i’m not even gonna front. this book was hella dragging. i had to start and stop a couple times (yes, i’m blogging laferriere out of order, so sue me) to read other things, but in the end, i had to force my way through it for a few gems. i really don’t like the self-centered experiential form of journalism, in print or video forms. there are ways to show your opinion without beating people over the head with it. i realized fairly early that i already knew the characters from word wars, the documentary that i saw last year courtesy of the toronto public library ( i swear i blogged about it, but i can’t find any record of it). i appreciate the ways that the movie centers around the neurosis of the people, but respect that the word-related things are elaborated on in a different way in print form. bigups to both sides of the story.
the metrotextual passage:
The New York City subway system is like a favorite library carrel. I get my best studying done there. When I board the train in my Brooklyn neighborhood, I have twenty to forty-five minutes, depending on destination, of total alone time, a perfect concentration increment. I like the fetal rocking motion. I like the periodic announcements. I like the strangers looking over my shoulder and wondering why I’m highlighting funny-looking letter combinations on a page of jumbled uppercase letters. Being engaged in a practice apart from the usual subway behaviors-newspaper reading, catnapping, CD listening, baby tending, battery peddling, panhandling-somehow makes me proud of my (a)vocation, proud of being different, and, therefore, able to focus better. No one said it had to make sense.” (330-1)