Okay, time to get up on my grumpy old soapbox. *background noise of scraping and some hoof steps*
When is the last time you bought a book just to read it? When is the last time picked up a magazine or book of short stories? You brain will atrophy if you don't think. The wonderful thing about stories is they force us to use our imagination. The imagaination that allowed mankind to build the Great Pyramids. The imagination that motivated Darwin to journey. The imagination that will maybe someday, push us to be more than drones in front of our televisions.
A movie may make you think for a minute. A good avante guarde film may make you think for a whole hour and a half. But a film that will make you think is hard to find. Why? Because, Hollywood appeals to the lowest common denominator. A while back, I'm not sure when, someone in Hollywood proclaimed that thinking is not entertaining. From that point on, there was never another major film made that promted thinking. Hollywood will make you laugh, make you cry, make you jump and run, but thinking is not part of the experience. Okay, so Harrison Bergeron was created in the last 10 years, but you don't see an hype for it or any co-marketing with either BurgerKing or McDonalds.
The point is they don't want to make you think. Thinking might just make your head hurt. And they can't have you using your imagination. That's what special effects are for. How can we have a multi-million dollar movie without doing everything in special effects. But in order to get the payback we have to appeal to everyone. So what you're left with is fluff. Easy to swallow, no nutritional value, fluff.
Now I'm not advocating a puritan approach. It's easy to find something that is entertaining, delightful, and thought provoking, as long as you're looking at the bookstore not the videostore. Even 'classics' can be entertaining if you allow yourself to read them. Don't forget the books you've religated to being "children's" books. If you read them with a little thought you might find there is more in there than you ever realized as a child.
Go ahead, I dare you.
Some very entertaining short stories: