Apparently, this website has turned making fake book covers into something of a cottage industry. This is a bit of a trend, following the fake book titles meme. I think the art is in the ingenuity of the ‘shop job. Changing letters behind the cracks and dog-ears in the book cover is an art form I have respect for.
The Connor Brothers have offered a fake title that is not really that far removed from the original title.
It is basically the kind of modern translation you kind of wished you found in the Coles’ “Everyday English” Shakespeare series. That would have had me even more hooked on literature back in university.
There are certain scenes in this play (the real one, by William Shakespeare) where profanity would have worked, such as when characters about to marry are dancing with each other while hiding their identities by wearing masks. While dancing they begin to talk smack about other people, but actually have no idea they are talking smack about each other, and hearing about themselves in the third person, unknowingly spoken to them directly. Comedy gold.
You’ve Won a Free Timeshare Vacation, for years, has been the quintessential telemarketing con. Darryl Dawkins, former NBA star, dabbled in pulp fiction after his carrer as a basketball icon, offering this book, published by Fuxley Books.
This is the drama of a couple in Ajax receiving a phonecall from a telemarketer about winning a raffle to win their own timeshare in The Bahamas. It sounded absolutely unbelievable.
This novel is the prequel to the next novel, Timeshare Exit, where the same protagonists get another telemarketer phonecall offering to get out of their timeshare for a “small upfront fee” of $11,000.
Women have their way of knowing how she measures up in her marriage, such as seeing how she competes with a game on TV. From the point of view of the husband, it’s lousy timing. From the wife’s point of view, it is perfect timing.
Since the publication of this book, she might have to compete with The Playboy Channel, or something similar. Her only advantage in that case, is to remind her husband that he can’t marry the Playboy Channel.
The Most Glorious Bowel Movement, is a pulp fiction page turner if there ever was one. Goliath Dumper’s artistic challenge here is to get his character to describe the bowel movement in a way that would hold the reader’s attention for 198 pages. We get the story from the wife’s point of view. What she was doing before, during and after; what it felt like before and after in intricate detail that illustrates the slow start, the buildup and the climax.
Spanky McFarland has embarked on writing a Fanfiction novel based on Dumper’s obvious million-selling pulp classic. These are the in fact the four words you don’t want to hear from an attractive woman if you were ever “in the mood” at the time.
I didn’t want this post to deteriorate into “potty humor” but I had these two in stock, and thought they should go together.
Now, where were we …? Oh yeah, this was supposed to be a post of “everyday dramas” in fake book titles.
Oh, for Fuck’s Sake, What Have You Done Now? could also have been called “Smooth Moves” but illustrate the hell of children dealing with a collapsing treehouse.
You have to read the book to know why the tree was made to collapse. Shoddy workmanship? Too many people sitting on one side? Using too much hay on the roof and walls? Why is the little girl licking her hand as she is crawling away from the disaster? What was the guy in the background doing that caused him to helplessly fall out and faceplant himself on the ground? Will he ever get up?
Handicapped Parking Posse is the story about a librarian named Annie who really takes handicapped parking enforcement to heart.
If an able-bodied patron so much as thought of parking in the handicapped parking spot, then a pissed-off librarian and her Second Amendment rights would be there to greet them with a loaded .22 calibre rifle. All the patron would have to do is look down where he is standing, at the blood stains on the pavement from previous patrons who thought she was neither serious, nor a good shooter. But Annie is not a bloodthirsty killer. She doesn’t shoot to kill. She just shoots to disable. Once shot, you were allowed to take the disabled parking spot and drag your bloodied body into the library and make yourself comfortable. Sit on one of their bloodstained chairs; borrow a bloodstained book; or just ask Annie to phone you an ambulance.
Boredpanda.com discusses a bunch of actual fake covers you can use to cover your boring copy of Plato’s Republic or Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Many of these titles are in the self-help genre, and are sure to attract attention.
For example, why publically show your preference for Tess of the D’ubervilles, or War and Peace, when you can show off your interest in Hiding Your Erection from God? Covers like these have been shown to give you much more room on that rush hour subway ride, according to studies.
Boredpanda.com also had many titles below, that are too long, and don’t appear to satirize any existing covers. Some examples are below:
The self-help genre is a deep well, with titles that speak deeply about human angst and ennui. Harrowing tales! Horror! Suspicion! And who can resist a book describing in scientific detail a video about a puppy with the hiccups (the video in this link has 18 million views, but this one is closer to 7 minutes)?
And in case you need to know How to be Incompetent from the experts, here is a easy to read book with a very familiar British Prime Minister on the cover for those needing a mentor by which they can model their incompetent behaviour.
You get to learn the meaning of big words like anosognosia. While that word has medical connotations, the generally incompetent can interpret it in the sense of “not knowing that you don’t know”. That is, you are actually incompetent, yet not aware that you are incompetent. This is not to be confused with denial. Oh no, my dear reader! This is just incompetence raised to a new dimension: you are too incompetent to know that you are incompetent. It would be as if Boris Johnson styled his own hair, and was so impressed with the results that he opened a salon, charging top dollar.
Of course, we don’t want to give Donald Trump short shrift here, so we have two books which are the most likely titles to not have been ghostwritten by someone else with his name on the cover. And because they are likely to have been written by Trump, both books are 50 pages, tops! Free copies will distributed in the Trump hotel rooms alongside the Gideons’ Bible.
These are parodies of covers of classic titles put out by Penguin Books. In a sudden fit of “FTFY“, I see its category is “Mystery and Crime”. But really, I’ve Seen the Future: I Can’t Afford It should be “self-help”, as we all like to know how to cope.
