Discover more from DW Shumway
Library, movie and dog
my exciting private life
First, this morning’s NPR watch:
· NPR announces that the number of border crossings since the Don’t Flood the Nation Act (Title 42) was rescinded is less than predicted. We can rejoice that the USA will cease to be a nation in five months rather than two.
· NPR’s longtime weekend host and commentator, Scott Simon, read a monologue that chastised some local libraries somewhere that had removed gender queer books from the shelves. To paraphrase Scott: The library is a place you read for pleasure. You find a book and explore a new world, without quizzes and tests and book reports and teachers haranguing you with words like, “What, you don’t like it? Do you realize this is a classic!” And Scott adds that isn’t it obvious that If you ban it, people will want to read it?
Of course you can only stock a library with so many books, and choices must be made as to which books are kept on the racks. Thank goodness the women- and I only know of one man in the valley who works at one of our three libraries- who make these choices have been through liberal arts colleges like Bryn Mawr that foster diversity of opinion and welcome all views.
But Scott, what about books on other topics that have been banned?
“What, we don’t ban books in America!”
-Yes, we do.
-No, we don’t. I tell you, I’ve read Fahrenheit 451, and The Catcher in the Rye! and…and Flowers for Algernon!! So there!
-Good for you. Now go check out the books banned by Amazon.
-Amazon is a private company. They can do whatever they want.
-Amazon is a monopoly and can dictate what does or doesn’t get into people’s hands. Go try to find a book on Amazon’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum at your local library.
-I’m not interested in those books. They are conspiracy theories. My librarian told me so.
Speaking of Bryn Mawr grads and the computer game center for teens, I mean the library, I went down to my local one the other day. The ladies are all nice and most of them say hello when you walk in, but you have to guard your tongue a little. Montana may be relatively conservative and you can chew the politically-incorrect fat with your work buddies, your barber and the girl serving grits at the diner, but enter a library and all bets are off. I like cracking jokes but I strayed too close to hate speech yesterday. Some guy who appeared to be in his late 50s or early sixties was ahead of me at the counter. Americans love to share their life stories at the checkout stand and Marty here at the library is no different. Why not? People sharing unsolicited anecdotes (cue Springsteen: boring stories oooooof, Glory Days!) is kind of charming, if not always interesting. [I enjoyed Lake Wobegon back in the day, before they booted ol’ horndog Keillor of the red shoes.]
So Marty says, “I made brisket this morning, for both of my mothers!”
He got an appreciative reaction from the librarians. One of them said that was wonderful, etc. and here are your DVDs. As Marty went out the door, I said, “Two mothers? He seems a bit old for that. I thought that was a recent thing.”
I said it with a smile and for sure these librarians are familiar with, and possibly enthusiastically in favor of, the two and three mommies genre, but I didn’t get a chuckle. They all looked at me stonefaced. Then one said, “I think he was referring to his mother and his mother-in-law.”
Thanks Madge. I should have added a wink to that smile.
I treated myself to a movie the other night. Some friends around here think I must be lonely, but I’ve got my DVD player, my books, my librarian posse, and now the dog Finn for the weekend. Life’s tolerable!
The movie was Out of the Past, with Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, and Jane Greer. It’s a crime noir piece from 1947, so there’s a few hokey scenes and the dialogue is sometimes so witty and fast that it’s hard to believe, but I recommend it- good for a diversion anyway. Everybody, including bad guy Kirk Douglas, seems to take life with a grain of salt.
The hero, Mitchum, would have just stuck around the country town and married the plain Jane, if his past had not caught up with him. He wants to come clean, and in trying to live an honest life, he confides to the local girl who loves him and tells all.
After a day of mucking ponds, this scene kind of stung.
In other news, I’m dog sitting over the weekend. Here’s Finnegan again, the dog that will not let you walk him with a loose leash- always pulling!
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