Monday, November 24, 2008

Hybrid is in

Hybrid. I like that word. Did you ever think about it? Perhaps the Toyota Prius comes to mind: a car that runs on both the evil black stuff and electricity (the latter frequently generated by burning the evil black stuff or torturing atoms and creating permanent toxic waste so what's the real difference?).

But we've had hybrids for centuries. Think mythology. Remember the minotaur? That was a hybrid creature, part-man and part-bull.

And what about biology? We've been cross-breeding plants commercially for agricultural purposes since the 1930s.

Words? I offer the hybrid word hyperactive, which combines Greek (hyper) and Latin (activus). Tangential note: Thank you Mrs. Seaman for teaching us Latin in 7th and 8th grade. We hated it then. We hated you for teaching it. And now we're thankful because we can figure out the meanings of a shitload of English words without looking them up. Docendo discimus.

Music? I give you Dancin' Knuckles, a bluegrass punk band.

People? Well, we don't use the term hybrid (for a perjorative example, watch the excellent Steve McQueen movie, Nevada Smith), but let's face it: humans are prolific in mixing ethnicities, religions, cultures, you-name-it. We even mix up gender! And no, I'm not putting a link to a pre-op tranny porn site here in my blog!

And what about books? Do some Googling and you will find many examples of the term "hybrid book" out there in cyberspace.

However, I find no examples of the kind of hybrid represented by The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions! It's a book (nonfiction Kerouacian advice)! It's a journal (lots of white space to write in and writing assignments to boot)!

So when you gift The Beat Handbook for the holidays (and I know you're fixing to do that), remember to point out that you were thoughtful enough to give a hybrid book.

Hybrid is in.

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