Buy A Book? I’ll Pass. Read A Book? I’ll Play. Oh, And Happy National Book Month! (September 30, 2019)

. . .

K          “I passed on the purchase.  Getting it autographed did not make it real or personal or real personal.  At program after presentation after conference after low residency MFA discussion group, the honest and candid authors, sometimes fueled with spirits, concede that they are not writing a work sharing their musings with other kindred spirits, they are manufacturing a product for a specific targeted market.  The gauntlet and assembly line of editors, reviewers, focus group coordinators and MBAs hone and hammer the finished product to close the deal.”

J          “They are not saying ‘this is what I think and feel and believe’, they are saying ‘this is what I think and feel and believe you want to read and buy’ right now.”

. . .

J          “Look at the big picture.  They write in a country not on a blank slate.  But America is not a country, it is a country club with very few admitted members.  Everyone else is a consumer – not a citizen – who survives by treating everyone else like a consumer to be plucked and plundered.  We don’t even realize it.  We don’t even get it.”

K          “A Racket not a Republic.  I get that everything from the cover to the concluding line is cunningly and carefully calculated to close the deal.”

J          “I don’t want to deal.”

. . . 

K          “A number of musicians in the 60’s who penned songs of rebellion later admitted they were only writing and singing and foisting a product that would sell to a receptive market.”

J          “At least at one point in their lives they are revealing themselves to their audience, albeit at the terminus.  Of course, it you really write what you think and what you feel and what you believe, you are not likely to be read and may be banned if you stumble upon or dabble with the Truth.”

K          “There is always that.”

. . .

J          “Used books start out as new books.  Someone does have to buy the new ones to create the used ones.”

. . .  

J          “I wonder how many folks develop their weltanschauung based in part not on what an author says but on what the ‘Couloir Notes’ say the author says.”

K          “A friend’s mom asked her son to deliver one of the legal ‘Cliff’s Notes’ on ‘Property Law’ in a brown paper bag after hours so that she would know what her students were really studying and ingraining.”

. . .

K          “With a book in hand, the content cannot be changed.  With a collection of electrons in space, the content cannot be protected.  I remain a big fan of the Analog Knowledge Devices despite the inherent limitations.”

J          “The AKD is number one in my AKD.”

. . .

[See “Paging Big Brother:  In Amazon’s Bookstore, Orwell Gets a Rewrite” in “The New York Times” by Cave Streitfeld dated August 19, 2019 and “It’s a Fact:  Mistakes Are Embarrassing the Publishing Industry” in “The New York Times” by Alexandra Alter dated September 22, 2019.]

[See the e-commentary at “Artistes And Integrity (July 29, 2013)”, “Writin’ (February 17, 2014)”, “So Many Words, So Few Ideas (Sept. 21, 2009)”, “‘Analog Knowledge Devices’ (‘AKD’):  The Next ‘Currency’ (July 10, 2017)”, “Writing The Long Song (September 26, 2011)”, “On Writin’ And Livin’ And Laborin’ (September 4, 2017)”, “On Standards & Quality (July 20, 2015)” and “Brave 1984 Farm: The Best Of All Possible Worlds (March 19, 2012)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

October – National Book Month

You can judge a book by its cover!

Judge a book by its cover!

Judge a book by its content!

Choose books not bigotry

“You cannot alter a printed book without the reader knowing.  A missing page, a changed word will all be revealed.  Not so with digital books.  They can be altered without a trace.”  Isaac Asimov

“Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression.  But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history.  As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.  What Orwell feared were those who would ban books.  What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.  Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information.  Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.  Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us.  Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.  Orwell feared we would become a captive culture.  Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.  As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”  In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain.  In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.  In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us.  Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.”  Neil Postman

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