Mark, that is one of the most inane comments you've ever left. What, did you see one person reading a National Enquirer once? If 50 people read, you can be sure there would be 50 different styles, but even if half of them read the NEWSPAPER, we would have a far more informed electorate. The idea that people are better off thinking about paying their electric bill than engaging with the written word is just ridiculous.
LOL! This was a response to a comment that I left regarding the general populace and reading. I took the position that some people would be better off not reading, than reading the drivel that they choose to read.
On of the premise that half of the people you see at a given place would be reading a newspaper, with the current state of the printed press, is unlikely. As for those who are reading for reading's sake, I don't know. How often do I see someone actually engaged in a periodical or something that is going to open their minds and their imagination?
I remember when Terry McMillian burst out of the pack, with 'Waiting To Exhale'. Suddenly, people for whom reading was a chore began to think themselves as 'literate' because they read one average book that had the flavor of their lives. They found themselves 'wishing that they could really identify' with the story. My ex wife was one of the crowd.
No one mentioned or spoke much of her earlier work, 'Disappearing Acts', which was IMO, a better read. But I am not going to debate the merits of the book, but rather the ideas that get promoted by and through the consumption of mass media.
Certain magazines have a slant, and many of them are only 'preaching to the choir'. That is, they are only going to say what they want their audience to hear, and they don't anguish over the objectivity. And that is for the more 'serious' periodicals, from Time to Mother Jones.
I don't know if 'tabloid' means what it means anymore. I can't tell the difference between 'The Enquirer' of 'US Weekly' anymore. How many cover stories do we need on 'Jon and Kate'? Does it really matter if Adam Lambert is gay or not?
Propaganda comes in many forms, and who is to say that the printed version is any less subversive than that of what is provided by over the air television or radio?
Do I have any alternatives? Nope, sure don't ... but I did leave a comment. I hardly thought it was 'inane'. Besides, it was 'a blurb', because I am trying to be conscious of my 'long form' comments.
Maybe it is a Coastal thing ... Michigan is considered 'Midwest' and therefore is a part of 'flyover country'. Could be one of location. Or maybe I have a stick up my butt. But to me, reading something that only solidifies the way that you thought BEFORE you began to read it, may not be insane. Just that it seems close to it to me, though.
People in an echo chamber, where all they hear and see are the things they have always heard and seen ... sort of like 'the terrorists have won', to me. I mean the emptiness of pulp literature and the nihilism and self loathing lyrics of pop music, combine with other elements in widespread culture that keeps on growing ignorance and does nothing to spur critical thinking outside of the audience for which the media is indented for.
I recall choking down E. Lyn Harris' first two or three novels ... and then there was the cat who got attention by writing about 'brothers on the down low'. I even was lucky enough to see them both speak at different times about their writing. I was drawn to them because they both self published, and that was what was the hook for me. Mention these cats, because I will take a step to not dismiss anyone out of hand.
Maybe it is sad to see no one reading ... grant you that. But it is just as sad to me, to see people lost in the senses-deadening glossy magazines with shiny pictures of today. Or any of the inartistic pulp fiction that inflates the ego and makes someone feel satisfied that they read for pleasure, and not for intellectual growth. Sounds a little pompus, but I can't come up with a better way to say it.
After all, is someone can be smug, why can't I be a little arrogant? Uh, has it not been established that I have that 'a-hole' gene in me? I know, I am learning the culture war, but if you are going to be like Vernon Davis, and do something that is going to boost your own ego at the cost of the greater purpose, then what good are you doing?
0 +0= 0 ...