Jeez, that is such a nerdy reference, I think I just earned another literati merit badge. (My troop meets once a month to get drunk in libraries and laugh at the plural form of words like 'apparatus.' Apparati. Priceless!) "She Stoops to Conquer" is an play by George Bernard Shaw, and I got sick and collapsed on a stoop this afternoon. A stretch, I'll admit, but I'm this close to becoming a Murasaki Scout and I really need my "Needlessly Pretentious Referencing of English Playwrights" credit.
You know, I WAS going to write a post about how embarrassing it is to disappear from one's blog for a month and have to come back with a story about nearly passing out on a Brooklyn street corner, but frankly my fake intelligensia survival troupe idea is way more interesting than my failing health. Would anybody be interested in joining the Literati Scouts? I don't know if we can bring alcohol into libraries, but we can discuss our favorite books, writers and poets and drink outside on the steps. New York libraries have very fine stoops.
We could have different levels of Literati Scouts, starting with Seuss and going up to Shakespeare. Both levels require you to speak in rhyme at meetings, so you'll probably want to advance through the ranks quickly, but also not get cocky and overreach yourself. We gotta keep the members humble. Murasaki and Wharton Scouts are responsible for upper-class angst. Bukowski Scouts handle working-class angst. Burroughs Scouts can head the discourse on queer theory, but only if they're sober (ditto for Ginsberg Scouts). Hemingway Scouts bring the drinks and organize the annual camping trip, but must defer to the more-senior Angelou Scouts in discussions of race and gender. Vonnegut Scouts head the Satire Glee Club and the annual Post-Apocalyptic Bake Sale, assisted by their Canadian counterparts, the Atwood Guides. (Scouts are called 'guides' in England and the colonies.) What level Scout would you like to be?
And we could give out merit badges: "Dated like a Jane Austen Heroine," "Maxed out your Library Account" both in library fines and book holds, "Lost Hope in Humanity," "Participation in Slam Poetry," "Pilgrimage to an Author's Home," "Used Bookstore Hygiene," "Accessed a Library's Closed Stacks," "Drunk Relatives," "Eviction from Bowery Poetry Club for Openly Mocking Performers," "Beating Off to Beat Poets," the more advanced "Beating Off Beat Poets," the more popular "Beating Beat Poets," and "Raged Against the Dying of the Light."
These are the badges I have. Feel free to list yours below.