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Life's too short to read Joe Queenan

Latest reading is quick reading: a 2002 Star Wars essay collection called A Galaxy Not So Far Away (edited by Glenn Kenny back when Premiere still existed), picked up at the library yesterday and already half-read.

Kind of light, this reading is. (Yes, sometimes I talk like Yoda. Surprised?) Most of the essays I've read so far seem intentionally extra-light, not really digging, though I did like Elvis Mitchell's analysis of why Lando's important, and I was somewhat amused by Neal Pollack's re-write of the original film as if Luke were Holden Caulfield. Some of the writers seem to be digging at air, not reaching particularly interesting conclusions or simply misdirecting their analytical efforts. It is possible to mine pop culture stuff like Star Wars for deep or at least interesting meaning -- as an overanalyzing English major, I should know -- and I've read better attempts to do so.

Maybe I'm not in the mindset or mood to get depth at the moment. There's always that chance, that I'm just not picking up on the subtleties spun by the authors because my mind's already too much in vacation mode, but I doubt that's why I'm not yet overly impressed. (I do know this'd be a lousy time for me to start, say, Moby-Dick or War and Peace. But still.)

I skipped Joe Queenan's essay, described on the back blurb as "the Galactic Empire -- the Galaxy's Last Hope" (and titled "Anakin Get Your Gun"), because I've decided life's too short to read Joe Queenan. He turned me off a few years ago with an essay I found really tortured, basically saying any fan of the Rocky films is a redneck Muhammad Ali-hating dumbass; later I tried to read his collection Confessions of a Cineplex Heckler and could not even get past Page 2.

Oh, and A Galaxy Not So Far Away was sloppily proof-read, which always makes my editing-savvy self think really, proofreading isn't that hard.

Because I'm a Kevin Smith fan, I responded well to Smith's "Married to the Force," starting with his story of attending Cannes in 1994 where a French reporter asked him if he'd intended Jay and Silent Bob to be Clerks's R2-D2 and C-3PO. (Smith said that had never occurred to him until the reporter brought it up.) He ends it with how he and his wife got married at Skywalker Ranch, the same April '99 weekend that my brother and his wife got married in Pennsylvania, because he was using the Lucas-built facilities to finish post-production on Dogma. I'm glad Smith is a good teller of tales of himself, his family and his work; and Smith has spoken eloquently about Star Wars in the past. (Even his vulgar speaking -- he swears a lot -- is kind of eloquent.)

Still, my current more edifying reading is The Stand (still; I've reached page 645 out of 817 of the original-published short version) and McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Stories. I'm trying to regain my ability to juggle multiple books...


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, have you read BenBella's essay collection Star Wars on Trial. Even with the drag effect of my contribution, it's a fine buncha essays....
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
I have not. I'll keep it in mind; I should assay more essays...
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
Joe Queenan never impressed me.
Aug. 13th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Agreed. As someone who owns that book, you ain't missin' nuthin' by skipping Queenan.
Aug. 13th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
I skipped it so much I sent it with bags of other books plus toys to Goodwill.

As someone who owns that book, you ain't missin' nuthin' by skipping Queenan.

Change that to skippin' and that last sentence flows ever better, y0...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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Chris Walsh

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