Saturday, March 02, 2013

Holy conformity


  I wouldn't read most of the books published by established publishers even if I got them for free. I've got better things to do with my time.
  I always leave a bookstore disgusted, choking at the normality there, even in the fantasy department. Why is that, you think?
  Don’t answer that. It was sarcasm and yet another rhetorical question.
  Visiting a modern bookstore is a very frustrating and dismal study in mediocrity. It’s also a reflection of the so called market, of course. What is chosen by established publishers are generally speaking horrible stories and stories made worse by the editing process.
  - These books have won lots of prizes, the salesman told an impressed customer. – They are very similar to Lord of theRings.
  Case closed…
  In case you’re wondering: prizes are given by, you guessed it various established publishers or bodies with tight ties to the industry.
  And prizes are a lousy idea from the start, anyway, commercial forces multiplied with snobbery squared.
  But I do actually remember when visiting a bookstore was an exciting experience, a place where curious kids and adults could excel. The books weren't exactly that much better, but there was that crucial difference: the sense of wonder hadn't been left behind, hadn't been thrown into the waste basket of that before mentioned commercialism and cultural snobbery and endless holy repetition of popular themes. (TM)
  To say that it has gone from bad to worse is quite simply way too kind and woefully inadequate.
  The store is like the books it sells: utterly lacking in originality and independent thought. Conformity claims victory on all fronts.
  I can’t claim that my visit was a total bust this time, though. I got lots of coherent thoughts out of it.

1 comment:

Torstein Viddal said...

I would have to agree with that one, Amos.

However – as is also the case with many newspapers – what still makes you enter a bookstore – or read (parts of) a newspaper – is the fact that some die-hard and almost non-paid great spirits and intellectuals still publish their books through the conventional channels, or send their excellent articles – almost always for free – to the newspapers and magazines.

In this way, the almost wholly despicable and horribly conform bookstores and newspapers, are kept «artificially alive» through the efforts of great thinkers who should – if their thoughts and orientations were equally great on all fronts – really know better than to support these commercial, yet fortunately dying ways of publishing their message.

Here in Norway, a particularly dubious case is that of our famous «counter-culture» author Ingvar Ambjørnsen, who resides in Hamburg, Germany, yet for 17 years insisted on writing columns for the most tabloid of Norwegian tabloids, the VG. Ambjørnsen thus becomes an alibi of intellectualism, spirit and humanism for this thoroughly capitalist and essentially fascist – depending on your definitions – gossip newspaper. And for what?

Oh, you know. The usual:

It's all 'bout the money
It's all 'bout the dum dum di di dum dum
And I don't think It's funny
to see us fade away
It's all 'bout the money
It's all 'bout the dum dum di di dum dum
and I think we got it all wrong anyway

Money Makes The World Go Nuts.