How Books Change Culture
How Books Change Culture

Thursday • February 22nd 2024 • 11:19:21 pm

How Books Change Culture

Thursday • February 22nd 2024 • 11:19:21 pm

I had three big encounters with books, but it wasn't until the last one that my culture rose.

The first time happened in 8th grade, I was reading Batman by Craig Shaw Gardner.

I was ignoring what all the horrible teachers were saying, and I got bored, so I started reading.

I got a smile from a teacher that disliked me, but you know what, I didn’t care.

A teacher never teaches with fear, she chose fear to make her job easier.

And nothing she said or did mattered to me, she was a bully, I was a force of nature.

Second time, was in America, as I was brushing up on my reading skills.

I did badly because I chose Hamlet in High School, and that turned out not to be the optimal way to learn English.

Though I memorized all the fancy quotes in the back, just in case, still remember a lot.

And in all my years in America, I have never, ever, not ever once…

Passed by a plastic skull, without bemoaning poor Yorick.

Sweet Yorick you infinite jest, and excellent fancy is still a guide for us all.

But, I digress.

There was a hardware store in Michigan, that for a reason I cannot fathom to this day.

Had an enormous car sized cardboard box, filled with freaking books.

And many of them were about UFOs, and some were cyberpunk goodness.

Some years before back in New York, and I digress again, I went to the big library on Fifth Avenue to research UFOs.

I was a fan of X-Files, stop judging me.

And I told the lady up front, I am researching ... UFO.

And she was lyke “Basement!”, “where we keep the dumb books”.

And to this day it is one of my greatest adventures, I found a book Yeti was beamed downed by a UFO.

I had more than one day dream, about hunting Mokele-mbembe in Kongo.

Just shooting photos, not bullets, of course.

Here at the hardware store’s strange book box, I reconnected with UFOs and after some fantastic titles.

I discovered the UFOs to be the formation of a religion, even though this sounds like a stech.

The concept of collective fantasies is key, to understanding the darker parts of the Human Condition.

I went to college, and the disgrace of academic philosophy broke my heart.

And here, on my third encounter, I discovered narrated books, what a magnificent year that was.

Discovering Bill Bryson’s funny adventures, and many other science popularizers is what did it for me.

And while the content of their books changed my life, in multiple ways.

The biggest change, was my inheritance of their culture.

It happened, because I adored their works, they became my friends and family.

From Nietzsche, to Miss Rand, Hitchens, and Sir Ken Robinson, their culture just copied on me, maybe welcomed me.

For years I had audiobooks playing in my ears, non stop, learning for real about everything that matters.

These authors, create on-ramps for us to join them, and it works.

If I had to do it again, I would listen to all these beautiful books…

on the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails.

Lastly, know that to grow up, means to grow all the way up.

Until you become, a great being.

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