Monday, June 1, 2009


Ah, June.

I've been meaning to get around to this topic, and figure today's as good as any. About a week ago I had an opportunity to speak at a Freshman English class at College of the Canyons. One of the students asked why I wrote Ghost Medicine. Well, I've kind of answered that question in various roundabout ways on this blog, but, in giving my reply to the class, I told them that they were a perfect example of what I was talking about.

Look around you, I said. The class was about 3:1 female to male. Okay, these are not bad numbers for singles bars or breeding programs, but for higher education, the ratio is a portent -- no, a symptom -- of something not-too-good.

Seems like when I was young, guys did a lot of reading and writing. Actually, educational data will back me up on that. And it seems like there were all kinds of books being written for guys, too... AND lots of male authors, as well.

Things are different now. So, I asked: which came first, the "thinning" of the population of male-oriented books and authors, or the dumbing-down of the male gender?

We had a great discussion about that in the class. I'm going to hold off with some of my ideas for a while, though. I've asked some friends to chime in on the subject, in whatever manner they see fit, and will run their responses here over the next couple of weeks or so.

Tomorrow, we have a terrific guest blog response on the topic from novelist Yvonne Prinz.