Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Homeless Inhabit the Library: Another Sign Your Empire's Crumbling

This is a somewhat long and detailed post on the excellent Tomdispatch site, about how the homeless, lacking any sort of safety net, and suffering from mental illnesses, alcoholism, drug problems, and the like, have by necessity started permanently visiting the libraries of the Empire, turning librarians into involuntary social workers. A sort of canary in the coal mine, in Chaos' opinion and apparently also that of the author:

"America is proud of its hyper-individualism, our liberation from the bonds of tribe and the social constraints of traditional societies. We glorify the accomplishments of inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs, pioneers, and artists. But while some individuals thrive and the cutting edge of our technology is wondrous, the plight of the chronically homeless tells me that our communities are also fragmented and disintegrating. We may have gained the world and lost each other."

And this:

"What do you think about a culture that abandons suffering people and expects them to fend for themselves on the street, then criminalizes them for expressing the symptoms of illnesses they cannot control?"

What do you think, readers? An isolated event, an unfortunate byproduct of our success, or a sign of the beginning of the collapse of the Empire? Chaos suggests, once again, to pay attention to the actions of the culture, not the "values" it proclaims it has.

1 comment:

TsaMarie said...

Doc States:
Pure “sign of the times”….”you get so dizzy, even walking in a straight line”…Our Empire needs readers…due to the blast of this most reoccurring blur….

Doc researches further, only to find a Master’s Thesis written on the concept of not the like but the latter…referencing the Homeless not living but learning thru this system and sanctuary of books…a haven for the unconscious thought…

A cynical look - leave the power not to the people but to the “Librarian”- in definition - a professional, educated to analyze information needs…and apparently, anything else in between…the responsibility of providing patrons, with information resources “appropriate” enough to meet those needs…and as the homeless line up for their bit of information, what will they ask? “Please, sir, I want some more.” ..what can this Librarian provide? What will the homeless’ receive? These actions and reactions will definitely speak louder than words!

Doc prescribes an antidote…“take two aspirin and call me ONLY IF YOU ARE DYING”…I suppose the calls will come flocking in…