Wednesday, April 04, 2007

RLG Resolution: Against Criticism

Like any collection of thuggish, self-righteous blowhards, the Regressive Librarians Guild of the Annoyed Librarian Association doesn't like criticism, especially anonymous criticism, of our many unjustifiable and ridiculous actions. We are so obviously morally and intellectually superior to the mere tainted mortals who surround us in the profession of librarianship that any criticism must by definition be driven by evil and stupid motives. But unlike other cowards, when something bothers us, we take action! That's right--we've passed another resolution!

So here's our latest resolution against criticism and ideas and arguments and people expecting us to behave like rational and decent human beings.

WHEREAS, intellectual freedom means the freedom to think like us; and...

WHEREAS, the freedom of speech applies only to us and people who "think" like us; and...

WHEREAS, anonymous critics present us only with words and ideas; and...

WHEREAS, this is bad 'cuz we don't read or think too good; and...

WHEREAS, words and ideas are just tools of bourgeois oppression; and...

WHEREAS, we're not good with logical distinctions (e.g., library/non-library); and...

WHEREAS, we just feel very deeply about a lot of stuff; and...

WHEREAS, people who don't agree with us are just evil, by definition; and...

WHEREAS, anonymous critics don't give us any personalities to smear, or any careers to threaten, or stuff like that; and...

WHEREAS, that's bad because we don't have any good arguments and have to resort to threats and intimidation;

RESOLVED, that the Regressive Librarians Guild opposes all criticism; and be it further

RESOLVED, that any critics should dispense with ideas, arguments, reason, civility, or good judgment because those are foreign to our nature and our cause; and be it further

RESOLVED, that because our thought police are good at sending nasty emails but have the intellectual capacity of dryer lint, critics need to make things easier for us and should just shut up and give us your name, your address, the name of your employer, your social security number, your credit card numbers, and the name of your senior prom date, so we can take appropriate action to have you silenced, intimidated, and harassed until you just shut up and leave us alone to pester and harass people in peace.

The RLG has spoken! All hail the RLG! Regressive librarians of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your brains!

27 comments:

Librarian 2 said...

When SPECTRUM was criticized at SHUSH I commented and that was the beginning of personal attacks by SHUSH against me at the SHUSH blog. I have been an ALA member for 33 years and know that it took over 100 years for a person of color to be elected president of the Association.In 1963 a person of color could not eat at an ALA conference dinner in the South. I worked to elect Mrs. Clara Jones president and have worked on issues of recruitment and diversity for all my time as an ALA member beginning with OLPR and including an oral history about women of color in librarianship. Yes, librarianship has much to do to bring people of color to full participation in U.S. libraries..A lot of people have worked very hard on SPECTRUM and it seemed to me that someone needed to be positive about the program when the SHUSH blog attacked it.. From my earnest commitment to SPECTRUM has come all so much misery for me on the SHUSH blog and on this blog.
Even today librarianship is 85% white. Working to diversify the profession has been the goal of SPECTRUM and I stand by the SPECTRUM program as one important way that librarianship can begin to expand to all people regardless of their ethnicity.

