I’ve only read one book on the subject….

Ever wonder what happened to Splinter before he got his bald ass mutated? Well, here’s at least nineteen years of the backstory filled in: he was reading ART.

Authorless and without an undertitle, ART is either the most basic, critically negligible volume on the subject, or its single most seminal text. Keeping in mind this isn’t ART HISTORY — this is ART — —  —   — …. — one’s forced to ask questions of the two open volumes on his desk.

Are they volumes two and three of the great ART series? This implies the author wrote the first volume without having conceived of any successive volumes — but what could they have missed out from the first, seemingly total, volume that could pad these further tomes? And I thought there wasn’t an author —

Clearly the title in Master Yoshi’s hands is a text-only volume, the corresponding colour plates to which reside in two separately-available volumes (seen here in repose).

But then…. what’s on the shelves? One or two books on ninjutsu, the obligatory copy of White Teeth we all have…. wait, wait — I think I can see SCIENCE.

*   *   *

So here’s Captain Planet‘s Gi reading MARINE BIOLOGY. By the point at which this occurs, we know Gi’s already something of an expert on the subject, so it’s not like this is Marine Biology 101 — and all this planeteering’s strictly extracurricular, so she’s not revising the course text for an exam or anything. No, this has to be a real book.

Wait, wait — wait — I don’t think it’s volume four

THERE it is — volume fifty-three. Gi was probably reading a cartoonization of the Sims-edited Advances in Marine Biology (9780123741196) — that being, the dolphin one.

*   *   *

As a last, tangential stab, whenever I see, think or dream of Gi’s MARINE BIOLOGY, my thoughts turn quick to Marnie.

“I’m — ah — boning up on marine life.”

Though anyone who knows the film will recall he’s actually thinking about rape, for a moment Sean Connery (in full whiteface) hides his own set of pearls with this ACTUAL REAL-LIFE BOOK!! That’s right, it’s Horace Gardiner Richards’ Animals of the Seashore, all the way from bonny 1938. Just in case you don’t believe me:

And the whooooooole text is available online here.

Activity 1:

Why not recreate this scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie (1964) by printing off a copy of the book and covering yourself in marmalade?

*   *   *

So it feels like we’ve learned a lot today.

We haven’t.

No wonder Sparkplug’s confused — all he wants to do is help build some kind of giant-ass robot that can fight the Decepticons (but will go well with the rest of the set, and doesn’t have any small parts) — yet he has to work with this, the OUT LINE PLAN DESGE. Clearly handwritten by someone practiced in maybe Japanese, maybe Arabic (the poor man probably read the whole thing back-to-front before he realized that’s there’s Nothing Wrong Here™), OUT LINE PLAN DESGE is not in fact a real-world text.

Your search “out line plan desge” did not match any products. Did you mean: outline plan design

It’s all a bit too much — thank goodness we’re not at sea.


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