Reading is funda-BORING


I am a non-reader. I don’t enjoy books. I skim everything on the internet. I gloss over magazine articles and , of these mediums, I absorb very little info past the most basic outline possible. This has been an issue for as long as I can remember. Not only on a level of being able to learn things (try reading sampler instruction manuals when you can’t stay focused for over a sentence) but on a social level. Very few things will get your average smarty pants motherfucker to turn their nose up at you quicker than telling them you’re not into reading.

The thing is, I think there’s a difference between not enjoying reading cause it’s hard (which it is not, for me) and not enjoying it cause it’s fucking boring. Now, this is in no way judging those who love reading. I’m undoubtedly envious on anyone who can sit down with a book and get lost in it. The only time I ever read is when there is no other option. Like on a 5 hour flight on US Air where the only entertainment is cloud watching and the sky mall magazine or hanging on a beach that I don’t wanna be on. Therein lies the conundrum. I’m completely capable of reading. I can sit down and understand what’s going on and actually get through an entire book fairly easily. The problem is, I just don’t give a fuck about it. There is no joy. My whole life I’ve felt , maybe i’m just reading the wrong books (what’s certainly what people have told me a billion times over). But , I’ve read all types of books at this point and nothing has changed. So , let me make a case for all those non-readers out there (who, ironically, are reading this right now) who feel , just cause you don’t like reading , that doesn’t mean you’re a cave man half wit.

1)Words don’t stick
I have a funny memory. I can tell you all about random hip hop B-sides from the early 90’s and I can tell you which one of my friends fucked who in 1997 but , for the life of me, I don’t absorb the written word. I don’t mean that I read it and don’t understand it. I mean, I read, understand it and forget it the second I’m done.I’m like the literary version of that movie “momento”. For a person who doesn’t like reading, I’ve actually read my fair share of books. If I were to be tested on some of the most basic elements of those books, I would fail. Character names. Story arc. Hell, even just characters in general. It simply doesn’t sink in. I wish it did but it doesn’t. You can imagine how detrimental this was for me when taking the SAT’s reading comprehension test. That shit was a debacle cause, not only was I bad at it, but they also gave you the most boring paragraphs known to man to pick apart. It was brutal. I’m lucky I didn’t get sent to special ed after my SAT scores came back.

2)Fuck your description. It’s just words.
That’s a pretty broad generalization but that’s what this blog is built upon. This may be just credit to my dying imagination (more on that in a moment) but the power of words is often lost on me. You may read a passage from a novel detailing the beauty of a sunset. Those words might paint a picture in your head of the most glorious sunset you’ve ever seen. To me, it’s just a fucking sunset. The same way, in real life, if someone showed me a picture of a sunset from their trip to Bali. I get it. Sun. Colors. Night is coming. Big fuckin’ deal.
Granted, this is me. I don’t expect people to relate to this , but a large part of writing is long winded descriptions of things that don’t really matter. I remember , back in high school, doing the required reading and just skipping page after page cause the author was going into endless detail about a flower or the floor boards of the room. I understand that these things are purposeful and often beautifully written. I just, personally, don’t give a shit. If I don’t give a shit about a flower in real life, how one earth am I gonna be moved by one that’s being explained to me over 500 words.
That’s kinda why , when I was in high school, I sorta liked the short stories of Raymond Carver. They were short (that’s a plus), but he didn’t waste time on superfluous detail. He just bluntly told the story. I could get into that as much as I could anything written on a page.

3)My dead imagination
I guess I’m a visual person. I don’t get transferred to another time and place when looking at words. Telling people this often leads to them saying they love imagining what the characters look like and how, reading a book will let your mind create the visuals. Perhaps that works for others , but when I’m reading, it’s stock footage. All the description in the world of a character , down to the socks they wear, and it’s still aimless to me. Unless the book says something like “He looked like John Bobbitt with downs syndrome” , in which case, I’d know exactly what he looked like. But that’s cause it’s visual. Reading that someone was “rakish” means nothing to me. It’s like jerking off to my imagination. It used to work a little but nowadays it’s impossible

