Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Help, Honey! The Boy Won’t Quit Teaching Himself to Read!

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Listen, son. We have to talk.

I understand you enjoy reading; that’s perfectly reasonable. I can relate to curling up with a classic issue of The Punisher when it’s time for bed. But this unhealthy habit of yours – this sick dedication to reading books – has got to stop before it’s too late.

I spent good money on that plasma TV, and you’d better show your appreciation. Use the thing at every opportunity, especially during college football season. I pay through the nose for good satellite transmissions, and you damn well better make good use of that investment. I don’t mean watching that good-for-nothing Discovery Channel, either. No, I mean old-fashioned sports, slapstick and vulgar comedy. No son of mine will be caught acquainting himself with “literature” and assuming himself better than the rest of humanity as a result.

Just think in human terms, son. All those commercials you see during time outs are there because the people who paid for them expect your eyeballs and ears to be paying attention. How are you going to know where and how to spend your money if you keep your attention fixed on those books all the time? In the time you read a dozen pages, your friends can see upwards of forty commercials. That’s a lot of potential contribution to the GDP, boy, none of which can be accomplished by sitting there on your duff with that printed tree pulp.

Don’t get me wrong: I know as well as you do that printed, bound publications have an important place in our culture. I refer to Sports Illustrated, of course, not some pansy-assed story such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. How will you grow up to be a real man if you can’t tell the difference between an off-sides call and a false start? How are you going to develop essential social skills unless you can recount every moment of Manny Pacquaio’s career? These are not unimportant details of life, my boy; these are life.

You want to know about things? That’s what movies are for. You don’t need to read any Harry Potter; the movies can convey the whole story in a fraction of the time. The same goes for the Bible, countless children’s stories and who knows how many famous literary works.

Look around you. See where the money, and therefore the happiness, accrue: the athletes; the celebrities; and the people who make careers out of following and discussing athletes and celebrities. When’s the last time, I’d like you to consider, that anyone on the Green Bay Packers offensive line opened a copy of Anna Karenina? That A-Rod cozied up with an annotated Alice in Wonderland? You know the answer, son. If these are society’s role models, then we, as members of society, must embrace the values they represent. Your generation, which holds so much promise, cannot let that vision wither and die, simply because you wish to do things the old-fashioned way.

I’m glad we had this little talk. Now let’s be quiet and finish watching this DVD collection of The Sopranos.

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Written by Thag

March 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

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