I never said reading is worthless. All I'm saying is that if this is mankind's big achievement, big deal. Yes, it's a great escape, but humanity's big brain creates an environment that needs escaping. What do you think of the fact (not my opinion, a fact) that the rainforests will be wiped off the face of the earth in 40 years, that mankind with its big brain is exterminating 50,000 species a year, and so on and so on? Why do you think Israel is necessary? Why do you think Napoleon is synonymous with victory instead of murder? What do you think of my analogy that if a dog had as much food as would fit into a McMansion and still needed to take other dogs' daily rations, we'd think he was sick, but when people do it, we bow down to greatness. Essentially, Marlena, humans pat themselves on the back for being barbarians and priding themselves on acting like dogs. Humans are so proud to be a species that lights an occasional candle in the darkness, and it never occurs to t hem that maybe if they'd stop creating the darkness they could have a lot more light. ----- Original Message ----- From: To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Sent: 12/29/2005 1:19:37 PM Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Social Darwinism or Darwinian Socialism? Hi, Andy--(for the Andy part of Irene seems to be the part of her/him who spins the most in terms of wondering about the value of Life and Humanity...), Do you really think that reading does no good for humanity? Has done no good? Would you be better or worse off if you could not read? Remember--many of those movies you like to watch would (probably) not exist without things like scripts, etc. You'd be forced to go to your local library and watch live performances or watch plays at your local theatre...and not stay in the comfort of your own home. I know that even the escapist literature for children has assisted many of those abused ones to which you often refer. Getting a library card has totally changed some of their lives--even one of the best young adult authors [for boys, esp] that I have heard speak, Gary Paulsen, addresses that issue--he was raised by his father-an alcoholic and basically lived most of his life in the woods. When the local librarian suggested that he get a library card, he could not believe it was 'free' and that HE could have something of his very own. It was, he said, the first thing he ever had that was totally 'his' and it completely changed his life. (he spoke at a conference of librarians once) With his being able to read and 'escape' his world, he recognized its value and became a writer himself--and his books are great for that audience. One section of children's literature deals with the issue of bibliotherapy--of which, I am sure, Irene is familiar (but not Andy <g>). There is so much research done on how that assists, especially children, in terms of dealing with issues of Life which affect them. (some changes and issues are healthy and some are not--but change for many, whether leading to constructive good or not, is often difficult) In fact, what caught my eye in your post was the Jungian sychronicity thing again. That is, I had just gotten done looking at this piece in the One World update that I receive. Do you really think that reading is completely worthless and does not affect humanity in a positive way? If so, then would 'politicians' really want to keep people illiterate? There are other thoughts that I have in regards to your posts on children/parenting/health of a community/etc. Mostly I wonder what child advocacy organizations that you are involved with that are affecting change? Very gently I will agree with you that the need is great--and that your care and concern would be most welcome in a local Boys and Girls Club, a Campfire Organization, a Girl Scout or Brownie troop, one of the local CASA organizations (those are the Child Advocates within the justice system who are 'there' as advocates when a child is taken into a foster home, is involved in a nasty custody case, an abused situation, etc. They are connected to the local court systems and, I believe, are always looking and needing people who are willing to be trained and dedicated to assisting these children.) In addition, there are battered women/men's shelters who often are in need of assistance. (I took a group of boys to one yesterday to help break d own a 'holiday store' th at served about 50 kids this season...most of them in really crummy situations). There is an organization called Youth Friends which is sweeping the nation. If it is not in your area, I will be delighted to put you in touch with the ones who can assist you in getting it set up in your school district. An adult is trained, screened--and then matched with either a child or small group of children--and meets with the child during the school day [often during the kid's lunch time] and will do all sorts of things with/for him/her. Often it is reading to the child--for few, as you know, get read to [and the results of not having literate parents is, in spite of what you say above <g>, hard for a child to deal with and so being read to is a treat. Well, it's still a treat for me, actually, and I'm a grown-up!] Sometimes the adult will help the kid out with various subject needs--and sometimes they just meet and talk. There are so many kids, all around the country, who have signed up for this program--and it is harder and harder to get volunteers as the people who work for corporations or even small businesses are not allowed time off to participate. (part of our wonderful globalized and commercial culture which does not see itself as part of a community--but that is another topic) I, too, often get 'tipped over the edge' and can easily enter into despair over how the Other is treated. I have found that actively *doing* and *helping* gets one 'out there' in order to see the incredible people who have dedicated themselves to making the world. If you could only meet some of them--put your shoulder next to theirs--you would see that even a small candle lit helps to create more light. Reading--oh, reading! It DOES help create light. It does so much more than you can possibly imagine! Use that empathy thing within yourself--and imagine what your life would be like if YOU could not read! Why, we would not even be able to communicate with each other on this list! And how much richer are our lives because of the thoughts of one another just HERE? Best, Marlena in Missouri POLITICIANS KEEP PEOPLE ILLITERATE: MURTHY ------------------------------------------ (29 dec 2005) Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited N.R. Narayana Murthy on Wednesday said corruption has become pervasive in institutions in the country and there is a strong incentive for politicians to keep people ignorant and illiterate. http://southasia.oneworld.net/link/gotoarticle/addhit/124880/1893/54729 -----Original Message----- From: Andy Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Sent: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 11:19:54 -0500 Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Social Darwinism or Darwinian Socialism? What a great achievement that humans can read. Wow. That their reading does them not one whit of good is unmentioned. No love is required to reproduce, only sex. Sex, money, food are what make humans "human". Money is used to buy food and sex. And some of us are appalled by WWII. Most don't care about it or don't know about it except to glamorize it and wish they looked like G.I. Joe dolls. When it comes to being a successful human, the lower the standards, the better.