Barnes and Noble sends me promotional emails, because they know that a) I buy all kinds of crap online and b) I love books. So when a buy two get one free offer came up, I decided to check out the books included in the offer. Unfortunately, it was mostly a blinding array of “chick lit” books, which, if you are unfamiliar with the genre, are targeted at women and contain no plot, vapid characters, poor writing, and open brand-name advertising for things like Coach bags and Maybelline makeup. They are also visibly recognizable by some consistent patterns.
My view is, if publishers ever printed a first-rate, interesting and poignant book with shopping bags or fuschia, spike-heel-wearing bared supermodel legs from the waist down or vectored-shape illustrations in pastels on the cover, I would be the first to never give it a second glance.
Poisonous insects use brightly colored markings to say, “LOOK OUT! THIS IS GOING TO BE FUCKING TERRIBLE TASTING AND POSSIBLY DEADLY!” to those who may be hunting for a meal. Book publishers seem to use the these tactics to say, “LOOK OUT! THIS IS GOING TO BE FUCKING TERRIBLE TO READ AND POSSIBLY DEADLY TO YOUR NEURONS!” to those who may be hunting for a book.
I’ve decided it must be as a service to humanity, helping rational creatures avoid pain (chick lit books) through visual cues while weeding out those too stupid to understand warning signs. It’s Social Darwinism. Women read the shitty books despite clear and present danger, and consequently lose massive amounts of brain cells.
Depending where you are on the social income ladder, there are roughly two results after beginning the mental decline that comes from reading this brain-toxic garbage.
Option One: You move into a trailer with a guy named Jed. He promises you’ll always be his princess, and when he gets drunk you know he only beats you because he truly loves you. You end up lonely, with seven diseased children, and die of a heroin overdose/obesity/parasites while the kids pick their tumors and play with the cockroaches.
Alternately, you move into a top-floor condo with a guy named Brant you met while you were intoxicated and because he smelled like money. You end up lonely, birthing his bratty maladjusted children while he sleeps his way around the company, and die of a heroin overdose/anorexia/in a pool of your own vomit. Your capitalist whore children send skunkweed to the funeral because they hate you so much.
So remember, if you see a woman contemplating a rack of toxic trash on an end shelf or maybe curiously flipping through some pages of a noxious chick-lit, pose the question: “Do you want to die in a trailer someday, alone and loveless in the world? That’s what will happen if you read that book.” Bonus points if IT’S SUPER EFFECTIVE! And they either call security or start crying. There’s probably no saving them if they have already been drawn in and heeded the call of the lurid shit, but it’s satisfying anyway.
Tune in next time for an in-depth look at the sick and twisted training bras of the crap literary world: teen fiction.