Reading is Sexy, Godammit!

My first few days of teaching various language arts related courses at the high school level has made me sadly aware that today's youth thinks the same way as yesterday's- reading is for nerds. When asking the students to share the topics they chose for a movie or book summary I asked them to write, none of the students shared about a book. Interestingly, when I later flipped through their papers, some of them actually did read books over the summer (gasp). Granted, their choices did make me cringe, but I'll give them credit for reading (I give kids a much bigger break on their selection choices). They didn't want to admit to it, though, in front of their peers, for fear of being labeled a dork or nerd. Perhaps if I taught AP or IB classes it would be different, but these kids, unfortunately, represent the opinions of the general public.

So, what is it with society? Why does is there such a stigma attached to reading? Yeah, people cut you a break if you're dabbling in something light, such as Twilight, or the latest celebrity biography, but the rest of us get labeled as dorks when seen willingly reading Philip Roth ("are you taking a class?"). Let's face it, as a whole, society doesn't like to learn. People don't really care about increasing their intelligence if it requires effort. The masses are lazy and would rather watch Jersey Shore than pick up that rectangular thing with all those fucking words. They're intimidated by people who want to become more knowledgeable, because, seriously, let's face it- we could take over the world.

Being ignorant isn't sexy. Being willing to acquire knowledge, challenge yourself, and realize there are different perspectives in this world is. This can be done without reading. But, for those of with lives and budgets, opening that rectangular thing with all those fucking words is an easy way to evolve.

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