Friday, March 30, 2007
Instant Message Transcript:
Patron: Hi, I am high school teacher from Germany. I am studying a lot about America at school and would need access to the newspaper database to get articles. Right now I am doing a project on the 1992 race riots ... which means I would need original newspaper articles from back then. Is there any way to be allowed access to your databases from Germany?
Librarian: I apologize, but those databases are accessible only to our library card holders, whose tax dollars pay for them. (I provided her with a link to our cardholder eligibility)
Patron: Is there a way to get a card even from abroad? Through friends in the city or something? Is there any way you can make a special case for me? I need these articles.
Librarian: I apologize, but no. That violates are terms with the databases. It would be illegal for me to do so.
Patron: Illegal such as your country’s war in Iraq?
GRRRRRRAAAAAAHHH. Believe me, I loathe this neocon quagmire as much as the rest of the world, but I will not have a GERMAN getting on her high horse with me, especially for reasons so petty and self serving.
This reminds me of a New York Times article I read about piracy and intellectual property rights in China. When the journalist asked a Chinese publisher about rampant piracy in China, the publisher "plunged into a polemic about my exterminating the American Indian, angrily stabbing his palm with his finger.” Marriage counselors call this "everything and the kitchen sink" fighting, and highly discourage against it. Instead, they encourage couples to stay on the topic at hand and not drag the past into the current discussion.
Don't you just, in spite of yourself, love this Nazi propaganda poster here? I hate to admit it but this sort of fascist architecture - so sheer, so sleek, so streamlined - has always made me a little weak in the knees.
Pynchon is incomprehensible to me and previous attempts to tackle his works have led to tears of frustration but I might have to revisit him after I read sentences with brilliant similes like this:
"With his own private horrors further unfolded into an ideology of the mortal and uncontinued self, Brock came to visit, and strangely to comfort, in the half-lit hallways of the night, leaning in darkly in above her like any of the sleek raptors that decorate fascist architecture." Thomas Pynchon, Vineland.
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