I have a rather involved obsession with The Life of Norman. It’s a little internet gem that coasts at the speed of around 1997. No pictures. Simple text. Pure community brilliance. This sub-reddit consists of stories that feature Norman, a decidedly mediocre antihero engaging in unimportant failures. It’s obviously Ironic in tone, but the kind that garners sympathy, not ridicule, and it’s just trivial enough to avoid the Kafka-esque vortex. Here’s an example:
Norman was grocery shopping, where he decided to buy two cans of Coke, not diet or caffeine-free, just plain Coke. He knew the sugar was bad for him but he was feeling adventurous and wanted to treat himself. “One for Saturday night, and one for Sunday night.” he thought.
This infographic from New York Magazine made the top page of Reddit today. Turns out, you really can judge a book by its cover. In the case of Pride and Prejudice, the Twilight style cover sold 68,000 copies since 2009. That beats my copy of the Norton Critical Edition which has only sold 1000 copies since 2000. (Really, what are professors assigning?). Well, at least it beats this terrible idea.
Here’s a great comment that made it to the front page of Reddit on the uses of literature.
The universe is huge. Time is impossibly vast. Trillions of creatures crawl and swim and fly through our planet. Billions of people live, billions came before us, and billions will come after. We cannot count, cannot even properly imagine, the number of perspectives and variety of experiences offered by existence.
We sip all of this richness through the very narrowest of straws: one lifetime, one consciousness, one perspective, one set of experiences. Of all the universe has, has had, and will have to offer, we can know only the tiniest fraction. We are alone and minuscule and our lives are over in a blink.
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