Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why We Need Libraries ("Oh, My God" Division, part 2)

Susan Jacoby has written a new book, The Age of American Unreason. The book is, according to her web site, "a disturbing portrait of a mutant strain of public ignorance, anti-rationalism, and anti-intellectualism that has developed over the past four decades and now threatens the future of American democracy." According to an article in today's The New York Times, Jacoby was inspired to write her book by a conversation she heard in New York City on September 11, 2001:

“This is just like Pearl Harbor,” one of the men said.

The other asked, “What is Pearl Harbor?”

“That was when the Vietnamese dropped bombs in a harbor, and it started the Vietnam War,” the first man replied.

Any comparison between this conversation and John Belushi's Henry V-style "rally the troops" speech in Animal House (remember: Animal House was rated R for language!) is purely coincidental.

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