Media

Books: All Literate People Should Stop Buying Them. And It's Sarah Palin's Fault.

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Media critic Michael Wolff is really, really critical of a certain medium: books.

He calls over at Newswer for all literate people to boycott them. Why? Because he thinks books like Sarah Palin's and Glenn Beck's really really suck. (He also takes more umbrage than I think appropriate over the no-duh news that the famous name on the cover didn't really write the book.)

I would posit that, if one wishes to be educated and au courant on current political culture, one of those things that books are supposed to be good for, probably more people than already are should be reading Palin's and Beck's books. (I also bet more people who buy them are reading them than Wolff thinks.)

By the by, he isn't calling just for a boycott of those right-wingy books he thinks are bad; he's calling for a boycott of all books because those bad right-wingy books exist. Really:

We have created a giant system of national agitprop, in which books and the book business have become one of the most effective tools.

Literate people should boycott books.

Start with his!

Hat tip on the link: Bruce Bartlett.

NEXT: Sarah Palin! Health Care Reform! Video Games!

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  1. Shut the fuck up, media critic Michael Wolff.

  2. It’s a preposterous image, someone actually sitting down and furrowing their brow over the Palin work.

    I resemble that remark!

  3. Literate people should boycott books

    That doesn’t seem to keep the illiterate from being stupey.

  4. What I think is fair to say about books — and certainly it’s the way we view them — is that they really are more a wing of the Republican Party.

    1. And that wolf-shooting, Bible-quoting Sarah Palin is an awful writer! And she didn’t even write her own book! And this is not contradictory because…because…Sarah Palin’s daughter got knocked up! What a hypocrite! And those teabaggers! They…I…what was the question?

  5. if one wishes to be educated and au courant on current political culture, one of those things that books are supposed to be good for, probably more people than already are should be reading Palin’s and Beck’s books. Oh please. This is taking contrarianism too far. Reading ANY book by a politician of any stripe is a guaranteed waste of time unless you’re a journalist. My life is considerably richer for the time I spent reading Roberto Bolano instead of Barack Obama and reading some recent books on the fall of Rome instead of reading Al Gore’s latest tome. I doubt Palin or Beck have anything substantive to offer.

  6. (I also bet more people who buy them are reading them than Wolff thinks.)

    I’d imagine the readong rate is around 99%. If you’re buying books by Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin, you’re obviously not doing it to impress others.

    For that, you get Chinua Achebe, James Joyce, Wittgenstein, etc., etc.

    1. Or the Calvin and Hobbes coffee table book.

      1. It’s not a coffee table book. It’s two huge volumes in a slipcase, I’ll have you know.

        1. Actually it’s three huge volumes.

    2. Unless you’re a right-wing outfit that tends to buy these books en masse and give them out as freebies in order to get them on the best-seller lists.

      1. Dirty right-wing bastards!

  7. GOD DAMN Gutneberg! GOD DAMN HIM TO HELL!!!!

  8. Hmmm – boycott books, eh?

    Nah – it’s easier just to boycott Michael Wolff.

  9. Boycott, hell. Let’s burn the offending books! Then it is just a short step to burning the people who write the books we burn! This clown should be fired, just like a “Dining Around” critic who urged people to boycott all restaurants.

  10. Looks like we got ourselves a reader.

  11. Literate people should boycott books

    …especially the new Sarah Palin book that has two big links with a special offer on the same page as my article. I said, DO NOT CLICK on my advertiser’s links.

  12. “What traitors books can be! You think they’re backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives.”
    – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, Part 2

  13. Literate people should boycott books

    Zen?

  14. So we can toss text books into the ban? Especially the political, economic, and social based books.

  15. Is Wolff making any money off Newser? I wasn’t even aware of it until 30 minutes ago, and it’s nowhere near Alexa 500 status (as are several Denton sites, HuffPo, etc.).

    I suspect the whole site is a setup for Burn Rate 2: Electric Deed-In-Lieu.

  16. By the way, the e-mails are causing such a ruckus among the left and the leftist scientists, falling over themselves to explain away their significance. It is soooo funny to watch…

  17. I’m going to boycott Michael Wolff, Naomi Wolf, and Wolf Blizer.

  18. He [Michael Wolff] calls over at Newswer for all literate people to boycott them [books]!

    Ja! Just like we did with ze books from Thomas Mann and ze books from von Mises! Boycott! Boycott!

  19. You know there was a piece of agipop back in the 20s called Mein Kamph. Before that there was something called The Communist Manifesto. And even before that there was something called “Common Sense”. And I suppose for its day the 99 theisis were a piece of agipop.

    I question is not, should literate people boycott books. That question is so stupid it is beneath answering. The qustion is are jounralists this stupid or do they just think we are?

    1. ‘the 99 theisis’

      Is this what you’re referring to?

      Observe that Luther only published 95 theses. The extra four were in his first draft, but were deleted at the last minute.

      The missing four theses of the founder of the Protestant Reformation are:

      -That nun Katherina von Bora sure is hot!

      -Yeah, she’s smokin’ hot!

