If you have a public library card, there is a reasonable chance you have free access to Kanopy, which is a streaming video service that a lot of libraries make available, for free, to patrons. It’s kind of like Netflix for smart people. Lots of great films, documentaries, indy stuff, etc.
Last night I was in the mood to watch a science fiction film, so I checked out this little independent film called Prospect. It’s fairly low budget, but well done. Good practical effects. I would classify it as hard SF. Highly recommend it.
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.
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.
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.
Trusty sled - ready to roll. Will the weather be kind this year?
Nearly every year I attend the Internet Librarian conference, in Monterey, California. I go out a few days early and do some skateboarding and chill-time with friends out there.
First stop (after jumping from DFW-Los Angeles-Monterey, Californa and renting a car) will be Mill Valley, California, home of my good friend Dale and his neighbor Sammy Hagar (a.k.a. the Red Rocker). Will Sammy make an appearance? Only time will tell. Weather permiting, Dale and I will sample the skateparkish delights of that fine region. Sunday I’ll head down to Mountain View, California and Rengstorff Park, for freestyle skateboarding with the great Gary Holl and Wally Sueyoshi.
Monday, October 25, is the beginning of the Internet Librarian conference. Besides being a great conference to attend, there is a small skatepark about a mile from the hotel. Now, evenings in Monterey can get rather damp when the fog rolls in, quickly coating the skatepark’s smooth surfaces in disaster-bringing moisture. But if it is dry outside, I usually try to get out and skate in the evening. I also try to do at least a couple of dine-arounds with fellow conferencers, and maybe watch the World Series if it’s on (it was a few years ago).