h = o = t   +   i = n = k

Literary Wet Dreams?

May 30, 1997
I s there any pleasure more fulfilling than curling up with a fine book? The meaty feel of it in your hand, the sensuality of the cover, the hedonism of losing yourself within the logical fantasy created by ink on paper. As your mind to reassemble the writer's thoughts in their new home, the world seems to fall away.

For some, this delight is a philosophical tome, best enjoyed in the frayed easy chair near the reading lamp. But maybe you prefer a bad book by the beach, or a biography on the bus. Ultimately, the most satisfying element of your evening's leisure holds true whatever your poison; the guaranteed, if fleeting thought, "Thank God I'm Not One of Those Clods Watching TV."

But we readers hate TV watching for more reasons than its soft and squishy accessibility. TV seems to be killing off brain cells in the general ("could be reading a good book instead of watching Mad About You") public. And the idiot box's penchant for reducing American culture to half hour snax has had unfortunate repercussions in the literary world. Why? Short attention spans crush the creation of voluptuous literature. This is why Little Women had to be "adapted" for its post-movie audience, recreated as a watered-down novelette better suited for today's flabby brains. America has drifted away from its literate past, and it seems TV is the villain.

Yet what real difference is there between the immobile literati and the Sunday Afternoon Warriors? The essential activity performed by each is identical; their eyes are moving from side to side. And you, dear reader, may feel intellectually superior cuddling your little leather-bound honey in your hands, but the truth is that your self-absorbed activity has the same goal as the average couch potato. You are are doing nothing more noble than entertaining yourself, intellectually beating off, sucking off the work of others like a whore earning a quick twenty.

However, you may believe that you, a reader, might one day add to the world as a writer. And occasionally the non-fiction lover does turn his fireside research into a fine history; the science fiction fan may send people into strange universes of her own creation. Or, perhaps, an inspired reader may turn to painting, or performance, or some other artistic venue.

Fat chance. The fact is that you, like most readers once they have left school, will produce nothing. You prefer to walk through life, feeling a sense of superiority about how YOU waste your time, ignoring the hard fact that without TV to kick around, you would have to face the fact that what you are actually doing consists of sitting on your ass and letting other people do the work of living in this world.

So, until you create, YOU, oh reader, are just as much of a social parasite as any bum with glazed eyes and remote-control induced stress injuries. And get out of the way of the TV, would you? It's almost 8:00, and I want to watch Friends.

--   Tonnvane Wiswell


[ALL CONTENT © 1997-1998 ]

[HOT INK Navigation Map]
[text only]
front page link [Back to Hot Ink's Front Page] [seattle ink] [ink think] [ink well] [write to hot ink today!]