Sometimes, things are wrong. At one point they may have been alright, and are now considered wrong, or, they always have been and ever will be just plain wrong. Oft times, these wrong things are also funny.

With that in mind, this endeavour features two main strands: the "Shelf of Shame" (books) and the "Screen of Shame" (film) and smaller strands such as "Sound of Shame" (vinyl) and "Miscellany of Shame" (various) - each showcasing items from my personal collection of bibliographic and cinematic oddities and curios.

Deemed shame-worthy according to varying criteria of wrongness, these humourous, surprising, and occasionally instructive items are therefore posted here for your perusal, amusement and edification. Enjoy.

Porn Title of the Week:

Red-dick (Sept 1)
Blow-Jobs (Aug 25)
The Butt-ler (Aug 18)
You're Sexed (Aug 11)
Fuck-Ass 2 (Aug 4)
We're the Fillers (July 28)
Tur-blow (July 21)
The Who-To-Do-List (July 14)
Pacific Rim-Job (July 7)
Blown Ranger (June 30)
White House Going Down (June 23)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shelf of Shame #2

Clara E. Laughlin. Fleming H. Revell: New York: 1918. 8vo. Light blue boards, with dark blue titles and red decoration to front board & spine. 155 pp. with 4 b&w photo illustrations, incl. frontis portrait.

Sometimes, a book's title will just leap out at you, grab your attention; such as this volume. "Foch The Man" it commands. "But what if I don't want to Foch the Man...?" you riposte weakly. "FOCH The Man!" the title repeats, sternly. And what then can you do but succumb... and laugh that once upon a time nary an eyebrow would be raised at this titular travesty.

Seriously, though, I wonder if people in 1918 would read it as rudely as we do now - and by the way, the "we" means I include all of you in my perverse perceptions, just so you know. There is likely a research paper in the prevalence of certain curse words across different epochs. (If only I hadn't squandered 14 years in getting my crummy Specialist B.A. in History & English... aw, Foch me.)

Certainly rude innuendo has been in the popular front since the days of Shakespeare... witness, for example, all the ribald punning in Hamlet, included for the humourous benefit of the common theatre-goer. But were everyday people making those connections regularly, in their everyday lives? Were there then, even in times of old, Beavises & Buttheads who, walking past the bookshop, mayhap gaze into the window and chortle "Huh huh - his name is "Foch" huh huh"...? (I feel there is a joke about "Judge not lest ye be Mike Judged" in there somewhere... but I digress.)

Back to the tome in question: the text of the book is quite simple and straightforward, populist really. The only internal humour derives from creating phrases of the "fochin" ilk: "that guy was fochin' amazing" or "what a great fochin' idea" or "he foched the Germans up real good"... you get the idea.

This volume was a birthday gift from a good friend and (I am reasonably certain) fellow aficionado of all (or at least most) things wrong. I appreciate her spotting it in some dusty shop somewhere, recognizing that it belonged with its brethren on the Shelf of Shame, and procuring it for me for just that purpose. So Britta, I again offer you my sincerest thanks for the Fochin' book. : )

For Further Research:

Those wishing to read a review of Ms. Loughlin's biography of this fascinating figure of the early 20th century military can consult the following link:

No comments:

Post a Comment