4)The movie>>>>The book.
There are some truly shit films that have been adapted from great books. I doubt anyone has ever said “The book was okay but the movie? THE BEST!”. That doesn’t happen. I accept that the original material will always technically be better. It’s more detailed. It’s not watered down to fit into 2 hours. It’s got layers of meanings that a film maker usually can’t portray properly , if at all. Yes. I don’t doubt this is true. But you know what? A movie wins to me cause it’s a movie. Cause i’m lazy and it’s easy. Yup. Two hours looking at something that’s “alive” will always beats a week of looking at words.
For example, I’m a fan of the movie “American Psycho”but, in a shocking turn of events, I actually read that book before the movie came out. I “enjoyed” the book , in the sense that it had some fucked up moments that I didn’t immediately forget after putting the book down (which is a feat in itself for me). The book and the movie were quite different in tone. The Movie was much more comical and almost campy. The book was more serious, very obsessive and dark. The book contained scenes that were so foul that there’s no way they could be portrayed on film. By all accounts, the book was clearly better. But put the book in front of me and a DVD of the movie, guess which one I’m picking? It’s not even a choice.

5)Different strokes
Listen, I know how you readers are. The same way I react to someone who says they don’t like TV , is how you react to someone who is apathetic towards reading. We’re all wired different. But get off your fucking high horse. The days of calling people nerds for liking reading ended in the 50’s. It’s not a “you against the world” thing. You simply like reading. Huzzah to you, my friend. I do not. So shut the fuck up about it and stop pretending just cause you read some shit written by another person that you’re some sort of genius.Unless you sit around reading text books for pleasure, I don’t wanna hear. I could get the same knowledge from a book on tape or a documentary.

6)Learning disability?
For years, I assumed I had something wrong with me. From age 4-17 I got tested for all sorts of things. Dyslexia being the one they kept coming back to. But, no matter how many symptoms I showed, it never stuck. At best, I was diagnosed with a slight case just to make it possible for me to get Ritalin (it didn’t do shit).
No, aside from a exceptionally short attention span, I am and always have been free of L.D.’s. This was confusing for me, my parents and my teachers. Years later, I feel like I’ve got a hold of what the problem is. I’m simply indifferent to things I don’t really give a shit about. I’m also kinda lazy. Those two things combined equal a man who doesn’t like reading cause it honestly doesn’t interest me as a something to pass the time. That’s it. I wish it weren’t that way but it is. It is odd that i like writing though. that shit doesn’t make sense at all.

So, there you have it. If you disagree,Let me live. I’m allowed to like and dislike things regardless of how flawed my reasoning may be. If you agree? Props to you for even making it this far. I just wrote a lot of words up there and I’d imagine it was quite a grueling journey. I appreciate it.

Soccer fever! EFF it!

