The horrors of reading for pleasure and Kurt Vonnegut

Tracy Zhang, at The Cornell Sun is fed up. Fed up with the never ending tidal wave of low celebrity culture rolling out of Hollywood. In fact, she’s so fed up she’s taken to extreme measures:

I realized upon my fourth viewing of “Dick in a Box” that maybe it was time to look into other outlets for entertainment, so I did something I hadn’t done in all my four years at college. I decided to read, purely for pleasure, something that didn’t have the words “Baby bump revealed!” on every third page. Oh man was that a trippy experience. It seemed that multiple years away from voluntary reading had given me the attention span of an over-caffeinated toddler. That is to say, none at all.

As my mind struggled NOT to conservatively skim sentences for maximum speed and excavate key points for optimal note taking, I was gripped by a sense of horror. It was like the anxiety you feel after a seemingly breezy five hours of playing Guitar Hero II permanently shapes your hand into a rigid claw. Or when your own douche rating becomes even self-evident since every conversation you have classifies as a masturbatory interpretation of your resume. Oh yeah, it was that bad.

Interesting Cornell University Fact:

In 1944, Kurt Vonnegut was Associate Editor of the Cornell Sun, according to their About us page. Here’s what Vonnegut the proto-unitarian thought about working there at the time:

I was happy when I was all alone — and it was very late at night, and I was walking up the hill after having helped put The Sun to bed. All the other university people, teachers and students alike,were asleep. They had been playing games all day long with what was known about real life. They had been repeating famous arguments and experiments, and asking one another the sorts of hard questions real life would be asking by and by. We on The Sun were already in the midst of real life. By God, if we weren’t! We had just designed and written and caused to be manufactured yet another morning newspaper for a highly intelligent American community of respectable size — yes, and not during the Harding administration, either, but during 1940, 1941and 1942, with the Great Depression ending, and with World War well begun. I am an atheist, as some of you have gleaned from my writings.But I have to tell you that, as I trudged up the hill so late at night and all alone, I knew that God Almighty approved of me.

One response to “The horrors of reading for pleasure and Kurt Vonnegut”

  1. I often think of Vonnegut’s line about “I am an atheist, but were it not for the Sermon on the Mount I would not want to be a human being – I would rather be a rattlesnake.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: