The editors of GQ magazine want you to know they are important. And, next time you’re tweezing your eyebrows before an avocado facial and a shopping spree at the mall, you should read a book! But not any book. And certainly not Mark Twain, Thomas Pynchon, Jonathan Franzen, Ernest Hemingway or J.D. Salinger.
Don’t read Catch 22 or Dracula or Lord of the Rings or --- unbelievably --- Lonesome Dove, one of the most poignant, inspiring depictions of life in the Wild American West. Although the editors at GQ consider it part of “the cowboy mythos, with its rigid masculine emotional landscape, glorification of guns and destruction, and misogynistic gender roles is a major factor in the degradation of America.”
All of these masterpieces are part of GQ’s recent listicle, “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” It’s not an editorial. It’s not by a freelancer. It’s a listicle by the editors of the magazine. A list of books that should be “digitally burned.”
Number 12 is the Holy Bible. Here are the editors’ (extremely self-celebrating) words on the subject:
The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned. If the thing you heard was good about the Bible was the nasty bits, then I propose Agota Kristof's The Notebook, a marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough. The subtlety and cruelty of this story is like that famous sword stroke (from below the boat) that plunged upward through the bowels, the lungs, and the throat and into the brain of the rower.
Instead, they argue, you should read The Notebook by Agota Kristof. Ah, yes, The Notebook, a novel about a group of actors who travel Europe after the completion of their most recent play. The part where the novel’s main characters, two twin boys, are forced to move in with their grandmother, that part certainly has the cultural gravity and historical importance of the crucifixion of Christ or the birth of existence or the creation of language or the formation of life.
It’s hard to imagine what any Western Literature would look like without the Bible.
If anything, the list serves as a verification of the best writing available. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Two of Hemingway’s best works: Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, one of the greatest novels of our time, a terrifying Western and historical document, which also happens to base much of its content on the Bible.
In fact, it’s hard to imagine what any Western literature would look like without the Bible. It’s hard to imagine what life itself would look like without the Bible. What a strange contrarian world progressives have created. Hopefully, they don’t gut our culture and humanity before they realize the damage they’ve done.