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Friday, February 26, 2010

A Paperback Writer Dulls the Novelty

Happy Friday, Crockers. This one could not get here fast enough to suit me, I must say. But now that it is - rejoicing! After having dinner at the time at which it is served in the old folks home (not that there's anything wrong with that) and watching three episodes of the Law and Order marathon I DVR'ed when I was out of town in make your own marathon style, I am shocked to find myself considering turning off the Olympics in search of other pursuits! Crocking among them! And leaving my young old folks home!
So it is. A perception of this evening shifted, but welcomed.

I am finding that not to be the case in all things, which is no surprise as I most often always hate change. For example, discovering my rent is being raised - unwelcome change. My grocery store no longer stocks Dannon Coffee flavored yogurt - unwelcome change. Hayden Pantierrerereeeree is a redhead? well, actually I don't care about that one.

Anyway, I picked up a book on the two-week check out shelf of the library that I assumed was Paul McCartney's autobiography or memoir of some kind. Wrong! Paul McCartney: A Life by Peter A. Carlin is in fact a biography, so named because it is BY somebody else. (That's official).
Despite glossy photos in the center of the book, I am having real trouble getting into it at all, much less through it. I'm still in England for the most part. Like, we're pretty huge around town and we have our signature look and Brian Epstein and we JUST got to America and are surprised to see how that's going. But I find I'm not liking the book because it's making me like the Beatles less. Nearly all of them! (I mean, who has anything bad to say about George?) And I prefer to join the rest of Americans in just disliking Yoko when it comes to Beatle-ness.

In all fairness, some of my negative feelings come from my dislike of the fake present tense. I am sure there's an actual grammar rule tense that describes what it's written in other than "fake present," but I find it very infuriating to read a biography told in a style that makes it seem like Peter A. Carlin was there, and not merely speculating on mood, reaction, and facts and occurrences based on reports, many of them from those whose "first-hand"edness probably happened some forty drug-addled years ago. Things like, "Paul couldn't be bothered by John's impertinent pout and demand for attention - this was his night to shine, and he was going to, by God."
Like, huh? You weren't there! So that somehow gets on my nerves - impossible omniscient. I think that's the style of this biography. Impossible emotional omniscient.

But what is in fact more worrisome than the style to my overall enjoyment of a life story I am, in fact, quite interested in knowing is that the characterizations do not match entirely with the characterizations of each Beatle persona I have in my mind. And yes, they are nuanced. Yep, I bet they fought and did some of the drugs and were hugely into a lot of things. But, as those who've followed the crockpot's departure into my own speculation about Paul McCartney and his current life with Michael Jackson might guess, I really prefer to keep it a little happier around the edges. Paul, Michael, and Prince, doing normal things - that's what I would like to see.
We'll see if I make it through. I think I at least want to make it to the Linda McCartney part. We'll see. And speaking of crockpot departures, remind me I have to get back to that showdown with Prince and Paul and Michael!

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