ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Lose weight with Feschuk
By Laura Katsirdakis
Searching for Michael Jackson's Nose: And other preoccupations
of our celebrity-mad culture
By Scott Feschuk
McClelland & Stewart/2003
$16.95, 240 pages
The life of a university student involves a lot of reading,
lectures and stress. What better way to wind down than with
a book that makes you laugh so much you'll probably lose five
pounds before you're halfway through?
In Feschuk's own words: "There are no intriguing plot developments
in this book - nor even, for that matter, a plotÉ no
one comes of age in this book, nor are there any computer-generated
special effects, nor even a single montage that depict two
profoundly different characters falling in love against all
odds to the sounds of a bouncy, familiar 1960s pop number."
What you will find in this book are many razor sharp discussions
about celebrity, television and media issues, some satirical
portraits of media topics and a glimpse into the life of a
television writer. Just to spice things up, the book also boasts
an Oscar bingo card, a listing of books not by the author and
some "advance praise" consisting mainly of publicists refusing
to have their client submit laudations of the book.
There is no plot, no structure and not too much of a point
to this book, but it is hilarious - exactly the OPPOSITE of
all the textbooks we students are damned to read! What more
could you ask for? Michael Jackson's Nose is the perfect antidote
to the homework blahs. What is that you say? You think television
is the antidote? This is a book about television, perfect for
locations where television is not accessible, like on public
transportation or in lonely bathrooms.
Brain food this is not, thankfully. Nonetheless, Feschuk's
satirical insight into celebrity culture does resonate with
truth. In the chapter entitled "The Reality of Television:
Reality Television," the discussion touches upon the ironies
of celebrity temps. For those of you who don't know what a "celebrity
temp" is, Feschuk defines them as "average folk who are called
on to be showcased and exploited for a brief period and then
abruptly sent back from whence they came, never to be heard
of again unless they get arrested for drunk driving or pass
a bogus cheque or something."
Justin Guarini, anyone?