I’ve been reading lately. A lot. And I freaking love it and have been so interested and inspired. I have so much to say about all of them, I hope to post about them this week. (I love that I can’t keep up with all my reading lately.)
So, I’ll start with a review on Think…Very High Level summary: today’s women aren’t concerned with the right things. The author, Lisa Bloom, doesn’t approach it in a religy-moral way, but in an intellectual way. Women don’t unwind with a good book, they unwind with celebrity magazines or reality TV or the like, something that’s dripping with the *wrong* messages. We might think we’re just watching “The Bachelor” because it’s hilarious, but (here’s the thing that almost every book I read comes back to, Omnivore’s Dilemma, Cinderella Ate My Daughter), when we watch that smut, we are contributing to its existence, and its perpetuation. I just can’t escape that message that when you purchase or consume something you’re enabling its very existence. And, more to Bloom’s point, we’re not enriching ourselves or challenging our brains by watching reality tv but letting it turn our brains to mush.
I don’t come at this from a “I NEED HELP!” perspective. I feel pretty good after reading this – I’ve never been super into reality TV. Sure, a season of The Hills and America’s Next Top Model here and there have been on my radar at various points in my life, but I definitely can’t stay interested over the long haul with them. Truth be told, one of my deciding factors when we decided to quit cable last spring was that I said “but then I can’t watch Real Housewives!” The next time I watched that festering turd of vapid and shallow crap I realized this wasn’t worth my money or time. While I might occasionally get swept away, I feel I have a good internal compass on what’s too much reality (er, “reality” TV). And really, living without it is pretty awesome too.
Otherwise, I loved Bloom’s take on the news media’s role in the dumbing down of the American public (the incessant focus on “young white women” centered crimes and/or celebrity drama). I was thinking about this the week before I began reading it – all anyone wanted to talk about was Whitney Houston, meanwhile Syria is going bananas and who the hell knows why? THESE ARE NOT EQUIVALENT STORIES, one was a singer/actress (who I do love, btw!) but the other is affecting our world balance and killing innocents. But we don’t demand different, so this is the news coverage we get.
I think this book was the impetus for my reading binge. Even though I didn’t feel like I needed saved, I did feel I could be more deliberate with how I spend my free time. I downloaded the free NY Times app on my iPad and have been reading the top stories, just so I have at least a respectable amount of background on the news of the world. That is something I’ve been terribly lax on. Reading books, any old books, is a great way to expand your thinking (you knew that, and so did I.) I’ve just been able to finally give it the priority it deserves after two months of figuring out shifted priorities (with working/Margo, etc) And I’m just enjoying geeking out with books so much. I haven’t even watched last week’s Modern Family yet!
I hope this isn’t preachy; the book certainly isn’t. I enjoyed the writing. It was conversational, opinionated but not overbearing and encouraging. I felt like “yes, this is a tall order, but this is also my life and my brain and what the hell else have I got to do with it?” I’d love for you to read it and talk about it with me 🙂