There is so much violent content in our movies, on television, in books, magazines and newspapers, it's just pervasive, culturally normal in American life.
So, I guess I will seem like a nit-picking dolt to complain about today's addition to the cultural millieu -- "The Good Dinosaur" from Disney and Pixar.
I have only seen the trailers, so I'm just basing an opinion on those.
It just irritates me that there's another doggone movie out there that acts like it is an historical and scientific fact that dinosaurs and humans occupied space on the planet at the same time. They did not.
Cute children's books and other movies aside, it's irritating because this wrong-headed notion is once again reinforced in impressionable young minds.
And that matters because eventually they will grow up and what they think and believe will have consequences, and it's beyond possible that all these images of dinosaurs and people will be stuck there in their heads.
After all, look at what "Bambi" did for hunters.
Why is "cool" still cool?
Frankly, I did not know that "cool" was still cool out there in the world beyond Wimberley. I figured I might actually be the only person extant still using that particular word to describe a person or a thing or a situation.
How cool to know that cool still is cool.
But, how come?
The New York Times op-ed section answers the question in Sunday's editions in an item by Jonah Berger of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Who knew that college professors were concerned about the longterm viabillity of a term like "cool?"
Turns out, they have been. And they have found that "cool" retains its resilience because of its reference to the senses. We people hang onto identifying terms or metaphors that appeal to our senses longer and more tenaciously than we do other terms not so related.
Maybe that explains, then, why stuff just isn't "groovy" anymore.
When Theodore Geisel began writing his famous children's books in 1957 I was too old to be exposed to them.
Instead, I ran across them about 15 years later when I had a child of my own. I remember reading The Cat in the Hat to my girls, and a whole host of other Dr. Seuss books that had been published since TCITH originallky came out.
And I am certainly not alone. The Dr. Seuss books are among the most popular ever written, both at the time they were first published and even today.
Dan Kopf, writing in a blog for Priceonomics, notes that the most amazing thing about Dr. Seuss books is their persisting popularity. In 2013, he writes, nearly 5 million books by Ted Geisel were sold, a 50 percent increase over the number sold in 2010.
At the recent Friends of the Library book sale, I spent a good bit of time poring through children's books. My wife and I have a new grandson, now about four months old, and I wanted to find some for him. Luckily, I tripped over a couple -- not The Cat in the Hat but some newer ones. And so yet another generation will learn about that delicious repaste -- green eggs and ham.
A shout-out here to The Wall Street Journal for publishing some actual factual material in yesterday's edition about library books and various kinds of bugs.
Nobdy's ever revealed to me a concern about getting bedbugs or the flu from our library books, but apparently that bothers some people. Enough so that the Journal had the piece in its Health and Wellness section entitled: "The Burning Question: Are There Critters and Germs in My Library Books?"
The short answer from the Journal's assembled experts: No. Or, probably not.
The former is especially true for germs, most of which just don't like to live in places that aren't warm and moist, and most books are neither.
One expert said you might find bedbugs in books, but it's unlikely. And if you worried, just put the books and related bags in your clothes dryer for awhile.
You know, really, there are so many other things to worry about. Like a Syrian terrorist sneaking into Texas via the federal refugee relocation program.
As we go into the end of the year, we start thinking here about all the things we'd like to accomplish in 2016.
At the top of my list is to build some kind of "maker space," a place where we could have a 3D printer; soldering stations; sewing machines; and all kinds of things to work on and build, helping our patrons learn how to do everything from saw a board to code an app.
I think we have the space, although it's limited. Now we just need the stuff: work benches, computers, printers, etc.
Last year during December we ran a very low-key campaign to get patrons to think about donating to the library before the end of the year for tax purposes. And we raised some money!
This year, we're going to do the same thing. No arm-twisting. No pressure. Just letting you know the opportunity is there, and your gift will be a tax present for you.
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