Abandoning Condescension in 2010

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yesterday evening, son Stephen called my attention to a brilliant essay on National Public Radio's Monkey See blog. That it is brilliant didn't surprise me; the writer is wordsmith Linda Holmes, whose commentaries have always illuminated their topics while providing delicious (and quotable) phrasing.

The essay opens,

"Familiarity breeds contempt."

Perhaps it is this little saying, or some variation of it, that convinces people that disdain and discernment are the same thing: that the more things you roll your eyes at, the smarter you must be.

Those of us who have spent many hours in following a variety of fields of popular culture have surely run across the phenomenon. "I don't own an idiot box." (I suddenly realize that I haven't recently heard that cliche; at least that phrasing seems to have gone out of favor, though the sneer remains in what amounts to the same thing.) And in comics? Even as the term "graphic novel" actually intimidates some, the humble "comic book" still hasn't achieved the same respect - though they're synonyms.

In any case, do check out Linda's "Let's Resolve" - and join us all in the resolution.


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