I read this in today’s Press

LUDINGTON — A library employee in this Lake Michigan resort community has been fired for writing a book that describes a range of unpleasant patrons, from the merely unpleasant to online sex fiends, in a town she calls “Denialville.”

At first it sounds like the grumpy, mean old library people can’t take a sharp wit in their midst.  But some things about the description of it gives me pause:

Publish America issued the book, and its online catalog offers this description:

“The Library Diaries reads like Seinfeld meets Lou Dobbs meets Glenn Beck. Issues that most of us are afraid to talk about, issues we have had to veil through humor, are talked about candidly by the author, who has seen the terrible consequences of us not talking about these issues — children’s lives.

“Open this book and you’ll meet the naked patron, the greedy, unenlightened patrons, destination hell, the masturbator, horny old men, Mr. Three Hats, and a menagerie of other characters you never dreamt were housed at your public library.”

Sexually creepy patrons are creepy indeed, and libraries are a place where people often hang out who have nowhere else decent to go, so you see a lot of folk you won’t see at upscale family restaurants, say.  But Seinfeld meets Lou Dobbs meets Glenn Beck? Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck are best known for hating people.  Especially people who aren’t upper-middle-class white conservative male Americans.  Especially Mexican people.  (They would say, not Mexican people, but “illegal aliens.”  As if it’s purely a concern for legal niceties, not xenophobia, racism, or eliminationism, that moves them.)

What would inspire a comparison to those people?  Is this some kind of code talk on the part of Publish America to indicate that this is a hyperconservative hate rant, and people who enjoy that should pick up the book?


I’m A Jerk For Thinking This I Guess

I read today in the headlines that there was a shooting at a church in Tennessee. I thought something like this, though not in these exact words: “That’s weird, in the South, churches are usually in the business of inciting violent hatred; they’re not usually the target of it.”

When I actually read the news story about it though, my prejudiced thought seemed to be vindicated: this was far from a stereotypical southern Evangelical church: it was a progressive, liberal, ACLU-supporting, Unitarian Universalist church. Very much a target for crazy gun-toting hateful people in America.


Yahoo News: Man Shot Churchgoers Over Liberal Views

On the flipside, Topher noted in the comments that when you hear “violence in a church in the South” the first thing you might logically think of is church burnings, which have been linked to race, robbery, and just general malice.

Some Syd Barrett Videos

UPDATE: As Mike pointed out in the comments, Syd’s death happened 2 years ago.  I ran across a link to it somewhere today — I don’t remember where — and thought, “Huh, I thought I’d heard he’d died before… maybe that was just when he got really sick with the the diabetes that killed him.”  However, that didn’t cause me to look at the dateline of the article and realize this WAS old news.  Oh well.  I cannot brain today, I have the dumb.

Despite it being old news, here are some of my favorite songs from Syd-Barrett-era Floyd, one from his solo album Opel, and one more tasty piece of pastry.

Syd Barrett died at only 60, of diabetes.

Some syd….



Lucifer Sam

Dark Globe

And now for something completely different… Inspired by all those psychedelic tunes with videos of guys wearing fluffy white cravats…

From The Things To Panic About Dept.: “The Sun’s Face is Dead And It’s Getting Cold” — not so much

UPDATE: it’s complete BS. Thanks Eric A and Phil O on the climate science and Tom S on the sunspots.

Sunspots have an 11 year cycle. In March 2007 they were supposed to hit a low and start rebounding. Instead they disappeared completely.

In the late 17th century, there was a 50-year “little ice age” which coincided with a period of no sunspots.

Guess what! Global temperature dropped 0.7C in 2007, reversing 78 years of temperature increase in one year!

Warning: Science often undergoes wild permutations and distortions between its production and its appearance in the news media. God only knows if there’s anything to this whatsoever.

Sun Goes Longer than Normal Without Producing Sunspots

Prepare for New Ice Age, Says Scientist