When SHUSH posted that my children were mutts, my daughter cried. She was, as kids do, 'googling' around and found that cite. Of course it is hurtful to bring that sort of pain down on one's children. As a mother I was very upset by the SHUSH person. While I could withstand his attacking my professional views, I could not stand his attacking my children.
When SHUSH called for me to be fired his readers made calls to my workplace that resulted in reprimand and the loss of some rights at work. Was it wrong of me to criticize the governor's brother? )George Bush). No, but several SHUSH readers called or e-mailed the university. Because of those SHUSH-inspired calls I was suspended from some aspects of service. I did not lose my job but there have been ongoing difficulties. SHUSh called for my firing because of my criticism of the President.
After these SHUSH actions I did call the employer of SHUSH and implore that the SHUSH employer ask him to leave me alone. I did not characterize him or his family in any negative way. I did not ask for him to be fired.I simply asked the director to ask SHUSH to leave my children and me off his blog.
Now this seems to have become the basis for endless attacks at this blog and by the comment people.
Since I do not know who any of you are I am unable to have a discussion that is more than calling to air.
Have you hurt me? Of course you have. Will I stop speaking up that the SPECTRUM program is an important one? Of course I won't.
But, when I get a call at home from a former student telling me to go look and see what you are saying about me today I finally did so.
I have never claimed to be a tough person. I am against war, against discrimination, and for librarians working to end unequal access.
You've made me feel very bad. You've made my children feel very bad. And, once they can read I imagine my grandchildren will feel bad as well.
So, good for you all. You've managed to make a 33 year ALA member feel despair today. I despair because anonymous meanness seems to have won.

==
Kathleen de la Pena McCook
kmccook@tampabay.rr.com
writing on her own behalf and not as a member of any institution.

AL said...

Thanks for the response. As you might have noticed if you'd read my blog before attacking me, I'm not SHUSH. And as you also might have noticed, my criticisms and mockery are in response to your comments and those of others on the Blatant Nonsense blog attacking and mischaracterizing me and my blog. Perhaps if you'd read and tried to understand my arguments before the silly comments about me and calling me a hateful coward, then I wouldn't have been motivated to specifically criticize you. If you expect sympathy, you have to give some.

janitorx said...

Even today librarianship is 85% white.

You forgot the upper-middle class background part. Sorry, class trumps race. Are there any orgnanizations within ALA to support those who grew up poor/working class regardless of race? I doubt it. I don't feel sorry for your daughter one bit. She has the ultimate advantage of having an engaged, highly educated parent. A minority child, say in St. Matthews, SC, with functionally illiterate parents has no such advantage.

Librarian 2 said...

I think you misunderstand. It was the SHUSH characterization as a "mutt" that was upsetting. Would you like your child called a "mutt" because her parents had different ethnic backgrounds?
Neither of my parents finished high school. One worked in a dime store; the other construction. I grew up in a working class family and went to public school.
Yes, ALA does have entities that work to support poor people and I hope you will consider joining:
Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force.
Social Responsibilities Round Table
of the American Library Association
http://www.hhptf.org/
=====
signed,
Kathleen de la Pena McCook
speaking only for myself.

AL said...

The initial misunderstanding was referring spitefully to the AL and to Heretical Librarian without any knowledge of what was contained in the blogs. You're obviously upset with SHUSH, and rightfully so. But does that give you some sort of moral authority to make unsubstantiated and rude statements about people or blogs that you're obviously unfamiliar with? Your blanket condemnation is just ridiculous and rude.

janitorx said...

It was the SHUSH characterization as a "mutt" that was upsetting. Would you like your child called a "mutt" because her parents had different ethnic backgrounds?

I've been called far worse--even by my own "people". Of course, no one would like any such racially charged invectives!

All I can add is that it is erroneous to conflate the ideas of AL's blog with that of SHUSH. If you are upset with SHUSH then why are you posting here?

Disgruntled Librarian said...

And why did you rant about AL and Heretical at that other blog?

Librarian 2 said...

I am confused that anonymous people will attack individuals and their place of work. I would like to state that I would not move from attacking an idea I dislike to a person. I would not say because I disagree with SHUSH on the need for diversity that he is X[fill in unkind statement]. But with anonymity comes the freedom to say mean things and not be responsible. You could be in the next office or across the country.
I do not usually post at anonymous sites, but the cross posting from Library Journal and the lumping together of anonymity and SHUSH brought me here. My postings there were a continuation of the ideas in the posts made by John Berry. Also, the student who contacted me thought it important that I see what was being said. And as I stated above, it is not easy to read these comments about me and my place of work from anonymous people.
I stand by my support of the SPECTRUM program. I have participated in the leadership programs and know that the funds have made a difference.

