Doomsday prophesies aren’t just a bookish pet peeve. As a general rule, I’m frustrated by fear mongering – promoting the idea that we’re traveling down a slippery slope of ultimate human suffering and destruction from which we can never recover. *Cue ominous music*
Suffering and destruction are realities of human existence. No doubt about that. But humans are also extraordinarily resilient creatures. We’ve survived centuries, millennia, of wars, plague, and life before the Internet. Lingering in anger and resentment, obsessing about the past and what we want but can’t have – these hold us back and prevent us from dealing with reality as it is, like it or not. Continue reading “Reading Pet Peeve #3: Doomsday Prophesies”
I could live the rest of my life quite happily without ever, ever again hearing the phrase guilty pleasure applied to one’s reading choices.
What bothers me is, it constructs false binaries: pleasure or enrichment, entertainment or education, fun or value.
As an academic, I’ve seen how these binaries can taint the idea of pleasure, as if feeling happy or good is somehow unworthy or lacking in value. If we’re not suffering, we’re probably not being challenged enough, or working hard enough, or smart enough to understand that we don’t understand.
We can enjoy books and still be smart about them. We can enjoy books and still be rigorous with them. Now I think about it, don’t we enjoy books because we find value in them? Continue reading “Reading pet peeve #2: The phrase guilty pleasure”