A March 12, 2023 trip to the Cambridge, Maskachusetts public library…
Let’s stop first in the bathroom, a gender-neutral experience:
The kids’ section is heavy on Black-themed books, but all of the children present appeared to identify with non-Black skin colors. About 20 percent of the patrons, including plenty of kids, were protected by Cochrane-approved face masks (“Here’s Why the Science Is Clear That Masks Work” (NYT)):
A few of the books in the kids’ section (one authored by President Biden):
Downstairs in the adult non-fiction area…
Sunday afternoon on the ground floor…
Let’s move to the Teen room:
Before women invented the Mac and iPhone, they invented television. There was no corresponding “Because I was a boy” title. The 2SLGBTQQIA+ books were not featured as prominently as I’d hoped, but discreetly shelved.
The old building’s best rooms are dedicated to science fiction:
Summary: In the social justice and 2SLGBTQQIA+ departments, despite the hysterical media coverage about “book bans” in Florida, there was little to distinguish the Cambridge Public Library from the Palm Beach County libraries.
18 thoughts on “The Cambridge Public Library”
In the 1960s, the big racial issue was Blacks having to sit with other Blacks at lunch counters. I see that now we have moved on to the big issue being asked, “Can I touch your hair?”
Roger: Although I appreciate Joe Biden’s authorial efforts on this volume, I wish that I had enough hair to be worth touching!
“Although homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, a bill introduced in early March and set to be debated this week, with a vote as early as Tuesday, proposes harsher penalties for promoting LGBTQ rights and activities.” Wouldn’t it be great to see some enlightened people from Cambridge go to Uganda to help the backward locals move forward? If it isn’t already happening, why not?
Lord P: That is a great question. The Americans who love abortion care for pregnant people protest mostly in places where abortion care for pregnant people is available and never in Costa Rica or other places where abortion care for pregnant people is illegal. Similarly, we see protests regarding inadequate orthodoxy in Rainbow Flagism in places where Rainbow Flagism is legal and celebrated, never in places such as Uganda where the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community is subject to significant restrictions on preferred sexual activity.
According to the enlightened, probably the oppressed should emigrate to a “liberal democracy” and create lower wages, higher rents and greater diversity.
Those paintings, on the ceiling of the library, above the windows, need to come down NOW! This is an all-white men painting with only ONE white woman serving her master. A poison to today’s young minds.
And to fix the white-to-black patron ratio inequality in the library, we need an executive order requiring that anytime a white person walks into the library, s/he much have a black person tagging along.
In NYC the libraries seem to be mostly hang outs for the drug addled who play video games on the computers and baby sitters to congregate so they can gossip while the kids sit and drool in solitude — and mommy fulfills herself by working in the HR department of some company. Someone I know who is a librarian in an affluent neighborhood says that part of her job is picking up the needles off the floor and calling the fire department on average 1X a week when someone passes out in the bathroom. The same sorts of books are on exhibit but I don’t really see much of anyone reading or checking books out. Not really sure who would use libraries these days given the availability of information on line and the convenience of Amazon.
I agree that libraries can sometimes be a place where drug users congregate – I even took part in a training program that taught librarians how to use nasal Narcan – but they are also a wonderful resource for the community. Beside their obvious offerings of books and computers, they also have classes for both kids and adults in things like tai chi and “maker” activities (think 3D printing), as well as free tickets for local museums, help with research projects, ebooks and audiobooks, and a “third space” where people can work, meet, or just chill without having to make a purchase. Yes, some of their signage and book displays can be a bit wacky, but they’re easy enough to ignore.
Here in New Jersey, it is a civil right for the homeless (or anyone really) to be smelly in the library. The same judge had previously ruled that Rubin Carter was the victim of malicious prosecution and ordered him free in 1985. Carter was previously immortalized in the Bob Dylan song Hurricane and later in a 1999 Norman Jewison film.
I really want to read the story about the women who invented television. Why is the Cambridge Public Library lying to children?
We all know, for example, that Alice was the motivation for Ralph to come up with the idea for VR headsets.
Who is pushing all these? And why?
@Anonymous: I have more to say on this subject, but the Executive Summary sentence is: “Almost all librarians in the United States are the Wokest people on the planet.” I know this from longstanding personal experience, up close and face-to-face. I do business with a few of them. Later on I’ll write more about what “book and mortar” libraries are still doing there in the 21st Century, it’s a fascinating story.
Beyond the librarians themselves, it’s a kind of subcultural revolutionary cult. Go through THAT door and then a couple more and you’re in the money room. Follow the money. For the time being I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
@Alex – well, librarians, academics, and govt bureaucrats are people who do not produce anything people would buy voluntarily. Or they would be book sellers/lenders, tutors, and private sector workers, correspondingly.
Forcing people to pay for junk services is a perfect match for wokeness, which is forcing people to yield to one’s delusions.
Having a drink with a fund guy I know, the topic wended around to the unhappiest client he had, an older guy with a net worth north of $100 million. His agida? Legacy. What would be his legacy? Here he’d built this empire, to pass it on to his son, who wasn’t interested in running the business. He’d rather play music with his friends. Who wouldn’t? Drove the old man to despair. A lifetime of effort, for what?
He isn’t alone. This legacy question is probably the main concern of people in the Bill Gates/Oprah demo. The super rich dodge estate duties by putting everything in trusts and hope to ensure their legacy through foundations. Foundations are run by bureaucrats who quickly subvert the founder’s intentions in favor of their own, One man who seems to have beaten this system is Andrew Carnegie. The legacy problem so perturbed him that he spent the latter part of his life giving away his fortune. He was pretty clever about it.
His one weird trick was to fund the building of libraries, but not their maintenance, in communities across the country. Which is why the town library in some podunk burg may be the grandest structure that’s not city hall. And once this Beaux Arts palace had been built, what self-respecting city council could fail to fund its upkeep in perpetuity? Well played by the canny Scotsman.
What would be left of the local library if you emptied the popular fiction stacks? The internet terminals? The shelves of VHS tapes?
My local library just took down those plexiglas shields that gave the place that bodega vibe. But the librarian still sports a bandito mask.
That first paragraph of the description of “Detransition, Baby” is a wild ride:
“Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.”
Seriously had to read this 5 times, and still don’t fully understand how it reached the last sentence.
Handsome building. But “The Grecians (sic) gave us our first alphabet” on the left friese, really? Are the Phoenicians chopped liver to you, Cambridge, or is it just Anglo antisemitism at work?
I do not quite understand the irony. “Grecian” is a slightly outdated word used mainly to refer to Ancient Greeks. Maybe more outdated today but not when it was carved on the frieze.
Also, the Latin alphabet was directly derived its Greek counterpart. Strictly speaking and according to I.J. Gelb, the Phoenician writing system was a syllabary rather than an alphabet.There is a strong evidence that the Phoenician syllabary, in its turn, was derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphics, therefore the complaint may be that we do not properly respect Egyptians rather than Phoenicians.
Perhaps, the contemporary knowledge of writing systems evolution was unavailable to the frieze creator, otherwise he/she would have written: “The Neanderthals gave the first writing system !”