Monday, December 5, 2011

sugar-plum dummies

An Internet site lists 25 books in the "for Dummies" category. Italian, French, Computers, Sex, The Bible, iPads, A Complete MBA ... all that and much much more ... for dummies. Since everyone is a dummy from time to time, and since most manuals are written by illiterates, it's easy to understand why book-makers might capitalize on the obvious.

What brought this to mind was the passing thought that perhaps someone, some day, will write "Spiritual Endeavor for Adults." It's conceivable, but is it possible? Every book to date might easily join the cavalcade of 'dummies,' but would it be possible to write an adult book on the same subject? Adult? -- why not 'X' rated?

It's a frivolous notion, but I like frivolity now and then. The idea that "Spiritual Endeavor for Adults" could contain anything more than the dummy information already on bookshelves is ridiculous. We are reduced, by the nature of the beast, to collecting volumes and postures for dummies.

Temples, texts, vestments, incense -- the only suggestion such tools might usefully supply is, "grow up!" But of course they will say it with a simpering or scowly social kindness spread out over page after page for dummies.

We're stuck with the farm. Grab your chewing tobacco and shovel and roll up your sleeves -- there's a lot of hard work to do on the farm, right?

The dance of the sugar-plum dummies.

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