Archive for May, 2021
Hardiman Reviews Copycat Novels You Should Avoid
In Ray Bradbury’s dystopian chiller Fahrenheit 451, we come to learn that 451° is the temperature at which paper burns. And this particular paper is incinerated courtesy of a fascist state that’s burning books to discourage critical thinking and to promote unswerving compliance to their repressive regime. It’s a cautionary tale that has become a literary and cultural touchstone.
Fahrenheit 451 portrays the far-reaching consequences of unexamined groupthink and it has spawned copycat novels of considerably less gravitas that portray the near-reaching consequences of examined triviality. Say what? Say this: These flimsy, opportunistic novels piggybacking on the shoulders of the more magisterial Fahrenheit 451 are to be avoided. One may wonder if this comparison is some kind of joke. And the answer is yes. Yes it is some kind of joke. Humorous warnings about unworthy copycat novels is not an easy premise to wrap your mind around. But I’ve done all the wrapping and unwrapping for you and I present your unwrapped present, presently. All you have to do is the reading.
So as a service to humanity and my 6 faithful readers (alright, 3 faithful readers including me), I’ve taken time out of Day 2608 of my retirement to highlight some of these gravitas-deficient books. I present them to you before they’re mercy-burned by the National Book Club for being so epically inconsequential.
Hardiman’s Review of Fahrenheit 451 Copycat Novels You Should Avoid
- Fahrenheit 212° – In Europe this book is sold as Celsius 100°. It boils down to this: It’s the exact same idea, just on a different scale. Hard pass.
- “Fahrenheit, Fahrenheit, Fahrenheit” – In this reboot of the Brady Bunch franchise, Marsha changes her name to Fahrenheit. The book’s title derives from sister Jan’s exasperation with Fahrenheit always getting things her way, causing Jan to whine, “Fahrenheit, Fahrenheit, Fahrenheit.” It’s a surprisingly entertaining book, especially in chapter 8 when Fahrenheit convinces Davy Jones to perform at her high school’s prom.
- 50 Shades of Fahrenheit – Things heat up very quickly in this steamy novel of forbidden temperature-taking. It’s original title was Hide the Thermometer. The entire time I was reading it, all I could think was, “Don’t go there. Please don’t go there.” And then it went there. Not only is it a novel of little value, but I could’ve done without the illustrations.
- Fahrenheit 271 – In this dense philosophic treatise we learn that 271° is the temperature at which Play-Doh burns. That’s all well and good. But then the author says it’s also the temperature at which Socrates burns. Hmmm. We strain to understand why he’s discussing the combustibility of Play-Doh and Socrates until we realize he spelled Play-Doh incorrectly. He meant to compare Plato and Socrates, not Play-Doh and Socrates. I’m told the publisher cancelled his other essay where he attempts to compare Silly Putty and Aristotle.
- Fahrenheit 61 – A glacially paced and less than startling novel. We go through 321 pages of drivel to discover Fahrenheit 61 is the temperature at which most people decide, “Yup, better bring a sweater.” Is this literature or just normal self-care?
- Fahrenheit 116 – The author claims 116° is the temperature when seagulls go (not “say” but “go”) “This incarnation sucks. It’s 116° and there’s no place to land but on scorching asphalt. Man my webs are really barking today.” To me, seagulls are the carp of the air. The book seems to be offering the thoughts of a seagull. Nah, pass on this one – Jonathan Livingston Seagull it ain’t.
- Fahrenheit 92 – When you discover that 92° is the temperature when cheese begins to melt, you’ll be asking yourself, “And this is important because…?” The book claims to “blow the lid off of the secretive Kraft Velveeta skunk works” in Wisconsin. Well there are no “Velveeta skunk works” in the Cheesehead state. Velveeta is openly manufactured in Monroe, NY. A word to the wise, if you weren’t lactose-intolerant before you read this cheesy book, you will be afterward.
- Fahrenheit 42 – Inconsequentiality at its best: It’s the temperature at which Fudgies begin to melt. Not too significant to you maybe, but try telling that to the Bowery Boys on a steamy summer day in sweltering New York City and suddenly it becomes a real issue. Real fast. Fast and Slurryious!
