Why does everyone rush through games, anyway? Sometimes it seems like it’s too much “On to the Next One” and not enough “Never Change,” to put it in terms of Jay-Z songs. Luckily for everyone, there’s the new “slow” movement, which basically tells us to stop and look around every once and a while. Barnes and Nobles’ Review blog just posited a new strategy for “slow reading,” starting with an exhaustive analysis of the first word of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities:
How can it be that words in any language actually work to represent things and actions and ideas? How did that sentence about the Angle delinquent manage to conjure in your brain a picture of a snotty-nosed Angle eight-year-old with filthy hair and a demonic grin already featuring a few rotten teeth, dressed in burlap or whatever they wore back then, in the mud just over a sty reaching up toward the low-hanging thatch roof with a torch made of a small sheaf of reeds he lit from the pathetic peat fire in the fireplace of that one-room hovel with his mother hunched over trying to patch burlap garments with dried scrub from a fen? For that matter, when you say, “I’m eating some cake,” how does that work? Why don’t you have to actually eat some actual cake in order to let someone else know that you’re eating some cake?
It’s a mystery. Just like “it.” Say “it” over and over again—itititititititititititititititititit—until you achieve what Buddhist monks call samprajnata. It is not merely empty-mindedness but a vast stillness that is indescribable to the typical level of waking state—in other words, in …. other …. wordzzz zzzz.