Sunday, December 28, 2014

From the Mouths of Old Ladies

Ursula Le Guin took a verbal stick to publishers  who pay hack writers to create fear and, through fear, create profits; even though these actions damage the shared interests of freedom and community. The occasion was Ursula's acceptance speech before the recent National Book Awards.

There is a direct connection to North Texas.  Brainfart journalism is rife here in North Texas. The Dallas Business Journal, a subscriber supported  news organization, might be more aptly named, the Dallas Brainfart Journal; while some of the best reporting around is produced by way of Jim Schutze and Eric Nicholson, who write for the "free"  Dallas Observer.  The free paper has hard hitting and well researched newsy news and the DBJ is empty news with a pinch of  boosterism and a dash of just plain puffery.

Ursula Le Guin has been a successful author for decades. You can always check her out on the wiki.  [it is always the right  time to support wikipedia ]

In a remarkable speech before the National Book, she assailed the forces which use words to create fear and fear to create attention to make money.  Here is a  choice quote.
I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope...

Here is another interesting bit
Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words.

The Parker Higgins blog  has the complete transcript. Ypu will enjoy it. We must support the art of writing to maintain it, and be aware when we are indulging in the world of click bait and pandering and fear mongering for a buck; we are nurturing the dark and seamy side of publishing.

What  do ou think?

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