Narrative never sleeps: Do you believe in magic?
We were especially struck by the following part of Nicholas Kristof’s new column. Kristof is writing about a school for deeply impoverished children in Kenya:
KRISTOF (9/29/11): The school looks like a good American school, and classes are taught in English. Even though English is a second or third language for these children, 82 percent perform at American grade level—and these kids are ravenous to learn.Do you believe the highlighted statements? For example, do you believe that some of the first graders are reading at seventh-grade level?
“Some of the first and second graders are reading at seventh-grade level,” Jessica said proudly.
Everything is possible. But we were struck by the ease with which Kristof passed this claim on. Nothing stops the modern post-journalist from presenting such pleasing claims. Familiar narrative is all within a post-factual culture.
In the past year, our society has been soaked with reminders about the possible problems surrounding such claims. But nothing slows post-journalist man as he hands you your favorite stories.