Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Elgin Baylor & Voodoo Books!

Although, the topic of child-rearing will be part of this blog, it won't be the only thing addressed.  Hopefully, me and the kid will have a little something for everyone so that those of you without children won't get bored or feel alienated.  That being said, I'd like to discuss... literature and child rearing (see what I did there?) 

The kid (really should consider capitalizing the "K") has been working on this blog for over a week now.  Literature and fine South American coffee are staples of her life.  She believes that the written word is a crucial part of each child's development.  In her own words:

"You may question the usefulness of reading books to a kid that's only a month old; but, that means either you don't have a kid, or you're a lazy, horrible, horrible parent who probably can barely live with themselves.  Just sayin' is all...

Goodnight Moon was written, I have no doubt by a witch doctor.  I say this because if anyone has ever seen how a child reacts to this simplistic, boring as all get-out book, they would know without a shadow of a doubt that some sort of voodoo is at work here.  If you've never had the opportunity to read this book, let me give a brief description:  bunny in pajamas, kittens, rodent, mush, mittens, moon.  That pretty much sums everything up.  Yet... the first time the giant people read this to me --  I was  mesmerized*.  (Ya know how the giant people get when they come home from the hospital with a baby.  They get all excited and can't wait to read his/her first book -- it's ever so mind-bogglingly cutesy.)  I'm not kidding.  I could not pull my yet-to-focus-because-I-was-only-four-days-old-eyes away from this weird little scripture.  Voodoo...!"

As I'm typing this (she dictates to me -- oh, the Kid can type, but she's lazy), she's sitting on my lap and shaking her head in the affirmative (of course it could merely be  that she hasn't quite developed full neck muscle strength).  This book haunts her, she says, "It's evil, but I love it.  I imagine if I had any idea what narcotics were, then I would compare Goodnight Moon to that.  Also, don't listen to this Daddy guy about my neck muscles.  He's full of it.  I was holding my head up in the hospital.  The giant person we call Mom has pictures of me holding my bottle by myself on day three.  I rolled onto my side last week -- also by myself.  I'm practically the model for the next link of human evolution.  I'm a veritable marvel of nature.  I'm a badass." (More to come on badassery a little later.)  

The next tome on her reading list is a little peace of intrigue by the good doctor hisself, Mr. Theodore Geisel.  The Kid writes (dictates!) 

"Oh, The Thinks You Can Think! is typical Seuss.  At least, that's what I'm told, since it's the only Dr. Seuss book I have (hint, hint) I can't really comment on it's typicalness (hint, hint).  Anyway, the sentences are short and easy to read, the rhymes catchy.  The art is a bit strange.  In my limited experience, I've not quite seen houses, landscapes and "people" that look anything like what's in this book.  But as the Dad guy points out, I shouldn't look at things too literally, as this book is about imagination and it's supposed to teach me to use mine.  Whatever.  I think this Seuss guy was on those narcotics mentioned above.  And the Dad guy just said that, in fact, I may like the book more if I were a stoner.   (Will someone please check this dude's credentials.  I mean is someone who makes a stoner reference around his newborn equipped to be a father?  Hello!  Anybody???   And what is a stoner anyway?  Where's Mom?)  I do like the use of the word 'Schlopp' in this book.  That's a funny word.  It kinda sounds like what my butt does when I poop.  Funny, funny word..."

Now, onto Harry the Dirty Dog.

"This book bores me.  Drives me crazy every time they try and read it to me.  You'd think they'd get the hint by the way I either fall asleep or scream like a banshee the second they open it; but, they seem intent to make me like it.  Whatever!  I like what I like is all I'm saying.  It's the story of a dog who is white and he hates taking baths, so he steals the brush (see, aren't you bored with this crap already, too?), burying it in the backyard.  Then he does all this doggy Ferris Bueller stuff and ends up getting so dirty that his owners can't recognize him.  They want nothing to do with him.  It reeks of a racial subtext that I wonder if the author is even aware of.  Sure is plain to my four-week-old mind.  But, I digress.  In the end good 'ol Harry unearths the brush, gets a bath and lives happily ever after.  YAWN and YAAAAWWWWN.  Next!"

