Nothing big to annoy me this week, so I thought I would share with all of you a couple of small annoyances. I notice I've got some new readers who wonder why we don't all just get along, and who seem to think the AL should just confirm their prejudices and not present any alternative points of view. I've been shocking people by writing stuff about hipsters or transsexuals that some people think is just mean. "How can anyone say something I don't completely agree with?" they ask. It's what I do, baby. If you want peppy, you go to the Librarian in Black. If you want annoyed, you come to me.
Nevertheless, I thought I would calm everyone down with some less controversial topics. Here's a couple of minor annoyances for the pollyannas who think we should all play nice. We can call it kid stuff I'm tired of.
First -- emoticons. What is it with people and these emoticons? Are we all in the 3rd grade or something where we're supposed to feel warm glows of satisfaction if somebody sends us a smiley face. The winky ones are even worse. They just look lewd to me. If some guy winked at me, I'd think he was a creep, and yet some people "wink" at me as a blog reader all the time. And librarians seem to love these things. I frequently see them in blogs and comments. Emoticons are childish. They're also a way for people who can't write well enough to convey their emotions through prose. If you write something funny, I'll laugh. If you write something not funny, putting in a stupid smiley face isn't going to make it funny. And if you write something clever or smarmy but fail to convey such, winking at me isn't going to make it clever or smarmy. See this paragraph? Do I need to put in an emoticon to make my attitude clear? I didn't think so.
Second -- this Harry Potter nonsense. I've yet to understand the appeal of children's fantasy books, and this obsession so many have for Harry Potter is creepier than winky emoticons. And we're not talking just kids here, but grownups obsessed with these children's novels. I heard some woman on the radio say she and her husband had argued for hours over some obscure point in one of the Harry Potter novels. What kind of losers are you, I wanted to shout, but I was afraid my colleagues down the hall would call the police again. If I worked in a children's library, it'd be one thing, but I work at a university. I shouldn't have to avoid people in the break room because I don't want to hear any more meaningless speculation about what will happen to some fictional character I care nothing about. I'll be glad when the final book has been out for a long time, so everybody will just shut up already. And no, I don't care how it ends, since I haven't read any of the books. I barely made it through the first movie without falling asleep, and I hadn't even had any martinis. And before anyone tries to tell me how great Harry Potter has been for literacy, let me just say I don't care. Adults reading children's fantasy novels is barely a step above illiteracy.
Ok, I'm glad that's out of my system. Everyone have a nice weekend reading Harry Potter and sending smiley faces to each other.