But also another possibility is that it is part of a futuristic dystopia, which makes it, maybe science fiction or fantasy. But I do prefer to think of this as self-help. What are the choices we have as a species going into a future we can’t afford? The scary part is that it may involve sharing resources, rent, food and generally getting along together. It potentially could be a subversive book in today’s neocon climate.
The Weirdo Always Sits Next To Me is a classic problem plaguing certain passengers using public transit. Now, I know about all of the talk that we can all be a little, shall we say, “different”, and some of us dye our hair strange colors, wear strange clothes, makeup and tattoos. Maybe some of us have strange piercings or whatnot. But that is a normal weird. All that is is “different”, really.
What I have in mind is more of the kind of weirdo that comes on the bus, pays his fare, and on his head is a paper hat which has printed on it what he feels to be “The Seven Commandments“. He wears a shirt made of newspaper whose characters are in Hebrew, and clutches in both hands inkjet-printed and hand-folded pamphlets describing the end of the world. And he thinks to himself, ‘you seem like a nice person to sit next to’, and he does, uninvited. His smell is a mixture of schnapps and body odour, and you can’t figure out if there is something crawling under his beard. You begin to itch. You try to stare out the window. It will be a long bus ride. And it happens the next day and the next.
And this makes the book the basis for self-help. You begin to wonder what the hell is it about you that attracts weirdos on the bus? What signals do you give off that make you a choice for weirdos to sit next to? Is the character in this anecdote the only one that attracts weirdos? What scientific studies discussing what proportion of the population attract weirdos on public transit? Are certain personality types more likely to attract weirdos on the bus than others? Should you seek help? Is there a remedy? Are weirdos contagious? So many questions.
The last title in this article is what we all feel. Let’s face it. Youth, with all of its brash confidence, bravado, and disrespect for authority, is wasted on the young, since it lacks worldly wisdom. A title such as this one really sums up what any self-help book ever written has ever been about. And that is, when you combine your wisdom with confidence, you become a tour de force. But the perennial problem has nearly always been that we usually have way more of one than the other. It is one of the paradoxes of a life lived: You can only gain wisdom by making mistakes and learning from them — that is, you gain wisdom by having previously failed at something. But failing at something saps confidence and your motivation decreases. To regain our confidence and motivation is a purely psychological effort, and a difficult one for us as we get older. The humbling feeling we get by making mistakes should not be mistaken for a “reason” to lose confidence in ourselves, since no reason exists or can exist. There is only learning, and with learning there can only be future success, but that means we need to keep trying. This particular book doesn’t exist, but if it did, I just saved you the trouble of having to buy it. You’re welcome.
By now you may have read the first installment of Fake Book Titles, and the rationale for this simple concept. Show fake book title, write highly plausible nonsense about it.
Toaster Oven Inferno is the kind of drama that should be written into a book. It begins with optimism, a promise of convenience, all ruined by a single burrito. And out of the flames runs a housewife wearing tattered garments as if she had barely escaped a grizzly bear attack, barely surviving the inferno, not knowing where the kids are, and wondering what his husband would say when he came home from work.
No information on the originator of this graphic.
Mummy’s Breaking Point is not a property of mothers, but of parents generally. Here a bunch of small kids decide to form an indie marching band. The book proves that insanity is hereditary: you get it from your children.
It was reported that they had to take mummy away that week, leaving Dad to do the housework and tend to 7 little terrors who appear to have boundless energy and below average music skills.
Wait for the sequel, Daddy’s Breaking Point, starring Daddy as a new mental hospital inmate, sharing a room with co-star Mommy. Supporting cast include the Children’s Aid Society.
This is Sam. Sam he is. The title of this book should be considered to be a natural reaction to being served green eggs and ham.
Either of You Boys Want a Coke? I don’t recognize the series this book originates from; it isn’t Hardy Boys, but it is kind of like Hardy Boys in that there are two teen-age dudes that are depicted on the cover.
Apparently, they don’t mind being tied up in the basement and only feel thirsty.
This next tome has a cover depicting a space mission, but not any actual one, since the space capsule appears to contain only one astronaut.
So, some kid who always dreamed of space travel steals the keys to a rocketship, and after entering space and the third stage of the rocket disappears into zero gravity, he now contemplates the consequences of his actions. What now? His boy scout magnetic compass is no good to him anymore as he sees the beach ball of Earth shrink away from him to the size of a quarter. He doesn’t know how to control the oxygen or navigate the ship, and it is getting harder to breathe. It dawns on him that space travel is more complicated than he remembered seeing it on TV. He never thought he would actually look forward to being grounded when he gets back home.
The old books your parents or grandparents kept have been repurposed, with humourous effect. About a year ago, I had been tracking these on Pinterest, but I understand some fake titles have been mentioned on The Chive as far back as 2016. On a recent search, it appears as though the titles have proliferated and have become viral in their own way.
There are so many out there, that they are no longer confined to the now-commonplace parodies of pulp fiction covers. These have now expanded to nearly every kind of book.
I would like to say in advance that the stories relating the cover to something “real” in the lives of the subjects of the titles are totally made up. Highly plausible bullshit, if you will.
Stories About Kenny Loggins Obviously this artist’s rendition was drawn long before Kenny’s foray into blockbuster movie-themed 80’s rock. He was, at one time, more of a back-to-the-land folkie type, who had a following with songs like Danny’s Song. Surely, that is what this book will cover.
You can see him here, backstage at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, talking to a young fan in attendance.
The History of Fleetwood Mac I haven’t been a huge follower of this band, but it has an incredibly long history, going back to about 1967, more than half a century ago. But back in those days, Fleetwood Mac were also caught up in the folk movement, and played with mostly acoustic instruments.
