Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

In which the author discusses recent works of literature and non-fiction he'd read, if time permitted.

ozz

1. I Am Ozzy, by Ozzy Osbourne and Chris Ayres.
Oh, the joys of being Ozzy Osbourne's co-author. How many times do you think Chris Ayres had to say "Huh?" or "What?" or "Say that again?" when interviewing the mumbling, growling, grunting Monsieur John Michael Osbourne about his Ozzness's gritty Birmingham childhood, or brutal pro-stoner metal aesthetic, or excessive drug use, or the time he urinated on the Alamo? Not that I'd offer Senor Ozz as the ultimate symbol of rock 'n' roll excess, no matter how many times he bit the head off of a bat or a dove or whatever it is that he's supposed to have bit the head off of. In the arena of pure bravura performance art, until you shit onstage after fucking your brother (also onstage), you'll never catch G.G. Allin.

2. The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down, by Andrew Young.
In a way, John Edwards is the Ozzy Osbourne of politics. Now, now, don't protest. I know that the parallels aren't perfect. But consider:

Ozzy is "going off the rails on a crazy train"—John Edwards went off the rails with John Kerry. (BIFF!) Ozzy's vote doesn't mean anything in the Senate—neither does John Edwards'. (OOOF!) Both sport unlikely haircuts. Both have smoked w33d. Both got in trouble in the South (Ozzy, as discussed above, peed on the Alamo— John Edwards dallied with (but didn't necessarily pee on) Rielle Hunter.] (POW!) I mean, the only important difference between these two kindred souls is: 1) their nationality; and 2) the fact that Ozzy successfully invented heavy metal while John Edwards hasn't succeeded at anything. (WHAM!)

3. Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training, by Tom Jokinen.
A tell-all by a newcomer to the dirty, corrupt, exceedingly profitable business of burying dead people. Perfect—another morbid subject Sir Ozz and Black Sabbath (that's Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward, the guy playing playing terrible drum fills) can relate to.

4. The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, by Deborah Blum.
Wow, check out that title and subtitle. Ozzy must absolutely love this week's installment of "Five Books I'd Read." I bet he'll read this blog post as soon as it's published. I bet he's reading it on his iMac right now, ensconced in his L.A. mansion thinking of appropriate punishments to inflict on young Jack Osbourne after his next public, alcohol-related, reality-TVish fuckup. I bet he's contemplating going to his local Barnes and Noble, lurching to the cash register, and, in an inscrutable Northern accent, demanding a copy of The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum from a frightened clerk who just wants him to autograph her vinyl copy of Dehumanizer even though he didn't sing on that record.

5. Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat, by David Dosa.
I fantasize that, in the film version of this book about a cat who hangs out with dying people in a nursing home until they kick the bucket, Ozzy Osbourne plays the cat.

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