Saturday, January 04, 2014

Will Reading Make You Smarter?

You know the type: up themselves, well spoken, calm and always with a book. Are they as smart as they think they are? Is a book-reader automatically more intelligent than couch potato or someone who's book-shy?

The crime scribe who takes you to the gritty underground to half tell you how to bypass an outdated security system that's now unused, survive an explosion and break a man's wrist with two fingers will only get you eager with risk, closer to criminality (like an element of ones culture being illegal ala cannabis) and paranoid. Also, the crime writer is telling you what "the man" doesn't mind you knowing, no valuable secrets will be disclosed.

That romance novelist, bringing trivia of the heart into the place of utmost importance will not make you smart; she will make you oversensitive, feeling ugly and dissatisfied with your relationships.
I don't deserve any less than that!..
The historical storyteller who becomes another player in a multi-century long game of Chinese-whispers can only tell you the biased and deformed story of a lacking number of events from the perceptions of the victorious and those whose stories were allowed to exist, the information that survived time. Undoubtedly, those tidbits will only act as questionable and disregardable trivia.
Those drama books, where the world somehow literally revolves around the main character, where their selfish endeavours and concerns are more important than the molested girl-next-door, the diseased world or the hungry infected child genius born doomed to die hungry and sick on plundered land will only get you indifferent, wilfully unconcerned with real actual issues.
"Sorry to interrupt your bliss"
That fickle fictional character you are momentarily worried about will only get you accustomed to being insensitive to a harsh, numbing reality (like the endless adverts for 'starving african' charities, which you can't possibly give to because there is too many and you can't trust them so you give nothing to nobody, making it seem that you don't care because you do nothing but accept... and you need more money, fu#k them). I am not trying to get you to donate to charity although you would appreciate the act if you was in need.

It's undeniable that reading exercises the brain, building speech and literary skills but you can't expect or claim to gain actual, usable intelligence by reading the equivocal words of a hairy hermit that only stretch the imagination and not the understanding, words that don't challenge your intellect nor improve your sub-human idiosyncrasies.

Most book readers read crap, written by idiots who feel intellectual due to the learned ability to articulate. Memoirs and contemplated prejudice. I don't understand how book-lovers can give themselves that moniker when most mainly stick to one self-indulgent genre. That's like a film fan who only watches hollywood rom-com's, its bullshit. If I was a book-lover, I would feel a duty to read all the existing kinds of brilliant literature, from the philosophical Khalil Gibran and Greg Egan to the imaginative Melvin Burgess and Richard Cohen with no room for "The God Delusion" when I already know that I'm an atheist.

With books you have an opportunity, as with film and music, to either feed your mind with growth and ingenuity or dumb it down with mindless but colourful pleasantries. There is an occasional rumbling of sheep with titles such as The Da Vinci Code and The Help being read by billions and shaping perceptions despite their messages being sent better by other vendors who, for some reason, receive lesser support and publicity. Why read a book everyone is talking about, is it to see what all the fuss is about?

Doesn't it seem like a book will get popular and a legion of fans once it gets a movie deal? Aren't they just sheep not upset with a recommendation? Should a Hollywood movie deal make a book worthy of your attention? Does a book have to be good in order for Hollywood to recognise it? What kinds of literature are barred from Hollywood? Is there a chance that the best book ever written is unknown? It would be intelligent to want worthy work from those you aren't told about.
"I am soooo happy right now!!! Yeaahh!!!"
When you watch television religiously and shy away from books you are in a similar predicament, you can either watch bullcrap and fester or absorb positive building blocks into your brain. If you're watching documentaries and science/nature shows you can get the same intellectual exercise you'd get from reading a book for study, enlightenment or personal improvement. If you exclusively watch shows like Jersey Shore and TOWIE, never eager to try the smarter stuff, you deserve the title of 'couch potato' or worse, you're acting like a soft vegetable. Everything you can learn from books you can learn from television and vice versa but you won't learn anything when you watch, read or listen to pointless, dumb shit.

Book reading can make you smarter but not if you read rubbish, to a certain extent, to be a smart reader, you have to be somewhat smart already in order to be able to make a smart choice on what you read. Even then you'll find difficulty, as a reader of science papers, you could find yourself believing that that Japanese "scientist" has evidence proving that "black" women are the least attractive of all; just because something sounds subjectively intelligent and logical doesn't make it right and worthy, you should know that if you read newspapers. You can take many things from a turd, there's the bad smell that makes some reel away in disgust or there's the manure, the test of resilience and the molecular artistry.
Had to be done, thank you for reading. Sunnier posts en route.
"I look great right now!....Don't I?"

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