It has happened again. We’ve been duped. We’ve been made fools of. Once again, we’ve been “A Million Little Pieced.”
You might remember author James Frey. A few years ago, Frey wrote a bestselling “memoir.” This “memoir” ended up being what people like to call “a lie.” He was punished by experiencing Oprah’s scorn on national TV, a punishment worse than death.
Now, an author by the name of Greg Mortenson is being accused of the same thing. Mortenson is an author/activist (or authivist, if you will) who has published a memoir detailing his charitable work. There is just one tiny hiccup.
People are saying his book and charity are a scam.
Mortenson has staunchly defended himself, hoping to avoid the fiery look from Oprah that has brought men to their knees and caused societies to crumble to the ground. He has begun a media blitz hoping to clear his name which, judging from past experiences, means he is incredibly guilty.
While everyone seems to be reading this story and becoming increasingly outraged, I am more intrigued than angry. In fact, the whole thing has left me with one question.
How do I get some of this action?
I am more than willing to “fudge” a few of the facts of my life. In fact, I already have a brief outline of my “autobiography,” and I am 100% certain it would sell. Here is a bit of it:
Chapter 1: My birth coincides with an eclipse. At the very second of delivery, a shooting star, so bright it blinds nearby drivers and causes a 20 car pileup, flies across the sky. Only I know the truth: that “shooting star” was a UFO.
Chapter 3: I began running with a gang, becoming entrenched in the world of hip hop as a body guard for successful rap artists. The one day I call in sick, Tupac is shot. I sink into a deep depression because my 9-year-old brain can’t handle that type of guilt.
The next step would be to choose a vaguely inspiring and heartwarming title for it. I have chosen A Falling Star Sometimes Flies: A Story of Life, Living, and Livelihood. On the front cover, will be a picture of me smiling while I hold a puppy. No one can turn that crap down.
You might be wondering how I can get away with this when every author gets caught and brought to Harpo Studios for punishment. It’s very simple. Fine print. No one ever reads the copyright page in a book unless they are writing a bibliography for their high school research paper. At the bottom of this page, in size four font, it will be noted that this book “is a work of fiction.” That way, if I do get caught, I can just flip to this page. Suddenly, Oprah’s powers are useless on me.
As soon as I locate a publisher, I will be set. My only demands are that it be proofread by a six-year-old. I feel like adults might just stomp all over my “artistic vision.” By artistic vision, I do mean lies, by the way.
So look for A Falling Star Sometimes Flies, sure to be in the airport gift shop in time for holiday travel. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll read in disbelief before finally throwing it down in disgust while complaining that there “is no way a person could turn the White House into a house boat without it ending up on CNN.”
That is a valid complaint, but I don’t care.
You already bought the book.
- Media Decoder: Mortenson Concedes He Conflated Parts of Memoir (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Publisher of Three Cups of Tea to review claims that parts of book were fabricated (theglobeandmail.com)
- ‘Three Cups of Tea’ Author Greg Mortenson Under Scrutiny for Validity of Novel (okmagazine.com)