Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A State Book?


Apparently, there's a push to make "Moby Dick" the state book.

What do you guys think? Does Melville's whale of a tale deserve to be top of the state over such great works as Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter? While New Bedford obviously would think so, I'm sure Salem would have something to say about it. It'd be a bit ridiculous to think there could be lobbying for a state book, but surely there have been squabbles over even less substantial issues - like the name of a bridge. In fact, literature seems damn well substantial in comparison - at least in graduation season, when I'm sure someone would call for Dr. Suess's The Cat in the Hat to be our state book (wouldn't that be fitting?). Red Fish, Blue Fish? Old fish, new fish?

Of course, fans of Emily Dickenson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau would all have something to say about it, too. It seems to me that, maybe instead of picking a state book - with plenty of great works to choose from - Massachusetts should just give itself a new nickname: the literature state. Clearly, we have a proud tradition of literature that is very worthy of praise all around. However, if we pick an official book, why not pick an official blog too? I think Ryan's Take would be a splendid choice!

I guess the real lesson here is why do we need a state anything at all? With a few state anythings, it's almost as if there's a state everything - causing state somethings to be devoid of the meaning behind the efforts of their installments to begin with. Soon, they're as meaningful as Quequeg's harpoon up against the belly of the great white whale, as Massachusetts becomes the Pequod in the stormy seas of legislative productivity. It seems as if that great push for Moby Dick will - or ought to - fall flat against the impenetrable Moby Dick Beacon Hill.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would have chosen the greatest classic of the Transandental movement - On Civil Disobedience by Thoreau.

Or The Brothers Bulger by Howie Carr!

Mass Marrier said...

Well, I think we need a state placemat, maybe one with the cartoons about how to eat lobster.

Does this smack of calling every street intersection a square, and then naming after someone whose family would then vote for you?

Alter Kaker

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Alcott's "Little Women".

But I personally would campaign for Garrison's "The Liberator". True, it was a newspaper, but ran for 35 crucial years and represents the struggle for freedom and liberty that MA so much likes to pride itself in. Short of that, I vote for MassMarriaer's placemats. :)
-Laurel

David said...

I vote for the Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore. High Art at it's finest.

joe said...

GAHHH DARK ELF TRILOGY ROCKED MY FACE OFF!

Anonymous said...

It's so the legislators can sit around and congratulate themselves on passing so many bills a session. State book, state donut, etc. what a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, state dooonuuut...

Ryan Adams said...

we have one of those

About Ryan's Take