“How to Make it in Hollywood” Books by People Who Can’t Make it in Hollywood And Other Great Advice
They’re Dealing in a New Genre: Fart Books
By Joe Bodolai © 2011, All rights reserved
First of all, I want to thank all the people who give me advice on a daily basis. This ranges from “you need to tap into the universe’s special gift for you” to “you should try getting a retail job”. I have some acquaintances who also give me advice about “accepting what the universe gives you,” which seems pretty effective when, in their case, it means the universe has given them the gift of now-dead rich parents, a kind of Darwinist “vaginal selection.”
I go into bookstores after spending time in their even more not-for-profit cousins, libraries. Advice on how to live is more common in bookstores, but judging by their recent history, I really would take their suggestions about making a go of it in retail with a grain of salt. Libraries seem to make all their money on “the back end”, fines. Bookstores are all money upfront kind of people. On the surface, it looks like they have a solid tried and true business plan – sell the shit out of stuff. And they do. Coffee, toys, games, and magazines are all available as well as many things that resemble books.
In libraries, you need really no fancy equipment to read a book, although a light will greatly help. In bookstores, it seems you can purchase specialized equipment. Instead of a quiet corner available for free in a library, at Barnes & Noble you can actually purchase a nook. This is not real estate but a virtual reading space, which is bullshit for “crappy iPad wannabe”. Amazon, an entire “virtual book store” sells their version, a Kindle, which associates books with kindling which I associate with starting a fire, something Goebbels is probably cackling about in his grave. I have no idea who’s doing the branding at Amazon, but their success suggests that it seems to work. No one is troubled by the notion that the retail chain most responsible for harvesting forests to make paper for books and then associate them with burning is named after the world’s most precarious rain forest. That’s some kind of genius. It’s kind of like selling vitamins on getcancer.com.
I just realized something. Borders, who went out of business, didn’t have their own book reading thingy. Hey, Wall Street Journal, get on this! “Lack of Fancy Reading Gadget Led to Readers, Including Doctors, Without Borders.”
I have digressed from my real point, which is what I promise you I will think of once I read what I have written before this sentence. Hold on. Oh, okay. It’s either about advice or bookstores but reading the title reminds me of the painful subject, “happiness” and its retail comingling with “farts”.
The happiness books are displayed prominently. Right as I enter the store there are tables full of them. Take your pick. Maybe you can buy two and get a third free and 33% more happiness. All I know is, these keepers of wisdom are not scheduled to read here and share some of their secrets as those times are reserved for the likes of Snooki, someone with the real sounding name Brooke Burke, and some guy named “Taboo”, which is probably a good name from a reverse marketing standpoint. I guess the Happiness Experts couldn’t make it since they were too busy being happy to worry about having to do things like show up and sign books for the unhappy. I think it’s a rule to hang around the people you are like or want to be like. That’s either a rule for success or just the mechanics of racism, I forget.
Okay, so it doesn’t bother me too much that I’ve never heard of these happiness gurus. It does, however, disconcert me that the table and shelves full of “how to make it as a screenwriter” or “unleash your Oscar winning shewolf” books seem to be written by people who have done neither. I may be wrong, but I think if somebody is kicking ass and taking names in Hollywood I might have heard about it.
Which brings me to fart books. I don’t know how exactly, but if Barnes & Noble puts them next to books by Donald Rumsfeld that include the word “intelligence”, I may be missing a secret the “universe” is trying to tell me. My problem with the universe is pretty much the same as I have with God – can you just speak to me directly and not through all these other people who, quite frankly, seem to be bringing a lot of baby marshmallows to the salad? Oh. Fart books. Really, do I even need to write a sentence about it? Okay. I will: Fart books exist. God? I’ve got a call in. I’ll let you know what I hear.
 At this point, one cannot choose the location at which they enter life on earth, although there are some fortuitous quick do-overs possible in the proximity of Angelina Jolie if you pull a mulligan on your birth canal.
 There is no reason for a footnote here except that I’m trying to make my pieces less “linear”.
 Pro Tip: title your stuff first, it makes you remember what you’re writing about.
 The term “comingling with farts” is more often a euphemism for riding the bus, but it used here in a marketing context.
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