Friday, January 03, 2003

John Derbyshire has been Cornering away on how much he liked Bored of the Rings, the Harvard Lampoon-published parody. In one of his posts he comments

I mis-remembered the last name of Dildo, hero of Bored of the Rings. His full name was, in fact,
Dildo Bugger. Any suggestions that my mis-recollection of that name is yet more evidence of my
well-known obsessive aversion to certain practices, will be sturdily refuted.

I'm open to contradiction here. Maybe it's a generational thing. But I think this post is more accurate than Derbyshire understands. I, at least, found BotR dumb and, well, boring. Like a great deal of Lampoon material, it reads like something Beavis and Butthead would have written after they learned to write. ["Heh. Hehheh. Dude, you wrote 'dildo.'"] And I think that level of humor gets a lot of its appeal (for those to whom it appeals) out of the laughing embarrassed shock of reading even allusions to sex in general and to sex one takes to be kinky or perverse in particular. In short, it's not the misrecollection that provides evidence of Derbyshire's obsession; it's the fact that he found the book funny in the first place.

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