Another picture from the environs of New York…I took this one on the subway, as you can see from the orange seats and metallic wall and handrails. The New York Post splashed quippy signs like this all over the train I was on, though this one in particular caught my eye:
Known for telling stories in brute, black-and-white ways (sometimes quite literally, as I wrote about in another post recently) supporting a conservative and often nationalistic viewpoint, the Post barks out its allegiance to the world here: “We make money off of you for not thinking.” It screams “down with background knowledge, down with introspection, down with reflection!” It tells the reader that too much depth is dull, and more than the minimum time spent on learning anything is, well, a waste.
You may be right that the American public is less resistant to lengthy writings about thoughtful things, New York Post, but we’re not dead in the head yet. And your weakness is that you, too, depend on the consumer to sustain yourself. Without us, you are nothing but a rag barking in the wind. We are still readers and thinkers beyond your word count and your belief that you tell us what’s important and what’s dull. And maybe we’ll look back down at our novels and our Kindles and take some more time to define what stories we want to learn about, and how they should be told.