- Burned at the Stake: The Salem Witch Trials – This scientific take on the trials is more about the temperature at which possessed bodies combust, and less about alleged witchcraft. You know you’re in trouble when the author writes, “These nerdy witches really quality-controlled their spells. In fact they wouldn’t even consider casting a spell until they ran it through Spell Check”. The whole book reads like some kind of Witch Hunt or something.
- The Daniel Fahrenheit Story – A biography of the inventor of the thermometer. It measures his life in varying degrees. The book describes his intellectual break with fellow temperature measurers Anders Celsius and Lord Kelvin when in chapter 7 Fahrenheit explains, “I always said that the mouth was fine for taking a temperature. But Celsius had been drinking and says, ‘Y’know where else we could put it?’ And the idea stuck – he’s such an ass. And as for Lord Kelvin, my God! The man is an absolute zero.”
- Fahrenheit 146 – It’s the average atmospheric temperature the Earth must reach before Global Warming deniers will believe in climate change. In this hydro-thrilling tale, after the polar ice caps melt, the last million people are clinging to life atop Mount Everest eating the few remaining Clif Bars. And of that remaining million, the author informs us that almost 65,000 are named L’il Uzi. Huh?
- Fahrenheit 3.14159 – The author claims it’s the temperature at which pi melts. WT? It’s written by the same guy who patented the term, “May the Fourth be with you.” I can’t recommend this book. It’s irrational and just goes in circles.
- Braille 451 – It’s Fahrenheit 451, but for blind people. In this tale of graduated discovery, the sight-disadvantaged are instructed to fondle the bumps on a special thermometer to determine the temperature. At the end of the novel it’s revealed that what they’ve been fondling is not a thermometer.
- Fahrenheit -33 – -33° is the theoretical temperature at which all conversation comes to a complete standstill because it’s just too f*cking cold to move your lips.
- Fahrenheit: Fair in Height – A botched attempt at homonymically titling a biography of Daniel Fahrenheit. When the crazed biographer writes, “Fahrenheit is fair in height and mercurial in nature” we know it’s time to put the book down and dial 911.
- Fahrenheit 98.6 – It’s a temperate, metaphoric call to accepting all sexual orientations. We are reminded that 98.6 is the temperature of homeostasis. We are also reminded that it’s the temperature of heterostasis thereby proving the maxim that “love is love and temperature is temperature.” It’s a loving reminder that we all share same-temperature tendencies. Whether we measure it in Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin, we’re all measuring the same thing.
- Green Eggs and Fahrenheit – Dr. Seuss attempts to turn a white egg green, by making it very envious. I did not like this book. I did not like it… (and at this point I refuse to launch into Dr. Seuss prose).
- Fahrenheit 160 – A group of mountaineers set out to prove that water boils at 160° atop Everest at 29,000 feet. After withstanding grueling hardships and the loss of 6 fingers (amongst the party) they discover that yes, it does. But they also discover that they could’ve conducted the experiment in half an hour at 29 feet in an altitude-modified hyperbaric chamber.
Are you enjoying reading this and participating in my little mentally orchestrated bookshelf? Just like they do in the movies sometimes, I too like to break the 4th wall and talk directly to my readers (the faithful 2 excluding me) in kind of a shared experience of knowingness. It strengthens our bonds and makes us feel more connected – not just to each other, but to the universe at large (and it is large, isn’t it?).
In this way we are reminded we’re not just some alienated, stand-alone unit cast out onto an indifferent universe not knowing what to do. And how do we know this? Well, we’ve always known it, we’ve just forgotten it due to our immersion in predicaments and circumstances I can’t account for.
I do know how to get behind it sometimes so I don’t feel like I’m just some silly figure surrounded by uncontrollable circumstances. A little boundary dissolving is a good thing. I know that what I say is true .0001% of the time, which means it’s really true all the time. Remember, time is a malleable dimension, except when you’re passing a kidney stone – then it likes to stop and stand still.
And because this is the end, I’m going to finish it with 2 periods..
Please Consider this Exciting and Eerie Career Featuring Killer Benefits and Lethal Clichés
- Urn while you Burn
- Watch while your best work goes up in smoke
- Compliant cadavers are never a pain in the ash
- Job Burnout? Not a problem. In fact, it’s encouraged.
