Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How Dull I Am

Joel Stein, while telling the world that Potter is for kids, tells the world how dull Joel Stein is. Maybe he only reads what can be found at the Adult Bookstore. Maybe if he had read more fairy tales he could tell the difference between right and wrong. GKC wrote that "Imagination will teach them [children] how to live a quiet and humdrum life... On the other hand, dull people always want excitement. Thee-quarters of the real luxury or prodigality or profligacy ... is due to the dullness of people who cannot imagine anything they do not experience. They are so miserably and dismally stupid that they actually have to do things." [G.K.Chesterton, The True Victorian Hypocrisy]

Joel Stein writes:
I know reading is hard. I try to avoid it whenever possible. But if I'm going to sit down and read a book, I'm going to get something out of it other than the ability to have a conversation with my second wife, who isn't even born yet. I'm sorry you were born too late [sic] for J.K. Rowling, but you had your C.S. Lewis and E.B. White and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Isn't it a clue that you should be ashamed of reading these books past puberty when the adults who write them are hiding their first names?


A culture that simplifies its entertainment down to fairy tales is doomed to simplify the world down to good and evil.

The full article can be found syndicated HERE at the Dallas Morning News.


Dr. Thursday said...

Wow. I have to respond.

I am proud and happy to be a kid. I may be fifty, but I am still young inside - and please God I will always be youg enough to be thrilled at the revelation of a secret - or the solution of a mystery - which is why I like the Harry Potter books!

I want to get wrapped packages on my birthday. I want to find a new Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, Nero Wolfe, Peter Wimsey, story... (sometimes a forgotten old one works just as well!)

I want to go to bed excited on Christmas Eve - and on Holy Saturday - which can be tough because of the Vigil, rats. Well, you know what I mean.

So far I have had FIVE surprises, of the likes of the above-mentioned detective thrillers. (Aren't Harry, Ron, and Hermione a great mystery-solving trio?) And since I have heard that JKP likes to read GKC, I think we are in for a big surprise come book seven! (Think Sunday...)

Robert Pearson said...

Joe, a note to let you know that On Nothing has been replaced on my blogroll by...Chesterton and Friends. Of course. May legions click on the link...

Joe said...

DR.THU: A beautiful comment! Wrapped packages, Christmas Eve, surprises... Something that I learned (or rather, relearned) from Uncle Gilbert is how to find joy in each nook of life. It is a kind of spiritual childhood: like St Therese, who specializes in roses - but GKC specializes in dandelions!

NEWVIC: Thanks for the link! Legion ... reminds me of a particular bay of pigs.

I think Eric is looking for others to contribute to this blog. Those interested can contact him at

A Secular Franciscan said...

In one of my blogs (Santa's Diary) I have St. Nicholas speculating who could take his place - and he named Chesterton (quoting several of Chesterton's passages as well). Chesterton was a child at heart in many ways - and I think he would have found Potter amusing. He might even have pulled a few lessons out of the books.