Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The TV Drones On -- In a Library, No Less ( "The TV Drones On -- In a Library, No Less

By Bob Levey
Thursday, November 13, 2003; Page C11
I hope the hinges on your mouth are in good shape, because your jaw is about to drop open -- wide.

The scene was a public library branch in Silver Spring. As Cathy B. Johnson entered, she was 'astounded' to see a television set in the main lobby. It was muted, but it was very definitely on, and it was spewing pictures as only a TV set can.
Cathy saw red. She marched over to a librarian and asked why library patrons -- and young patrons in particular -- 'couldn't have one place in the world where they were not bombarded by TV.'
According to Cathy, the librarian pointed out that the set was aimed at a waiting area, where people sit until they get a crack at a public computer terminal.
The TV was on, Cathy says the librarian told her, so that those lying in wait 'would have something to do.'
Open mouth.
Gape in astonishment.
As Cathy promptly said to the librarian: 'They couldn't read a book?'
Sorry, your gaping isn't done.
Cathy quotes the librarian as replying: 'Internet users don't like to read.' "

So many possible things to say... I want to believe that nobody in a library would be so stupid and tactless as to say something like that to a patron, but know in my heart it's possible. And who says it was a librarian that this Cathy woman spoke to, anyway? Not everyone who works for a library has their library degree, you know? (I worked hard for mine; let's not just let any circulation assistant claim the same status...) But finally, once again, this is the sort of article written by rich white folks for rich white folks who have computers and the Internet at home, who have probably not set foot in a public library for the last ten to fifteen years, and don't realize what they've become. We aren't the quiet places for books and research and nothing else any more. We're Blockbuster Video for people without money and internet cafes for people who don't shower. You don't like a TV set in the library for people waiting to use the computers? The solution isn't writing a newspaper column bemoaning the fact; the solution is writing a newspaper column urging the rich white voters in your comunities to vote to support their libraries, so they can build more computer centers and buy more computers, so people don't have to wait, and they don't have to find something to do while they're waiting like watch TV. Pay attention and use the goddamn brain in your head, or shut up and go away.

Microsoft fires worker over weblog: "Michael Hanscom began keeping an online journal, commonly known as a weblog, several years ago. He started his job as a contract worker in Microsoft's print shop last year. Last week, he mixed the two.
This week, he's looking for a new job, after becoming an unwilling case study in the fine line walked by corporate employees who write about work in their personal weblogs."

And this would be why I don't usually talk about work (or my personal life) here...

Tuesday, November 18, 2003 Daily Mislead: "Bush Drops Push for Energy Bill Provision That Would Help Solve Long-Term Reliability Issues

President Bush praised Congress for passing his long-sought energy legislation, saying, 'America will be safer and stronger with a national energy policy that will help keep the lights on, the furnaces lit, and the factories running.'1 But the energy legislation now moving toward final passage is viewed by many experts as 'minuscule compared to what needs to be done to have any impact.'2 "

Monday, November 17, 2003

Yahoo! News - ABC's 'Sisco' Sits as 'Mole' Digs In: "LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - ABC is doing the midseason shuffle, putting struggling freshman drama 'Karen Sisco' on hiatus to make room for 'Celebrity Mole Yucatan' and 'Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital.' "

Okay, the news of WB canceling Tarzan didn't break my heart, but this is disappointing... but not unexpected. (And the Stephen King thing will probably be worth checking out, anyway. But I'd rather they kept Karen Sisco on the air.)
Sun-Sentinel: Features: "Drunken sailor may have gone a little overboard"

A follow-up to the guy selling his "ex-wife's" beanie babies on eBay... (see the October 30 entry for that link, which may be dead by now)