Monday, January 16, 2012

A world without books

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 1/16/12

Christian Davenport reports in the Washington Post on the crowds waiting to take out books at the Fairfax County Public Library. Out or towners should note that Fairfax County is target center for globalists on the make in America with more candle power on hand that Brooklyn managed in the early part of last century. As I recall, several years ago, Fairfax County High School had 41 valedictorians. So what are Tiger cubs and their dominating, upscale mothers reading? E books. But what?

“Want to take out the new John Grisham? Get in line. As of Friday morning, 288 people were ahead of you in the Fairfax County Public Library system, waiting for one of 43 copies. You’d be the 268th person waiting for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” with 47 copies. And the Steve Jobs biography? Forget it. The publisher, Simon & Schuster, doesn’t make any of its digital titles available to libraries.”

Pop culture. But even Steve Jobs doesn’t make the cut. You would have to buy the book.

A world without books leaves trees without singular purpose because that is the purpose of trees- to make books. Books give voice to trees. That is their end and their best metamorphosis. As we enter the age of light and air, everything goes to the sky – Cloud now is the conduit - and wisdom; finding perspective in long stretches of time, is impossible. Globalism is a place in the sky without past or future. Possibly that is how we should go or must go, hell bent into the future, without reflection, and like the Kamikaze pilots, without landing gear. It is the American way and most attractive and necessary to new people and new generations, leaving history behind; chopping down the tree (killing the tree), like George Washington. And this way we go as that heartland bard Jean Shepherd (“A Christmas Story”) described in his own times: "Mindless we laughed, mindless we loved, and mindless at last we died."

Years ago I worked in a publisher house, a temple really, of small books saved; books saved from annihilation and reprinted such as “The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus, the Christ” published in 1908. There were so many lost and unheard tales and unseen and unwanted manuscripts; the pictures of Hildegard von Bingen, Newton’s million word manuscript on the “vegetation spirit of the earth” which no museum wanted, the Policy Planning Papers of George F. Kennan, which few wanted, the creative shadows of Alexandra David-Neel, first to walk Tibet. Even minor classics today are sure to be lost again like MIT theoretical physicist Kerson Huang’s translation with his wife Rosemary of the ”I Ching”. So many come to mind: Ruth Benedict, Andre Malraux (“The Temptation of the West”) Alfred Kazin (“New York Jew”) that were more of less mainstream thinking to the people who walked the night through The Strand, the famous second hand bookstore in New York City in the 1950s.

If you got on at Flatbush, you could be there in 30 minutes back then. I wonder where you would go today in Fairfax County, or if there is such a place? A place for books to go when they are no longer wanted in the mainstream? Because that is the way of return; of gradually getting back to earth in the generations, without crashing.

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