BOOKS
12/21/2011 09:17 am ET | Updated Dec 21, 2011

Blank Pages Are The Latest Trend In Political Humor

Conservative websites are currently buzzing about the latest political book to hit the shelves: "Everything Obama Knows About The Economy".

The book, created by credit analyst Jimmy Moncrief, contains a title page and, yes, 150 blank pages thereafter.

The parody, currently retailing for $9.99, has 21 positive reviews and is currently out of stock on Amazon at the time of writing - but it's far from the first title to make this gag.

Moncrief told The Daily Caller that he got the idea from British entrepreneur Shed Simove's entirely blank book
"What every man thinks of apart from sex", which is also available on the Kindle, complete with the option to "Click to LOOK INSIDE".

However, Simove himself was following an already well-trodden path of empty books published in the name of humor.

In October, Mitt Romney released "Rick Perry's Plan to Get America Working Again," a 114-page empty volume, while last December, the UK Conservative party took a swipe at the leader of rival party Labour with the 204-page "Ed Miliband’s Policies for Britain".

Thanks to the rise of digital printing and print on demand, such gags are cheaper and easier to produce than ever. Here's a few recent editions:

"Everything I Learned in the White House by George W. Bush: The legacy of a great leader" (Sourcebooks Hysteria, Jan 2009, 128 pages)

"Going Rouge: A Candid Look Inside The Mind Of Political Conservative Sarah Palin" (Bob Silber, Nov 2009, 102 pages, $19.95)

"The Wisdom & Wit of Sarah Palin" by Haywood ja' Blowmee. (Firehouse Publications, 2010, 100 pages, $5.25) They also released "The Wit & Wisdom of Michelle Bachmann" by Hedda Lettuce (100 pages, $5.25) earlier this year.

"Everything you need to know about Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and other major Religions" by Michael Xuereb

• In 2010, Kevin Barklage of Virginia created a company, Blankety Blank, entirely to put out blank books "written" by fictional author Ralph Johnson. They carried such titles as "The Presidential Accomplishments Of George W. Bush", "The Case For Global Warming" and "How Duke grads have changed the world."

The earliest example we've come across in this odd trend is the bitterly titled "The Joys of Getting Older" and dates back to 2000, though doubtless there are others.

It could be argued that this concept actually stretches back to Laurence Stern's use of blank "missing" pages in his remarkable, gag-filled "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman", published in 1759-67.

Though there's no sign of this joke wearing thin with satirists of all political persuasions, since the gag is approaching its 250th birthday, perhaps its now time to search for other publishing-related jokes. After all, there's already plenty of overpriced blank paper on which they can be written.

What would you title your next empty book?

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