They later evolved into blues rock by the ’70s, and stayed that way for a while, and undergoing many personnel changes until their classic lineup in 1975, after which albums like Fleetwood Mac and Rumors were released. It is made clear that by then, they had long since done away with the mandolin, cello, flute and harpsichord as shown in this book cover.
Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum, or Ayn Rand, as you may or may not know, is an atheist responsible for extolling her invented philosophy called “objectivism”, as detailed in her doorstopper work of fiction called Atlas Shrugged. Her nonfiction works included titles such as “The Virtue of Selfishness” and “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”. While objectivism never worked as a serious branch of philosophy, her philosophy of “what’s good for ‘me’ is good for mankind” resonated with those invested in capitalism. In recent decades many in American government saw it as a way of promoting themselves to say that they had read Ayn Rand. By far the most notable American politician who claims to have read any of her works is American congressman Paul Ryan, who claims it formed the basis of his entire political career, according to a speech he made to the Atlas Institute in 2005, the 100th anniversary of Ayn’s birth. Senator Rand Paul, contrary to rumors, wasn’t named after Ayn’s pen surname (his full name is actually Randal Paul, with one “l”), but is also another big fan of the late Ms. Rand since his teen years. Both elected officials extoll “free markets” and decry “socialism” in all of its forms, in the spirit of Ayn Rand. Another prominent supporter of Ayn Rand was Alan Greenspan, who chaired the Federal reserve between 1987 and 2006. None of these people have any significant background in philosophy.
Ayn was in the twilight years of her life ironically making use of medicare and social security after suffering from medical problems related to her smoking habit. She died in 1982 at age 77.
A week ago, Reuters reported that the Ayn Rand Institute was among those who applied for the American government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which under the current pandemic, gives it access to up to 1 million dollars of government money. It is indeed ironic that an institute dedicated to “ending the welfare state” would find it within their philosophy to actually embrace the welfare state as they do here. Oh, and they embrace this wholeheartedly, making it a “matter of moral principle”. The argument is roughly: because we pay taxes, we therefore must all apply for any handouts we can get our hands on as a form of restitution for the theft of taxation. On the other hand, those who support the welfare state have no right to claim such access to handouts, since they are in support of theft (taxation), and therefore lack any moral justification to be so compensated. This means that, according to the website, the fault lies in the contradictions of the welfare state, and not in the Ayn Rand institute, who merely claim what was taken from them.
It is very convenient that members of the Ayn Rand Institute do not feel the need for living up to their own convictions. The institute is not out to make a profit; indeed it is a right-wing think tank that receives private donations, and as such it is registered in Irvine, California as a nonprofit organization (under tax code 501(c)(3)), thus avoiding taxation altogether. It has no real moral claim to restitution of any such government thievery, since nothing was ever taken from them. Nope. They’re just sponging off the government.
Mile zero ot the Caledon Trail is a good ways away from where I live, and not all of it is highway driving, since it is far away from the 401, the 403, the 407, and any of the “400 series” expressways. Most of the drive was through Winston Churchhill Boulevard, which gradually narrows from 6 lanes to 2 lanes as you approach Terra Cotta, where the Mile Zero marker is located. You then need to enter a dirt road with an initial sharp incline called Brick Lane and travel it to the end to see the trail.
The distance from home to the trail is further away (41 km) than the trail itself, so I drove. Since I left around 11 AM or so, it was already getting hot, and so I didn’t carry the bike in the van. Today was about seeing how easy or difficult it was to get to the Mile Zero marker, and then looking around. There were no issues, except right around Mile Zero, King St. breaks up Winston Churchhill into two sections, and you had to find the northern section to get to Brick Lane. Not that hard with a map, which I had.
The small bit of looking around I did was extremely helpful in planning my ride, when I decide to embark. It will likely be useful to divide the route into 3 sections of about 10 km each, which makes a ballpark cycling distance twice that, due to the return journey. The trail goes across main streets and towns, so it is possible to stop where I last turned back the previous day and do a new journey for another 10 or so kilometers.
More of my thoughts are below. To see the illustrations in “gallery mode”, click on a graphic, and it will behave as a slideshow. However, you lose the captions.
Anyone who has read this blog from as far back as 10 years ago may have recalled a fella named Cody Matherson, who made an album called “Can I Borrow a Feelin’?” If you did see it, I guess it was hard to unsee. And my apologies for re-traumatizing you with this illustration. But I am bringing this up for a reason, since I have noticed that a few years later, as Cody had gotten older, his appearance naturally changed and now he has, uh, matured both musically and physically, with his more recent offering. All the while, his fame appears to have spread far and wide.
I discovered this album while picking through some fresh Crappy Album Covers for future blogs. And look! A sequel! “Can I Borrow Another Feelin’?” rides on the tidal wave of success of his previous album, and takes things “that one step too far”. Also, Cody doesn’t seem to look that much worse for wear, don’t you think?
Stories abound about Cody’s past, on the internet. But many of them are well-written, but obviously tall tales, such as his place of birth in Pflugerville, Texas in 1958, followed by a number of other plausible details, then saying that he was written up in Rolling Stone magazine as a country-rock legend with musical prowess comparable to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Elvis and Barry Manilow. That, and famous quotes purportedly about Cody from Bob Dylan. This is all nice, but there is not much proof of his actual music existing. The only evidence of Cody’s musicianship that appear to be left to 21st century civilization are these two album covers, which turn up all over the place. The Joyce album , referred to by some as the Mona Lisa of crappy album covers, is real. I have heard a snippet of her brand of gospel music. I have also heard music from many other CAC makers, some good, some not so much. But as Donald Rumsfeld liked to say about their ability to turn up evidence of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear arms cache, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Just because we can’t find any music from Cody Matherson, doesn’t mean that it’s not out there. We can say that for the Rolling Stone article, too.
