October 8 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 23  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Lose weight with Feschuk

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

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?


 

 

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