Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two Thoughts

First, FLG has always found the obsession by English teachers with The Great Gatsby and the American Dream odd. Sure, that's there. But FLG has always found the topic that is most interesting is the extremes to which men will go for the women they love. This appears throughout all of Fitzgerald's books that FLG has read -- This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, and Tender is the Night. (Although, FLG hasn't read This Side of Paradise in a long while.)

On an only slightly related note, FLG has begun to seriously doubt the value of libraries as a source of cultural capital in a community. Most of what he sees on offer and borrowed are recent books and films of little cultural relevance. For example, romance novels. Recent action movies and romantic comedies. FLG is actually somewhat offended that his taxes dollars are supporting this stuff. If people were borrowing books and movies of some intellectual or cultural note, then fine. But Dan Brown books? Not so much. Then again, maybe libraries are just another social service to help with job hunts. FLG doesn't like to see people out of work, but libraries aren't where this stuff should be happening. Librarians aren't career counselors.

FLG, I hear you saying, aren't you just some grumpy elitist who thinks that the library exist solely to expose people to the great books and the best available and current non-fiction at no cost to themselves, and that low- and mid-brow entertainment and narrowly economic issues, like job hunting, have no business in the building? Yes. That's exactly what FLG is saying.

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