July 21st, 2007


True Meaning Contest

Okay, brain, I know you're throwing out ideas, but --

Why did the phrase "hockey tarot" just pop into my head and lodge there? What are you doing up there?

Also, I have decided that "He's an [x]. She's a [y]. They play hockey fight crime!" is clearly not suitable for children's books. Why? Because children's books must include A Clearly Identifiable Valuable Lesson, or else they are pointless escapist trash and must be roundly condemned by all right-thinking people. Children, you see, are not actually people, who might like to read a book for its own sake, who might even pick out books on their own, who might read books regardless of category if they were voracious enough little readers. No. Children are not like that. They do exactly what we want! They learn exactly what we say! All opportunities must be taken to teach them A Clearly Identifiable Valuable Lesson! So. Examples of good Valuable Lessons immediately popped into my head: "They learn the true meaning of Christmas," and "They learn the true meaning of friendship." The Simpsons had a good series of these when they were indicating the passage of time: "And then we learned the true meaning of Flag Day." etc.

Of course, what popped into my head was, "She's a peewee hockey player who was born to save her father from being the Queen of Air and Darkness's tithe to hell. He's a kid inventor who's just discovering his true powers. They play hockey, fight crime, and discover the true meaning of NP Completeness." This is frightening me a little, and if I wasn't so hungry, I think I'd have to go have a lie-down over it.

(Also, if someone would write a piece of music for strings called, "Air for Queen and Darkness," that would be awesome. It's what I originally typed above.)

But anyway. Now I'm having a contest! What you win is a really cool postcard and the accolades of the other readers of this journal! You should come up with the best "true meaning of" for a children's novel. Bonus points for a good "She's an x/he's a y" to go with it, but what we're really going for is, "They discover the true meaning of flax harvesting!" "They discover the true meaning of Charlie Chaplin's birthday!" sort of thing. Go! Give me true meanings that will be Deeply Powerful Lessons for Today's Youth!

(Anyone who uses the phrase "today's youth" and is not joking bears watching closely. I'm just sayin'.)