Why do I keep reading this book?

That’s what my wife would like to know whenever I gripe about The Dumbest Generation. Because, I say, it has legitimate points. Just because the author seems like a jerk at times, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything valuable in what he’s written. Also, I’ve only got a few pages more to go, and seems lame to bale now, right.

In the second to last chapter the author harkens back to the 60s, where he sees the beginning of the problem that he’s detailed previously. Adults of all ilks, from teachers to parents to scholars to journalist etc, gave far too much credence and importance to the youth of the country, who at the time were quite lively and outspoken. From there the problem only got worse and today is fast approaching epdidemic proporations, if it hasn’t already.

I guess I object to the fear mongering, while he seems to offer little in way of a curative. Except the standard stuff — read more, go to museums, engage in civic life, learn history. Who hasn’t been saying this shit for like fucking ever? I heard it when I was kid. And I say it now. So what was the point of wasting the paper to say it again?

Oh yeah. That’s right. The dude has statistics. But I ran across an interesting quote in Don Dellilo’s novel, White Noise, that I think offers some perspective:

But I only said, “Terrifying data is now an industry in itself. Different firms compete to see how badly they can scare us.”

White Noise, by the way, is an excellent book, better than I’d expected, although I hadn’t expected it to be not good, just, I guess, beyond my comprehension. Sort of like Thomas Pynchon. I want to like his stuff but mostly I just don’t get it. Same with more recent Rick Moody, among others.

I guess my point is that the dude seem like a hysteric.  Have I said this already? Probably. What does it matter?

Anyway. I’ll be done with the book soon enough and I can finally shut up about it. Thank jebus!


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