Librarian 2 said...

Sorry, I forgot to sign this message:
I am confused that anonymous people will attack individuals and their place of work. I would like to state that I would not move from attacking an idea I dislike to a person. I would not say because I disagree with SHUSH on the need for diversity that he is X[fill in unkind statement]. But with anonymity comes the freedom to say mean things and not be responsible. You could be in the next office or across the country.
I do not usually post at anonymous sites, but the cross posting from Library Journal and the lumping together of anonymity and SHUSH brought me here. My postings there were a continuation of the ideas in the posts made by John Berry. Also, the student who contacted me thought it important that I see what was being said. And as I stated above, it is not easy to read these comments about me and my place of work from anonymous people.
I stand by my support of the SPECTRUM program. I have participated in the leadership programs and know that the funds have made a difference.
11:24 AM
Kathleen de la Pena McCook
speaking only for herself.

AL said...

I don't think you're getting the point. I noted out last week that your ranting about the AL was based on complete ignorance of my blog and my arguments. If you want to make nasty comments about people, fine. If you wanted to stick to ideas and arguments, then calling me a hateful coward wasn't the way to do it. And I'm trying to figure out why you keep bringing up SPECTRUM.

Anonymous said...

You know as well as I do that there's a lot of blackballing in this profession. Why should anyone sacrifice their career over this stuff? Intellectual freedom is restricted to the provenance of trashy fiction; it does not extend to legitimate criticisms of librarianship.

Anonymous said...

I still think my Ben Franklin misquote rant yesterday was better. More logical, based in reality, etc.

--Taupey

Anonymous said...

librarian2, perhaps you should learn the difference between "cite" and "site." Or are word definitions another tool of the white partiarchy that exist solely to keep you down?

Anonymous said...

In her first comment, McCook claims:

"I did not characterize him (SHUSH) or his family in any negative way."

------------------------

On 8/2/05, McCook addressed Mark Rosenzweig on the SRRT listserv in reference to the SHUSH blogger:

"Mark, he works in Billerica, MA--a town that is 95% white. From his
redoubt of Christianity he hates Jews, Gays, Mexicans and has no problem in putting out public hate speech against anyone who isn't an Aryan nation type. He probably has a shaved head,earring and affects a WWF 'tude..."

contrarian said...

Your post about the RLG is right on and very funny. But you forgot the part about how they distribute their silly resolutions to the President, Congress, Supreme Court, United Nations, etc. etc.

tomeboy said...

Continuing with Annoyed's issue with blanket condemnation, let me be very clear. I have never made a personal attack on Dr. McCook. Disagree about Bush, et al. absolutely. But I never attempted to communicate to her employer, never mentioned her children in anything I've written, nor would I stoop to such a level. Truthfully, I don't give a flip about anyone's personal life when mucking around these blog forums. It's none of my business. Nor is it anyone's business to know who I am.


However I don't recall Dr.McCook callling off her bulldog, Mr. Buschmann, when rallying the troups to "out" tomeboy aka the arrogant sneaky shit on the PLG listserv. No "heads up" to Mr. Buschmann that tomeboy had not contacted her employer, written about her family,... No email apologizing on behalf of Mr. Buschmann for his unfounded, better cowardly actions to intimidate me. No attempt to express her concern over my children reading characterizations of their parent as an "arrogant sneaky shit" when Googling. Absolutely no action taken at all, am I correct Dr. McCook?

As stated earlier, the issue here is about quelling dissent through intimidation. If Dr. McCook can bring herself to acknowledge this motive, at least in my case, then we may have a point of departure to work from.

tomeboy

Librarian 2 said...

