Next Up: Fun With Headlines

November 15th, 2005 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

Here is what scares us: a major newspaper asks “Can NEA plan help literature?” and it doesn’t seem to have a whiff of irony. This question appears, based on our not-very close reading of the article, to be genuinely sincere (probably because this is an opinion piece, but that’s not fully clear until the final paragraph). Why are we bothered? Because if the NEA cannot help, who can?

Sorry, sometimes our frustration with inane headlines spills over to real life.

Yes, kids, your government is going on the road and encouraging reading. A project called “The Big Read” is destined for a city near you. This is a good thing. Except. . .oh, we hate to come off as all whiny and stuff, but really, let’s look at the titles. To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. With an exception of the final title, most are already reading staples. We haven’t checked all the fine print, but believe you cannot graduate from high school without reading Gatsby at least twice (and understanding it once). If you’re going to promote literature — and we do encourage this — why not try to reach beyond the obvious?

But wait, there’s more. While the article isn’t as specific as we’d like, it appears this program offers more. While it’s unclear who actually wins from this (we’re guessing the chosen city as the authors are either dead or regularly feted), benefits include:

Grants from $25,000 to $35,000; materials for organizers; reading guides; promotional materials such as bookmarks and banners; PR advice from “a national public relations agency”; and finally, the “prestige of being selected.”

File Under: Square Pegs

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