By Joe Fraser
Overthinking free e-books
Breaking the law got me back into reading. How great is that? I mean, it’s not breaking the law to the extent of other things. Like, it’s not as if I’m doing meth or kidnapping dogs. Though that last one would be justified I’m sure by many people out there. No, I’m back into reading because I just got given a bunch of free Kindle books.
Kindle? Get a real book!
I used to agree. Until I got all these free books. The Game of Thrones series, Matt Haig, Ruth Ozeki. Got them all for free. And more. I feel on top of the world. Like I can take on anyone. Throw Jackie Chan or Anthony Joshua my way. I’ll take them both on. I’ll take them on with both hands behind my back. Know why? Because I’ve got knowledge to fight them with. They may very well break me until I can’t feel my bones anymore but at least I would have won the intellectual battle. And as I lie there, in my hospital bed, thinking about the wealth of knowledge I have in my head, I will feel a sense of satisfaction alongside the extreme pain and humiliation I’ve undergone.
Why? Because knowledge is power.
The only power that matters in this backward world anyway. How did things go so wrong for the human race? Where once we were the pinnacle of evolutionary achievement, we’ve gone backwards to our species destroying, wasteful ways of the past. Maybe it’s always been this way but the strength and scale to which we do it now is unprecedented. Sure, back in the day we wiped out the dodo and countless other animals. But never on a global scale, and never without doing the killing ourselves. It’s bloody effortless. Now, all we need to do to massacre an entire species (e.g. the polar bear) is drive around in our nice, air-conditioned, petrol cars. It’s sickening.
I look around and see the black hole that society has become. Hookers to my left, drug-dealers to my right, and in front of me stands a mirror and I see myself. Goddamn it. I knew it would come to this. The problem starts with me. You stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss stares back. But I can’t solve all the world’s problems. Can I? That’s probably what Gandhi said before he did all the things he did to become Mahatma.
I never thought Evan fucking Almighty would have a quote that has stayed with me since that blasphemous, satanic film came out. At the end, Steve Carrell says something like: “Act of Random Kindness.” And apparently that’s what ‘ARK’ stands for. As in, Noah’s Ark. Because the biblical flood was so kind. Give me a break.
Anyway back to Kindles. Kind of went offtrack there didn’t I? That’s what happens when you’ve got deadlines and you’re working so hard you poop yourself. But don’t tell anyone else that. That’s just between you and me. Getting free e-books is so freeing. If you’re wondering, I just got given them through uploading them onto my Kindle. It’s pretty easy if you treat it like a USB.