Saturday, January 28, 2006

1001 **** you must **** before you die

I just hauled a fat '1001 things you must see before you die' book back to the library. Yes, looking at pictures again, while trying not to consider the assymetry building up between places seen and years remaining. There on the shelves was '1001 Golf Holes You Must Play Before You Die'. Now there's an imperative I can happily ignore. '1001 Films to See'? '1001 Albums You Must Listen to'? (Hang on, I'm still working through the films) '1001 Books You Must Read'? (I know, I will watch the film, while listening to the album, with the book on my knee). The formula seems to be tenacious. My '1001 things you must see' tome seems to be one publisher trumping another's mere '1000 places' effort. Other efforts in the crowded field seem to have been written by what seem to be, in this area of frantic exhortation, innate pessimists: Can 'Ten Fun Things To Do Before You Die' really sell well?
has this commendably sober volume, and a few of its more blissed out competitors.
I haven't yet seen the parodies that surely cry out for publication, of the '1001 Things You Must Die Before You Do' kind: '1001 Narcotics, etc'. Actually, the Golf Holes Book might be the first. '1001 Shopping Malls You Must Visit'? (No, won't do: no trace of irony could survive publication, far too good a real world idea). '1001 Insurance Salesmen You Must Meet (etc)'? '1001 Things You Must Muddle Through As Best You Can Before You Die'? Well, yes, tell it like it is. The happy thought is that someone, somewhere, has to be grubbing together the sex-related '1001' volume even now...

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