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A Survey of Book Selections from Two Corporate Booksellers: 5/3-4/2022
© 2022 James LaFond
OCT/5/22
Written from memory, Baltimore, 5/10/2022
Over two days a book loving host of mine and I visited two Barnes & Noble book stores, a tradition of ours for these past 21 years of friendship.
Just like viewing commercials and football games, a trip into some of the few surviving physical corporate bookstore is instructive as to the the shape of our Imposed delusion. Advertising and branding are sciences now so advanced that observation of them, rather than news media broadcasts and social media threads, serves as the best guide to the nuances of the boot heel of social control. You are a tiny face and if you make the gaff of social impiety and fail to properly worship the shared collective consciousness you may well be in for a stomping from the boot of social control.
Is it hobnailed, steel-toed, cleanly-polished, caked with rancid filth, are the soles and heels hard, soft, slick or treaded—is that boot pointed for kicking in your spleen? Is gravel clustered there in the treads to embed in your face when you are stomped?
You may answer all of these questions yourself simply by avoiding news and viewing the occasional commercials, a movie, a ball game, or the new releases and best selling racks and history shelves at a book store.
The American man used to think and his woman felt. Now most men and all women feel only, and have been taught to treat their emotions as thought and vest these feeling with the quality of analysis.
The news and social media serve as triggers for these emotions among the thoughtless to build fear, hysteria, panic, immediate discord, distant concord, attachment to the abstract and most of all to implant a hunger for that thing which we do not have. However, our actual ethical encoding that these emotions find purchase upon in our addled minds, these are implanted through advertising and branding: our minds literally stamped with the brand of our ethical owners.
At the book stores I noted that coffee is the steady money. Best sellers were dominated by gay erotica, transexual, celebrity, empowerment and feminism. One book was Mom is Moving On, about how to be a successful divorce with young children.
Popular fiction and history featured books reported to be written by Bill O'Riely, Daniel Steel and James Patterson, but are in fact written by underlings; these masses of bland derivation hold the steady seller tables.
History is increasingly about Muslim women, with one book even declaring that America was created and founded due to Muslim influence. Two entire shelves feature books on the Obamas.
In the arts section is a book Rebels: Barack Obama and Bruce Springstine. The cover is all black, Obama laughing and posing and the elderly rocker in awe struck upcast worship. The landmark American coffee table book of our current age.
I surveyed the fantasy and science fiction sections. The science fiction was highly derivative and not as dominated by female writers as it was three years ago. The fantasy section is all ripoffs, some 20 books in a series bout a hero obviously based on Solomon Kane, with multiple authors. Lovecraft, Howard and Burroughs hang on in a few volumes with forwards decrying their work as racist and sexist.
The biggest expansion, covering perhaps eight feet of footage, is various video-game based fantasies and fantasies based on A Game of Thrones. The newest big trend in branding these works are four word titles like: A Storm of Swords, A Feast of Crows, The Ruin of Gods, Sword of a Mortal, etc., dozes of such titles that mimic the cadence of the comittee-written A Song of Fire and Ice, supposedly by Martin, with titles running from 3 to 6 words, mostly 4 words and having the poetic prose quality of these mentioned above.
Some of these works, particularly the cycle about mortals and gods, I would have picked up some years ago when I had the eyes left to enjoy them. It seems that they are all highly derivative of George R.R. Martin's attributed works, written, or supposed to be written by men, and with very florid feminine qualities to the text, such as Michael Morcock once did so well, with none of his voluminous and politically correct work in evidence. This lack got me to thinking that publishers are marketing for a very different kind of escapist reader and are using younger authors to sell the new expanded category of fantasy, much more expansive than it was.
Perhaps, the Brovid Jiveteen shamdemic and two years of alienation, as reflected by the kindle reports sent to me by amazon showing doubled total global reading over this period, marks an inward turning of the reading mind and perhaps a return to literary make believe. It is significant that the dystopian near future works written by women are largely absent, when they were so prominent three years ago, and that works by men set in entirely fictitious worlds, taking place out of time, are now prominently displayed.
The above survey of fantasy and science fiction, to this writer and former heavy reader, marks perhaps a good note in the death song of Western Civilization.
Thank you, Mister Grey, for the coffee and the tour.
Georgia Gold     ‹   harm city to chicongo   ›     ‘Momz’

Maud'Dib    Oct 11, 2022

quote "or supposed to be written by men, and with very florid feminine qualities to the text, such as Michael Morcock once did so well, with none of his voluminous and politically correct work in evidence."

I miss Elric .....
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