Post Number: 31
|Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 10:19 am: |
You all have made some most worthy responses to Tiffany’s article. There is one point that must be clearly/emphatically emphasized: We DON’T read books!
Although a lot of lipservice is given to the virtues of learning, school, etc., few of us actually partake of book reading. We are so ‘illiterate’ that it has been said the average American reads less than ONE book/year (THAT, in spite of growing up in a society who’s very laws require we receive some formal academic instruction for 12 or our 1st 18 years). Sure, there are a few us around ‘here’ who voraciously consume books. But by-n-large, real, in-depth book reading is NOT a part of the American ethos.
Not only don’t we read, moreover, there is a prominent anti-intellectual strain that has festered throughout American culture (See the current American President for an example.). Ignorance is so egregiously encouraged, that if one tries to delved more deeply into issues - especially where the possessions/privileges of the ruling classes can be perceived to be at risk - one is quickly made subject to suspicion, innuendoes, threats and worse. Show me one truly freethinking American, and I will show you a pariah.
So, if we are not READING books, WHO will demand literary and moral accountability from those who WRITE them, especially when, as Emanuel eloquently described, we live in a society where, above all else, "...material wealth rules"?
PS: On a related point, below is an interesting article in the NYT on the subject of how Finland fosters reading/learning among its citizenry.