Coming Out Of The Woods:
Coming Out Of The Woods is a book that i had to read for Property class.
our Professor who is also the Dean assigned it to us, at least in part, i assume because the guy who wrote it is coming to teach as an adjunct next semester and i guess he wanted to butter him up with book sales.
unlike everything else we've had to read for Law School so far, Coming Out Of The Woods is literature, as opposed to academic writings or judicial opinions, which is why i'm reporting on it here.
however, unlike most weeks where i report about books or TV or movies i've been consuming, i wasn't actually able to finish Coming Out Of The Woods.
i got about three quarters of the way through it before i gave up on account of it being terrible.
i've never written about three-quarters of a movie that i've seen or three-quarters of a TV series i've started, but, i just can't get myself to continue on and it's time to give up the ghost on this arduous task.
normally i wouldn't even bother to write a review for a book i've only read three-quarters of, but, that's kind of a review in and of itself, isn't.
if the book was any good, i would have been able to finish it.
also, i read Norm Macdonald's book [see below] and i needed something to pair with my entry about that, so, okay, let's talk about this dreck for a bit...
i had to write a “reflection” paper about the book over Spring Break and i guess i could just post that, but there is nothing in it worth posting.

Coming Out Of The Woods is a book about a hippie who buys himself 330 acres of woodland in North Carolina back in the late 1960s with the idea of living in harmony with the land, or whatever hippie bullshit was popular back then.
he ended up being a property developer out of necessity, utilizing restrictive covenants and easements to enforce his will on the people who bought land in his development.
which could be an interesting story, i guess, if you frame it in terms of idealism and pragmatism, or how capitalism can be used to effect positive social change, but mostly, there was just a lot of the author talking about all the different flora and fauna in his woods, and, christ, who the fuck cares!?!
the guy's tone was aiming for folksy and avuncular but went way past that to just plain boring.

i started reading Coming Out Of The Woods back in January.
if the book was interesting i should have been able to finish it in a week or two or three, but, it was a chore to read and so many times when i sat down on the toilet [where i do most of my reading] i just played chess against my phone instead.
we had to write a paper about Coming Out Of The Woods over Spring Break.
i was able to bullshit my way through the paper well enough [i guess. we haven't gotten grades back on that one yet] but, after passing the due-date i decided, i don't need to keep reading this shit anymore.
i almost never abandon a book, but, christ, i have other shit to do then suffer through this.

for being cute at times, but not very often, for mostly being unreadable, Coming Out Of The Woods earns a 1.0/10.

Based On A True Story:
i have said it many times, but, as a general rule, i do not care for comedy.
this is not because i am some kind of cretin who does not like to laugh but because nine times in ten, comedy isn't funny.
seven times in ten, whenever somebody is trying to be funny, they fail at it in the same clumsy ways.
moreso then any other art form, i think, comedy suffers from pandering to the lowest common denominator.
when Mötley Crüe sings about Girls Girls Girls you can just let them roll with it because, whatever, they're just a bunch of retards but when a comedian gets on stage and talks about how they don't understand women, or how different races are different from each other or when a lady-comedian gets to talking about her puss, it is all you can do not to be subsumed by pity and disgust.
comedians are supposed to be the gladiators of our age, dragon-slayers who can threaten the powerful and disturb the comfortable with their peerless insight.
when they fail at that, when you can see their punchlines coming, or when they're not hitting hard enough, or when you can tell they're hopping on some social or political trend, it's just embarrassing for everybody.
all that said, when somebody does figure out how to be genuinely funny, they are doing the most important job in the world.
well, not more then doctors, or civil rights attorneys, or garbage men, or veterinarians, or a whole bunch of other really, really important jobs, but, more important then the retards in Mötley Crüe, certainly.

if i had to make a list of comedians who do it right, only maybe five come to mind off the top of my head.
i'm sure there are more, though, not many.
those five include Dave Letterman, Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, Jack Handy if you know who that is, and Norm Macdonald.
Norm Macdonald was the guy who did the fake news on Saturday Night Live back in the early 1990s, then later, he became famous as a degenerate gambler.
i never really appreciated Norm Macdonald when he was at the height of his careere because Saturday Night Live is for people who live in the middle of the country, but, i had a girlfriend once who took comedy more seriously then i do and she said Norm Macdonald knew his shit.
over the past few weeks i've listened to a few Norm Macdonald jokes on the YouTube when i'm supposed to be doing school work.
the PSE caught me doing that, i guess, and made a note that i approve of Norm Macdonald.
one day last week the PSE went to the public library to get herself some books to read because she doesn't have anything else going on in her life and, while she was there she found a book by Norm Macdonald so she checked that out for me to read over my Spring Break away from Law School.
i am normally a pretty slow reader, but i polished the thing off in six days in three bubble baths.

Based On A True Story is a book by Norm Macdonald about Norm Macdonald.
though, it can't really properly be called an autobiography or even a memoir because almost all of it is made up nonsense.
the story roughly follows the sketch of Norm Macdonald's life, but it gets all the facts wrong for comedic effect, doesn't really focus on any of the parts people want to know about and is framed by a fictional road trip that takes up more narrative then the anecdotes about his life.
the fictional road trip involves Norm Macdonald driving from L.A. where he lives in a boarding house to Las Vegas to cash in all the good will he's earned over decades of being a degenerate gambler to get some credit to bet.
his plan is to make enough money to pay back his markers, then buy a ranch in Montana and retire in comfort.
if that does not succeed, he plans on killing himself and dying in debt.
in between chapters about his adventure, Norm Macdonald tells his traveling companion about his life born on the Canadian prairie, making it on Saturday Night Live and then making the failure of a movie Dirty Work, which is where the flashbacks end.
Dirty Work came out in 1998, but i guess Norm Macdonald hasn't had much going on since then so the rest is just about his fictitious adventure to con casinos out of money.
that does not going according to plan, but it doesn't really matter how the narrative ends.
the entire point of the book is Norm Macdonald's storytelling ability.

for having a plot that gets frequently wonky, for going off the tracks on more then a few occasions in unsatisfying ways but for ultimately being a story told really, really well by one of the best storytellers in the business and for making me laugh out loud at numerous points when i almost never laugh out loud, Based On A True Story earns a 8.8/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]
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September 2017

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