Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Because Reading just cuts way too much into my surfing time
The YouTube description of this ad reads "a modern retelling (of the Herman Melville Classic "Moby Dick....")
You know, it's bad enough that cellphones are turning us into a nation of drooling illiterates. If you don't want to read, fine. If you want to burn your eyes out of your head staring at a screen, that's fine too. And if you want to spend every free moment of your day fiddling around pointlessly searching for images, videos, etc and sharing them with your equally stupid friends, go for it.
But don't do all that and pretend that you are are engaged in a "retelling" of an American Classic, ok? Unless you think that "Moby Dick" is a story about a ship that travels to the other side of the planet to kill a whale (to the accompaniment of Moby- yes, I get it- not especially clever- and insightful comments like "Ahoy there!" and "Take a picture!") and not about obsession and man's innate need to connect with and understand the universe he finds himself in, this is NOT a retelling of Moby Dick, any more than Disney's Pocahantas was a retelling of the story of Jamestown.
You can make yourself literate by putting in the time required to consume the classics. I'm not a Melville fan- I thought Billy Budd was torture- but I'm not going to stick a DVD of Moby Dick starring Gregory Peck into the player and a few hours later tell myself that I've experienced his signature work. And fucking around with your phone for a few minutes isn't going to make up for that AP Lit class you didn't take in High School, ok?
So make a decision. Be a clueless dumbass who can't walk and chew gum at the same time, but knows how to surf the web on his phone like nobody's business, or put the Short Cut to the Cartoon Version of Life away and pick up a book. See if those synapses are still firing, or have become atrophied with disuse. And don't worry- if it turns out that your brain can no longer absorb complex literary concepts, you can always just say "fuck it" and go back to playing Angry Birds.