If the Grinch breaks into my house tonight and tries to steal Christmas, I’ll send him right back to Whoville with a lip two sizes too big. Picture it: I in my cap, having just risen from a long winter’s nap, decking the halls with that hapless felon through a variety of surprising and effective moves, such as an eye jab followed by a mule kick — while screaming.
Good information has always been worth something, but the Internet today makes almost all information goods. And in many cases, we’re freely giving away those goods — our tastes, our ideas, our art — to different enterprises in exchange for connection and exposure. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but the problem is that too many of us do so blindly. Two new books will open your eyes.
Late in Chris Bohjalian’s stirring, sensitive novel “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands,” teenage narrator Emily Shepard describes the “poetry of a nuclear disaster.” She finds alliteration in “rads and roentgens and rems” and captures the rhyming “iums” of words like cesium and strontium and, of course, plutonium. And then she vaporizes it all. “Unfortunately, whenever I write those words down I instantly recall the dead cows and the dead moose and the dead birds,” she says, “and the poems in my head turn to steam.”
One of Martin Short’s great on-screen moments arrives in John Landis’s 1986 comedy, “¡Three Amigos!”in which he played a silent-film star alongside Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. Early in the movie, an unwitting village sends the trio a telegram begging to be rescued from an “infamous” outlaw known as El Guapo. “What does that mean, ‘infamous’?” wonders Chase.
People literally have shared a ton of secrets with Frank Warren. Ten years ago, the Germantown, Md., resident launched a “community art project” with the goal of collecting 365 postcards bearing anonymous senders’ artfully depicted secrets. He got a bunch and started sharing them on a blog, PostSecret.com.