The Beav according to Beav

Still crazy after all these years.

Monday, October 04, 2004

"You better think!" -- Queen of Soul

You may have noticed, I'm a bit of an intelligence-snob. I don't suffer fools gladly. (I suffer, and I'm not glad.) I don't like (or understand) anti-intellectualism. The one person I actually detest, I do so because of her deliberate, willful ignorance (and her stated intention to teach that attitude to her offspring). Even when classifying the worst of my sister's ex-boyfriends, I rate the arrogant asshole as marginally better than the one who said (really!): "Y'all read?"

Most of my friends are people that have more, or at least different, knowledge than me. Why bring all this up? Because I've noticed something. We, as a culture, have stopped reading. For the most part, anyway.

I mean, it wasn't all that long ago that Procol Harem referenced The Canterbury Tales in Whiter Shade of Pale, or that "Gollum and the Evil One" found their way into a Zeppelin tune (Ramble On). People used to scribble "Frodo Lives!" on walls and the word "grok" found its way into the dictionary.

Now, most people would never have heard of the 3 laws of robotics or Isaac Asimov (one of the greatest minds of our time) were it not for Will Smith. Most people wouldn't have recognized the Gollum reference if Peter Jackson hadn't made the movies. Most have reluctantly read some of Mark Twain's (Samuel Clemens') novels in school, but few have read a single one of his essays.

Perhaps to say that we don't read is not accurate. The best-seller list is filled with books that people are reading. But it's full of trashy romances (entertaining, I'm sure, but where's the substance?), and self-help books (because obviously, I'm broken. Some celebrity should tell me how to fix myself.).

C'mon folks, read a little something, a little something profound. And take Aretha's advice: "Think!"

Marquee..."The cross is the only ladder that can reach Heaven."

That screams and begs for a reference to a certain South Park episode. But, all I can say is it may reach Heaven, but it's only got one rung! I hope you've got long legs.

--Beav

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