Garrison Keillor, the very boring writer whose very boring heart has turned to very boring coal, had this to say about the state of writing, publishing, The Internet and blogging in an NYT Op-Ed from yesterday.
Call me a pessimist, call me Ishmael, but I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea. We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numerals (U R 2 1derful), blogging like crazy, reading for hours off their little screens, surfing around from Henry James to Jesse James to the epistle of James to pajamas to Obama to Alabama to Alanon to non-sequiturs, sequins, penguins, penal institutions, and it’s all free, and you read freely, you’re not committed to anything the way you are when you shell out $30 for a book, you’re like a hummingbird in an endless meadow of flowers.
We will call you a pessimist – which we suspect is self-congratulatory- but we will not call you Ishmael because we don’t want you to drag us down with your boring, shitty cliches. But I agree with you that the constant flow of information is a horrible thing. How dare we easily enrich our lives everyday when you had to slug your heavy books to the library? Education should be arduous and painful and only for the kind of people that can afford to spend $30 on every individual book – it should not be accessible, free or completely egalitarian. We can’t just have people running around knowing things. Who would you explain things to? It’s discipline, paper cuts, and seeing yourself as an insulting, elitist ivory tower-type that made you into the very boring columnist and very boring radio personality you are today. (Oh, and this happened today and it’s only going to happen more and more.)
(Thanks to The Rumpus for tipping us off.)