01 October 2009

In Media Res

So I realize that I have already laid out a mission statement for this blog, but I have changed my mind as to what direction I want to take this. I was laboring under the impression that I had to have just one blog doing one thing, but I have decided that I don't have to be hemmed in like this. No one puts baby in a corner!
I know it's a little odd to put a new mission statement after quite a few blogs that already hopefully convey what I am doing here, but I don't want to erase what I have already wrote. So, let's just pretend for a moment that my blog is one giant 'epic poem.' Usually an epic poem begins "In media res" (hence the title) which basically means, in the middle. It then goes into a series of flashbacks to explain the beginning. Think of this as one giant flashback.
Some of you may know that I spend some time volunteering at my library. Overall I've found it rather uplifting and fulfilling being around books and some very sweet ladies. As I was shelving in the young adults section (a rather wretched section by all literary standards) I came across a Darren Shan "Cirque de Freak" book that some unfortunate young person had checked out. I quickly glanced over my shoulder, as I usually do when I find those books returning to us. One of these days I just know the child who reads such trash will eventually come in with a handgun and shoot the whole place up. Happily for me, the young ignoramus was not there, and I merely put Mr. Shan back on the shelf with the rest of his putrid ilk and attempted to push them as far back as I could and turned one particularly sensational looking one backward so it would no longer attract the eye of a hapless misguided teenager.
As I performed this small duty to my community I began to think about the deplorably low amount of reading we do in this country. Earlier this year I remembered being very much heartened by a statement made by the National Endowment for the Arts saying that the amount of people age 18 and older who had read one book, article or poem in the last year, was on the rise. I later learned that though it has jumped from 46.7% in 2002 to 50.2% in 2008, the percentage is nowhere near the 56.9% it was in 1982. But then I thought, why on earth am I even yearning for that 56.9% of people 18 and older reading one book in a year. Why isn't it more than that? It's a whole year and all they had to read was a poem? It's a real travesty.
And then, once you get past that you have to deal with the type of literature they are reading. When the NEA did their survey in 2008, they did not differentiate between reading online and reading on the page. So a poem could be one of my myspace poems, and although that is good literature not every teenaged poet produces much in the way of quality. Then you have people like Stephanie Meyer and her "Twilight" series. I could go on for a while about her, and I believe I will in a different blog. All I will say for now is that if Stephan King is criticizing your writing skills, it's time to find a new job.
Thus, this blog was born. I believe that a nation is only as great as its people, and we need to step up our game. If we aren't doing such a basic thing as reading, what right do we have to be a world power? We cannot call ourselves civilized if we shun the sole exersice that broadens our minds and empowers us. We must take advantage of the opportunities we have in America and not let these vast resources of knowledge slip through our fingers! My mission is to spark interest in literature and to get America reading.


So I have, as of this moment, three blogs. If you are lucky enough to find my profile on homeschoolalumni.org you will be able to view my poetry blog. It's where I dump all my poetry good and bad, but I will no longer bore you with them on here. I also throw them intermittently in the "notes" on Facebook, but I don't count that as a blog.
This blog will purposefully be for book reviews and literature in history/news. I hope to make this one a more erudite discussion where I and my readers can interact with good literature and revel in the great conversation of the ages.
But where is your third blog, you may ask? Well, *shuffles feet and shifts eyes nervously* before I was good at anything web related and knew relatively little of social networking, I had a Myspace. I still have a Myspace partly because I have my 'everything' blog on there, and partly because I have a friend who adamantly refuses to switch over to Facebook. So, my third and final blog is my Myspace blog, into which is thrown the refuse of my intellectual blogs. As far as Myspace goes it's fairly classy so you can feel free to check it out.
And now I will copy my good friend Emily, and state that this blog you are currently finishing reading is (*crosses fingers*) the last time you will hear personal details form me unless they directly influence the book or the literature topic I am discussing.
Thanks for reading!

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