The AL has always been something of a controversial blog. Oh, it's so funny! Oh, it's so mean! Oh, it's anonymous! Oh, who cares! Now that I'm slowing down and reflecting a bit and don't really care that much anymore, suddenly the critics are coming out again, the sad, humorless gits who comment or blog about the Annoyed Librarian with serious words in earnest tones. A couple of such things have come to my attention recently. Some commenter left a comment on a several month old post about the anonymity, and some other earnest blogger wrote a whole post about he could agree with most of what I wrote if I just weren't so mean and anonymous, as if I care who agrees with me.
Most of my readers get it already, but I wanted to pass something on to the earnest and humorless in bibliotek blogland. It's no use criticizing the Annoyed Librarian and talking about how the AL shouldn't be anonymous. That makes about as much sense as criticizing Jane Eyre for being anonymous (Charlotte Bronte was certainly pseudonymous). The point is that it's a nonsensical criticism. In case you haven't realized it by now, the Annoyed Librarian doesn't exist, at least not in the sense real people exist. Hasn't the penny dropped yet? The AL is a fictional character. Hellooo! Do you get it now? Isn't it bloody obvious? It's a character. A persona. The Annoyed Librarian isn't anonymous. She has a name: Annoyed Librarian. The writer or writers of the AL is or are anonymous, but that's a different level of anonymity all together.
To complain that the AL is anonymous is to miss the whole point of the blog. There is definitely a writer or writers who write the AL, and some personal characteristics of the author(s) may very well show up in the character, but it's a character. How could it be anything else? How thick do you have to be to see that there's nobody who cares about all the different stuff that the AL blogs about? Is there any coherence at all? The appeal of the AL isn't that everyone cares about or is in agreement with everything the AL writes about. The appeal is that the AL isn't a one trick pony. She's at least a twelve trick pony, and a lot of us have fun and occasionally get something out of the discussions. This is typical of a lot of blogs. People write blogs the way others write novels. Usually, no one notices. The difference is that a lot of people read the AL, for whatever reason, so the earnest librarians take notice and tsk, tsk away.
Oh, I know, there'll be the critics who don't understand things like fiction or fictional characters who'll just say, that AL is just mean and trying to shirk responsibility for what she writes! If that's your response, I don't really care, though I do feel a bit sorry for you for being as thick as two planks. Of course, someone could take responsibility for creating the character of the AL, though I'm not sure that person has anything to be ashamed of. How many of you earnest, humorless critics could create so compelling a character? Yeah, I didn't think so. But what would be the point?
So who's writing this post, the AL or the writer of the AL? Is this self-description or metafiction? You be the judge.
Anyway, I've got some other stuff coming up, but haven't gotten around to doing the work. Someone sent in a great library job that sucks, and another reader sent me a link for something idiotic about video games. I'll get there eventually.