Obsessed, Slight Aside …

… as this Chap notes …

The note that went viral at an Oxfam shop in Swansea. Photograph: Wales News Service … Dan Brown’s, er, epic story (?) is now the least desirable donation to at least one of the UK’s charity shops. You remember – dastardly intrigue among Vatican and other types, who successfully set out to eliminate any readable matter from the very opus itself, leaving it a rewarding read only to those dedicated to obscure conspiracy theories? Yes, that one. Fair enough, really, speaking as one who tried and failed to complete it, making no more headway than with Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum.

In turn, this chap notes that … … he made his way through both tomes … filing Mr. Brown’s offer into the pulp fiction bin - whereas Mr. Eco’s - well - this chap thought it most excellent.

That said - on a side note - didn’t ‘Pulp Fiction’ (the ‘sub-genre classification; - not the movie which should not be filed into it’s eponymous bin) get it’s very name from the fact that such a ’tour de force’ should in fact be pulped - not remaindered - not resold - but pulped.

Proof indeed that time moving forward does not equate to progress.

This Chap having served his time in bookstores can attest to the insane quantity of paperbacks that, stripped of front cover, go to landfill.

No problem even with the second least-wanted title, Fifty Shades Of Grope Grey. (Apparently they couldn’t flog it at any price.)

Boom Boom.

But REM’s “Monster” as the least-wanted CD? Not that it’s likely to remain REM’s “Monster” for long anyway, given the high probability of transmogrification

… so glad that we reference ‘The Oxford’.

All tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into ‘Best of Queen’ albums.

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, “Good Omens

True, it’s had a bad rap over the years.

It’s developed a reputation as an unwanted used-bin castaway, so much so that a friend and I jokingly text each other a picture of the pale-orange veneer each time we come across it in a bargain bin.


Indeed, one writer recounted a strange quest:

In 2002, I did some record store browsing with some fellow copy reporter interns-to-be in Austin. While I was fishing through the ‘R’s, one girl next to me said “One thing you can count on when you go into a used record store is at least five used copies of R.E.M.‘s Monster will be on hand.” At that moment, I saw a solid brick of orange CDs, proving her point. Several hours and several beers later, we started wondering why so many people turned on Monster. A few months later, I vowed I would get a record store clerk to buy my copy – a feat that took more than seven years to complete. From 2003 to 2005, I tried slipping the CD in with stuff that clerks would definitely buy (new releases, Pink Floyd or Metallica albums). A clerk would fish through the stuff the store would by and shoot back Monster like it contained a downloadable computer virus. “Nope, too many of those” and “Oh, hell no” were the common responses. Around 2006, I got desperate enough to consider selling it on the Internet. Another no-go. For at least three years, a used copy of Monster could literally cost you a pretty penny on Amazon.

Pop Matters

But the bad rap was a bum rap, as both authors above noted. With “What’s The Frequency Kenneth” eventually turning into one of their best live songs ever …

I put that down to Dan. And as a seperate observation - with absolutely no evidence to support it (to be in keeping with these ‘post truth times’), this chap would further argue that this has had to be the biggest hit that he ever had … bar none.


not to mention [!] “Crush With Eyeliner” –

and the bitter “Bang and Blame”–

– well, it’s time the charity shops caught up, says this Chap. After all, they caught up with vinyl…

“You could give us another Da Vinci Code … but we would rather have your vinyl! We urgently need more records to … make more money for Oxfam.”

May 19, 2017