Article / Writing

The most unfashionable words possible

In these times where we are bombarded with bullshit, where news is advertising and advertising is entertainment and our minds have been made into sloth juice by meme-life and quick-fix social media, we have a duty to be unfashionable writers.  In these times where what we read – the food our brain is fed – is always the most marketable and therefore the most dull and dumbed-down, painfully glib and predictable plots, we have a duty to write unpopular and long articles and novels. And they should be incredibly artful so that people remember what it is to worship words and therefore worship thought and human dignity.

You know you are already in the dystopian caricature of hell when reading a whole book feels like a committed act of rebellion. In this sick, grotesque world where millions starving each year while others line their houses with unusable shit dressed in expensive packaging is the accepted nature of things, it is important to be unacceptable. My articles and novels, our marches and meetings, will not conform to the fashionable and stubborn neglect of critical thought. They won’t conform to the pathological-ego-boosting cravings for virality and likes (the new form of social approval), to the fear of taking sides, because that is just too much like caring and wanting to change things, or to the notion that neutral is professional. Because that is really just a smokescreen for going along with catastrophe. It says the abuser and the abused are equally worth listening to, except of course in most cases, where we listen to the abuser more.

Market-safe writing is gutless. It is letting yourself be bullied into writing what will sell instead of writing the hard truth. It is leave-out-context in order to be published by one of those big newspapers that barely pretend not to be corporate spin and a dressed up pedestal for rich white males. These days, writing the unpopular truth is an honour, even if less people are listening.

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