What am I doing, and why am I doing it? It’s Everyman’s version of the deepest philosophical and theological questions. (By the way, if theology is indeed a serious intellectual topic for study, analysis, and scholarly debate, why is it that most theologically-centered enterprises — churches, to put too fine a point upon it — are still mired in the thinking of centuries or millennia ago? Just askin’.)
What I’m doing is going back to the public soap box, the one that’s easiest to climb up on, and easiest to jump off when the going gets rough. It hasn’t got rough lately; I just need more exercise.
Every now and again, say about four and a half times a day, I come across something so powerfully invigorating and exciting, or so incredibly obscene and/or stupid, that I’m compelled to point it out to whomever is nearby. As I spend much of the day home alone, the whomever often is me, and I grow understandably weary of my own hectoring voice. So you shall have it.
The precipitating obscenity — the pièce de résistance, if you will — is an item I spotted on the (Internet) front page of The New York Times this morning. So as not to dazzle or dumbfound you all at once, let me parcel it out to you, pièce by pièce. First, the girl:
Sweet. Charming. Adventuresome, perhaps. Startlingly well dressed, in a haute couture-ish sort of way. Almost as if she had been gussied up by some meretricious merchant, you might say. But wait. Look at the boy.
He too, is sweet and charming. Perhaps more boyishly mischievous than adventuresome, but still, OK. And dressed just the way little boys to dress when they’re… when they’re… well, when they’re in a story book. This one:
Wow. Neat-O. A brand new story book, narrated by Harry Conick Jr. Now put the images of the kids together, you get a fuller picture. Looks like something by Philip Pullman, or Roald Dahl. (Not really into Harry Potter territory, I think.)
Well, it is cruel of me to keep you waiting like this. So here: the final piece of the picture, the element which makes the others make sense. In an ironic sort of way.
Think of it. The world’s First Shoppable Children’s Storybook.
I especially like the “pp” in there. Having had to make up a word for this excrescence, they made it seem classy and grammatical.