If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that this is one of the major points I make: that we “educate” ourselves through entertainment. We do it passively, without knowing that we’re doing it. That’s what makes it so effective.
You want to know how I became Mr. Nature? Mark Trail color comics in the Sunday papers, that’s how! I never missed ’em.
During the week, the daily Mark Trail comic strip in black and white concerned itself with story lines. I can’t say I remember any of those. The real action was on Sunday, when the story was set aside and Mark Trail discoursed on spiders, lizards, birds, butterflies, rodents, and every other kind of animal you could think of. How else does a kid find out about the four-eyed fish, the archerfish, the chuckwalla (that’s a lizard, for us Eastern folks), ants “milking” aphids like miniature cows, and all sorts of other cool stuff? And the artwork was superb!
God’s creation is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, and it’ll last you all your life–as long as you don’t let other aspects of our benighted pop culture dry up your brain.
Those addled publicists out there just won’t stop pitching books to me that I wouldn’t read, let alone review, if you paid me extra for it.
As usual, I won’t divulge the authors’ names or the titles because I don’t want to give them any free publicity. I only mention them because it troubles me that there is so much dreck out there.
What we read for entertainment, what we watch on a TV or a movie screen, is more than just a way to pass the time. It’s one of the ways we educate ourselves. And all too often we educate ourselves into folly. Or worse.
One of these books is “a paranormal erotic thriller” which might be described as “James Bond meets 50 Shades of Grey,” only in this one James Bond is a woman super-spy who gets off on being dominated by her mysterious dark putz-head of a boss. If you’ve ever wondered why more and more people seem to be getting stupider and stupider, this may give you a clue.
The other is a lot of lesbian tommyrot intended to portray sinful and dysfunctional activities as praiseworthy, even heroic, and totally mainstream. What made that publicist think I would want to read it? But again, here is our entertainment media educating us into folly.
I do not like to try to imagine the mental landscape of anyone who reads books like these one after another and doesn’t see anything wrong with them.
But then I don’t have to imagine it, do I? Our current social and political landscape, which I can’t avoid seeing if I try, leaves nothing to the imagination.