Saturday, October 16, 2010

WTFuck: A Rant by J. Travis Grundon

I was recently asked to talk to a group of high school kids about the importance of reading and promote the book store, for “Teen Read Week.”

I was instantly excited and interested in turning these young minds onto some great books. The theme of the first event was “Books with Beat.” As a fan of Kerouac and Burroughs I agreed with the "Books with Beat" theme and I had a few ideas.

This pipe dream of a neat presentation was quickly shat upon when I was told we should probably avoid "The Beats." The person I talked to told me “The Beats” may be "too much" for the high school. It was at this point I was ready to duck out of the event all together.

There isn't anything covered in their books that isn’t shown in an episode of Jersey Shore or an Eminem music video. The Beats were about self discovery and expression. Isn't that what high school is all about? Most of these kids are already experimenting with most of these ideas, and pretending they're not is only ignoring the elephant in the room and making the problem worse.

I could go on and on about Burroughs, but Kerouac is one of my top five authors and to keep me from talking about them surely means I would be expected to avoid Mark Twain, Chuck Palahniuk and any other controversial or formerly banned author. Surely if I went through with the presentation I would have all the freedom in the world to talk about Twilight or Dan Brown…fuck that!

The moral of the story is: a) It great if people are reading almost anything, but if people don’t open their minds they are only closing their eyes
b) Learn a little about who you invite to talk at your school. If you don’t want a free thinker with an opinion don’t invite me.

Wake up!

We have a lot to learn about society and life from those who came before us. The Beats were the literary voices of a generation in the same way Twain and Thoreau were for their generation.

*note
Speaking of Twilight… I have tried to like this franchise and I’m happy it has kids reading, but I just can’t get into it. It may not be your thing, my thing or some other person’s thing, but I am sick of people bashing it for “turning vampires gay.”

i.e stupid Facebook groups like “When I was a kid vampires sucked blood, not cock.”

If anyone turned vampires gay it was Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles are filled with young boy “love” and living forever. That is gay and pretty fucked up. Being gay is fine with me, but the young boy thing is crazy shit. No thanks.

At least Edward and Jacob are trying to get in a girl/woman’s pants…until the last book when Jacob turns into a creepy pedo too, but I digress. Anne Rice sucks just as much as Stephanie Myer. If you want a cool vampire book pick up The Strain by Del Toror and Hogan or just read Dracula.

I’ve wondered WAY off the beaten path so I will bring this rant to a close.

Open your mind and most vampire books SUCK!!!

- Travis