"Ah, here we go, the next two reviews are on books sent to me by some character calling himself "Uncle John."  No idea who this guy is, but he's got good taste in literature. First up,  In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, who is most famous for Where the Wild Things Are (Yet another book I don't own.  Ahem...).  This book caused a little bit of consternation in our household the first time Dad guy read it.  Seems our plucky hero, Mickey is a bit of a nudist.  By the fifth drawing, ol' Maurice has got our boy Full Monty.  WELL, you can imagine how that opened up Dad guy's eyes!  But, we had a good talk and a few things were explained regarding the difference between little girl parts and little boy parts.  Dad guy handled it all pretty well, I must say, and I think he's probably better off now that I've explained these differences to him.   On with the story!  So, this Mickey guy is in some sort of dream where he meets a bunch of giant bakers.  The Mickster is pretty bossy and likes to yell a lot (I REALLY admire him for that, by the way) and before you know it he's rolling around nekkid in the cake batter.  Talk about unsanitary.  He then fashions an airplane out of the batter and begins terrorizing the giant bakers.  Wasn't really sure during my first reading (at age 3 weeks) what this book was supposed to be about.  But now, rereading it as an older 4-week-old it's all so much clearer.  Simply put, this book is about ANARCHY!!!!!   There's something I can sink my gums into.  I'm penciling on my Guy Fowlkes mustache as we speak. Attica!  Attica!  Attica!"

(Me and the Missus won't be reading In The Night Kitchen to our lil dearest anymore.)  OK, onto the next book on her reading list, Harold And The Purple Crayon.

"Harold And The Purple Crayon is the autobiographical tale of renowned street artist Banksy's early life.  Harold, as Banksy refers to himself here, has a purple crayon and he likes to draw on anything, anytime, anywhere.  That's pretty much it.  I was hoping for a bit more insight into what makes Banksy Banksy, but as usual, he keeps his inner self shrouded in mystery.  This book may only be recommendable to diehard Banksy fans."
Banksy why, WHY must you be so coy and aloof???

And lastly on the Little Miss reading list:

"Norman Mailer's An American Dream.  The grand master of masculine writing has often been labeled misogynistic and this book, published in 1965, in particular was called out for its treatment of women, most notably by Kate Millet in her classic feminist text Sexual Politics.  While neither agreeing nor disagreeing with Millet, I, as a young woman, found the book to be an honest commentary about a man, protagonist Stephen Rojack, who is horribly flawed and a prisoner of his own pseudo-masculine conditioning.  Lacking the insight that might have been provided by modern therapy, Rojack is a runaway train who cannot -- must not -- cease the maddening trek in which he is on.  I found this decorated war-hero, former congressman and sensationalist talk-show host kin to the great subjects of Greek tragedy.  Fate has cast his lot and he cannot escape his doom, when in an alcoholic rage, Rojack murders his estranged high-society wife, makes it look like a suicide and descends into a lurid underworld of Manhattan jazz clubs, bars and Mafia intrigue.  Rojack's violence gives him a feeling of liberation, constantly maintaining his innocence no matter how intense the scrutiny or severe the consequences.   Oh, and he thinks the moon is talking to him (who wouldn't want to read about a guy who thinks the moon is talking to him???).  Mom isn't too keen about me reading such violent, sexually charged material; but, then I say, she shouldn't have helped teach me to read!"   

That wraps up this segment.  If you, too, want your child to be able to read at the level of our child, then I suggest you check out "YOUR BABY CAN READ."  (This program may also be useful for the slower-reading adults out there, too.)  It's right there, to your left.  No.  Your other left.
One more thing before we go...

The Kid considers herself a bit of a badass (as you probably read in the masthead at the top of the blog) and is studying badass chicks in history, literature, film and the local Babys-R-Us.  Today, she would like to share with you, her dear readership, the badass chick she is digging on the most today.

BADASS CHICK OF THE DAY:  Meiko Kaji as Matsu, aka Sasori (Scorpion!) in the 1970s Japanese"Female Convict Scorpion" series of movies.  (The Kid is dying to get her hands on that long black coat and oversized hat and wreak some daycare havoc.)  You really want to witness Japanese 70s exploitation badassery... then check out these flicks from Amazon.  Not for everyone, only for badasses and baby badasses.


Peace out!

P.S. Don't forget you can follow this blog and get updates sent to your email by typing in your email address at the top of this page.  Also, check out the archives in case you missed or want to revisit any of the Kid's awesomeness.


  1. Your baby reads faster than I do.

  2. She doesn't have a job (yet!), so that frees up her time.