Today’s Times had an interesting op-ed piece that I imagine will be much-blogged over the next few days: Typing Without a Clue addresses the crime against literature that is Joe the Plumber’s “memoir,” out this month. In the column, Timothy Egan also takes issue with the rumor that Sarah Palin might receive as much as $7 million for her memoir (which, if she were actually to write it herself, would likely read like a postmodern Dada treatise that would make Jean Arp proud). Despite the entertainment potential of these books, Egan makes a desperate plea:

Publishers: with all the grim news of layoffs and staff cuts at the venerable houses of American letters [my own employer included –ed.], can we set some ground rules for these hard times? Anyone who abuses the English language on such a regular basis should not be paid to put words in print.

I’m really torn as to whether books like these deserve to be published. Personally, of course, they offend me on just about every level. On the other hand, though, I have to acknowledge that the fact that such books are possible is, ironically, one of the things that makes America great (while at the same time completely degrading our culture—I’m so conflicted!). So what do you guys think about the Joe Six-Packs/Plumbers/pit bulls/hockey moms of the world getting book deals? Is it the American Dream, or publishing’s endgame?

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