Reading: The Struggle
What I’m talking about is the state of constant distraction we live in and how that affects the very special energies required for tackling a substantial work of fiction—for immersing oneself in it and then coming back and back to it on numerous occasions over what could be days, weeks, or months, each time picking up the threads of the story or stories, the patterning of internal reference, the positioning of the work within the context of other novels and indeed the larger world. Every reader will have his or her own sense of how reading conditions have changed, but here is my own experience.[more inside]
Were they arguing? Were they asleep? It's not clear yet why two pilots overflew the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles before turning around in Wisconsin. What is known is that they dropped radio contact over Kansas, that Air Force fighters were put on alert, and that, according to MN Public radio, passengers saw cops and stern-looking men in suits waiting on the jetway when they were finally allowed off the plane. MSP alt-weekly City Pages aggregates info about the flight as it comes in, and discussion on local sites is spirited.
The state of Minnesota decides to fight distracted drivers by putting up billboards. Next up: A new state committee to check programs for irony before they're made public.