24 May 2004

Dept. of Unintended Irony

At the local library, I recently came across several ironic entries in the publishing hall of fame. Or shame. Or infamy. But, in any event, I suspect that the irony is unintentional.
  • The title of this one says it all: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Past Life Regression.
  • A book that shall remain nameless on the process of becoming a professional magazine-article writer. So far, so good; but the author's name is not well-known, even in his purported area of specialization. That warning sign, though, is far less than the imprint. You guessed it: this book was published by a vanity press.
  • The execreble Ollie North's book on current affairs is entitled War Stories. He's execreble not because of his politics—or at least not because of his politics alone—but because he damned well should have been court-martialled for violations of Article 107 (False Official Statement) and Article 133 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer), among others, for his role in lying to Congress during Iran-Contra. Whether one approves of the underlying policies or not, commissioned officers don't lie to Congress. They may evade the question; they may refuse to answer the question; they don't lie. And wrapping everything up in "war stories" today…