While it may seem like the youths of Bushwick are extremely well-read (chiefly because so many of them are attempting to become writers themselves), a new study conducted by the Bushwick Committee for the Promotion of Adult Literacy has found that, by and large, most “millennial” residents have been fake reading for the better part of their twenties (a.k.a. ever since they moved to Bushwick).
This means that when you see someone reading Swann’s Way on the L train, they’re actually just staring blankly into the abyss of words, thinking about far more important things, like the new D’Angelo album or which recently written up about bar they should go to later that night. The study was conducted in the punctilious manner of planting members of the committee in key places where most Bushwickians pretend to read (e.g. coffee shops, the M and L trains and bars–you know the pretentious type who sits in the corner “reading”). Upon being asked an unexpected question about the material, the “readers” were unable to respond with anything concrete (e.g. “What is the central conflict presented by Jane Eyre’s social role?” to which one “reader” replied, “She was, like, too poor to be taken seriously?”).
When The Burning Bush confronted a number of suspected fake readers at Mellow Pages Library on Bogart Street, we were met with shifty eyes and unintelligible denials as all parties hastily shoved a bookmark into a random section of the novel and fled the scene. Who knows if it’s the Los Angeles influence in the neighborhood or the carefully cultivated level of faux learnedness that is required of “literary” Bushwickians. Whatever the case, don’t feel too guilty the next time you don’t get past page one of Infinite Jest.
Written by Genna Rivieccio