Our next contestant is Chris Black from across the pond, as they say.
Do you have a favourte fictional librarian or library?
What got me thinking was there's one in a science fiction novel that I read this year (- I'll tell you about it sometime - ) called Glasshouse by Charles Stross. The book is set several centuries into the future and the hero finds himself working in a simulation of a late 20th century American public library.
First off, I must say that I cringe every time I see It's a Wonderful Life, and George Bailey discovers that, without him, his would-be wife is reduced to this...librarian!
Yet I enjoy, on a radio program in the United States on National Public Radio, a segment on A Prairie Home Companion called "Ruth Harrison: Reference Librarian" that takes on the stereotype in a fun way. The last segment I heard, just last Saturday, she becomes the Scrooge character in A Christmas carol and at the end becomes wildly spontaneous.
If you are interested in the topic, you might want to check out this piece.
Scott has a number of questions:
1. What do you think the Baseball Hall of Fame should do about the steroid problems?
I think we've already gotten an inkling of this last year when Mark McGwire, who was NOT specifically named in the Mitchell report but who was mum before Congress on the topic a couple years back, got less than 25% of the votes. HoF voters are going to determine whether a player would have gotten in without "assistance". They're going to decide whether the morals clause applies. As this guy notes, Gaylord Perry got into the HoF by doctoring the ball. My own sense of things is that, assuming the allegations are true - and the Mitchell report was not really designed for that purpose - the heavy users should all get lifetime suspensions. I would make a distinction between someone who tried it once or twice (Andy Pettite, assuming he's telling the truth) and regular users. However, I would make it possible that they could all get into the Hall - Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, McGwire, Sammy Sosa (who's been implicated in this by a different source) - when they're dead. Same with Shoeless Joe Jackson, who played quite well in the Black Sox series, and Pete Rose. They'll be there in the history of the game, but they will not be able to personally profit from it.
But I'm less worried about the Hall than I am in baseball cleaning up for the future. I agree that there should be an outside lab doing unannounced testing the players, which is what happens in most sports. The players' union would be foolish to fight this, but I suspect it will.
2. Keying off of Chris' question, do you have a favorite fictional character (librarian or not)?
Understand that I haven't been reading it in the last decade or so, though I've seen the first two movies, but it's Spider-Man. Or that duality of Peter Parker and the webslinger. On TV, possibly Pembleton (Andre Braugher) from Homicide: Life on the Streets.
3. What is the hardest part of your job?
Boredom. "Oh, golly, not THAT question again."
4. Do you think those of us in the US are getting too politically correct by saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" and worrying about the fact that Santa is too fat?
It's a pluralistic society. "Happy Holidays" doesn't bother me. I must admit that I was surprised, though, when I wished someone "Mery Christmas" a few years ago, and he said, "I don't believe in Christmas." I was in church at the time.
But slim Santa is dumb.
6. What is your favorite non-secular Christmas song? What is your favorite religious Christmas song?
I actually answered this question a couple weeks ago. But I'll answer it again, and differently.
Secular: What Christmas Means to Me - Stevie Wonder; Christmas Wrapping - the Waitresses; Christmas All Over Again - Petty/Heartbreakers.
Religious: almost anything in a minor key (What Child Is This); anything with counterpoint (the chorus of Joy to the World); Adeste Fideles and Stille Nacht, in Latin and German, respectively.
Now let me me tell you what I hate: bad pronunciations. On Angels We Have Heard on High, it should be "glo ree ah" not the ugly "glor ee ah". And the little town is "beth leh hem" not "beth LEE hem"; professional singers botch this often.
7. If the Patriots go the entire season undefeated, do you think people will complain more about it then about Barry Bonds breaking Aaron's record?
Well, no. I think the Jets were going to lose that first game of the season. Yeah, there were a couple close games - Philadelphia and Baltimore, I think - that had some questionable referees' calls. But they are a quality team, as much as I despise them.
BTW, I don't understand the commentators' point last weekend that the Giants should rest their best players this weekend now that they're in the playoffs, rather than trying to stop New England from going 16-0. Bollocks! The psychological lift of NYG knocking off New England would be a tremendous for them going into the second season, especially now that's going to be nationally simulcast on NBC and CBS.
That said, if the Patriots lose to Jacksonville (the best shot of the streak ending, I think), the Colts or an NFC team in the Super Bowl, then going 17-1 or 18-1 will be just a footnote in an ultimately disappointing season.
BTW, Scott, I saved one of your questions because it ties into some questions from Anthony that I'll answer NEXT time.
August rambling #2: Mamihlapinatapai
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