Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Death of the American Library

From the Associated Press - "The Denver Public Library has canceled its subscription to four Spanish-language adult comic books after complaints that the series contain sexually explicit illustrations. City librarian Rick Ashton ordered the removal of 6,569 of the foto novelas earlier this month, pending a content review."

Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. The Denver Public Library had six and a half thousand Spanish love comics? Probably more, in view of the fact that these were only the ones pulled off the racks for being "sexually explicit?"

The word library comes from the Latin word "liber", which means books. One of the prerequisites of using a library used to be that you could read, at least in one language. I assume most of us have come across these Spanish love comics at one time or another and they're on about a six year-old level, which is bad enough, but porno comics?

I wonder what caused the complaint? Did somebody notice that the public library was full of beaners looking at dirty pictures? Or were they lost in the shuffle of the kids looking at porn on the internet computers, the raving of the drunks and the psychotic street people, the snoring of the sleeping bums, the mindless mumbling of the stoned junkies, the smell of the homeless using the place as a bunkhouse and a toilet? The library used to be a place of quiet and learning. Now in many parts of America they are homeless shelters offering heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, where fights and stabbings and riots and vandalism and drugs are the order of the day.

In downtown San Antonio's library the librarians keep the johns locked in a desperate attempt to keep druggies from turning the place into a crackhouse, and so the bums and beaners urinate and defecate in the stacks.

In Durham, North Carolina the public library used to have, and probably still has, a sign on the men's room door, reading "Gay Patrons Are Requested to Refrain From Engaging In Sexual Activity in this Rest Facility."

In Raleigh, North Carolina the Dix Hills mental institution was forced by law to release hundreds of lunatics ("returning them to the community") and guess where they all headed?

In downtown Olympia's library, the head librarian told the local paper that on the average she had to call the cops once per day to deal with stoned or insane "patrons."

In the stacks of most libraries you can still find some of the ancient wisdom of our ancestors, if you know how to read the Dewey decimal system. (Fewer and fewer people do and many libraries are discarding it now as too complex for today's dumbed-down Americans.) Just make sure you watch where you step.

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