      -Too bad about those vows of hers.

      -Hey, I know . . . why not abolish her vows? You’re a genius, Martin!

    2. Luther was my kind of guy. He liked beer, women, and breaking rules.

    3. Holidays got you running in a hundred different directions? Are your nerves on edge, and is your stomach doing cartwheels?

      Drink Agipop! It’s like a fresh blanket of new-fallen show.

  20. Google Ads, the poetic justice police of the internets.

    http://tinyurl.com/y9lo47q

      1. I once read an online article about the coming dark ages, and it included a large Google ad offering “Dark Ages Ringtones.”

  21. By the way, the e-mails are causing such a ruckus among the left and the leftist scientists, falling over themselves to explain away their significance.

    It WOULD be funny if it was not such an outrage, especially considering it has very little coverage from the MSM.

  22. Wolff may not know this, but one is not obligated to buy every single book that is published. You can actually pick and choose!

    1. It’s not what Wolff’s reading that bugging him , it’s what those ignorant unwashed masses are choosing to read that bothers him.

  23. James Joyce, Wittgenstein, etc., etc.

    Those impress dudes.

    If you’re dredging for ‘tard trim on the bus or something, pop-lefty political bestsellers work best.

  24. Though I generally share Mssr. Wolff’s contempt for these political agitprop books in favor of more nuanced policy discussions, one wonders if he felt a similar distaste for say, Al Franken’s epic “Lies and the Lying Liars that Tell Them” or “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot”

    1. Yeah, the left dominated the political book best seller lists in the Bush days with books like the ones you mention that were just as much propeganda as anything Beck does. Yet, Wolf didn’t find books to be so objectionable then. How do these people write this crap

  25. I’m going to continue to boycott this nobody, Michael Wolff, just as I did before I ever heard of him.

  26. Who gives these people platforms?

    Jesus…

    1. I don’t think Jesus cares either way. So he probably wouldn’t grant a platform.

  27. If you’re dredging for ‘tard trim on the bus or something, pop-lefty political bestsellers work best.

    “dredging for ‘tard trim on the bus” is my new favorite phrase. I shall endeavor to work that into my Thanksgiving conversations.

    And nobody is impressed by seeing James Joyce on the bookshelf. It just means you’re a poseur. Human beings don’t actually read Joyce, they just pretend they do.

    1. No, some of us actually read Joyce when we’re forced to by our professors. We just happen to HATE IT.

      1. ’tis True. The Dead really was a good story, but after that his work is all a bunch of bad puns and disgusting gastronomical habits.

        1. In “the protrait of an artist as a young man” why didn’t Joyce just come out and write about all the stuff my english lit prof said he was implying?

    2. I had to read Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man as a senior in high school.

      The writing style was definitely a change. It really wasn’t all that bad, but reading Ulysses seems like it’d take a lot of hard work to really understand everything that’s going on. It’s on the to do list, but it’s going to take a lot of effort.

      1. You can do it. It takes about 5 years and training yourself to read when drunk.

  28. No wonder he wants people to stop buying books, I checked his Amazon ratings for his books, and people have already stopped buying them. Some of his books aren’t even in the top 5 million. What a pathetic jerk.

  29. Clearly we need some standards about who and who is not allowed to write something that somebody else might read.

    1. Don’t worry. As soon as we sort out this health care mess, I’m going to find us a book czar.

  30. Is there any degree of ‘tardation these liberal hacks wont strive to?

    You are multicellular organisms for God’s sake, start acting like it.

  31. Not to bring up another Ayn Rand argument, but it warms the cockles of my heart to see that her books are enjoying a surge in popularity.

    It’s easy to get discouraged when you think about all the Tony’s and Chad’s of the world actually voting, but it’s nice to know that someone is interested in reading about the dangers of increasing the size of government.

    I’m over the opinion that if libertarianism is going to succeed in being a popular movement, the philosophy has to be communicated at a pop culture level.

    That’s why Sartre, Camus, Russell, etc were so influential. They turned their philosophy into parables and stories.

    Logical arguments are boring. Everyone loves stories. The libertarian movement needs more Rands and Heinleins.

  32. You know who else was critical of books?

    1. Bush?

      No wait, I bet you’re thinking of the other guy, Captain what’s-his-name.

      1. Beefheart? No, I was alluding to someone more, umm, Aryan.

        1. Arianna Huffington?

          1. Reading is hard.

                1. Yes. It’s also your duty to whip up a reading frenzy.

  33. You know what, I’ll accept his boycott if he would allow all illiterate people to be banned from voting as well as welfare recipients.

    1. Now you’re talkin’!

  34. Does ANYONE know where I can get a copy of Trig’s amiocentesis report?

  35. I read John’s comment above. I don’t understand why he’s so worked up.This boycott won’t affect him.

  36. Seeing as how people like Wolff probably only read trashy agitprop, I am unperturbed.

  37. I came across a great site with Glenn Beck Video Clips as well as American News shows.
    http://glennbeckfoxtvvideoclips.blogspot.com/

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