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Ok, I understand that , outside of the US, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. I have no issue with that. If you’re reading this from an non-US country, just skip over it. It’s not about you. In fact, if you’re genuinely a soccer fan and american, more power to you. I bet you go to all the local soccer events and support your cities professional soccer team. SURE YOU DO. But seriously, if you do like the sport and follow it, this is not about you. No , this about you bullshitting johnny come lately motherfuckers who are all of sudden acting like you give a shit about the world cup. REALLY BRO?
Now, before I get into anything, I’ll admit, I hate soccer. Always have. I hate watching it. I hate playing it. I hate people who tell me it’s not boring. I hate it all. Maybe I’m just really uncultured and my taste in sports isn’t refined enough but that’s how I feel.
When I was a kid, a bunch of the parents got together and organized a fall soccer league for all the kids who were doing little league during the summer. At that point, I was all about baseball and just starting to get into basketball. I didn’t even know what soccer was. The parents realized that this mysterious handless sport might be a hard sell to us kids (as well as none of them knew jack shit about it) so they called upon one man to teach us all the beauty of the sport. That man was my brother-in-law Philippe. Philippe was (and still is) married to my sister. He’s french by way of Morocco and he loved soccer. I grew up playing it and I think he was very excited to teach us all about it. The only problem with this was that , at the time, Philippe was an absolute crazy person. He was constantly screaming and turning red while is lazy eye shot glares at all the kids within his radius. Let’s just say his fuse was short. At the age of 8, he was pretty much the scariest person I’d ever seen. A berserk Frenchmen whose favorite past time was making children weep tears of pure fear. Suffice to say, soccer didn’t go over too well. Even with his Yoda on meth like teaching tools. But looking back, he was only part of the reason I hated soccer. The other part was that it was fucking boring. Straight up, mind numbingly boring. Since that failed attempt I played soccer a bunch more times in school and it never got better. I also tend to only enjoy watching sports I have played a lot. Basketball. Baseball. Even tennis. So, basically, soccer didn’t have a chance on any level with me.
So, all that brings me to the present. It’s world cup month (or whatever the fuck you call it) and America has soccer fever. The bars are packed at 3 in the afternoon with rowdy soccer fans oohhhing and ahhhing at every awesomely boring turn of events. Here’s my beef. I’d say , of these overzealous fans, maybe 10% of them actually give a shit for real. I doubt even that many could name 3 players on any given team. It’s not like they’re even rooting for their home team. I walked down my block today and saw MULTIPLE signs in bars saying “Watch every South Africa would cup game here!” South Africa? Oh word? Not a day goes by when I’m not overwhelmed by the insane amount of South Africans in my neighborhood. THEY’RE FUCKING EVERYWHERE! Oh wait, my bad, I must be thinking of something else…I’ve never met a South African who lived in NYC in my entire fucking life. If Puerto Rico had a team, then I’d get that local support. Or even Japan…but South Africa? Gimmie a fucking break.
Even more annoying to me is the unbridled fair weather fandom going on. An example of this is my next door neighbors. They are a gay couple who I’m fairly certain have never watched a sport of any sort in their entire lives. They both nice guys but why do i look in my buildings communal
back yard and see a huge fucking Brazilian flag hanging? I don’t know much about soccer but I do know that brazil is one of the best teams and pretty much always has been. Their like the Yankees in that sense , except they represent an entire humongous country. So, I’m assuming my very non-Brazilian neighbors caught a bit of that old soccer fever and figured throwing up the flag of the perennial favorites would be the dope move. Cool flag, guys. Go team, go!
Finally, we have the social litmus test that is Facebook. Nothing keeps you up to date on what stupid people are thinking as a whole like Facebook. And Facebook is abuzz about the world cup. Granted, some people are definitely genuine in their comments. I have a friend who’s half french and he writes updates about soccer all year round. He’s no different than the people commenting on any sport they obviously are well informed about and enjoy. Unfortunately, he’s in an extreme minority. I’d say 95% of the soccer related facebook updates are from annoying girls pretending to care about a sport that no one around here should be caring about in the first place. ESPECIALLY people who, in general, don’t even like sports.

The thing that’s lost on me is: why soccer? Does the fact that it’s not particularly “american” make it somehow exotic?
If that’s the case, watch cricket. If you can sit through soccer , surely your threshold for boredom can handle the heart stopper that is a 3 day game of cricket. or fuck it, how bout Jai-li. That’s the game where they throw wooden balls around a field using a little wicker cone. The balls fly at like 100 MPH and I’d imagine random , on field, deaths are not uncommon. Now, that’s exciting.

OR

Is it that there’s an underdog factor where people wanna seem cultured so they think by pretending to give a shit about the world cup, they’re showing how open minded they are? If that’s the case, watch hockey. While it may be the least cultured sport outside of nascar, it’s still the ultimate “underdog” sport of all time.

There is a reason pro soccer never took of in the US. It’s cause we’re a culture based on immediate satisfaction.After all, we invented crack. We need that quick fix. A home run. A slam dunk. A hail Mary touchdown pass. Sure, Soccer has thrilling moments. When scoring is that much of a rarity, the 30 seconds (out of almost 2 hours) of actual cool shit that happens in a game goes a long way. But Americans are spoiled. I’m not different. I want action. I can’t even watch hockey cause it looks like complete anarchy on the ice.
With soccer, it’s different. There’s an undeniable grace to it and plenty of good things about it that I can see being a justifiable reason for watching it. But to me, Meh. It’s not enough.
I’d say , personally, it comes down to the fact that any sport that can possibly end in a 0-0 tie , can pretty much go fuck itself.

(Special thanks to chewbacca uncircumsized for the pic. I totally stole it from him)