The Dumbing Down of America…a day in the life of a writer.

Last night I had the pleasure of being on a panel of a book club, (OH lookie here a post about writing!) It was fun, it was informative and it was stimulating. As an author, it shames me to say that the book we read is not one I would have picked up on my own and started reading. In fact, it took me a while to ‘get into it,’ but I’m glad I read it, I’m glad I broadened my horizons.

The book is titled, YABO and the author is Alexis De Veaux. I’m hoping to reread it and grasp the things I’m sure I missed.

The reason for the title of this blog is this…as a panelist it was my job to discuss my thoughts on the book and as an author how hard I thought it was to have written this literary work. Great!! I can do that, and I can debate and back up MY thoughts. What I found difficult was the individual in the audience who…knew it all, and felt the need to express to ME the need for editors. Now I have absolutely no problem with editors, whatsoever. My point to him, however, was lost. As much as we writers need editors, we also need someone that will read our work and make suggestions that change our intentions in the story we are weaving.
My ideas of how I’m going to portray a character should not be changed simply because this editor didn’t like it, the feelings the character shouldn’t change because the editor doesn’t understand them. I was told that his wife was an editor and that if not for her, some of the works that came across her would have be a complete mess.

When someone makes the comment that men and women read differently I can mostly accept that, but will ask you why you think that. And I’m sorry but your answer had better not be because most books are ‘girlie’ or refer to Emily Bronte and other great author’s works as feces. (not once but twice.) All that comment tells me is that you are incapable of reading for the mere pleasure of it, nor are you capable of defending your statement in anything other than what I gathered was a disregard for women.

There was a time when reading, anything, was a luxury, the thought of reading the works of Bronte showed, a certain amount of class and education. You weren’t afraid of being seen as lesser because you read them. I understand that these works aren’t everyone’s tastes, and some people like Zane Grey, or Louie L’Amour. Honestly I don’t care what you read, just that you read…just that you develop a love for the craft and understand it. Don’t make comment’s that unless the book is interesting it’ll end up in a burn pile somewhere.

I said that America is becoming dumb because as a nation we have the world at our finger tips and we don’t know how to use it. We have

superhighways to knowledge, and rather than explore it and truly delve into a subject we take Wikipedia for god’s honest truth. Rather than to pick up a great work of literature we instead focus on NETFLIX’s take on it. WE are suppose to be the greatest nation in the world, with all of this knowledge at our disposal, and yet as a nation we are graduating people who can not read, who think they are entitled to the same things their grandparents had to work for.

Our greatest technological advances are our biggest downfall. Remember who we are, where we came from…remember our ancestors whose greatest desire was to be able to pick up a book and read it.

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