There are many divides among people: one race or another, one creed and another or a creed and no creed, female or Neanderthal, fruit on the bottom or mixed in. But the abbreviated title, which means ‘too long; didn’t read’, outlines a whole new division for me.
There are still those who like to read. They appreciate all the time, effort and craft it takes for words to be strung together in intelligible, entertaining and delightful ways. Definitely my camp.
Then there are those in the sound bite set who don’t read. There is no patience in these people for the effort reading exacts. And I’m not being a snob here about certain types of reader. It doesn’t matter whether you’re turned on by romance, science fiction, medieval mysteries with monks or Literature with that snooty capital ‘L’. No. The group I’m thinking of doesn’t read a thing.
Everything is tl and so they dr anything. And these are a growing demographic. For them video did more than kill the radio star: it killed art. For some even a two hour movie is too long. They are the twittery generation where what you have to say must be clearly evoked in 140 characters or less.
We are being précis-ed out of meaning.
Am I among the few who finds this sad? Who among the reading crowd also thinks these poor illiterates are doomed to be forever out of the depth that the human experience and condition will inspire if they manage to live it?
And I don’t mean to say that truth and beauty is only to be found in literature. I think all the arts and the sciences and other fields are being diminished by those who want their knowledge served in meager morsels.
Think of all the great films that have been inspired by books. We hear the phrase ‘it’s nothing like the book’ all the time and many nod and agree and then don’t bother to pick that book up. Perhaps I shouldn’t quibble about that: they are getting something in that tiny portion for their abbreviated attention span.
And if that sounds harsh or elitist or snobbish then let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear about any contrary views. But, sadly, by the very medium this message is coming to you right now all these thoughts are restricted. This is a blog and so entirely tl.
But what kind of life is that? Never mind a glass half empty, there’s barely a drop to be had. Is it a 21st century malaise? Just too much information in the world so it has to be cut down to fit it all in if you want to be well rounded?
I think it difficult, though, to imagine what is worth while in an info bite. So little to savour. Not enough to digest.
Yet the time is taken by those in the other camp to type those five characters.
Well thank you for not wasting my time. You’ve summarized your view, ideas and personality so succinctly. So well. That’s all I need to know.
If wishes were horses
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