The Future of the Book

book cover Today marks the publication of Find Me I’m Yours, a novel with not only a run-on sentence for a title, but corporate capitalist product placements throughout. One would be very hard-pressed to find a more fitting example of the thrust of this market totalitarian culture.

The entire project is unabashedly, intentionally, 110% a marketing ploy. It consists, according to The New York Times, of the “book” in question, plus 33 associated websites “intended to host sponsored content,” all created and managed by a crew of 35 writers and internet engineers. So far, the main sponsor of the operation is “the Cumberland Packing Corporation, the Brooklyn-based company that makes Sweet’N Low.”

What did Cumberland buy? Here’s a sample, as recounted by the NYT:

The heroine of “Find Me I’m Yours,” a new novel by Hillary Carlip, is a quirky young woman named Mags who works at an online bridal magazine and is searching for love in Los Angeles.

But the story also has another, less obvious protagonist: Sweet’N Low, the artificial sweetener.

Sweet’N Low appears several times in the 356-page story, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. In one scene, Mags, a Sweet’N Low devotee, shows off her nails, which she has painted to resemble the product’s pink packets. In another, she gets teased by a co-worker for putting Sweet’N Low in her coffee.

“Hellooo, isn’t it bad for you?” the friend asks. Mags replies that she has researched the claims online and found studies showing that the product is safe: “They fed lab rats twenty-five hundred packets of Sweet’N Low a day … And still the F.D.A. or E.P.A., or whatevs agency, couldn’t connect the dots from any kind of cancer in humans to my party in a packet.”

authors The author of this epochal prose is the former Gong Show champion and self-promoting “artist” known as Hillary Carlip. Lest you have the “Hillary” name and the teeny-bopper mentation fool you, cast eyes upon the great laureate author, who stands pictured at on the left in the photo at right with her business partner. Not exactly, as the Gong Show reference tips, a spring hen.

This project, pathetic and insubstantial as it is, is so completely disgusting, so utterly whorish, TCT finds itself, for once, unable to decide which snippets to select as proof of its revulsion. Just look for yourself!

It’s all being proffered, of course, as “a new business model for publishers.” Apparently, this kind of putrid sheepshit is what will pass for “books,” while the print-literacy-hating profit ranching system finishes ridding itself of the problem of potentially informed masses.

Feel free to drop a little offering of your own on this one.

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