This franchise has apparently made it into the canon of popular culture. So much so, that a Simpson’s episode was devoted to a situation where Homer’s friend, Kirk Van Houten, was trying to get his former wife back by devoting a recording of songs like these and launching his career. There was merchandise such as cassette recordings you could have bought from the Simpson’s website for a while. Now, these are trading on websites such as E-Bay. You can now even get Kirk Van Houten T-shirts and coffee mugs, and patches for your jean jacket.
As recently as 2014, Australian skate punk group The Decline announced a tour in promotion of an EP they recorded entitled “Can I Borrow a Feeling?”, obviously riding on the coattails of Cody Matheson and Kirk Van Houten, neither of whom were available for comment.
I can now say that I have travelled nearly the whole trail in halves: The southern half beginning at Markland Wood Golf Course to Turner Fenton; and the northern half starting from Turner Fenton and going to the 410 and Kennedy in Caledon.
Unlike last week’s trek, I had my cycling shoes this time. I don’t bring them to every outing, since I sometimes lose balance in them and fall. This happens a lot less since I loosened the clips, but I I’d fall off the bike about 3 weeks ago, not being able to plant both feet on the ground as I was stopping. I give myself a break and use sneakers for some outings, but for this journey I was in my cleats, and had no issues.
The middle part of the journey was the worst, going through downtown Brampton in the Queen/Main area. On my first attempt at this trail, I tended to get lost around this area, and even ended up traveling in circles. I then attempted to take the opposite direction on the trail, and ended up travelling in a different circle from the one before. Instead of encountering the same park bench, I was passing by Cardinal Leger Secondary School more than once. I called it a day, and before I drove home, I went to a drug store to find a copy of a map of Brampton. When I got home, I traced the north end of the trail through Brampton.
I know in this age of internet and cell phones, I could have used my 4G access, but actually I had used up my bandwidth, and my provider cut off the internet at 500MB instead of allowing it to go into overage. I have had this same service for a few years, and I couldn’t remember if I asked Koodoo to set it up that way, but I kept it like that and took it as a blessing in disguise, thinking that it won’t hurt to rely on a paper map.
So, I tried again the next day. This time, with the map’s help, I made it through the entire trail and crossed Mayfield Road in under 2 hours. The entire return trip was done in about 3 hours and 30 minutes, the return journey being easier.
The downtown Brampton piece of the journey involved discovering a forested area, with a sharp downhill and uphill, with a turn in between. The presence of pedestrians using the trail made me decide that I had to walk the bike.
The nicest parts of the journey were nearest to Mayfield Road. While parts of the road were packed gravel, it passed through some of the nicest forested areas I had seen in Peel Region outside of Erindale Park. I made two brief stops to stretch, drink water, and reapply suntan lotion.
In my series on Crappy Album Covers, Bob Dylan has appeared at least twice. I had also written about his singing skills or lack thereof at least once before. Needless to say, I have established my not-very-high opinion of Dylan’s singing and album covers on this blog.
However, I had always complimented him on his songwriting and poetry skill. His skill was good enough to win him the Nobel Prize for literature in 2017. However, the songs Dylan wrote were always best sung by other people.
Among the most frequent cover artists were Joan Baez; Judy Collins; The Band; The Byrds; Glen Campbell; Johnny Cash; Cher; Eric Clapton; Joe Cocker; Fairport Convention; Bryan Ferry; Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs; The Grateful Dead; George Harrisson; Jimi Hendrix; The Hollies; Peter, Paul and Mary; Tom Petty (with and without The Heartbreakers); Elvis Presley; Pete Seeger; Yes; Steve Howe; and Neil Young.
More modern artists cover him less frequently. They include: XTC; The White Stripes; The Red Hot Chili Peppers; Sinead O’Connor; My Morning Jacket; Jason Mraz; Ministry; Maroon 5; Dave Matthews Band; Diana Krall; Alicia Keys; Kesha; Norah Jones; Indigo Girls; Robyn Hitchcock (with and without The Egyptians); Green Day; Dream Syndicate; Miley Cyrus; Nick Cave and The Badseeds; and The Black Crowes.
And what I didn’t know until earlier today, is that at age 79, Dylan’s hit song, “Murder Most Foul”, has reached #1 on the Billboard chart for “US Digital Song Sales”, which is the first time he had a #1 hit singing in his own voice on any of the Billboard charts. This song will be part of his up-coming album “Rough and Rowdy Ways”, to be released at the end of next week.
The 17-minute hit beats Don Maclean’s “American Pie” by 7 minutes, and The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” by 10 minutes.
“Murder Most Foul” is a montage of artist titles, singer names, and cultural references that keep going back to the Kennedy assassination. At first listen, it is difficult to understand why all of the name-dropping and song title mentions are there. It feels kind of chaotic, and you feel like there is no structure. It requires another listen. And when you listen again, try not to make sense of anything. Then the song works perfectly, in that it begins to make its own sense. It objectively refers to Kennedy, and a multitude of artists and songs contemporary to the early sixties, with the odd mention of artists from later and earlier decades. Like a painting, you can’t examine the painting by examining each brushstroke. You need to listen to this song by allowing your mind to “step back” so to speak, and admire the song as a whole piece as you would a painting.
