Monday, August 19, 2013

Where did my America go?

When I grew up, achievement was something to be recognized and rewarded. We were raised to try hard, to reach for the stars, and our role models were those who had overcome adversity and beaten challenges through brains or hard work.

But now? Now achievement is to be suppressed lest it hurt the feelings of the merely mediocre.

Librarian wants to block super-reading kid from prize contest.

Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio? Where, indeed...

In my day, our heroes were men like Neil Armstrong and Audie Murphy. Military men, sports stars who had talent instead of drugs and who either lived good lives or kept their indiscretions under wraps, historical figures who helped build America and make it great--these were the role models of my day. But they've been replaced by unrepentant scumbags in Hollywood and the sports arenas, people who deserve no admiration but get it anyway because they have good PR toadies. And let's not even go into loser reality-show "stars" and other no-talent hacks like the Kardashians, people who are famous only for being famous. These are the ones that today's youth emulate, in large part because they don't know any better any more. Achievement is for nerds, and work is for suckers, and if you make it somehow, a man who never built or ran anything but won the presidency just because so many voters confused the 2008 election with a reality TV show will be along shortly to tell you that "you didn't build that". And then he'll take it away from you or tax you into poverty to the cheers of many who hate you just because you dared climb higher up the ladder than the level of their hammocks.

We're fast becoming a Harrison Bergeron nation, and I weep for my country.

Now if you'll excuse me, I feel a need to clean a few guns.


  1. I like to put a few through my '03 Springfield for therapeutic relief. A dozen or so thumps against the shoulder and I begin to feel a little better.As frustrated as it all is, ya ain't ever going to change it back. At the end of Robert Rourke's.
    "Use Enough Gun" the white hunter Shelby sums it up nicely, "Pity we don't own it anymore"


  2. Murph, back in your day and in mine, the information technology was different. Essentially, it was all books and magazines, some of those 33 RPM phonograph records, and maybe a few of those filmstrips for which you needed a special projector.

    If you wanted them, you went to the library, and you had to get by that armed guard at the gate known as the Librarian. Librarians were gatekeepers, and, in my case, with a few notable exceptions, all of my public school librarians had let the power accompanying the gatekeeping function go to their heads.

    Today, what with all of those information media where photons and electromagnetic charges have replaced ink and paper, the librarian is much less of a gatekeeper and more of a matchmaker, a broker, a facilitator, a mentor.

    Or at least that is what they should be doing to get the library users to the needed information.

    But too, too many librarians feel inadequate without the coercive veto power that came with the gatekeeping function. And Hudson Falls Public Library Director Marie Gandron is apparently one of them.

    Good odds that the Weaver brothers are more intelligent than Marie Gandron, and good odds that their intellect and assiduousness intimidates the living shit out of her.

    Tyler and Jonathan probably don't need Gandron to find the books they want to read. So Gandron can't wield any power over them as a matchmaker/facilitator.

    The only way Gandron can impose her power over the Weaver boys is to revert to the old function of bolting up the gate and preventing access. But, again, the Weavers can probably find the books anyway. Which leaves Gandron no other alternative than to decree that Jonathan and Tyler are ineligible for the prize.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

  3. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Joltin' Joe indeed!

    "EVERYONE who participates wins!"

    What? Mediocrity?

    VERY sad...


  4. A large part of a library director's job is to pander to the taxpayers, and that's as close as I can come to finding some semblance of an excuse for that ogre's utter betrayal of her library's mission.

    I'd bet my last dollar that the Children's Librarian adores those two boys, and I predict record attendance at the next board meeting; the library's most loyal patrons will have a thing or two to say about the director's priorities. She might actually get just what she deserves.

  5. Yeah, I'm getting to the point that I'm actually glad I'm old and won't be here to see the final destruction...

  6. Anonymous8:16 PM

    It seems it is ok any more to celebrate mediocrity.
    Then ridicule achievement.