Monday, November 17, 2008

Katy Perry Writes A Book

Len Findlay sent me a letter:

David, I'm faithless and wandering. I want only to be quiet and still. I've lost hope that this world can offer anything better. And I'm thinking of buying a motorboat.

There's a group of people in Oregon who're willing the apocalypse. They're not waiting for it; this isn't part of any prophecy or misunderstood scriptural passage. They've just had enough of things (poverty, homelessness, cruelty, etc.), and they want everyone to know that it'd be okay if this tireless pursuit of a doctor's appointment just ended tomorrow.

"Otherwise," one told me, "there'll be a Saw VI. Can you believe that? I wouldn't use that goddamn script as a rectal thermometer."

The group's called the Wolfsonians and I'll address them later.

But the Wolfsonians keep a list of factors influencing their fatalism. It's like a Billboard 100. So, a couple of weeks ago, Palin's candidacy was #1. We all know that Palin's a genius, and rumours of her ignorance were fabricated by the liberal media, etc. Palin was great; she was just folksy. And if she didn't know that Africa wasn't a country...well, that was Schoolhouse Rock's fault, wasn't it?

Then Obama won, and Steve Maich's hair became an issue. (I wish I had a picture of Maich circa. '08 on The Agenda. It was the strangest thing. His hairline hadn't really receded, and his hair was long. Yet he was bald. And under the studio lights you could see his entire scalp. It was like sun streaming through a forest of denuded trees.)

Their list's been amended since then, and the new problem is Katy Perry's forthcoming novel. Katy Perry is an American pop singer who's famous for a bunch of reasons--big tits and a nice ass. And she sings. I want to be fair; Perry's not just an attractive woman who made it on looks alone. But to buttress my point I will say that Rolling Stone has speculated that, had she been born a mute, her past album sales would've decreased by about half.

Perry's writing a novel. Christ, why not? Miley Cyrus is working on a tome in the kitchen of her tour bus. It's based on the life of Mark Ruffalo, and Dick Cavett, who read an advanced copy, says that the writing is just cogent as anything Prudential's actuaries have ever done.

Perry's novel is a guaranteed best-seller, and so it deserves space on this page. The plot? That's still a secret. But Perry's doing it all herself. No ghostwriter here. This is going to be pure Perry. Apparently she's doing a lot of work in the studio, between takes. Dr. Luke is helping her with synonyms.

A friend questioned Perry's qualifications. "Novels are big and hard," she said. "Katy doesn't have any experience with that."

The easy joke would be to talk about or list books that Perry's read. From lyrics like, "Us girls we are so magical / Soft skin, red lips, so kissable," I'd say she's familiar with a lot of stuff by Bernard Kops. But I haven't read the novel, so I can't judge her. Maybe it's good. Maybe it's terrific. Would MTV offer to "get The Hills writers working on an adaptation right away" if it were bad?

The Hills writers--you know them. They're the group that said the only problem they had with Henry Fonda as an actor was that he didn't play Tom Joad "funny."

And Perry's songs are literary. Let me say that. Philip Roth called Ur So Gay, "Like Anna Karenina set to a funky beat." And Charles McGrath, in the New York Times Review of Books, said that "One of the Boys" is, "not better--but isn't too far off from anything that Virginia Woolf shit out on a particularly cold, Aylmer morning."

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