Thursday, November 5, 2009
Cannonball Read #2: It's Not News, It's Fark - Drew Curtis
It wouldn't be too far off to say that Fark pretty much paved the way for blogs like Pajiba or Deus Ex Malcontent. Especially when you consider that the back of It's Not News, It's Fark (website founder Drew Curtis' first book) contains a blurb courtesy of Chez Pazienza. How's that for coincidence?
Odd chance aside, Fark (The Book) is an absolute goddamn gem, a book that doesn't jab at Mass Media so much as it tears off its extremities and holds it face-down in a puddle of its own blood until the bubbles stop. Having waded through untold piles of fake news, Curtis' book is one of the most gloriously schadenfreude-inducing books to ever see print. It's an absolute hatchet job, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sadly, while Fark (The Website)'s headlines are snappy and biting, they lose some of their wit in Curtis' attempt to adapt them into the book. Drew Curtis' writing itself is both insightful and sardonic; he's obviously been around long enough to know Mass Media's tricks better than just about anyone. Unfortunately, on paper, most of these come off as sentence fragments, which means that quite a few of his jokes sound more like quick asides than full-on punchlines.
If the complaint seems a tad petty, it's probably because, well, it was really the only thing wrong I could find in a book that was otherwise an absolute joy to read. Considering the Media's recent fascination with Michael Jackson's death and Swine Flu, it's pretty easy to impose some of Curtis' formulas upon today's "News". But ultimately, Drew Curtis' message is actually pretty hopeful: Everything is actually pretty okay. Common household objects won't kill you, Obama will not subject your granny to his socialist Death Panels, and Swine Flu will not wipe out the human race. EVERYBODY DON'T PANIC.