To say it is a sad song is an understatement. It seems more like a funeral march. It is a eulogy to a dying culture, and the end of an era. It reveals to us all what we already know: it’s not the sixties anymore. American culture is wounded, and the prospects appear grim.
The original idea was to take the Etobicoke Trail from Glenforest Secondary School to Turner Fenton Secondary School. It didn’t quite turn out that way, since when I attempted the trail two days ago, I only made it as far as the 401, where the trail going underneath the 401 was under repairs until November, and was blocked by a fence. A fellow rider passing by led me to a knocked-down section of the fence barrier, leading to a part of the trail which was muddy, and possibly not the kind of trail for my bike, which had smooth tires. But I followed him nevertheless, and made it back to the paved trail on the other side. That side quickly led to west end of the Pearson Airport property, at the end of the runways. My temporary companion had disappeared by then, and I was on the part of the trail that ended up going alongside the much written about Convair Drive. On the other side of the fence of Convair was another paved road, likely South Service Road.
Being at the airport answered a small question in the back of my mind. I had seen South Service Road on the maps. Why was it called “South” when it was clearly running on the north side of the 401? Now that I see that it is on the airport side of the fence, I see it means that it runs on the south side of the airport.
I didn’t reach Turner Fenton, having taken the trail at Derry Road to Tomken. I almost ended up there, but didn’t travel under the 410/407 basket weave as I had hoped. Turning back, I retraced my steps and went back home via Convair Drive, exiting the trail. From there, I would take a sidewalk route going south on Renforth down to Eglinton. There was a very nice trail there, which made it possible to get back to Matheson Boulevard as I had intended, and re-enter the Etobicoke Trail via Sismet Road.
My cycling odometer seemed to click over 78 km or so with the return trip, but a tracing of my route at walkandrollpeel.ca shows about half that (actually around 38 km, see illustration above), which when calculating average speed, makes more sense.
Therapy has established itself as the successor to rugged individualism and to religion as the organizing framework of American culture. The therapeutic outlook threatens to displace politics as well, the last refuge of ideology.
Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism, 1976
1. Natalie Wynn: A Study in Angst
Natalie Wynn, creator of the Contrapoints YouTube channel, makes a regular practice of baring her soul to strangers on YouTube. She seems to have some talent at turning her angst, conflicts, and hurts into compelling viewing, at least for someone like me who follows argument, but has little understanding of transgender people specifically. Her video essays extend well beyond the 10-minute guideline suggested by YouTube, and followed by the most popular bloggers. Her last one, a video on “Cringe culture” was nearly 90 minutes. Her topics range from politics to online culture to gender identity issues, using her graduate background in philosophy to great effect to inform her analyse issues and argument. Wynn herself has been transitioning from being a male since at least 2017.
Natalie uses theatrics and fictionalizations, to explore and try out different popularly-held views and misconceptions of the day, using spectacle as part of a more serious point she is making. For me, the spectacle aspect is attention-grabbing, and for videos that run 30 minutes or more, one can make a pretty good case for it. It does little to advance the points she is making, but one must give her credit for her one-woman-show production values.
Surprisingly, while trolls are present, by far the most dominant comments on the Contrapoints channel comes from decent people who give empathy, support, encouragement, and share their stories. It would be disheartening to see that taken for granted, and I hope she sees them as the light when everything else feels like darkness.
2. Binge watching the multi-car pile-up that is Eugenia Cooney
There was also a vlogger Natalie mentions regarding one woman named Eugenia Cooney, a fashion and makeup vlogger who has a very large YouTube following. She was in what is called a “5150 hold” for an eating disorder about a year ago, which under California law means she was sent to a mental hospital and kept under observation for 72 hours. To see her videos, she herself seems like a harmless person, acting and speaking like she is a waifish 13 or 14 year-old girl. She is actually 25 years old, and close to 6 feet tall, but appears to be less than 90 pounds, going by her most recent videos. After her release, she appeared to “fall off the wagon” soon after, and she actually looks thinner than before her incarceration. What commenters on YouTube are witnessing is her slow death, with her occasional guest, her mother (who buys all her clothes and makeup) acting silly and behaving as if every day is Eugenia’s birthday. Viewers had never been sure what to make of her mother, according to comments left on Eugenia’s videos.
There is a lot of plausible speculation on YouTube regarding her mental state, her mother, her friends, and her prospects for living beyond six months. But speculation is speculation. We only see what the camera and editing allows us to see. Like every video on YouTube down to iPhone unboxings, we are only allowed to see theatre, and some approximation to The Shopping Channel. In Eugenia’s case, she shows off her new makeup designs, new clothes and jewellery, and discusses them in her videos.
Beyond speculation, there appears to be no dispute about the 5150 hold, or of Eugenia choosing to travel to Connecticut for 4 months to be treated for an eating disorder.
I think I am one of those who is watching videos about Eugenia. I emphasize: “about” Eugenia: as told by friends, interventionists, therapists and former anorexics and addicts as though they know her personally, and that she is some kind of science all her own.
I never subscribed to her channel, nor to any channels talking about her. But today I did succumb to the temptation of viewing “related” titles that wind up on the list of suggested/related videos on the right side of my browser, and I hear analysis about Cooney from every Monday morning quarterback under the sun. The videos I prefer to view are from qualified people, but even then, they are mostly people removed from the action, who never met her.
These “quarterbacks” claiming counselling experience and certainly sound professional and appear to have a fair bit of knowledge. Social worker Kati Morton had an idea for them to appear as guests on each other’s channel, and discuss eating disorders and her 5150 hold. People in their comment sections had some serious criticisms about this.
