Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who's Writing These Manbooks?!

I was killing time in the bookstore the other day, wandered into the humor section, and found a shelf of manbooks. What are manbooks, you ask? A repository of everything the lowest common denominator has to offer, manbooks are filled with bathroom humor, pick-up lines and boob jokes. Who's writing these things? Better question: who's publishing these things? Who thinks that page after page of nicknames for your butt is hillarious? Discounting every ten-year old in the world, that's gotta be a pretty short list.

Is there some desperate, wanna-be writer out there eavesdropping on grade-school drop-outs so he can turn their conversations into literary gold? Is there some ersatz Mark Twain who thinks it's vital to our cultural heritage to catalog blonde jokes, drinking games and ethnic insults? I guess if you can con a publisher into a book contract with that drek, congratulations. More power to you. Take 'em for every cent they've got.

But get in and out quickly. Because I think the publishers will end up eating those books and you don't want to be around when they start looking for somebody to blame. Fact is, the demographic they're trying to reach with this landfill-fodder doesn't exist. Manbooks are aimed at the guy who's lowbrow enough to enjoy a good nose-pickin', but somehow cultured enough to browse the stacks in a bookstore. Do those guys exist? Really? Am I just a snob? Really? Fine. I'm a snob. But I'd rather be a snob than to suggest there's any legitimacy to a book for grownups that deconstructs armpit farts. -v

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