What does the Internet love more than anything? No, not disturbing, soul-destroying pornography, silly! It's book reviews obviously! But who has time to read all that book just to write a review of it? If the Internet has taught me anything, it's that skimming and randomly guessing at the meaning of things before you fully comprehend them is a perfectly acceptable way to learn. With that in mind, I thought I'd apply these same methods to book reviewing by simply browsing the chapter headings and then putting their teachings into immediate, impulsive, poorly thought-out practice. What's the worst that could happen?
By Kelly Rae Roberts (Author)
Review by Robert BrockwayThe Publisher's description:"In Taking Flight, you'll find overflowing inspiration--complete with a kindred spirit in author and mixed-media artist Kelly Rae Roberts. Join her on a fearless journey into the heart of creativity as you test your wings and learn to find the sacred in the ordinary, honor your memories, speak your truth and wrap yourself in the arms of community."
Oh... well, shit. I picked this book because I thought it was a how-to guide on building and maintaining your own wings, like Icarus. But I guess it's more of a spiritual guide. That's probably for the best come to think of it. I could use some spiritual help, after all, seeing as how I was planning on using my DIY wings to rob the elderly and spy on hot young college coeds (which I would then also rob). So let us begin...
Chapter 1: Unearthing Buried Dreams
Some dreams stay buried for a reason...
By "unearthing my buried dreams," I assume the author is encouraging me to listen to my inner voice in order to better discover my hidden wants and desires. I'm not going to read any further in order to verify this, so I think it's best to just listen to my "inner voice" immediately, and do whatever it commands. So here goes:
"You can do this! You can do anything! Let's get going, man! The world is your oyster! You could paint a picture, or plant a garden. You could finally learn to skateboard. You could have a few drinks to help silence the incessant noise from the screaming masses that prattle ceaselessly to one another yet never seem to say a word. You could become something! You could become something terrible. You could become something terrible and mighty and you could do much in this world... to this world."
"Birthed of fire I am come, and you may call me...death."
So, OK! That got creepy fast. But I'm taking this seriously, so I guess I'm going to listen to its advice. Very well, book. But remember, this is on your head.
I have just killed a man with a lawnmower. I still feel this may have been ill-advised, but I am, after all, just listening to the book. On the down side, I'm only on the first chapter and it's advocated murder. But on the upshot, I can already feel the power of Mr. Stevens's life-force coursing through my veins.
Chapter 2: Facing Your Fears
Facing your fears? Well, I'm afraid of spiders and loneliness. How the hell am I supposed to face those? Wait, I should listen to my inner voice, right? Look at me; applying knowledge!
The voice tells me that the desert is a place for visions, and an arena for confrontation. The desert is a place of cleansing. If I am to face my fears, I must do it there. But I will need supplies. To this end, I have stolen a lime-green Datsun, and I have loaded the trunk with wild spiders. I leave now for the Southwest, and will continue when I arrive.
Not pictured:Optional T-Top, chrome trim, luggage rack, spider chamber.
I am alone here. I have not seen another human being for a week. I have ceased speaking aloud and wearing the clothes of man. Every morning, as the hazy sketch of the distant horizon gives birth to the flaming sun, I open the trunk of my Datsun, and I climb into the spider bath. My life is fear and insanity. But it is my fear. My insanity. I have learned to own it. On the eve of the seventh day I kill a wolf and leave my 'little fears' to feed. As I drive away, back towards civilization, the Datsun feels too light without the reassuring weight of 10 thousand spiders. It feels as though it may float away.
Chapter 3: Creating Community
I see now. This makes perfect sense. I have dealt with my fear of the spider. I have dealt with my fear of isolation. Now I must find others and show them the way. Community binds us all together, but ultimately we must function as our own men. Or women. Preferably women. Yes, I will recruit exclusively young women to join my cause (listen: Who says a cult has to be a sausage fest? If somebody's going to be wearing nothing but drab-ass robes, they can at least shake it a bit, all right? Don't judge me). And so I go forth, out into the world to find scores of gullible, weak-minded, nubile young women who are as easily outwitted as they are impressionable. This will be a daunting, potentially decades long task.