- Job Security? Not a problem. In fact, you get to fire people all the time.
- As a frontline Cinder Chef, you’ll have a platform for making inappropriate jokes to bereaved families:
- Well, the good news is that Gladys now has a smokin’ hot body
- Did you know you’re not supposed to cremate bodies in months that have “embers” in them?
- I’m sure Rupert will always carry a torch for you
- His ashes? Oh, that cremains to be seen
- Recognition? Retirees are eligible for the CHF (Crematorium Hall of Flame)
- Learn more by watching the Discovery series: Deadliest Match. Or the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Corpses
- COVID Compliance? Now offering No Contact Drive-thru Incineration
Note to Applicants: We’re pleased to announce that business is dead. So much so that we are looking for self-starters to consider a career as an Ignition Mortician. Think of it as a different kind of Tinder. Job interviews are very thorough, but don’t worry, you won’t be grilled. We look forward to hearing from you. We’ll keep a candle for you, burning in the oven.
- Marcel Tourette…The F-Bomber
- Jesus Christ…L’il Lord Jay-C
- Pope John Paul II…Ringo
- Joe Biden…Joe Biden
- Tuesday Weld…Ash Wednesday
- Rock Hudson…Gaylord
- Andy Warhol…Whitey (but only for 15 minutes)
- Queen Elizabeth II…Cuddles
- Calvin Lindbergh (Charles Lindbergh’s younger, less successful brother)…Unlucky Lindy
- Cherilyn Sarkisian…Cher (This is the only true nickname listed)
- Hitler…Herr Trigger
- Geronimo…Sitting Bull
- Sitting Bull…Geronimo
The swirling mass of localized consciousness known as David Hardiman has enlisted us (Survey Monkey) to gather actionable intelligence so he may improve both the character of his being and the content of his platform. He believes your participation in this survey will, “enable me to rebrand my retail presence so my legion of followers might possess a deeper understanding of the universe I inhabit.”
Yeah, it’s obvious – the man could use some humanizing. By responding to this survey, you’re helping Mr. Hardiman humanize his aloof demeanor and weaponize his killer humor. Having turned 60 recently he now recognizes mortality as something that applies to him – and not just his “legion of followers.” Motivated by the preciousness of time and the majesty of love, he has grown vitally interested in the take-aways from this survey; before he’s taken away from all he surveys.
So please take a moment to help us do what many believe is impossible: to improve the David Hardiman brand. David Hardiman (herein referred to as “DH”) aspires to provide a better DH experience with more pertinent content featuring a greater sensitivity to the needs of all 3 of his followers. So whether you enjoy the Thin or Ultra-Thin version of DH, you are invited heartily to complete this carefully constructed survey designed to foster his self-discovery.
This Survey/Questionnaire should take about 6 minutes, but it goes by like 40. By agreeing to participate in this survey, you are certifying that you are not a robot. But if you are a robot and have gotten this far, maybe your intelligence isn’t so artificial after all. If, however, you’re unsure of your android identity, just pick one of the choices in LGBTQ?R2D2 and get on with it.
Please Note: Creditors, family and urologists of DH are ineligible to participate without the expressed written consent of the CHUBB Group – which is ironic because DH is so thin.
The DH Survey/Questionnaire
- Based on your experiences with him so far, would you recommend DH to a friend?
- In the unlikely loss of cabin pressure, did you know it’s your duty to help DH on with his mask first, before you even think about putting on yours?
- (Cannibals Only) If you were preparing a stew containing DH, would you remove his fat cap and silver skin, or leave them on for flavor? Do you even realize he’s so thin he doesn’t have a fat cap?
- Did you know that because DH expects the worse, he suffers from PTSD – Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
- How would you feel if you discovered DH shaved with Occam’s Razor?
- Fine, because it is the most logical conclusion based on the facts.
- A man’s shaving is his business.
- WTF is Occam’s Razor?
- Did you know DH does not wear cologne? Why? – because he smells so good.
- Did you know DH can sense a flower shop 100 yards away? Why? – Also because he smells so good.
- On a scale from 1 to 10, how much do you think DH weighs? 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 or 10? It’s a very peculiar scale.
