Sunday, September 2, 2012


It is dangerous to borrow library books because you have to return them and when you do, you have to walk past the New Books display.  There are many distracting books waiting on that shelf to ambush you.  I know, since it happened to me yesterday.  I have enough books and shouldn't be looking at additional ones.  I told the young woman at the check-out desk but she didn't seem to grasp the seriousness of the danger.

Truthfully, despite having plenty on my reading plate, I have a lifelong habit of still nibbling tastes from snack trays on the side.  I am elderly and can't run marathons.  Never did, actually.  So, what else do I have to do but look over the excellent volumes painstakingly purchased on very limited budgets by careful and diligent acquisition librarians trying to keep a semblance of the ever-expanding range of knowledge and thought represented in our library? (This sentence is probably too complex to pass muster but I ain't gonna muster it.)

Besides, I have found that the discipline of getting the books back on time and the threat of having to replace a $120 volume keeps me in check, propels me through the book quickly.

One that caught my attention is Samantha MacBride's "Recycling Reconsidered", which is recently published by MIT press.  The book is about the problem of solid waste, as opposed to the problems of dealing with liquid and gaseous and air waste and pollution.  Just perusing a book, I try to get an idea of where the author is going, what the main idea is.  So, I read the introduction and maybe the final chapter.  MacBride explains that as far as she is concerned, there really is a new line of thought among people, one not a major strand 50 years ago.  It is the awareness of the planet as a whole, the interrelation of all the atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere and their components.

MacBride states that a major problem in trying to reach better processes is what she calls "busy-ness".  Since I feel I can smell the same problem in a number of areas, usually political or social ones, I note her comments carefully.  She states," If progress is a flowing river, busy-ness is an eddy, moving vigorously but not forward."  She knows that many commercial interests want to slow or stem changes that would create hardships for their profits.  Busy-ness has turned out to be a effective tool for deflecting energy while appearing to be moving toward important change.

She states in her introduction that

"busy-ness is a handy method of maintaining the status quo yet is simultaneously active, optimistic and often makes people feel better. For this reason, to criticize its diversionary aspects tends to come across as nay-saying, discouraging of failing to advance a constructive alternative.  In this book, I explain why I think such a criticism is necessary and why it does not have to lead to a dismal nihilism."

I watched the movie "The Help" the other night.  All those Southern women aligning and re-aligning with their factions and fashions, their pies and gossip seemed to be a living example of busy-ness with lots of energy and no result.

Main blog: Fear, Fun and Filoz
Main web site: Kirbyvariety

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby