Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “It was a dark and stormy night.” –Edward Bulwer-Lytton

This is actually a eulogy for a bathroom monologue. I went on quite a rant about this famous phrase, then threw it into to find out who begat the cliche. The offender was Edward Bulwer-Lytton, but it turns out I wasn’t the first to rip into his writing. It turns out I may be the last, as everyone else on earth has already made fun of him. Madeleine L'Engle, Ray Bradbury, Star Trek: The Next Generation... really, the second Star Trek series made fun of him? Now I can’t bring it to heart to slam old Edward. That’s just not right. You can only disagree with something so much before you become more annoying than the center of your ire. The guy overwrote. So did Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin. Yes, it being a dark night is redundant writing, and this phrase associated with a sort of self-indulgent drama that begs to be made fun of, but the suppression of women’s rights in the Middle East hasn’t been made fun of nearly enough. Debated? Fought? Yes, but not made fun of the may Mr. Bulwer-Lytton’s silly opening sentence was, and not nearly as often (there are even contests to parody his writing style - look it up). So now let’s venture over to some fresh territory of mockery. Let’s not execute Osama Bin Laden when we catch him; let’s give him a top-notch sex change, put him in a string bikini and parachute him into downtown Baghdad. That’ll be a bright and sunny day.

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