The criticisms regard 1) Is sitting with Eugenia and discussing her difficulties for the consumption of thousands of viewers (close to 350,000 at last count for Kati’s video), many of whom leave hostile comments for various reasons, helpful to Eugenia? Another criticism: 2) The discussion glossed over pertinent details that let us know Eugenia is facing her problem squarely and is truly on the road to recovery, which means she is surely hiding more than she is revealing.
These are good and proper concerns, but Eugenia’s and Katie’s defense, both of these Monday morning quarterback criticisms gloss over what may have been unavoidable things:
Eugenia is very tied to YouTube and has millions of subscribers, thousands of commenters, and whether Eugenia likes it or not, her personal life has already been public for some time. Her personal deterioration has been observed and well-noted by any casual observer without her saying a word about it, for some years.
While quarterbacks for point #1 accuse her of saying too much; those accusing her of point #2 accuse her of not saying enough. If Eugenia’s mental health is any kind of priority, these #2 quarterbacks will never have their way. A person who delves into their most private details in a public space like YouTube is not doing any good for their mental health in any capacity. Private should be kept private, except for people you feel safe talking to, such as close friends or relatives, and mental health practitioners. You can’t get a support network from random strangers.
The only outcome from airing out your dirty laundry in public is public humiliation and shame. Eugenia already had that in spades well before Kati’s interview. Abt and Seesholtz (Journal of Popular Culture, 1994) wrote an article about this very topic back in the days of Oprah, Donahue, and other popular “talk shows” from the 1990s, where this mistake is repeated over and over, turning the private hell of people and families into a freak show, to boost the TV ratings.
I cannot possibly fathom the illnesses that are the eating disorders. Listening to therapists explain “how to talk to anorexics” or to friends that understand the mindset of sufferers of eating disorders make me feel that I could read and listen to vlogs, books, essays, and online articles about this until the cows come home, and I don’t think I could ever feel that I fully understand it. I think I can understand parts of it; empathise with various fleeting things, and sometimes even be able to feel some tenuous connection with the sufferer, but I have trouble seeing the whole picture.
While some vloggers look at Eugenia and feel that they know how to act and intervene, I am more like a rubbernecker slowing down to see a highway accident. I had no knowledge of Eugenia before today, and now it is dawning on me that Eugeniacooneyology appears ready to be its own university major, judging by all of the material, authored by anyone who thinks they can provide a different angle on her, whether qualified or not. Some seem sincere, some are doing it for YouTube hits, and some are doing a combination of both. Always, there is a videographer gunning for a piece of the Eugenia Cooney action. And always, there is YouTube, happily documenting the entire spectacle.
But to me, she is just like a vehicle pile-up, and I am like a rubbernecker, possibly slowing down Internet traffic when I could be viewing something sensible like The Crown on NetFlix, or developing lesson materials, or correcting assignments. Eugenia is a case of suffering served up to viewers as spectacle.
Our therapeutic culture operates here with or without the presence of an actual therapist. We are so immersed in therapeutic culture that we all feel superior to the sufferer and feel we have all the answers, and will offer what we feel to be help. Rather than increasing our understanding of each other, therapeutic culture has more likely made it easier for us to pigeonhole others, and let the label definition fill in the blanks as a pseudo-understanding, similar to how some people use a person’s horoscope in the same way. Rather than contributing to social cohesion, it intensifies feelings of alienation, while giving the labeller a false feeling of empowerment.
According to a Google search, a Madison media organ will say that a protest against social distancing back on April 25th will be reported by TV stations if their channels are a multiple of 9. Channels 9, 18, and 27 in Madison have reported that the protests where people had been refused a permit to hold the rally in the first place, and violated social distancing orders have defeated their own object by inadvertently shutting down businesses that would normally be open.
There has been a spike in serious illnesses and deaths from people ingesting household cleaners, following a suggestion made by Dr. Donald Trump about a week ago. Emergency hotlines from all over the country are receiving calls asking about ingesting household disinfectants.
For their Covid-19 medical stats, some countries are counting as “no longer contagious”, dead people.
Among the protestors in Michigan, was a woman who told a reporter that there was nowhere where she could get her hair colored. Another told a reporter that it was now difficult to obtain lawn fertilizer or grass seed, body piercings or tattoo services.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis has classified live professional wrestling as an essential service.
Missouri, a state which begain the re-opening process on May 3, is suing China for economic losses and suffering.
Donald Trump, after bragging about brokering a deal with OPEC, saw the oil prices in the United States become negative (-38 dollars a barrel) by April 20. Oil producers were paying buyers to take oil they couldn’t store.
Arkansas, whose state had not issued stay-at-home orders except for schools, has now denied visas to Chinese students who wish to study the sciences.
Maybe lawyer and former drug company lobbyist Alex Azar, the head of the U. S. Health and Human Services Department, could have done better than to pick Brian Harrisson, a labradoodle breeder, as head of the Coronavirus Task Force (a position later replaced by Vice President Mike Pence, whose background was as a lawyer and former Congressman). Remember to keep away people with science backgrounds at all times.
Florida corrections ordered inmates to manufacture face masks without wearing facemasks themselves, or any other protection, risking contamination to the facemasks they were making for the wardens and guards in the correctional facility.
Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919-1991) had a rare million seller with the folk song “16 Tons”. It is itself a 1955 cover version of a song written by Merle Travis (1917-1983) and released in 1947.
Not only is it Tennessee Errnie Ford’s signature tune, Ford sung it so definitively, that it is the only singer one readily identifies with the song. By today, there are easily over 100 cover versions of this song, done by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, The Dandy Warhols, and Rage Against The Machine.
