It’s easier to sit through a mindless movie than slog through a bad book.
After all, most movies and TV shows demand little active brain involvement, so it’s possible (desirable, actually, from the perspective of the Media Myth Makers) to slump on the sofa, eyes glazed, hands reaching for the chips.
But books, even bad ones, require some thought, and for those who read — and read often — they develop a desire for mentally stimulating fare, content that encourages them to ponder what they’re absorbing and, eventually, question everything they are told.
Obviously, there are poorly written books (a lot of them!), and if one limits oneself to vampire chronicles, political rantings by talking heads, and “clean fiction” in which the raciest scene involves the man murmuring to the woman, “I love you with the sweet hope of Jesus,” as he brushes his lips across her hair, then there will be little demand for the mind to engage in what it was meant to do best: think, ponder, question, wonder, analyze, argue, critique, and create.
But even shallow books are better than movie media, because they depend upon words alone, as opposed to emotional music and camera trickery that gently mold the viewer’s thoughts into what the Myth Maker wants them to see and believe. Visual stimulation is powerful, which may be one reason why representational artwork — that which actually looks like something and connects to the viewer’s experience and psyche — is tossed to the side in favor of pop art and shapes and color that match the rug, and nothing more.
Time with a book is time alone, time in a state of quiet and tranquility, time away from white noise, phone buzzing, really bad YouTube videos, and constant movie myth demands to accept this opinion, buy that car, dress this way, fear this potential action, hate that group of people, and feel bad if your body doesn’t look like that one’s.
And for some reason, in today’s U.S. corporately controlled society, being alone is considered a bad, bad thing. Is it, possibly, because when we are alone, we’re better able to think?
Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. The image above, Afternoon with a Book, by Steve Henderson, captures a moment of perfect contentment when the day is warm, the surroundings are peaceful, and the book is really good!
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