Monday, March 16, 2009

Coming Soon: Soleil Moon Frye's Philosophical Ontology

Fosco is completely exhausted and maybe a little ill after a weekend of working hard and playing hard. Because he has no energy today (and still some work to finish), he's going to postpone "Music Monday" until tomorrow--at which point it will become "Muesic Tuesday" or something like that.

For your Fosco Lives! pleasure today, I can offer you this brief anecdote. Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, Fosco decided that he needed a specific academic book immediately for his paper-in-progress. The book is Basic Philosophical Writings by Emmanuel Levinas. The cover looks like this:

Because Fosco was in Daly City at Oz's place, the UCSC library was not a good option. Fosco decided that the most likely bookstore on the entire SF Peninsula to carry this book would be the Stanford bookstore in Palo Alto. Fosco called and reserved the book at said Stanford bookstore (they had it in stock!) and stopped by Palo Alto on the way to visit a friend in Santa Clara. I won't go into details about the difficulty of locating the Stanford bookstore (just know that it was hard).

Once inside the bookstore, Fosco went to retrieve the book from the Information Desk. That's where he had the following conversation:

FOSCO: You're holding a book for me?
FOSCO: [gives his name]
EMPLOYEE: [fetches book from shelf, glances at the cover.] Emmanuel Lewis?
FOSCO: [assuming that she's making a (pretty clever) joke] Something like that.
EMPLOYEE: [looks at cover again] Oh! Emmanuel Levinas! I read it wrong.
FOSCO: That's okay, I think that's funny. [starts to walk away]
EMPLOYEE: [calling out after Fosco] "Whatchu talkin bout, Willis?"

I think there are numerous lessons that we can learn from this interaction:

  1. A book's cover design is key--splitting the author's name into two separate fonts that point in two separate directions is a recipe for disaster.
  2. People tend to confuse Emmanuel Lewis and Gary Coleman (or, even worse, tend to assimilate Lewis completely to Coleman).
  3. TV's "Webster" lacked the necessary sassy catchphrase that would have made the show memorable twenty years later.
I can already imagine the LOLtheorists pix that some of Fosco's loyal readers will submit... Todd?

1 comment:

Jill said...

I love unexpected humour from strangers.