I just got home from seeing Wanted with my friend, Nick. It's an amazing movie, and one you should all check out. It is actually directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the same guy who did Night Watch and Day Watch, which I have actually mentioned here before. All three are really brilliant movies, stylistically speaking. Wanted has kind of a weak plot (and it's a comic book movie to boot) but it's done in such an amazing way that you don't mind. Pajiba described it as being a mess of Office Space and Fight Club with the awesome visual effects of The Matrix. That just about covers it.
That's not what I really want to talk about now though. Nick lives just up the street from me and we're both conveniently close to trax, so we took the train down to the theater. On the way back, we had to get off at the Library stop because that's when the Free Fare zone ends and a UTA officer happened to get on there. Nick accidentally left his pass at home and didn't want to get slammed with a ticket. So we're waiting for the next train, and this kid sits down by us and starts talking to us. He was carrying a copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma and most of the conversation involved various points included in that book.
It was fairly interesting for a random conversation you have on public transportation. A "single serving friend" who had some interesting ideas to throw out into the world. Random Stranger got off one stop before us and as we exited the train, we started discussing how amusing it is when these random conversations with strangers happen.
I blamed the book. For causing the random conversation, I mean. Or at least for creating the opportunity- for sticking something to talk about in the vacume that exists between people who have never before met. Nick, more or less, agreed. We decided that, in order to spurn more spontaneous trax discussions, we would start carrying around books that would be great conversation starters. Something en mode that our peers would have heard of, even if they haven't read it. Something that screams intellectualism - that wouldn't be at all out of place in your local college coffee shop. Something that is also relatable, that speaks to our generation and is accessible to our peers.
Nick wanted The Ironic T-shirt in book form. I suggested Dryden. I joked that I was actually carrying around Virginia Woolf with me... I'm more pretentious; I'm reading stream-of-consciousness. Seriously though, what would be the perfect book to carry around to hopefully prompt conversation? What, dear readers, would you pick to open a door to conversation with strangers who might think like you do? Would it be Reading Lolita in Tehran or The Kite Runner to bring up conditions in the middle east? Would you go with more obvious choices like Fight Club or Clockwork Orange - two books that have been the "edgy" thing to read for ages. Do you pick something by Christopher Moore to show you have a sense of humor? Or do you pick Jude the Obscure to show how bleak and hopeless your view of life is? What book would you pick, and what does it say about you?