Thursday, April 22, 2004

ABUSING THE INFOSLAVES. The Cornerites have been beating up librarians and their protective association for opposing the Patriot Act. At one point Jonah Goldberg hauls out one of The Corner's patented anonymous letters, this one purported to be from an actual librarian:
...The dirty secret that no ones wants to own up to about this profession is that it really isn't a profession at all, certainly not in the way lawyers or doctors or engineers use the term. It's more like a trade that any intelligent 20 year old could be trained to do in 6 months... The leftists at the ALA just can't stand that fact that some right wing tax payer would have the gall to object to his or her tax dollars being used to purchase books that they object to (Heather Has Two Daddies, etc.). What they really object to of course is having someone question their "professional" judgment...
One wonders if this is a working librarian speaking. In any case, I'm not sure Goldberg, were he thinking (and what are the odds), would have been so eager to take us down this road.

All of us not suffering from gargantuan self-hatred have some notion that our work is useful, else how could we stand it day after day? (I drink, but that's no recommendation.) Generally speaking, those who are least well-paid (e.g., teachers, soldiers, librarians) are partially recompensed for their poverty with praise for their value to society. If we tell our low-wage info workers that they're just a lot of crybabies who could be easily replaced by high-school graduates, and that their ALA and their MLA and all that is just a bunch of bullshit, what response should we expect? "By God, you're right -- accept my apology and cut my pay"? Or more resentment, a more deeply wounding sense of injustice, and much more resistance all along the line?

I mean, look what such heapings of abuse have done to Goldberg and his brethren. They grow more belligerent and tiresome with each post. Though this may simply be the result of declining mental powers, or of the increasingly stale air in their bunker, I think it may be that some of us have wounded their pride. Maybe if we treated them, and all aggrieved parties, with more kindness, our frail polity might get a chance to heal.

You go first.

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