Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thinking mouse noticing glass walls. Or: If you're pressed for time, skip down to the poem.

I checked out several books the other day from the library and realized there were about 10 Christian books. When I used to go regularly, I always found a few shelves full: Books on the different Protestant denominations, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and cults, along with several versions of the Bible. Friday I find 1/2 shelf. Either people are clamoring to learn about the Bible, or the library has eliminated some very good literature...I have to say I was disturbed not to find a single book by C.S. Lewis. I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but...are they trying to brainwash the students who use the library for research? I'm sure there is a lot of nice "dangerous" literature still hiding in the library, but the overtly uplifting seem to have been sifted out.

And I think it would be easier to interpret a page of Greek that is was to find classic books in that place. What if I don't want to know Henry Q. Bosworth's interpretation of John Locke's Second Treatise of Government? What if I want to read more than two textbook quotes from Euclid's Elements?

Anybody else go to the library and then feel like they need to open one of their own so that people to get a fair chance at learning?

Anyway...I found this: Ogden Nash's There's Always Another Windmill. I read it. And guess what. I felt I would have gotten many more of the jokes and puns in his poetry if I had studied the Great Books as he had. It keeps coming back to this.

Here's a nice little (understandable) example of what I perused last night:

Experiment Degustatory

A gourmet challenged me to eat
A tiny bit of rattlesnake meat,
Remarking, "Don't look horror-stricken.
You'll find it tastes a lot like chicken."
It did.
Now chicken I cannot eat,
Because it tastes like rattlesnake meat.

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