Book Magpie: Best of the Web, 9 August 2013
"Panic is your enemy. You are strong. Through your strength, you shall overcome." Who said that? Freidrich Nietzsche or Spongebob Squarepants? Play the 'Spongebob or Nietzsche game' on Buzzfeed and find out.
Like the pressured grammar game Book Magpie featured last week it’s surprisingly difficult to prize apart one of the most influential philosophers of the past 200-years and an animated sponge. It's one of the many reasons why Book Magpie, as a well-read Eurasian magpie, doesn’t see a difference between high and low culture.
Why should one maintain pretentious airs in a world where Disney can teach you all you need to know about writing; when you can learn about the themes at play in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice on Thug Notes; or when even the book shop isn't safe from a classic, well-executed chat up line [links to Facebook].
Indeed, Book Magpie feels that one of the internet’s leading pros is its embrace of bashing high and low concepts together to form new content - just for the love of lulz. Not that this is a new concept - Marilyn Monroe was writing poetry long before the internet arrived.
Not that it's all this way online. People whose brows raise at low brow can still hit up their modem for these 25 essential literature websites that Flavorwire compiled.
Sadly, those Brooklyn-based hipsters ignored Scottish Book Trust. Luckily, my friends were too busy trying to battle through festival crowds to the office to post these lists of 12 books set in the theatre world and books featuring memorable tattoos to notice (in between playing this game of classic book hangman against the clock that is).
It is like a cultural jungle out there in Edinburgh right now. And, hovering above the Royal Mile last week, Book Magpie saw some crazy stuff.
Nothing as surreal as this Tumblr blog which places a cardboard cutout of Hunger Games' Peeta in different settings but some stuff did come close. Indeed some of the acting troupes' pitches were visual poetry good enough to make this Tumblr which collects...well...visual poetry.
There were some great facial expressions to catalogue too; especially in the interactions between hawker and punter. Book Magpie’s personal favourite was the nice but wholly fake yeah-your-student-glee-club-improv-group-sounds-great-I’ll-gladly-take-a-flyer face. The insincerity put this bird in mind of Book Riot’s list of 20 books people pretend to have read.
Of course, Book Magpie doesn’t need to pretend to have read any of them. However, my feathers were ruffled when I found F. Scott Fitzgerald’s handwritten list of 23 must-read books on Open Culture. Not only had F. Scott foreseen the power of the book list but he’d listed some books I’d not actually read.
That’s my work for the weekend cut out then. Along with asking my NYC magpie buds to drop a present on Flavorwire’s roof for neglecting to mention my SBT homebirds. Oh...but hang on, they've also posted this gallery of cats looking stupid in literary costumes. Hmmm...in balance, all is forgiven.