I'll come up with something in a minute.

In defense of lies.

Whenever I hear someone say something alone the lines of “I don’t read fiction”

I don’t find myself thinking “Wow! What a serious minded and buys person this must be. Why there’s so much fact to learn, they haven’t got time to read made up stuff.” which is clearly what they want me to think.

Nor do I think “What a pretentious/lying motherfucker this is. Trying to get me sold on the idea that they’ve got so much to get through they’re doing non-fiction first.”


Shall I tell you what I think when someone tries to impress me with their non-fiction only reading?

“What an ignorant jerk!”

How can you even pretend to know anything about say… The Abolition Movement, without having read Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Can anyone claim to understand the plight of the migrant farmers in the 30s without having read The Grapes of Wrath? Sadly, no. I tried, had to read the fuckin’ thing anyway. Can you even begin to gather what was going through the minds of yuppie, over the hill, coke heads in the 80s without having tackled IT? Don’t think so. Can you say you know what it’s like to chase after a golden statue, only to have it turn out to be lead and besides you weren’t after it, but the person who killed your partner? Yeah, reading The Thin Man won’t help, but pick up another Hammett book and you’ll find what you’re looking for. And allow me to let you in on a secret, if you haven’t read the Greek Myths, almost nothing in their history will make much real sense because their mythology goes hand in hand with their understanding of the universe. Without knowing the fiction, you can’t really claim to know the facts. Reflection showing a greater truth and all that.

Hell, how can you possibly call yourself cultured without having gotten into the works of Shakespeare? Or Chaucer? Or Mark Twain. Or the operas of Mozart. If you want to claim to know things, you really need to read the actual books, just watching torrented episodes of QI* won’t cut it.

I’m not saying that you have to read every dime novel that was every published from 1485 up until today. I’m not even suggesting that you cast your net as wide as the things I’ve mentioned here. I’m not even really saying that you must read some fiction, just that you need to if you expect one single iota of respect from me. Of course, if you want the flip side of that coin, I don’t have much respect for people who never raise their head above the imaginary either. You’ve got to read something factual from time to time as well. However, to be honest, I rarely hear anyone I think I even vaguely respect try and impress me by claiming that they never read non-fiction books. Usually, the people who brag about that sort of thing will mention how they never read a book of any kind and spit on the idea of watching a documentary.

Seriously, you need to at least read The Davinci Code or something. I’ve never read it myself, but I understand it’s VERY fictional.

*Don’t give me that fucking look. YOU CAN’T GET THEM HERE!

May 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment