Obsolete!

I don’t watch a lot of television until about 10pm. Really, it’s rare that there’s anything worth watching until 10pm.

I know some of you out there will disagree, saying something like “But CSI: Forgotten Pedophile Investigation is on at 8pm”. Well, let me break this news to you. If you like that stuff, you need to hang yourself. Seriously. CSI? Ever been to a police station or any other kind of government office? Guess what…

Not what your local police station lab looks like. Grow up.
Not what your local police station lab looks like.
Grow up.

They don’t look space-age. The “crime lab” at your local police station doesn’t look like the control room of the Time Tunnel. If your pre-10pm hours consist of watching CSI, Bones, or the latest “fat guy with hot wife” sitcom, I respectfully (not really) suggest that you may want to begin living your life — immediately.

Don’t get me started on Glee.

I have discovered this channel called MeTV. They show the Twilight Zone in the late evenings, currently between the Bob Newhart Show and Perry Mason.  

Librarian Romney Wordsworth pwns the Chancellor.
Librarian Romney Wordsworth pwns the Chancellor.

Last night I watched an episode of the Twilight Zone that I had never seen before, the Obsolete Man, starring the great Burgess Meredith. If you don’t know who Burgess is because you are young, or older but stupid, click that link and begin to improve your cultural literacy. A quick summary of the summary you will find on the link above – Burgess plays a librarian in a totalitarian state, and he is condemned to die — live on television (thank God there’s still TV in the future!) —  because he has been found to be “obsolete”. However, he manages to turn the tables on the State, by involving and humiliating the Chancellor of the State, demonstrating the superiority of intellectual freedom. Awesome.Being a librarian myself, I of course immediately dug this show. While perhaps “the State” hasn’t gone full-bore into the killing of librarians, we do fight an almost constant battle against the powers of stupidity. From ignorant, pig-like, illiterate Tea Party types trying to starve valuable public services of operating funds, to psychotic religious fanatics trying to ban books from library collections because they fail to mention Jesus on every page, your friends the Librarians fight the good fight every day. Coming to work every day, it is easy to forget that as a librarian I am part of an ancient profession, one that matters and makes a difference. So I loved this episode of the Twilight Zone. So bad ass. The man of learning in intellectual/spiritual victory over the efforts off the totalitarian conservative buttholes. And it was bad ass! Burgess, in the role of librarian  Romney Wordsworth, DOMINATES the situation. 

We librarians just forget how f’ing bad ass it is to do what we do. You know that poor kid growing up in the conservative religious “Ned Flanders” house who comes into your library? The library is the only place that kid is exposed to information that isn’t Fox News/Pat Robertson propaganda! 

The enemy – must be defeated.

All of this got me thinking about the great librarians of fiction. My favorite is Dr. Henry Armitage, chief librarian of Miskatonic University, from H.P. Lovecraft’s “the Dunwich Horror“. Armitage not only saves the whole town from some Cthulhu devastation, but likely saves the whole world! Kick Ass!I like to think of religious and political conservatives, tea-baggers, and the other mental-midgets of our society as our equivalent of the slobbering, shambling, slimy, mindless, abominable horrors of the Lovecraft universe. Every time we defeat those fetid, reeking, semi-sentient masses of vomitus-like humanoid flesh, we are saving the universe. We save our planet and the universe one mind at a time. It’s a fight worth fighting. 

Research through images

Not that I have anything particularly insightful to say about it, but flickr.com has become a very powerful research tool for this librarian. Sometimes you just don’t know what you are looking for until you see it. Lately I’ve been researching sustainable/green technologies for homes, and being able to browse through millions of images to gather information is really helpful.

I’m also blown away by the diversity and niche-ish-ness available from the various groups on flickr. For example, today I happened upon this group devoted to pens. Yes – pens. Good pens. Some really nice photography from the pen freaks. Makes me want to go buy a new pen.

Tagging

Try as I might, I just can’t get into social bookmarking/tagging. I have tried using del.icio.us, and digg, but I can not dig the deliciousness of either. I try to add appropriate tags to my blog posts, but that is it.

I’m not sure why. I like them. I think they are cool. But I just don’t use them.

Weird.

“Hip” librarians…

So here is a New York Time article about the new, young, edgy and hip librarians of the 21st century.

I think they are a little late noticing this, but I guess it is good. Thing is, you can’t judge a book by its cover. I have worked with some older librarians who were incredibly smart, talented, versatile, and cool. Like my former boss – older than 60 — who speaks multiple languages with great fluency, has 3 Masters Degrees, and can write actual computer code in circles around me. Or my boss now, who is a great painter. You know, you really don’t need to have a nose ring or tribal tattoos on your face, eh? Case in point: yours truly goes to work everyday in his plain clothes — but look what I can do:

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So eat your hearts out, hipsters. Bwahahahaha!

But all my 42 year-old old skater bitching aside, rock-on, hip edgy librarians. The image did, indeed, need updating. That fact is attested to by the use of the “shushers” in the title of this NYT article. Every generation likes to take what it is doing and put its own “stamp” on it. I don’t know many old skateboarders that don’t love to laugh about the lack of “style” in newschool skateboarding, but you know, there’s still style there. Just a different style.