Friday, October 05, 2007

librarians who irritate other librarians...

I saw this article and thought, who cares? so the "gray haired shusher" stereotype is being replaced with the "hip/ironic/progressive/cool youngster" stereotype. it's good that the NYT mentions the mere existence of libraries, but in a culture of vapid voyeurism where the monopolization of information control, the rise of spin, the prevalence of opinion and agenda masquerading as fact and truth, the omnipresence of 'gadgets,' etc. result in a constantly distracted mass of humanity, books, reading, literature, and libraries become more and more irrelevant to the greater whole of society. whether the shelves are kept by hipsters or spinsters matters little. there isn't any real way to make the world of the imagination, the world of the mind, the world of books themselves mean as much as sunday afternoon football games or American Idol, isn't any way to drag a good poem into the realm of Television Sitcom Popularity, short of a massive realignment of cultural priorities. art, like spirituality, often reveals its necessity, its relevance, its intrinsic importance suddenly, personally, at unexpected times. it's almost never a commodity to be sold regularly, and I'd say that truth, the domain of art, has no place in a Culture of Frothing Consumption populated by a mutation of humanity, The Consumer. who cares if libraries are marginalized? The Market, diety to The Consumer, hath spoken. who cares if Britney's crotch/child custody issues are Most Important? who cares if OJ beats out information about the complete decline of the dollar? not me. I've got art as my crutch, an alert dog standing guard and a sharp eye on the horizon. poetry isn't dead, literature isn't dead, reading isn't dead, and those things won't perish because "that stuff" still matters to some of us, and always will; gathering places like libraries, repositories of our literary heritage, will always have patrons no matter how badly Google and the rest of the intertubes have crushed their world, no matter how Borders and Barnes & Noble take over the world of books. besides, it's nice to have hard copies somewhere backing up this tenuous and fleeting electronic world.

and hell, with the "hipening" of libraries, maybe someday the ten of us left who give a fuck can all go get a drink at our local branch and try to read some Hemingway while the d.js are spinning. that'll be cool.

oh, I did find some folks who care about that article, like this annoyed librarian for one. man, the Librarian World is tough. but fluff pieces that miss larger, overarching problems are typical of our current brand of information brokerage, with complete misdirection being the order of the day. remember, hip or not, red or blue, right or left, infighting over manufactured divides serves only to benefit Those Who Control Stuff, in whatever branch of life you choose, so it behooves everyone to ask questions and dig deeper for a more complete understanding of the truth.

myself, I'm just going to keep writing honest poems and stories to fill some books to populate the shelves to keep all the hip, annoyed librarians employed until the library jobs are outsourced to India or the apocalypse comes. and make sure to patronize libraries, even if it's just to hide some quality items in books because I have it on good authority they prefer poetry over pamphlet.

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