That was a list discussion, taken out of context and not stated anonymously on my blog. But you are right to point it out so I can explain. I believe it was after SHUSH had denounced SPECTRUM and called my family "mutts." Was I wrong? Isn't Billerica MA 95% white? I have not posted a permanent screed against this person at any weblog.
But people that work in monocultures are the most likely to mischaracterize people of color as 'mutts.'
I do have problems re-reading my posts because I have lost a lot of vision and keep the fonts so big that I find it difficult to spell check. If I used a word wrong I appreciate your editing, "Anonymous. "
=
signed, Kathleen de la Pena McCook,
speaking only for mysefl.

shade said...

I just took a peek at SHUSH. He has you listed under the heading "Conservative Librarian." Busted?

Robert L said...

AL- good thing I ended my posting, at least for now, on John Berry's blog. I'm sure John Buschmann would have been happy to refer me to your most recent posting and point out the hideous nature of anonymous blogging as being represented there.

Ms. McCook. Perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying on Mr. Berry's blog, but you stated that co-workers do need to know about a fellow workers racist, sexist or intolerant views. Is that exacatly what you meant to say:

"I will call people out on their behavior. Racism, sexism, intolerance are all actions that should be identified. Employers have every right to continue the employ of these people if they so wish, but co-workers should be informed."

http://blatant.libraryjournal.com/blog/?p=21

I find that more than a little chilling in its implications.

AL said...

I found that very chilling as well, especially since the implication was that I or my blog are somehow racist, sexist, or intolerant. I saw the implied threat as, good thing this AL person blogs anonymously, or I'd be callin' up her employer to say how racist, sexist, and intolerant she is, even though I've never read her."

AL said...

And I did notice MCcook's egging Bushman on in his nasty ranting. This post was more directed against his thuggish idiocy than anyone else. I just haven't thought of a cute nickname for him yet.

That someone has the gall to insult me based on absolutely no knowledge of my work at all and then come have a pity party for herself just astounds me. Were you wrong? Yes, you were wrong. Admit it. Apologize for the nasty and unsubstantiated things you said, and I'll be happy to accept and discuss the issues. But if you insist on trying to take the moral high ground, I'm perfectly happy to respond to nastiness with satire.

Anonymous said...

Remember, while reading Kathleen de la Pena McCook's postings above, that she's a "professor" in our profession. What a sublime confirmation of the galloping mediocrity of library schools.

Anonymous said...

I am white (Irish and English descent) and Native American, therefore I am a "mutt." Does this bother me, Nope. There are 16 people in me and one of them is Cherokee.

Privateer6 said...

I just spent over an hour going through the comments on one of the links starting this topic. GREAT SCOTT!!!! Now I know why A) I do NOT want to join ALA EVER, B) Why I am glad to post pseudonymously ( although if someone did their homework, they would figure me out), and C) Why I am so glad I work in a special library.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gawdess!

There is enough dizzying he said she said they meant i didn't mean that was mean you are mean no I yes you did not ever see such a good discussion here and elsewhere that has enough trails to present a subject matter for another LIS dissertation that will collect dust in the stacks...

Folks, there is a glorious, beautiful snow storm here in Maine for Maundy Thursday (The original Pesach) I'm going for a walk in the snow...

Retlaw Dlocks (if you can read backwards. John B has trouble with his vision and can't)

Greg said...

A little clarification is needed on McCook's part. I spent last night going through old emails and various posts and I can find no record of McCook complaining about her employers being contacted because of something I wrote. That she was contacted yes, I even have an email from someone who did just that. But there is no record of being reprimanded until this post of her's here and at Berry's site.

I remember being told early on that she got herself in hot water before I even started blogging. If I were to make a guess I imagine it happened around early 2003 when she was "asked to desist on the state [FL]association list" due to her "outspoken opposition" to Gov. Bush's plan to close the Florida State Library. Source link. I could be completely wrong but this is her chance to clarify things.

Anonymous said...

What did Jesus scream when he hit his thumb with a hammer at the shop?
.
.
.
Moses!

A library director made that up and I'd say pretty darn pretty. Retlaw.