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basically because nothing is happening.  I know my blog isn’t uber exciting in the first place, but NOTHING IS HAPPENING.  I have not been amused by anything that has popped up in my Google News (I’ve really tried to find the funny, then realized that I shouldn’t force the funny that much.)

Basically, these are the things I’ve been telling my friends about this week (poor souls):

  1. My inability to sleep at night
  2. My trip to the grocery store where everyone was (uncharacteristically) wholly obnoxious
    • Don’t tell me it’s hard to cut my meat the way I want it. Seriously? It’s your job to cut meat, and if you have one customer during the day that wants their meat cut the hard way, well, then that’s just your big challenge of the day. I know this sounds horribly mean, but you all have no idea how much grief I have received from deli staff. One lady in Maryland told me (with oh so much scorn) that the way I eat my ham is like baby food. Wow, seriously? The way I eat my ham is like awesome. Plus, it’s the way I’ve been eating ham all my life. I have been to the grocery store nine zillion times with my mother. She always gets her ham chipped (although apparently it’s really shaved so says the mean lady at my grocery store although I called a trusted butcher shop and they seemed to agree with the shaved, but again, my mother always said chipped to the deli folk). It was never a problem at home. This might sound dumb, but every time I order lunch meat I have to prepare myself for a debate with the deli staff. Ridiculous.
    • My checkout lady (in the ridiculous plastic necklace that I hope a kid gave her and she wears out of love and loyalty) took my canvas bags and put them down in the bagging area when the groceries of the Den Mother in front of me were reaching the end of the belt. I said, “Oh, ma’am? Ma’am, those are my bags.” She glares at me over her glasses, OVER HER GLASSES, and says in the most “holy-crap-you-obnoxious-pain-in-the-ass-how-dare-you-question-me?” tone, “I know.” That’s it. There are a good half-dozen alternatives that would have been good customer service, but she opted for the condescending snark. Then she went through the whole routine with the Den Mother – wherein the checkout person asks you if you need ice or stamps. Den Mother leaves, I’m up. I need ice. I waited to see if she would ask me if I need ice, or again, make a customer service shortcut as she’s already over-the-glasses peered at me. She didn’t ask me if I wanted ice. I told her I wanted ice, she made me repeat myself. I asked her if the ice was over there (point) and she just icy stared at me. Me (again): “do I get the ice from over there?” I’ve never bought ice there before and yes, it’s by the door, but there is also always a giant display in front of it. She was a meanie pants, and that was totally uncool.
    • The funny/best part of this, is back in the last place I lived, this would have been a great grocery store experience. As no one yelled at me, or pushed my cart, or glared at me when I brought canvas bags (then put them in plastic anyway THEN in my canvas bags, but I have higher expectations for service now.
    • I went back today and interacted with the cheese people who are really amazing, and they know everything, and once, I saw the short-haired lady open a box of crackers to give a sample to a shopper who was having a hard time choosing the best crackers for her cheese. I got a sample of their three new cheese (BEECHERS!). I sneezed and another shopper blessed me. I got free milk. The girl that helps you find the best checkout line helped me find batteries. There was no line at the checkout. The diet rootbeer was back. It was fantastic.
  3. How exciting I find the Shiner Family Reunion Twelve Pack. I’d never had Kosmos!
  4. That’s really it . . . so, yeah. It’s been like 102 everyday, so I’m not so into the activities right now. So lame.

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“Human devastation as mass entertainment” – Ani DiFranco

It’s almost noon, I’m watching the local news, and they keep running a teaser for a story on a controversial art exhibit at a public library in Texas.  I’m not sure if it’s the ALA Annual buzz running through my Facebook minifeed, or that I’ve been really using my public library a lot since graduation, but I’ve been feeling extra library-y lately. 

I have been waiting about a half hour for this story, and finally decided to consult the Internet.  I just read an article on CNN.com Sculptures reflect violent life on the border — and death that presented the case in a completely different tone than my local news. The news story was about 2 -3 minutes long, and was in the last “newsy” slot of the broadcast. In the teasers they didn’t ever mention or hint at context, it was just images of disembodied heads peppered with bullet holes and brilliant splatters of red paint. I understand that they wanted to keep us watching, and it’s more enticing and inflammatory to let our imaginations figure out the meaning behind these images on our own. I know my imagination went to the worst possible option for me.

I think that all library people have these locations where the personal clashes with the policy. I think at times most of us caveat our stance on intellectual freedom. Yes, you should be able to access any information you want, and I will help you and won’t judge, but I’m a feminist, and I’m a subset of feminists that finds pornography troubling. What do I do with that when I’m working at the reference desk?

Also, I’m a person whose life has been altered by suicide, and I see images of heads with bullet holes, and my stomach lurches and I want to grab all the children and “wrap them in a blue cloud cloth away from the too rough fingers of the world” (shout out to L. Hughes). So I was prepared. My stomach was steeled. I was ready to become indignant. But, when I read the article, and finally saw the entire news piece, my opinion immediately changed. “Oh,” I thought, “that’s about Juarez. So, it’s poignant.”

Other people’s tragedy is apparently ok. I do understand that talking about things that aren’t talked about, or expressing one’s feelings through art are incredibly important. I have a gender studies degree, a field born out of consciousness-raising sessions, I understand the power of thinking, feeling, sharing, and speaking.

I can’t help but think about a show I heard on public radio – I think it was This American Life, but I’m not sure. There was a woman whose family had been devastated by murder, talking about all of the cop/crime shows – Law and Order, CSI, Homicide, The Wire, The Shield – and how we as a culture seem to find murder one of our favorite forms of entertainment. For her, these shows made light of the tragedy her family went through. I don’t think she expected everyone to watch their words around her for the rest of their lives, or for all pop culture to change to reflect her tragedy, but she was just sickened by how common, accepted, and routine murder was.

I get this. When my stressed out friends and colleagues put their fake finger gun to their head my stomach bubbles with acid, and I feel the lurch from my intestines to my throat. “You just don’t know,” I think, “if you knew. You couldn’t do that. You would never be able to do that, say that, or make light of that if you knew.”

We all have our tragedies, we all have those “button issues” that chip away at our hearts. Who are we to think that ours should be the only protected category? And what would happen to us if we were unable to discuss ANY button issues? I don’t know. I really don’t. All I know is that I steer clear of Law and Order: Rape as Entertainment (aka SVU), don’t like things that are inflammatory for inflammatory’s sake, and will always always always be keenly aware of any reference to my personal list of tragedies.

People who want to help

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