pace and they are continually overwhelmed. Every Briton sincerely believes no book should be banned but enough is enough. We’re burning the author to preserve what little is left of our environment.”

The festivities include the parade to post through downtown London, where spectators are encouraged to throw GMO tomatoes and factory-farm eggs at Mr. Brown. Booker prize winner Salman Rushdie has agreed to act as master of ceremonies. “We also want a bit of music for the young people,” said Wynn Shacklesup, one of the organizers. “Is Oasis back together again? I can never keep up and Coldplay refuses to answer our calls.”

America’s Presto Log has donated several hundred pounds of their famous fuel for the fire. In accordance with the PUBLISH AND PERISH commitment to a low impact event, the logs are made of only the lowest quality sawdust, wood shavings, and any newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch. “I’d pay good money to see him roasting as well,” said Shacklesup. “He’d make a fine fire. Maybe next year.”

HRH The Prince of Wales is keen to throw the first match, since the original idea came from him. “Better to burn in Trafalgar than rule at Random House UK,” said Prince Charles. Sponsors include Guinness, celebrating its 250th anniversary, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, and Marmite. Marks & Spencer will offer limited edition tee shirts and scarves, with proceeds going to the Prince’s Trust.


Here’s the skinny: Answer two skill-testing questions and Cypress House sends you a free copy of THE DOG WALKED DOWN THE STREET: AN OUTSPOKEN GUIDE FOR WRITERS WHO WANT TO PUBLISH. Yes, indeed, a free copy. Cypress House even sticks the book in an envelope and throws on the postage. This is the book you’ve always wanted, one that tells the truth about publishing, how to publish, and how to write well. Anyone who can read the alphabet from A to Z wants a copy of THE DOG and now you can grab one without bending that over-limit VISA card. Here are the questions:

What is the title of Thomas Pynchon’s first novel?
Where did it take place?

Send your answers to salglynn@aol.com. Winners will be announced next blog.

NEXT: Panache for Puppies

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