I’m re-reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness right now, and it’s striking me how very difficult I find it, when I went through it quite easily the first time. Odd right? I try to read books I like more than once, rediscover treasures etc., but this has virtually never happened to me before. I am depressed, because the only possible reason for this is that I’m getting more stupid day by day. It’s a matter of months before I reach Crabbe and Goyle levels of dim. I think that, much of a bookwork though I am, I sometimes find sentences extremely tedious. Especially long sentences like Conrad’s, that have a lot of words that don’t make any sense, “ We shall have lots and lots of rivets and why shouldn’t we,” I thought rivet meant like a water body, see rivulet, but apparently its something you dig up on the riverbeds of the Congo? Don’t ask. The same thing happened when I read The phantom of the opera. I could not bear the archaic language. I gave up. I have pondered upon this, you guys and I have come up with reasons of why and how we came to a part of this grave state of affairs.
Here they are:
Twitter and other social media and therein the art of saying your thing in 140 characters has broken down our brains
The interwebz has destroyed our mental faculties. Now we just LOLZ/ LULZ when we don’t get stuff.
In India, it used to be a big deal if you spoke English, now every urban Indian does. So, why improve it by reading tedious stuff? .
Our generation can only think in moving pictures and if there are gun sounds and cars and lots and lots of kisses, we’re so there.
No company. 1990s India. What do you talk about with your friends after class? Books you’ve read or Tv shows you’ve watched? Present day India. What do you talk about with your friends after class? Talk? Lulz, we just text each other.
The steady stream of mediocre trash that gets published year on year and goes on to make the writers lots and lots of money. Example: Twilight, Chetan Bhagat, 50 shades of grey. Why bother reading Sons and Lovers, when a copy of 50 goes much faster and you can get to read naughty stuff out in the open?
Language that is to be dying. And I’m so ironic, I will talk like this, even though I know better, because I do things differently okay. I’m bold and modern and ever so hipster.
The world is sinking into a miserable pit of thankless work, shot through with insufficient shots of happiness brought through horrible entertainment and mediocre reading. Nothing is worth any effort. The universe is spinning slowly towards an inevitable death of intelligence. There is no hope and we are all, every last one of us, doomed. Now, let’s go watch a phillum.