Thursday, August 02, 2012

15 Minutes of Meaning for Jonah Lehrer - Alexis Madrigal - The Atlantic:

There's no way to escape that I, too, am fitting Lehrer into a pattern that I recognized long ago. Lehrer is a vessel for my idea, for your idea, for our ideas. And we can't help but excise, erase, or ignore the inconvenient human parts of that container: Cut down the mess, sand the rough edges, spackle the holes we don't understand or know. Which is, sadly and dumbly, what did Lehrer in.

This isn't a call to stop writing stories about what the Jonah Lehrer thing means. But I have a vision for what happens to us when we carve out the hard human parts of our stories' subjects. Attached to our scalpel is a bar that connects to a smaller scalpel poised against our own flesh. Like one of Kafka's machines, every time we slice someone, it slices us in the same place but not quite as deep and so quickly you hardly feel it. This may just be the nature of the journalism mechanism, but I worry most of us don't even know when we're bleeding.