This Isn’t a Post About Anything. I Was Just in the Mood to Type.

Seriously. The title isn’t a clever trap to trick an unsuspecting reader into complacency and then reveal some grand truth at the end. No knowing rhetorical questions will be posed and no semi-nude pictures will be shown below the “— Read More —” break. I’m just whiling so feel free to make the most of your reading time and go read The Spare by The No Longer Tabloid Cover Corner Dweller Formerly Known as Prince Harry and then summarize it for me.

I read someone on Twitter comment that people who say they don’t like the royal family sure do know a lot about them. I didn’t think he meant Cromwell. I don’t really care about the royal family but I’m not going to back away from paying attention to what is turning out to be an extraordinarily well publicized train wreck just because I’m worried people might think I’m a fan. It’s not like a Venn diagram of people who’ve seem The Kardashians and people who’ve seen Kim Kardashian naked would be a circle. People can tell when something trashy on their peripheral is trashy enough to note. I just want to know what’s up with Harry and Megan without having to read anything longer than an eight inch blurb about what’s up with Harry and Megan and I’m certainly not going to interrupt my busy current Italian soccer/Monk/Impractical Joker’s highbrow T.V. (television) viewing with something so base as their Netflix series. A Reader’s Digest gossip post is out there and I’m going to find it and get someone to summarize it for me.

I was just sitting in front of a keyboard and typing. Should that be “I am just sitting in front of a keyboard and typing.”? Usually, I would say yes but the previous plus one paragraph demonstrates foreknowledge about what is not at the end of this post so it seems awkward to write about now when I know about later. I’m making an executive decision and announcing that I am in the here and now no matter how prescient I may seem, and boy am I going to seem prescient seven paragraphs from now.

My son got his driver’s license Friday and that has me fired up to write all manner of things about the DMV, but not yet. The people were nice, for the most part. They just have to follow nonsensical and often capricious rules set down by people who have never been put in their position and who they will never meet. It’s an introduction to Kafka for people that don’t have any desire to read Kafka.

Anyway, my son can drive all by his lonesome so he took off to meet a friend at a favorite restaurant and then on to the library to pick up a couple of books, probably with dragons that get killed at the end. He’s been biking to the restaurant for years and he’s friendly with the staff so I’m betting there were “Congratulations!” and “Let me see the keys!” when he pulled into the lot. Good times.

I like the idea of suddenly having an errand boy so I sent a text with a couple of titles I wanted him to check out for me or, if they’re not available, ask the librarian about getting them in. The first was Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning by Nigel Biggar and the second was Burning Down the Haus by Tim Mohr. I was only moderately interested in the colonialism book. I read an interview with the author about how his first publisher, after praising the book from pitch to completion and accumulating plaudits from respected historians for the back cover and such, dropped the book. They paid him his full advance as per contract but they told him that the time wasn’t right to release it. He found out that there was an internal revolt by junior staffers at the publishing house who objected to his book’s premise so the higher ups caved. Turn out the kids were wrong about what they thought his premise was but that shouldn’t matter. They didn’t feel safe or some such bullshit so the marketplace of ideas has to suffer for their thin skinned ignorance. I didn’t want to shell out the money to buy his book but there’s some Byzantine machinations by which library check outs get counted as a fraction a sale for NYT Best Seller type lists if you check the book out on an even numbered rainy day thirty feet from the nearest menstruating chipmunk with Mars in retrograde. Or not. I said it was Byzantine. I wanted to help the guy out.

After I sent the text I checked the article I read to make sure I had the title and author right and saw that the book is six hundred and fifty-one pages long. I immediately channeled my wife. She edits books for a living and though readers don’t want to hear it, she and others in her profession consider financial realities when deciding whether a manuscript becomes a book. Paper, printing, binding, and shipping all cost money. Maybe somebody comes along that has a built in following, but that doesn’t happen often. As she puts it, “First time authors don’t get four hundred pages.” It may be the greatest novel ever written, but unless you are proven you aren’t getting a brick of a book past the accountants out of the gate. I don’t have such financial concerns, but I do have temporal ones. Nigel Biggar has other books out so he’s not a first time author, but he is to me. First time authors don’t get six hundred and fifty-one pages. Not unless I really, really want to read the book. I didn’t.

Out of curiosity I checked the page count of Burning Down the Haus. It’s about Berlin based punk bands and their war with the secret police in the years before David Hasselhoff knocked down the wall. It sounded like a cool niche history and I love those. It was four hundred pages long. I have a lot of books on my to read list and I was hoping for something quick. I had about two hundred and seventeen pages worth of interest in the subject.

I sent a follow up text cancelling my requests and asking my son to pick up something else. I got Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature thinking that they’d be general. They aren’t and I’ve only read three of the seven books the lectures are on and two of those I read thirty years ago. Now I feel like I should at the least reread the ones from so long ago. My reading list got longer. I should have stuck with six hundred and fifty-one pages of Colonialism. It’d have been shorter.

Everything I wrote above was written because when I decided against the German punk rock/secret police book I thought it would be funny to write that David Hasselhoff knocked down the Berlin Wall. I knew I could do it.

So that’s it. Just some typing, mostly about not wanting to spend inordinate amounts of time finding out about something that sorta interests me. No real point, but didn’t I tell you that already?

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