Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Courtneybelle Embraces the Nutsack!

If You Don't Like This Book, It's Only Because XOXO Is Stealing Your Thoughts
                   "These portions can seem hoplessly corrupt. 
                   XOXO is winning the battle to ruin the book, 
                   But he hasn't won the war."

I like books that don't take themselves seriously and books that seek to make the reader feel ridiculous. A book that disregards the reader's comfort has balls.

Mark Leyner has chosen to write about so many modern foibles that he is certain to alienate.  He's also chosen themes that scratch the paint off every reader's well-glossed self image. And he had the GALL to do it in a format as scattered and deluded as a PBS telethon. How dare he make us work so hard to like this book!?  The Sugar Frosted Nutsack has shown itself, in the majority, to be undigestible. Which leaves one to wonder, if this book is not for you, it might be about you.


Yes, some dislike Nutsack's disrespectful use of repetition. Leyner's daring use of cut-and-paste forces the reader to absorb the same damn lines over and over. Hey, it works for poets and musicians. I choose to see it as a not-too-subtle illustration of the fact that we have each been a party to some mindless regurgitation or other. His use of repetition is frankly an insensitive reminder that, as we age, we build a myth about ourselves. Then we repeat that myth to maintain some calming certainty. Of course, Nutsack points out that myth is at best a half truth and probably a lie. 


No one wants that. That will put people right off. It doesn't even matter what an author has to say about religion, faith, or "spirituality". Positive or negative, the modern reader is sick to the teeth of hearing about personal growth by way of faith or how organized religion stifles individuality or whatever.  Jesus loves us? YES, WE KNOW! But for the love of beer, don't bring it up. Readers certainly don't want it suggested that God is laughing at them or, WORSE, that God thinks they're boring! If Nutsack does turn out to be some whimsical religious allegory, then that would explain the insulting repetition previously discussed. Religion is nothing without repetition. Yeah, yeah, Nutsack delivered up a crude but endearing pack of gods at the beginning. But how was the reader to imagine the author would have a serious message of any kind since his book began with drunken gods returning from spring break?

Clearly, that was all a clever ruse on the part of Leyner to trick us into reading about religion. What a dick move!  He lured us with the title: his promises of sweet, sweet testicles. Numbed our suspicious minds with fast-talking overuse of pop-culture references and an unlikely yarn about over-sexed street gang gods till we couldn't trust that there would be a serious word written in this book. Next thing we know, he'll casually write something like,"'noncanonical blooper." Then, BAM! We've accidentally read some joker's scathing yet quirky take on religion. For all we know, Nutsack will subtly suggest that we're not special.


This is a dangerous approach for an author. But, I have to say, Leyner tried to slip it in like a wayward  game of "just the tip". What can be said about our overly-sung hero, Ike, Ike, Ike, Ike! A legend in his own mind? A rebel without applause? Who knows. But if an unemployed butcher from Jersey has a devoted blind bard fanbase, then logically anyone could.  Ike is a perfect specimen of the self-centered American reality TV narrative that we are soaking in today. Everything is simultaneously true and false. Each of us has become the star of the movie in our mind. We have lost internal dialog. We've begun narrating our own lives to an invisible audience of blind bards! Those of us surviving the high water mark of social media are no more a hero than Ike. Nevertheless, odds are good  that our breakfast food is as well-publicized as his. Our whole society is based on the premise that we are all unique little snow flakes. Nutsack takes aim at the way we are building mythical selves and firmly wallowing in cultish self-obsession? What a cock!  Of course we expect our memory to be eternal. Each of us having written our own biography 140 characters at a time, how could we fail? Oh, it wasn't bad enough that it has turned out to be a book about religion, then Nutsack wants us to have a moment of honest perspective. Come ON!


Christians don't like to be reminded that they aren't supposed to eat bacon. And readers don't like to be reminded that their personal behavior is inconsistent or inhuman. We bristle at the notion that we behave illogically, as it calls our personal judgment into question. How can we face the indignity of being more connected by technology as a species and yet more estranged from each other than ever before. Community has become crowdsourcing. 

Will humanity become a confederacy of acquaintances? What does "relationship" mean now? Would my Reddit friends bail me out of jail? Can we maintain humanity merely by watching more videos of cats? More importantly, will Nutsack answer these questions in the last one hundred pages?

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