Soapbox title

By Mikki Halpin

Going into bookstores is becoming more and more like turning on the television. Look at the best-seller list: Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Paul Reiser, Tim Allen. Um, hello, these people are authors? This is literature? Do those who make the transition from stand-up to acting suddenly have carte blanche in the publishing world?

And the books suck unbelievably. Reiser's and Allen's perpetuate the same war of the sexes that their shows have been retreading for years. Degeneres, competing with Janeane Garafalo for the Joan Rivers Award of Female Stand-Up Self-Deprecation, has an entire chapter on what a klutz she is. The only thing remotely interesting about Degeneres is her much-discussed sexuality. But, as they say on usenet, Silence = Sitcom.

They need a new name for these publications. Calling them books really does them a disservice. Perhaps Paper Humor or Sitcom on a Shelf would work better. Oh, I can't wait for the "Friends" book--and the "Nanny" book! And when will the TV dramas start pumping them out too? Forget Nancy Drew, get your daughter the MacGyver series. Curl up with an episode of "ER" tonight!   </end>