Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get u a book (forgive the bad grammar)

Books are where people keep knowledge, ideas, memories, emotions, past lives and the love of language. Through the invention of written language, one can commit complex emotions and ideas to paper, preserving them for as long as the words survive. You can make your mark, you can express your ideas, they will survive, untainted and pure, immortal, as long as there is someone there to read and experience them. The act of reading is meditative, it teaches patience, but that is also subjective.

In centuries past people were more patient than our society is today, because that was just how life was, no television, no movies, no internet. To gain knowledge and entertainment you had to prolong the payoff. Knowledge took research, entertainment took a commitment, to read is to invest time into a process, you're not watching a half-hour sitcom or reading a tabloid full of gossip, a book might take hours, days, maybe weeks to complete, but in the process you absorb subtleties, nuances and complex emotions that require patience and commitment to absorb and enjoy. This all translates to beauty. The process is just as important as the outcome, the journey is where the rewards come from. In a sense you are "stopping to smell the flowers."

As a consequence of our high tech lifestyles we expect instant returns on anything we do. We no longer require patience and as a consequence, our society and our art suffers. Sure our scientists, now, are light years beyond our ancestors in technology, but that doesn't mean that we as a society are smarter, it means that THEY are smarter. The separation between the "haves" and the "have-nots" grows everyday, not only in monitary wealth, but in spiritual and intellectual wealth.

This, in my opinion, is no accident. The more illiterate we are as a society, the easier we are to control. The less we expect from our art and entertainment, the less we will be given. The less we know about politics, the easier it is for politicians to take advantage of us. It's all relative. We as a people have been in a steady state of de-evolution for centuries. If students today had to take Latin and Astronomy they would lose their minds, most people in society today can only read on a Jr. High School level. Reading frustrates them, therefore they don't learn, don't grow and become easily positioned mannequins for control and exploitation.

I'm not saying you can't watch silly movies or read fluff-pieces in the paper, we all need to turn our brains off in order to stay sane. However, we need to turn them on too. We need to learn patience, to enjoy the journey, the process, not to focus solely on the end, but to realize that the knowledge and reward are attained on the road to the end. We need to stop being so obsessed with youth, your life isn't over after High School, it's just beginning, so live damnit!

As a DJ and musician I see this daily. The most popular songs on the radio and in the clubs are basically nursery rhymes and jumprope songs over the most primitive of arrangement and melody. They are the most basic of ideas and emotions and sure, some of them are catchy, some of them are fun, most of them are crap. The quality control is gone, people don't demand greatness, so they don't get it and in the process they devolve. It effects every aspect of society.

Sexism, racism, ignorance, war, greed... all products of ignorance.

I'm not saying you can't have fun. I'm not saying you can't have your guilty pleasures. I'm not saying there isn't room for everyone. Just make sure there really IS room for everyone and make sure you take in more than just mental junk food. Being intellectual is fun, keeps you from being bored, makes you fun at parties and grows your sense of balance, awareness and humor...word.

No comments: