Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cowardly Ignorance

We define wisdom as knowing what everybody else is doing. Anyone therefore who does not give a large part of his life to the popular media is considered either ignorant or suspect. “Where do you find the time to read literature?” a man asked me once, insisting that after he had read the newspapers and the magazines and had watched the news on television, he did not have time to pick up a book. I replied that I did not read the newspapers or the magazines and did not watch the news on television. His jaw dropped in disbelief. “How do you know what’s going on?” he cried. It crossed my mind that I might try to explain to him how literature opened your eyes to your surroundings and how the media blinded them by contrast; but my tongue tied as he stared superciliously at me. “I would rather not know,” I said in the end; “I do not have the courage to face it.”

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