A year later, Gene Vincent had a smash hit that caused great controversy. And after some kind of a public inquiry, it was concluded that no one could understand the lyrics. There was no dispute that it was a fun tune, and Be-Bop-A-Lula was listed as the 103rd of the 500 top songs of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2004.
Rumor has it that “Shredding for Satan” was an album released in 1957 (same year as Be-Bop-A-Lula). If that is true it seemed to pass without all of the bothersome controversy that was brought to Gene Vincent.
If Yvette Oldemeyer existed at all, it was as a model posing with an electric guitar and a cute yellow amplifier on the cover of a 1957 edition of Popular Electronics, showing her preference for “throbbing vibrato”.
Dr. Bonnie Burstow (Ph. D.) was a professor of education at OISE at the Unviersity of Toronto, who recently died of kidney failure at 75 as of 4 January, 2020.
I have been at OISE a few times, but I have never met Dr. Burstow, but her radical feminist approach to anti-psychistry as part of a patriarchical system I am sure helped many, but I wonder if feminist issues were the entire problem with psychiatry. I have always questioned its very scientific basis, a point made early on by the late Thomas Szasz (1920-2012). The only problem with Szasz was that he founded CCHR, which is aligned with the Church of Scientology. It had been the reason I lost interest in the anti-psychiatry movement over the past 30 or so years. Both sides seemed to be locked in a power struggle over who controls an individual’s mind, and both sides are politically tainted in the most unhelpful of ways.
Szasz’s main criticisms, the most basic of which is that “mental illness” occurs in “the mind”, is a myth because “the mind” is an abstraction. He has now been upstaged by findings in “biological psychiatry”, and many are now coining the phrase “psychiatric illness”, which personally I find unhelpful in that “psychiatric” sounds like just another abstraction (maybe a more precise one?). A psychiatric illness diagnosis is still a death sentence to most people’s careers (unless it is being a standup comic or something), making it difficult to understand on what planet is what psychiatrists do considered “helpful” when it involves incarceration?
Szasz wrote a journal article (The Psychiatrist) a year before his death in 2011, which criticized the professional and legal support for modern psychiatry as raising the idea of mental illess from the level of a “myth” to the level of a “lying fact”. In response, Dr. Edward Shorter (Ph. D.) wrote in the same journal that there have been many advances along with the emergence of “biological psychiatry” which has made much of psychiatry more rigorous and scientific, although he admits that the DSM is a largely politicized document, and agrees with Szasz there.
Burstow also attacked the scientific basis of psychiatry. She herself did not have any counselling credentials academically, but acted as counsellor and had maintained that psychiatry is a patriarchal structure. I am of the thinking that the “patriarchal” structure is probably due to the lack of science, and that if you addressed the lack of science then the rest of the injustices would be resolved by and large by default. So, unless you are among those that support the notion of “feminist science” and “patriarchal science”, I am not sure what basis in reality this has. Even then, the idea that there are multiple “sciences” in the same field which depend on the views of the scientist is absurd on the face of it. The entire point of science is that the findings of an investigation should not depend on the scientist. That’s why we require reproducibility in scientific investigations. I have read Burstow, but not enough of her to know for sure if that was her take on science generally. From what I did read, I saw nothing I could construe as being part of this philosophy.
It is heartening to hear that psychiatry has come around to insisting on an evidence-based, biological approach. I also like the humanistic ideal of “freedom from labels” that appeal to those in the anti-psychiatry movement, of which Burstow was vocal. The problem is, you can’t have a science (or anything else of intellectual import) without labels. Whatever the “thing” is I need to talk about, needs to have a name, otherwise, the reader will be given a verbal diarrhea of mumbo-jumbo, making discussion difficult. So, in reality, labelling humans is difficult, but if we need to talk about someone who thinks the world is out to get them, it clarifies discussion if we give the thought obsession a name, and are nuanced enough in our discussion that we are labelling what humans do and not labelling humans themselves.
BUT whether you yell YAY or BOO; or BAH! HUM BUG,you will probably exclaim DOH! at each new airport code PUN.
All capitalized three-letter “words” are actually airport codes. You may hover your mouse over these codes to reveal the specific airport and the part of the world they originate.
THE IATA (International AIR Transport Association) HAS some, shall we SAY, some interesting airport codes. I MAY go to HEL for writing THS, THO. LET‘s hope NOT.
I am hoping you will find this article FUN, make you yell OMG. Some names will make you go MAD, or GAG, or cry EEK as you DIE laughing until you either PEE or POO your pants. The kind of poo that comes from your BUM.
Let’s just make sure you never arrive DOA. BUT whether you yell YAY or BOO; or BAH! HUM BUG,you will probably exclaim DOH! at each new airport code PUN.
Most PPLCANLOL at some FATSOB as they need to take up two seats on the plane. I could have said COW, but that JOK will PIS people.
Maybe your MOM told her shrink that your DAD is GAY or a DUD in bed when they try to DOO it.
But enough WIT talk ABTSEX. Too many PNSGAGs.
You might have a BUS to catch. Stop at the ATM. RUN home, have a piece of PIE, along with a BAG of LOX. Or maybe just have a BUN and PET your CAT or DOG. Don’t forget to feed them a FIG. Call up your SIS or BRO on the FON. Or maybe invite your best BUD over and settle that IOU by sharing a few pints of ALE. Better not be LAX, as HEE might be carrying a SOD–OFF.
IATA Airport codes mostly from here. Funny airport codes mostly from here. Also here. Several others were Google’d. Please take care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and seek opportunities to laugh.
