My weird Sunday read. The day I usually take a break from honest, heartbreaking, disturbing books that make my soul want to sleep forever. I found this Wimpy Kid book by chance, and without even reading the book description, I jumped right in. It's always nice when apparently innocent books with cartoons and everything, actually contain brilliant comedy, wit and a good eye for describing human behavior. In this case, it's not that consistent, but it's... good.
This is a journal (not a diary) written by Greg Heffley, a kid “stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons”. It happened to the best of us. The reasons he gave as to why he's keeping a journal are familiar. First, his mother told him to. Second:
I did the same thing when I was a kid. I had a diary and wrote all my brilliant thoughts in it; it gave me some relief and it was my way of leaving my mark in this world. Someday someone would find it and say “hey, I'm going through the same thing”. Because time knows no difference when it comes to emotions.
We human beings often have that idea of transcendence. We want to leave our mark. Our ego isn't satisfied with just being known by our family and some friends. No. We must be a well-known figure around the world and for many years to come. Leaving money aside, people also want fame. And most of the times, it doesn't even matter the reason; whether it's because of a walk on the moon or a date with some other famous brat, we want to be recognized. And the most ironic and pathetic thing of all, after achieving fame, we hate it. I can't help remembering a beautiful quote relating this matter:
What is the end of Fame? 'tis but to fillA certain portion of uncertain paper:Some liken it to climbing up a hill,Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour:For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,And bards burn what they call their "midnight taper,"To have, when the original is dust,A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust.Lord Byron, Don Juan (Stanza 218)
Amazing how a simple image in some comic can say this much. Or maybe I just wanted to really find something. Either way...
The book has its moments. There's gentle irony and annoying sarcasm combined with average comedy skills. Yes, it wasn't a hilarious read. But it is entertaining (though, the Halloween stuff kind of bored me after a couple of pages). It's all about what the author says rather than the way it's written—quite the opposite to what I'm used to. The writing is simple (I think it was meant for kids, so I knew I had to read it) but there's a familiar feeling you can't avoid. Old memories come back to you, for better or for worse. There's a lot of anecdotes in this book that made me think of my own school days. They weren't that good, though. But they were awesome comparing to what we have today. A girl always reading, writing, drawing, listening to weird music and speaking a language not many understood (I loved reading the dictionary and my words were like Dutch for my schoolmates). I think I wouldn't be able to survive today's school (insert "tragic violin sound" here).
Yes, school is another chapter in your life. It's what you do with it what really counts. I know what my cool schoolmates that used to mock everybody's geekiness are doing right now... Which reminds me:
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.Charles J. Sykes