(This entry is public because Little Brother went through all my old posts and told me in no uncertain terms to stop locking things so he can read my wordmeats again. If he is reading this right now, I would like to point out that this would not be a problem if he got his own damn LJ. Plus then the Internets would know he is real and that I did not make him up. GET ON THAT, LITTLE BROTHER.)
I don't much like making small talk. I do
like to read. These two facts in combination mean that I bring books to work to read on my lunch break. This would not be a problem were it not for the fact that many of the people I work with are who Bill Hicks was talking about here
and therefore totally mystified by the fact that I, like, read books. For fun! Books with long words! Books without pictures! Books that don't even have a shirtless Edward Cullen in there to make up for all that strenuous mental activity! How weird, right?
Often if you tell a meat eater that you are a vegetarian he or she will bounce back with some variation on the theme of "YEAH WELL I LOVE ME SOME DEAD COW MMM STEAK." Similarly, I find that when people find out how much I read- three or so books a week, give or take- someone usually ends up declaring that they don't read. Ever. That is not in and of itself a crime. Some people don't enjoy reading! It happens! I don't understand it,* but I... kind
of accept it. What I don't accept is the way these someones say it, which is proudly. "Fuck yeah, man, I haven't read a book since fourth grade! I don't even know if I CAN read anymore! I AM AWESOME, AS IS ILLITERACY."
What the hell is wrong with these people?
You know what? If you don't read books, and you are PROUD of the fact that you don't read books, I am going to think you are stupid. That's it. Moreover, I am going to think you are a fucking ALIEN and probably won't ever be able to understand how you work or think or can stand to get up in the morning. That is not hyperbole. That is how fucking bizarre the concept of not reading (and not WANTING to read) is for me. If you don't read books you're from fucking Mars and I have no fucking clue how to talk to you. That's not me being a neurotic bookworm, either. (Well, it is a little, but not as much as you'd think.) It's because while I have very few definite thoughts on the meaning of life, the universe, and so on, one of my most definite thoughts is that stories are important. Stories are more important than almost anything, because without them life would make no fucking sense. Without stories the world would just be... things. Stuff that happens. They're as much a vital part of life as food and water. We need them to fucking live.
Not reading is not something to be goddamn proud of. Aside from its many benefits- exercises the right side of the brain, helps develop and increase the vocabulary, promotes empathy by encouraging identification outside the self, relieves stress, gives you a better chance of not ending up a junior stockboy at a third-rate grocery store forever, et cetera- what isn't there to fucking love about reading? Reading is good! Reading is fun! Didn't you watch Sesame Street as a kid? They taught this shit there, and they had dancing letters
and everything. AND they showed you how to count to ten in Spanish. Now go sit down, try to remember the goddamn alphabet, and stop interrupting me while I'm reading so you can talk about your fucking girlfriend's eczema.**( While we're on the subject of books, here are some I've read lately. )
I made myself a new summer mix the other day, and I feel like uploading it even though it is pretty unfashionable. ( I call it Love and Television. )Post ten of any pictures currently on your hard drive that you think are self-expressive. NO CAPTIONS! It must be like we're speaking with images and we have to interpret your visual language just like we have to interpret your words. They must ALREADY be on your hard drive - no googling or flickr! They have to have been saved to your folders sometime in the past. They must be something you've saved there because it resonated with you for some reason. You do NOT have to answer any questions about any of your pictures if you don't want to. You can make them as mysterious as you like. Or you can explain them away as much as you like.( Mysterious is the way to go. )