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  • Writer's pictureNathan Brown

A Book-hugger, and Proud of It

I attended school, in some form or another, for thirty-five years. From kindergarten through a Ph.D. Some friends thought it was impressive. My parents… probably more exasperating. For me, exhausting, but rewarding.

After I finished however, I was met with a pervasive and bewildering suggestion (if not demand) from the performance, publishing, and professional world I was now hoping to make my way in:

~ Leave all mention of your Ph.D. and doctorate

out of promotional materials and author bios.

Apparently, it's bad for sales. And since many aspects of the academic process had left me somewhat jaded… and since a good upbringing keeps me wary of snobbery and elitism… I didn’t have a problem with their “suggestion.” And for a long time.

After this election though, I find myself in a world of increasing disdain for “persons of a certain amount of learning.” Someone who took a damn long time to learn a damn lot of stuff at a damn big expense to family, time, pocketbook, and overall income-potential.

As if books are a tool of Satan. (Remember—the Bible is a book.) As if studying the great failures in human history might poison the waters of populism or deny us the privilege of repeating disasters. As if hours, even years, spent in discussion with great teachers who also devoted their lives to the study and learning of the way things work—or, particularly, don’t—would be the cause of my utter ruin.

And so it is that I feel a sudden urge to, finally, proclaim: “Hey! I am educated, and proud.”

And, by the way, it is not necessary to go to school to obtain an education. Education begins with awareness. And awareness leads us to the various means of learning and growing from it.

So, it might just be that the loud and cocky champions of “determined ignorance” are little more than lazy assholes who refuse to set their Miller Genuine Drafts down long enough to look up the definition of “demagogue,” and then spend some time thinking about what one might have to do with our current situation.

Anyway, enough of this, for now. I’ve got a great book sitting next to my favorite chair.

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