Today after work, I had this desire to grab some truly diverse reading material and…hack…hackackhack…ehem…bloody hell, sorry. Ahh, there that’s better. You’ll have to excuse me, I seem to have a rather dry cough at the moment. I think it started when I was reading. You know, the kind of cough that makes one eye water and just gets worse the more you try to stop it. It started out as a tickle but soon progressed to a chest heaving HACK. There, I’ve got it under control now, I promise.
Lets see, where was I before I started telling you about my HACKing cough…oh yeah, reading today. Every once in a while I get this urge to splurge and I buy a few newspapers, some magazines and an actual book as well. Most of the time I read online but there is a yearning within me to get my hands inky dirty from thumbing through the newspaper. Today I flipped my way through several publications, some respectable and some with no redeeming qualities at all except their glossy covers and enticing headlines. It was during one of these mad reading forays that I felt something just wasn’t right. This feeling dogged me for some time until the light of recognition snapped on and I was struck by the obvious: each newspaper and magazine I read contained more than one article that was nearly identical in subject matter to the others. Different writers, different formats, same damn verbiage, cloned and regurgitated.
Okay, we all have an off day here and there, I can relate to that. What I can’t relate to is this rampant, shoddy and uninspired tripe being churned out by people within the writing profession. Its like the black plague of publishing, a veritable epidemic. The symptoms are clearly discernable by their repetitive nature: lack of originality, banal subject matter, empty ideas dressed up in verbose meanderings that lead to nowhere. You know you’ve read the ramblings of someone afflicted when you put down a feature story and you think: What was that all about? Yeah, you know where I’m going with this, right back to my coughing fit. I’m talking about the HACK. uh huh. We’ve read them, we’ve met them and they are now infiltrating everything we pay to read. It’s becoming so all pervasive that it’s infected whole editorial departments. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are not only missed, they appear to be the norm and lets not even travel down the boulevard of formula novels: Style? What’s that? I don’t think I could take that walk without breaking out in hives.
What the hell is going on? If you have some insight please enlighten me, because I’ve apparently missed something crucial. As for me, I’m going to wash the ink off my hands and cleanse my mind of poor syntax.