Friday, October 20, 2006

A book "review"

The latest book in the ‘list’ category is ‘The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived’, and this is one that the very instant it gets to the library I’ll be considering wandering on down and borrowing it for a while (www.101influential.com). The premise is that a crack team has gathered together, and whittled down to a very manageable number of 101, a select list of inspiring characters from myth, legend, television and the movies. These fictional characters are all in their own ways movers and shakers and have in some way influenced people and world events.

It’s an interesting point and in the interests of full disclosure I have to admit while I have seen the list, I have not seen the essays explaining why each entry is good or bad. I admit that once I have actually read the thing any questions I have may be answered and it’ll be all flowers and honey after but until that time I’ll just carry on as usual, so here goes:

I can understand why someone would be influenced by Atticus Finch (#57), the Ugly Duckling (#55) or the Little Engine That Could (#31) but what influence could King Kong (#74) or Godzilla (#38) have? Why it the title ‘101’ when there are actually 108 characters (some doubles in the same entry)? Romeo and Juliet (#9) or Captain Kirk and Mister Spock (#50) as examples. Are Kirmit The Frog (#67), the Cat In The Hat (#79) or HAL 9000 (#66) actually people, as claimed in the title? I think not.

For me the biggest shock was #9 – the American Cowboy. What’s up with that? Do these guys mean to say there were no John Waynes, no Clint Eastwoods, no Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (okay, Dale Evans was a cowchick, but the thought holds). No (insert name of favorite cowboy character here – including Cleavon Little (Blazing Saddles) because that guy was smooth)? Somehow the thought that there were no real American Cowboys – all swagger and six-shooters, blasting injuns and lynchin’ rustlers, kissing their horses and mammin’ their wimminfolk – just makes things all foggy. There might as well be no First Thanksgiving shared with the Noble Savages at Plymouth Rock, no George Washington saying, “I cannot tell a lie”, no Mission Accomplished in Iraq. Terrible. Oh well, whatever.

I understand it is totally up to the authors how they described things in their book and it was all for entertainment anyway. If I were to ever accidentally write a book I would do the same and whoever didn’t like it could go lick a bug. I just want to be sure that everything is on the up and up for these guys and good luck to ‘em.

Anyway… Humouroceros

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