Against the Reader

4 May

The public is a cruel beast. Fickle and finicky. They will fight for a hashtag today that they won’t even remember trending this time next week. It’s a short-term gratification like that, when you serve up an endless hors d’oeuvres array of choked-down phrases and coughed-up inanities. You can only fit so much lasting grit in a hundred and forty characters.

The public is a wild beast. Running here and there, grazing from whatever pasture happens to have seeded the greenest virility. Sweet and fresh, even the hardwood trunks must extend new tendrils to grasp any notice. It’s a sort of reversed food chain out there; if you don’t get a bite then you have no reproducibility.

They will rave, the public. Protest is too archaic an art form these days; throw slime or shout your garbled grumbles the loudest and it’s those stitch by stitch tears to rags that will gain you internet power. Meanwhile the authors will hide behind metaphor, saying we said something not what we said. Confuse them enough to ignore you and die dusty encased in the walls of your study; or ply a trickster twist on a trope masked enough to pass for ingenuity and garner your two minutes of fame on a Google headline. Leave the reader shaking and wagging their head – at least then it’s intentional.

There is no refined when even the gatekeepers have become so crude. Taste is torture in a bittorrent world.

Simile is useless. Nobody likes anything.

The public is a cruel beast, you see.

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