February 17, 2005

Don't Even TALK To That Alice Chick

Yet another reason to love Fametracker Forums: a terribly witty thread that has been evolving for several months, about fraudulant "true life" books such as "Go Ask Alice," which many of us were completely duped by when we were overly credulous young readers.

Don't believe "Go Ask Alice" was a fake? No less an authority than Snopes debunks this favorite oldie. Of course, that didn't stop William Shatner, Andy Griffith, and verifiable actual teen drug abuser Mackenzie Phillips from starring in the 1973 TV movie version.

I mean, really. Anonymous young authors, scribbling tales of drugs, sex, and despair on bath paper and fast food napkins? Cobbled together by grieving parents who hoped that their child's tale would prevent the downfall of others? How did we believe this?
(*Photo from a play done by a children's theatre group in Kansas.)

Because these books underlined a basic "be good" message we were getting so many other places. Because many of us were falling in love with books and words, and part of that required that we give ourselves over to the story. Entirely. It's sort of refreshing, really, to remember that there was a pre-irony, pre-skeptical, pre-critical version of ourselves, who wasn't bothered much by the thought that people might be anything less than honest, and who had faith in the truth of the printed word.

The funniest part of the thread? The collective realization that the book's exquisite descriptions of the effects of drugs on the senses left several posters terribly disappointed when, later, they actually had a chance to try some of the stuff for themselves.

Two example sentences from "Alice's" ecstatic descriptions:

Later Rich brought a sheepskin rug out of his room and we began walking through the thickness of it and there was a sensation in my feet that was totally indescribable, a softness that enveloped my complete body, and quite suddenly I could hear the strange almost silent sound of the long silky hairs rubbing against each other and against my feet. It was a sound unsimilar to any I have ever heard, and I remember trying desperately to give a dissertation upon the phenomena of each individual hair having perfect pitch within itself.

Dude, that '70's weed must have been some wicked stuff. No, wait, that's not the point. "Alice" was a big fat liar. A totally untrustworthy grownup. So remember, dear readers, "Just Say Het!" or Nancy Reagan's giant killer bunnies will get you.

(3/23/05 - note - Fametracker Forums, six years strong, are no more!)

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