Thursday, February 25, 2021

Looking out for our great great grandchildren

I always thought the people running Texas were pragmatic, hard headed souls, but the weather events of the last couple of weeks have disillusioned me. Texas has loads of oil, but decided to rely on the untested and unproven pipedreams of the treehuggers, and were looking to heat their homes and power their vehicles with wind power and solar power, both of which failed them.

Their energy needs were completely okay today, they thought, but they were worried about how climate cnange would affect future generations. So existing children were allowed to suffer freezing temperatures so people who aren't even born yet could live better lives in the future, if there is a future. (More presidents like Biden might eliminate any chance of our having a future)
So the present is being sacrificed for a future that may never exist. We all might be living on another planet in the future, or the environmentalists might have acheived their dream of the extinction of humanity so the earth t will be safe for gophers, polar bears, and cockroaches, but devoid of people. Predicting the future is a tough call. I was alive 50 years ago, and nobody could have dreamed of what our lives would be like today. Did anyone ever anticipate computer games? Or Netflix? Or college degrees in Chicano studies? Or college students who would run the colleges, while the administratrrs cowered in fear?

Friday, February 19, 2021

A dissenting view of a Man Called Ove

If I hadn't done time in various libraries for so much of my life, I might have been more tolerant of this book. Unfortunately, as a library director, I met my share of curmudgeons. What other, more tolerant people might like and admire, I frankly don't want any more of. "Curmudgeon" is a synonym for a rude. overbearlng person who freely shares his views of the world even with those who don't want to hear them. Especially with those unfortunates who really don't want to hear them. Every day, some curmudgeon with an axe to grind would corner me with their ideas, particularly ideas relating to the library. But not necessarily. I was informed that the Holocaust never occurred, that Kennedy was killed by Lyndon Johnson, abd that their neighbors were stealing their mail and reporting to the KGB. So the hell with a man called Ove, and all their heirs and assign. It didn't warm my heart, it gave me a pain in my stomach. Read it at your peril.

The death of print

I'm a reader. but I haven't always been one. I learned to read when I was four, but didn't think much of it until I finished my first chapter book, at seven or eight, A Bobbsie twin book. I don't remember the title, but the author was Laura Lee Hope. I know now that it was a book produced by a factory, like the Hardy Boys books. But it made an inpression on me. I still remember the names of the twins; Nan and Bert, Freddie and Flossie. It was illustrated with line drawings, as I remember. I had other books that I liked just for the pictures. One was a compendium of nursery rhymes illustrated by a number of artists; arther Rackham was one. My aunt owned a bookstore in Danver, and she would send me books. among them was Mary Poppins, and The Wind in the Willows, and the christopher Robin books, books that I loved and re-read until the covers fell off and the books deteriorated. I loved the Englishness of them, so different from my American childhood. I longed to eat scones and ride in lifts; the foreignness of them made them more exciting. I became an Anglophile, though I wasn't familiar with the word until I was much older. w When I was thirteen I was miserable from circumstances beyond my control. I was waiting for my mother in a drugstore, which had a rack of books. I pulled out a book by PG Wodehouse, one of the earliest Jeeves books, a collection of Bertie Wooster stories.I felt like stout Cortez when on a peak in Darien.* I hAD discovered a new reason for living. Fortunately the Bexley Public Library had plenty more Wodehouse, having not weeded the collection in the last 25 years, blesss their hearts! i have to confess that I prefer reading books the old-fashioned way, line by line. But no one else does. People encourage their children to read, but they don't read themselves. People appear to believe that books are an excellent thing for somebody else and act accordingly. Meanwhile, there are no more books in drugstores, department stores, or grocery stores, so no one just picks up a book in the course of their lives, by serendipity. *Look it up. Hint: it's from a poem by Keats. .