The American people face the most serious time in their history. We are observing politicians submitting to a ruler who thinks he “is” the people. Not since the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings has such a mentality become the ideology of the day. To oppose this nonsense, you would think that the Democrats would put their differences aside and select a politician more committed to the rule of law than by fiat, and the contenders throw their support behind him or her.
What we are getting instead is the same style of nomination process that worked for Donald Trump, with the same thinking in mind: If Bernie Sanders is thought of as such a loony toon (I think he is fine but this is the wrong time for him), why don’t the others forget their ambitions and unite against him? Once again, like the Coronation of Trump, this is appearing to be a coronation of Sanders, which all but hands Trump his second term, and exacerbates any divisions in the country.
The reason it hands the victory to Trump, is because Sanders exactly fits the stereotype of the Democrats that Trump wants to attack. Trump and those in his party stereotype the Democrats as “socialists” and “extremists”, and so on. While none of that has been remotely true for over 50 years, and the Dems have been just as guilty of abandoning the working class over that time (half the reason Trump appealed to those same people in the Rust Belt), they open themselves to the worst attacks, nigtmare scenarios and conspiracy theories that the Republicans can throw at them.
Overall, I actually hope for a Sanders win, with control of the house and senate turned over to the Democrats. I just think that the dems are better off with a more moderate foil to Trump. But this lack of united front seems to be more helpful to Trump, since they thrive on division, and the choice of dems to divide themselves just makes the Republican’s job easier.
In Canada, due to the activism of former Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Jean Augustine, we celebrate Black History Month during the month of February, and I thought it would be worthwhile to show some landmark musical contributions by black people that have caught my attention.
The history of black people contributing to music has been well-documented, and in the 1950’s, it was acknowledged to be a “race barrier” for black people to break into the music charts. What was at the time called “race music” — the music of people like Fats Domino and Chuck Berry, was music often panned by radio stations, while cover versions of the same songs by the likes of Elvis Presley and Pat Boone were played endlessly.
Harry Belafonte was among the first to break the race barrier in 1955 with his album Calypso. The second album by him to reach #1 on Billboard, it contains signature tunes such as Day-o, Jamaica Farewell, and Man Smart, Woman Smarter.
Belafonte is still around, he is 92 years old. Before his ilve performances of Day-o, he would explain a particular lyric in it, which was “Come Mr. Tally Man, tally me banana”. The song was about dock workers loading heavy bunches of bananas on to a boat for export over night, waiting as dawn breaks for the tally man to count their bunches of bananas so they can get paid and go home.
What makes this particular LP special is that it was the first record album in history to sell over a million records. Before that, million sellers were a term attributed to singles, such as Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, or Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Sixteen Tons. But this was the first time a whole album was acknowledged as a million seller. Calypso also stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 99 weeks — almost two years.
Belafonte was very much involved with the political activism of Rev. Martin Luther King, and as a result was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He paid for Reverend King’s bail to get him out of Birmingham Prison in Alabama, and raised bail money to get other unjustly imprisoned black people out of prison on the eve of the Birmingham protests. The protests were against Apartheid-style racial segregation, common in the southern states until the early 1960s, and Birmingham was seen as the focal point of segregation during that time. The person who started this was a local seamstress who boarded a municipal bus in Birmingham, dutifully sitting in the section reserved for “coloured” people. When the white-only section of the bus became full, she refused to relinquish her seat to a white passenger who was standing, as required by municipal and state segregation laws, and as requested by the bus driver. The passenger, Rosa Parks, was also a leader in the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and the conviction was fought all the way to the Supreme Court, with the conviction and the segregation laws surrounding it being overturned.
While Parkes was fired from her department store job as a seamstress, and received death threats for many years onward, she won world renown, as well as having streets named after her, winning medals of honor, honorary doctorates from several universities as far away as Tokyo, and a county in Washington state dedicated the front-row seats of their municipal buses in her name, shortly after her death in 2005.
The Continental’s (sic) album depicts a female that can’t seem to do a thing with her hair.
No information exists on this album or the artists.
Svenne and Lotta had a hit with Bang-A-Boomerang before ABBA took off with it in 1975. Apparently, Benny and Bjorn wrote it, with Svenne and Lotta entering it into a singing competition. Their hit was overshadowed by ABBA’s version, and they faded out of existence, but remained for a while as a national talent in Sweden.
The 1969 Psychedelic/Glam band known as Wild Thing list their places of origin as, depending on which way the wind blows, either Hudson, Massachusetts or Norfolk, Virginia. Their sound was typical of the more progessive sounds during that time. This is the cover of their 7″ single Old Lady, backed with Next To Me.
“Balcony Becky” is how she is known to some people, except that her first name is Marcella, and the 45th-floor balcony belonging to an AirBnB listing at Maple Leaf Square is only a bit player in her video. She claims to be an exchange student from Brazil, but seems more like an escort from someplace more local.
This has given rise to several memes, and along with it criminal charges of reckless endangerment or something along those lines. Later photos appear to have her with much more plastic surgery and breast enhancement, which tells us pretty much how her counselling went.
In the old days (before 2005!), all you needed to do to get censured by future employers was to post a picture of yourself doing something immoral or stupid somewhere searchable; or a video of yourself on YouTube. To make the newspapers, radio and TV, you still had to do something truly ridiculous or heinous. Marcella has, in the age of Instagram and Twitter, overcome the meme barrier to enter the major media, thus amplifying the number of hateful messages sent to her.
Last I heard, at some point before or after Marcella’s guilty plea, her lawyer was trying to get her dental school to reverse the expulsion, but she remains expelled. I would say that the school was rightfully afraid of becoming known as “the dental school where the Chair Girl attended.” She was training to be a dental assistant, while modelling to help pay bills.