Let me be forceful in supporting Americans who take to the streets to protest the many inequalities existing in our country. It takes a mental hardhead to light heartedly embrace America as faultlessly free of prejudice and frequently of outright hatred.
However, I want to offer one criticism of our many protesters and make a specific suggestion to those of you who read my occasional commentaries how you might help them by helping yourselves.
It was reported recently that jigsaw puzzles are one of the highest selling products in the country today. Now, I don’t wish to incur the wrath of the jigsaw industry, but they offer me the most pungent place from which to launch my critique.
In a time of international coronavirus concern, as well as climate change, it strikes me that so many buying jigsaw puzzles is a very pointed example of how shallowly Americans look into the why of things by simply avoiding them.
We as a people seem to love to vent our emotions by filling the streets, waving flags, and shouting simplistic slogans. Embarrassingly seldom do we actually expend the actual effort to seriously explore the underlying reasons for our various protests.
I am referring to reading the many various essays of our many writers. So, here’s my suggestion: may I propose that you explore the possibility of subscribing to a single American journal that is chock full of important writings about ideas and issues of importance to all of us.
It is one of the most, interesting magazines published in America. It contains fascinating reviews of books being published about the widest possible array of subjects, and some of the most broad minded articles and commentaries about them.
You get 20 issues for $4.49 a copy, a total of $89.
Of the hundreds of thousands who fill the streets quite honestly and righteously protesting police violence, for instance, several articles annually most likely deal with underlying facts contributing to why the police act the way they do.
So, all I am suggesting is: Yes, you oldster’s keep on cheering the youngsters who protest in our streets, and join them when you will; but, I believe that your reading the many varied pieces published by The New York Review of Books will substantially help you enhance your understanding of the issues we constantly face, and aid you whenever you are faced with the need to factually support your opinions.
By all means, continue to put strangely-shaped pieces of colored cardboard into cardboard puzzles if you wish; but why not let those puzzles be rewards to you for having first taken the time and invested the money into looking more deeply into the why’s of the what’s that make up for life in America.
Be warned: reading the “Review’s” reviews and commentaries may put you in harm’s way of joining more protest movements in the streets, though. Knowledge is not only enriching, it is empowering.