Nevermind. I went to the mall. Task completed.
I have my community. I am their creator.
Chapter 4: Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary
I have commanded my skank-followers to worship the comedy of Martin Short. This is the most ordinary thing that I can think of, and so it is sacred.
"I guess he's not the worst thing in the world, so he is your god now."
Chapter 5: Honoring Memories
It's custom in the hip-hop community to pour out one's alcoholic beverage in honor of their dead, whereas the Vikings would set their deceased afloat on a blazing funeral pyre. These both seem like fitting, touching ways to honor the fallen, so I will do both: I will pour liquor out on my memories, and set them ablaze so that they may become one with the gods.
Well, if you want to get technical about it, I guess I'm really just burning my old middle school down to the ground. The cops would probably call it "arson" and say they will "investigate." I call it "honoring" and say that "I think I'm going to go honor the shit out of the Dairy Queen right now." Because they make delicious sundaes, and it is only a fitting tribute that I top them with fire and retribution.
The final voyage of the summer of 1998, when I worked at a Pizza Hut and once made out with a girl underneath the bridge in Jackson's Park. Rest in peace.
Chapter 6: Speaking Our Truth
I assume that "speaking our truth" means giving voice to sentiments I would normally not speak aloud. So here goes: Secretly, I do not find that guy from Fargo charming in the least. I just... just FUCK YOU, WILLIAM H. MACY. FUCK YOUR HANGDOG EEYORE POUT FACE. THERE. I FINALLY SAID IT.
God, I feel like a monster.
Chapter 7: Embracing our Journey
I am not sure what to make of this one. My inner voice screams to me that I should hunt down Steve Perry and choke him out, but I think that is being too literal.
After a few lengthy discussions, one particularly tense negotiation and several attempted suicides later, my inner voice and I have come to a compromise as to the meaning of this passage. We have decided that my journey is a spiritual as well as physical path. I have obeyed my inner voice and it cost many lives, I have faced my fears in the spider-trunk of a stolen Datsun, I have created my mall-skank cult, we have worshipped Martin Short though he does not deserve it, I have burned my memories and spoken the rough truth: That mopey-faced bastard from Fargo sucks. I have obeyed everything the book has told me.
And now, the book must be telling me that all aspects of my journey should now "embrace," coming together in perfect harmony. So I gather my nubile, doe-eyed young servants in the main hall and have them disrobe (specifically, I tell them it's reverse laundry day. It does not make the slightest bit of sense, but they are not the brightest lamps on the street, and so my explanation is accepted with only a light spattering of muttered confusion). I have lit the ring of fire surrounding us so that none may escape, and the Macy effigy burns with it. Somewhere, a Kelly Clarkson ringtone erupts, its garish tones all but silenced by the solemnity of the moment. I slip my Martin Short lifemask on, bang the "get it on" gong and we begin the orgy. The screams of pleasure quickly turn to horror as I release the spiders from their cages in the ceiling.
This moment is purity.
This is what the book demands.
"And I dub this hellish event... Wednesday."
I write my final summation from my cell as I await trial. I am not sure for what, exactly, I am being tried, and neither is anybody else. They say there's "just too much here to list properly," and so I must wait. I believe I have completed the journey the book has dictated, and my inner voice is silent now that I take these blue things twice a day with meals, so I figure I actually have time to read the words within my sacred book. I am worthy now. I have done, and been done to--like three times just last night, even if one of them was technically just a fear-induced hallucination of a naked she-spider--and I am ready to Take Flight.
Turns out this is an arts and crafts book? WTF?!
Final Score: 7/10 In Summation: There are some very neat paintings in here, just don't skim through it.
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