Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
I found myself in one of those big
chain bookstores a week or two ago, killing time while I waited for my showing
of Spider-Man to start at a nearby theater. Man, those places creep
me out. I really think there should be another name for products that are
packaged like books but have as much to do with literature as N'Sync or Fear
Factor do. It doesn't seem like Rick Russo's Empire Falls belongs
in the same store as the unauthorized Britney bio or Chicken Soup for the
Menopausal Soul. (Similarly, I never understood what graphic novels like
Jimmy Corrigan or Perfect Example have in common with collectible
Vampirella statuettes or Star Wars role-playing games, but for some
reason they're all sold in the same places, too.) Basically I think of used
bookstores as being the bookstores for smart people and the big chain bookstores
as bookstores for dumb people--sort of like how Diane Rehm is the equivalent
of Oprah for women with bachelor's degrees. I'm an elitist asshole, I know
it. I can't help it. It's not that I think I'm all that intelligent. I don't.
But when I look at other people--I mean, have you been to a shopping
mall recently? My God.
Speaking of me not being all that intelligent, that's me in the SEX
glancing through A History of the Ass. There really is such a book,
by the way. I saw it at one of those chain stores a year or so ago. It wasn't
by that title--it was called The Derierre in History and Art or some
dumb, classy-sounding thing--but it was the same item, just a pretense to
sell an upscale, legit-looking softcore "book" to the ass man market.
I surreptitiously glanced through it. The asses weren't that great. But then,
I am an ass man of the highest order. Even as a lecher I am a snob.