Thursday, November 29, 2007

When books and movies collide

ad-ap-ta-tion: (noun) a written work (as a novel) that has been recast in a new form.

Oh Chapters, how right you are...

I hate movie covers on books. Alas, I did not buy Memoirs of a Geisha or Children of Men soon enough, and now I can't seem to find them with their original covers. As cute as Clive Owen is, I still don't like it. Now I must acquire a copy of No Country for Old Men before that cover gets ruined too. (They have released a movie cover, but I should still be able to find the original...) As much as I hate them, I guess movie covers are a necessary evil, as I'm sure sales of books go up once they are branded with the movie imagery. And there's nothing wrong with people buying more books; it just won't be me buying those movie covers.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm dreaming of a

Christ - mas: (noun) The annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus.

I had the pleasure of seeing White Christmas: The Musical yesterday and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. I'll be honest, I haven't seen the movie (*hanging head in shame*), but I've been told the musical is very close to the film. And the singing! The dancing! The fits-right-into-today's-fashion 1950's costumes! It made me wish I could tap dance in a poodle skirt.

But there was one part that confused me a bit. In one scene, someone makes a reference to Hanukkah, which I was told was not in the movie. I understand the desire to be multicultural and all but it's called White Christmas. It's full of Christmas trees. There are Christmas cards. It culminates on Christmas Eve. So why can't it just be left at Christmas? That's what it is about, that's what it is celebrating.

Of course, this extends into today's society as well. (Here I go, on my soapbox.) Yes, Christmas is a Christian holiday and yes, there are many other religions that celebrate holidays this time of year that are not Christmas. But at the risk of offending those religions and holidays, I'm not supposed to wish people Merry Christmas? I'm supposed to send holiday cards? Put up a holiday tree? If so, does that mean we should call the menorah a "holiday candlestick"?

Just call it was it is. Let me celebrate the way I want. And in the immortal words of Clark Griswold, "Have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny f***ing Kaye."

Saturday, November 24, 2007


par-o-no-ma-sia: (noun) the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound to achieve a specific effect, as humour or a dual meaning; punning.

"Paronomasia" is a real word; "paronomania" is not. It comes from the Reginald Hill book Dialogues of the Dead and is defined as "a clinical obsession with word games". But I prefer "paronomania", even if I'm not clinically obsessed with anything. I just like words. I like the way they sound, the way the come together to form things of great beauty and intense ugliness, the way they do (or don't) rhyme, the way they can express so much with so few syllables. Like I said, I'm not clinically obsessed but I like the idea of being a bit manic when it comes to words.

The saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words. Then, as we go about our days, the images we see all around us create thousands of words for us. And each one of those words has a definition, made up of other words. And they are everywhere, informing us, guiding us, enlightening us. But mostly defining us.