Book Foreword – The Harvard Lampoon

One Head in the Kill Machine #

| Issue Editor: JBO '10 | Art Editor: JBO '10

Book Foreword

  CGB '11

The recent fashion among writers is readability. They flaunt their legible fonts and accessorize their prose with decipherable scripts. But venture beyond the fashionable writers donning their work on Parisian runways and you’ll find a brave few willing to exchange glamor for an underground network of sewage-boiling murderers who possess pen and paper. These are the unsung artists; the oft sung junta generals.

Gavin Ferris is pioneering this movement, and I do not regret calling him “America’s Tolstoy” in my first ever review. In relation to other writers who received that title my first year, Ferris has come the closest to revolutionizing America’s Russian romance tradition. Whether he has massacred an entire generation or not.

It’s been a long career for Ferris. A chemist spooned out his right eye during a vacation in Myanmar. His left eye alone witnessed the systematic spine-extraction of his wife and daughters in the same apothecary. Have these experiences affected the caliber of his writing? Only in a good way.

Since this book hit the stores, the instances of aphedation have increased nationally from 0 to 12,000 among teenagers. This relationship is called a correlation, not a “this book caused the extinction of children.” Before I read his book and the first-hand reports by Burmese victims, I had no idea what aphedation was. Now I am committed to clearing Ferris’ name of this “irreversible aphedation crisis,” so dramatically put by the Times.

When Ferris breaks character in chapter 3 to explain that his mission is to spark an aphedation-friendly revolution, and adds that he is not being ironic, we must remember that he is an award-winning fiction writer, or, “lies” writer. Also, geniuses like Ferris are aware of a whole range of emotions we are not even capable of. Some genius emotions are neither “ironic” nor “sincere,” but rather inconceivable. Like how bees can see electromagnetic radiation. What does that look like? Only genius bees can articulate it.

I blame groups such as “I Back You Ferris Whatever You Write” and “If You Die Ferris I Will Complete The Tasks You Outlined In Chapter 3” for the recent upsurge. Yes, they name Ferris as an inspiration, but can Ferris be guilty when, except for one moment in chapter 3, his entire book is written in consistent, syntactical gibberish? Reading the book is like finding a message in a bottle written by a dolphin. “ ,” it reads, and though you know that dolphin is trying desperately to convey a critical message, dolphins have tenuous grasps of the alphabet, and footnotes are ultimately essential. Ferris’ book is a letter-by-letter “choose your own adventure” novel. The reader is to blame if that adventure leads him to Myanmar.

I might not be able to influence every reader, but I hope to convince those readers who exclusively read forewords of one, final thing: it is true aphedation cures impotence, but at the cost of a child’s natural bone-to-organ ratio.

-Hugh F. Krauss