What is culture? The dictionary tells us it's "the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively."
To be honest it's much more than that. It's impact. It's something created by someone that has the power to change the thoughts or emotions of another person. It's life changing. It's also dying out.
In the fast paced world we live in now no one has time for a classic. We want click bait "you'll never guess what" articles; if we didn't people wouldn't keep writing them. We demand our reading be quick and easy to fit our demanding lives. We have pretty much given up, haven't we? There is a serious risk that society is going to be dumbed down. Our schools are failing, stressed and overwhelmed by government messing, teachers not having time to actually teach any more and children's educational level dropping generation after generation really does not help anyone. We as parents try to help, insist our children know what a good diet is, how to sew on a button, try to manage the time between computerised entertainment and healthy outdoor play. We also work and cook and do housework and so we ourselves also miss out on the more cultural experiences we could have.
Not any more! We are going to #SaveTheCulture We are going to test ourselves by making our team find both the time for some reading and the time to share their thoughts and ideas. We are going to nominate a team member each month to read a book chosen by someone else. Something the person doing the choosing deems culturally relevant, that has impacted their life in some way, and they will save it by sharing it. The chosen team member will report back a month later with a review of the book, their thoughts on the cultural relevance, and hopefully with them we have saved that title! After their review they will then nominate another title they themselves deem cultural for another team member and voila! #SaveTheCulture is born and some heavyweight titles are being shared and loved by new fans.
You get to join in as well though! There's no point saving the culture if we don't share our experiences with someone. We shall ask you, using the hashtag #SaveTheCulture to join in the conversation on social media. Have you read that month's choice? What are your thoughts? We shall collect the interactions from our Twitter and Facebook channels and do an audience round up to compliment the team members review.
So to the first nomination...
I love the book Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith. It's described on Amazon as a smart thriller but I think that's an incredible injustice. Yes it is a very smart thriller but it's also shocking in its storyline and incredibly uncomfortable to read, especially as white, middle class man. I can't really say much more without spoiling it for our nominated team member but it's a relatively new novel in comparison to some of the classic titles we'll likely discuss as the months go on and I wanted to start with the newest and most relevant book that has impacted on my life.
David Ames - get your reading eyes ready, you're up!