Sunday, April 27, 2008
GAMES VS. LITERATURE IN 21ST CENTURY AMERICA
By Ivan G. Goldman
The newest version of video game "Grand Theft Auto" comes out Tuesday, and experts say it should sell at least 6 million copies the first week. Amazon lists the game at $49.99. Most copies will be purchased by young adult men, some of whom will line up outside stores Monday night.
If they decide to vote, their vote is as good as yours. So is the vote of the 10 percent of Americans who think Barack Obama is a Muslim and the millions of Americans who voted to re-elect The Decider in 2004.
Fact: If you can sell thirty thousand copies of a novel within a few weeks -- that's one-half of one percent of 6 million -- you'll almost certainly hit the best-seller list. Hardbacks sell for about $25. Find the right literature and it can change your life forever. You'll relive that awakening over and over with delight and understanding. Did you know that back in Dickens' time thousands of readers waited at the New York docks for the latest installment of his novels?
Short stories are dead, buried alongside poetry, and literate novels are expiring. The stuff is being written and sometimes even published, but readers are dying off and younger minds prefer to anesthetize themselves with video games, sitcoms, and sequels to films written for the least aware minds in the Western world..
The link between literacy and clear thinking was mapped out precisely by George Orwell in his great essay "Politics and the English Language." The spike in the games industry, the ascendancy of moronic political ideas, the American Idolization of the news media, and the deterioration of schools well serves global corporations that buy what they want from our politicians without being asked too many questions.