Wednesday, October 20, 2010

on a pale horse, bro

I sat down here to write about my avid consumption of nerdy things as a kid, but then my baby woke up and kind of threw off my train of thought. My older kid is watching Diego, which is about a young latino male who spends most of his days screaming at monkeys (and breaking the fourth wall, at which point he screams at toddlers from within the television), and well, frankly the notion of talking about the more sublime facets of the works of Piers Anthony seems a little bit too focused for the chaotic world of boogers and poo diapers and screaming that I’m currently occupying, but I’m gonna give this whole thing a try anyhow. It may fall off the rails. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I used to read the books of Piers Anthony with a reckless abandon that could have quite literally gotten me killed at times. I grew up about one mile from my elementary/middle school and I would often read on the bus and then walk the last three blocks from the bus stop to the school reading as I walked, never looking up from the page as I crossed three streets, all of which were avenues for nerd-crushing busses. But hey, you know how it is when you’re reading about an intellectual minotaur or a future primitive warrior who fights in the battle circle with a net or a rope, or even a stuttering, singing incarnation of the god of war…that shit’s entrancing, bro. You gotta see what happens and if that means walking through the hallways of your school or across busy Chicago streets reading a gigantic powder blue novel with a ripped, shirtless barbarian on the cover like some kind of poor soul that’s allergic to pussy, well, so be it.

Now, this is kind of the thing. I don’t know anything about Piers Anthony except for that he wrote about a zillion books and he’s probably rich as shit (and very old at this point). His books really traversed the nerdscape, sometimes being about mythology, or post-apocalyptic dystopian societies, or elves and clerics and shit like that. Hell, he did space and wizards and ancient times and cheap knock offs of the Hobbit and transdimensional sci-fi and dragons and the whole nine yards. The dude was well versed in the nerdosphere, but in the years since I voraciously consumed his vastly entertaining but ultimately super dorky and (in retrospect) hastily thrown together tomes, I’ve had a nagging thought that I can’t quite shake.

Was Piers Anthony, himself, actually a nerd? He HAS published a book that starts with every letter of the alphabet, according to his Wikipedia page (his ‘proudest achievement’ [?]), and he IS currently bald with a ponytail and beard, according to a quick google image search, but he’s also got zillions of dollars and all he really does is imagine soft core erotica set in different nerd zones and probably use a rake and forklift to get all his money into one room.

I mean, George Carlin had a beard and a bald-long. It’s not exclusively the realm of the nerd, and Piers used to be in the army. And for whatever reason I just don’t quite buy the whole thing. He seems to me like he may be a lot like that drug dealer that doesn’t get high…he’s content to get people hooked on his crap, which will sabotage any chance they may have at decent human relationships, all the while making money hand over fist, aloof to the whole deal even as it ravishes the lives of his customers. I mean, thank god I found skateboarding or I’d probably be sitting at a card table in the back room of a comic book store somewhere eating a pizza for breakfast and debating which spells would really, TRULY be more advantageous to be in possession of and shit like that. I’d be wearing the sweatpants I slept in and a stain or two on my double xl (still kind of tight) shirt that may say “I’m voted for Kodos” or something. Probably the extent of my knowledge of the human female cans and/or clam would be that which I gleaned from either Pornucopia or The Magic Fart (Anthony’s two adult fantasy-erotica novels [which is really saying something. This guy’s published probably over a hundred books, most of which have some pervy sections in them. When he finally went for it and fully wrote something that was overtly sexual, he put the word ‘fart’ in the title? Interesting choice. Is it ignorance or a further method of sabotaging his core audience’s potential for real, live sexual encounters; the pimpled virgins and ponytailed fatties, sitting there in their beanbag chairs masturbating furiously to Anthony’s descriptions of the taut, shapely succubus covered in fish scales who absolutely goes wild for farts?]). Who knows, man? It’s a crazy world out there.

Okay, I gotta roll, but I’d urge all of you to do a quick google image search of Piers Anthony, because not only do lots of pictures of him in various states of aging pop up, but also a whole dick-ton of his book covers, and I’m pretty sure that this electronic uh…nerd quilt of images will illuminate the true nerdiness of this guy’s whole universe way better than I ever could.

Oh, then take off the safe search and google image search ‘dong’. Sure, you get a lot of cocks but you also get a lot of head shots of Vietnamese dudes. It’s pretty entertaining.

13 comments:

AlexCanteen said...

I used to read Piers Anthony when I was in grade school, and grew out of his work by high school.
You definitely hit the nail on the head about his work though.
I once read a book of his about a giant lobster that attacks a coastal town, and (spoiler alert), it's not the lobster's fault. It's this hermetic woman who gets off on climbing inside the lobster (naked, mind you), and controling the lobster by pulling its nerves.

Fucked up, huh?

Scott said...

Hey, i could see you owning a t-shirt that says "I voted for kodos" doesn't present day memories have a larry arms song with kang and kodos doing the "Abortions for all...booo! Very Well, abortions for some, miniature American flags for others! YAYYYYYYYY"

Hamilton Martin said...

A. George Carlin was a nerd.
B. I voted for Kodos.
C. Piers Anthony books are a staple of my (ahem) 'literary' diet. Comparable to scarfing down a can of rancid spam when the munchies hit and I'm too lazy to go to the store, a dog-eared copy of any of Anthony's Xanth adventures is a pseudo-trippy way to satisfy a minor itch with oversaturated overkill.

Sean said...

I Voted For Kodos is a pretty mediocre pop/ska band from WI...

That being said, my friend definitely has that hoodie you described...

Toto said...

"The Magic Fart"???? Really??? i had to look that one up to see if it was true, and yes, it is.

Sir Larry Danger Lowry Esq. said...

I was hoping you'd write something about that pathetic "wear purple" campaign. here's hoping to tomorrow.

kathy g. said...

Skateboarding saves lives

Owner Operator said...

how can this guy be a nerd???

http://www.kylecassidy.com/projects/whereiwrite/old/piers-anthony-800-3.jpg

limited nobility said...

The sock drawer has evolved into DJ Qualls's signature "head cocked to the side pose" or his gait or immune system uuuuhhh....the sock drawer has evolved into DJ Qualls

limited nobility said...

howz about a tasteful litany (mesmerizer).maybe if someone spills wine on you

Drunken Acorn said...

Ha you're all dorks, I read those kick ass choose your own adventure books when I was a kid.

Robb said...

Acorn I too was quite the choose your own adv connoisseur. Not just the big names - Super Mario Bros, TMNT, Goosebumps (yes there were choose your own adv goosebumps) but also standalone 'generic' shit like 'haunted castle' or 'lost at funland'. Yea Piers looks like a pretty awful guy, though that lobster business sounds grand

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