- Oddly enough, did you know that DH’s favorite time of day is also 1 to 10 (aka 9:59)?
- In the unlikely event of an unscheduled water landing, did you know that DH may use any passenger as a flotation device?
- Which word best describe him: Missionary, Cheugy, Atwitter, Fluoridated?
- When pondering a vital life decision, do you find yourself asking WWDHD?
- Finish this sentence. “DH has…
- …an actual banana in his pants just in case he’s not especially happy to see a particular person, and that person asks him “Are you happy to see me or is that a banana in your pants?” In this way he can produce the banana and honestly say, “I’m not especially happy to see you and yes, I do have a banana in my pants.”
- …joined the Mile High Club – while soloing.
- …eaten the rind of an orange and found it a peeling.
- …a special toupee he wears, but not on his head.
- …been called a complicated man – like Shaft. John Shaft. Can you dig it?
- Do you spend an unhealthy amount of time imagining what DH would look like in your ceiling mirror?
- How likely is it that life is a box of Cracker Jack and DH is the prize?
- Very Likely
- And yes, they still make Cracker Jack?
- Did you know that because DH suffers from Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder, he travels with Arnie, his calming service aardvark?
- Is it part of an Intelligent Design that when doing a Google search for God, DH’s picture appears regularly?
- If some of the options on a corporate phone tree had changed, would your fist thought be, “I wonder how this might affect DH?”
- What 3 attributes of DH do you find most appealing. His…
- Immunity to Body Shaming
- Susceptibility to Body Praising
- Opposable thumbs
- Opposable kidneys
- Disposable diapers
- Self-waxing thighs
- Ability to blink in unison
- Recognition of Hank Aaron as the true home run king
- Peculiarity as the only person on the face of the Earth who showers before entering a public pool.
- If you experienced shortness of breath how likely would it be you’d call DH instead of 911?
- If you experienced longness of breath how likely would it be you’d call DH instead of the Guinness Book of World Records?
- Do you include “I’m Facebook friends with DH” on your resume?
- How strongly do you agree with this statement: It was important for global cohesion that the CDC allowed DH to jump the line and get his COVID shot prior to everyone?
- Very Strongly
- Why are you asking such an obvious question
- I was told there wouldn’t be math
- Is DH an original thinker or does he repeat himself?
- Yes, he repeats himself
- Yes, he repeats himself
- Yes, he repeats himself
- Which is preferable: referring to DH as Dear Leader or simply the All Being?
- How strongly do you support the following statement: The entire exit row of an airplane shall be reserved for DH – even if he’s not on the plane.
- Strongly Support
- Strongly Support
- Yes, he repeats himself
- Did you know that DH is researching whether a couple has ever had sex in outer space (aka geosynchronous humping)? Nothing definitive yet, but he has pretty much ruled-out any hanky-panky on the Apollo missions, gruffly concluding “Nah, those guys dug chicks.”
- How strongly do you agree with this statement? If I was in Hospice care and DH needed my morphine drip, I’d be happy to take an aspirin instead.
- Agree strongly
- I’m too zonked-out on morphine to care
- Calgon take me away
- Let it be Known: You do recognize your duty to keep silent if DH were to steal your catalytic convertor and sell it on the Black Market.
- Let it be Known: It is important to understand that what drives DH is that he was once shown a vision of what he’d look like if he never brushed his teeth.
- Let It Be Known: DH believes that when someone says, “myocardial infarction” – they’re swearing?
- Let it Be Known: If DH thinks he’s being clever, you must do all you can to perpetuate his illusion and support him. Even if he’s not on your plane, or Pre-Traumatically Stressed or with his service aardvark Arnie, or even with Jiminy – his new rescue cricket.
- Let it be Known: DH believes STDs can be transmitted over the phone.
(40 minutes later) Well 6 your minutes are up.
Thank you for investing in America’s future by investing your time in our Dear Leader, DH. An appreciative note will be sent to you Shortly. And yes, I’ll stop calling you Shortly, unless of course for some reason your name really is Shortly. But Shirley no one is named Shortly. This is all short of true. Well short of.
This survey was powered by Survey Monkey.
Survey Monkey – We’re here when you absolutely want to pay a fortune for discovering something you already know. We’re kinda like religion that way, but much more expensive.