Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Paris Hilton And The Butterflies From Atlantis #3: Fons Et Origo

At the Oak Lawn Public Library where
almost every rain makes the ceiling leak
and basement flood, they are clearing away
old books that aren’t checked out frequently.
The old books either are sold to raise funds—
hardbacks all are sold for fifty cents each—
or they simply are thrown away. The same
maintenance man who deals with the dead birds
in the driveway next to the library
once a week or so pushes a big bin
full of old books that nobody checks out
across the library’s west parking lot.
He empties the bin in the big dumpster
behind the senior center. This clears space
on the shelves for books more relevant to
today’s internet-savvy young patrons.

For instance, Jan Adkins’ “The Craft Of Sail
has been tossed. Or sold to raise fifty cents.
Adkins designed, wrote and illustrated
his loving primer on sailing himself.

With “The Craft Of Sail” out of the way, books
shift over a little bit and make room
for new titles, like, “Your iPod Life,” by
Dan Frakes, which has a lot of photographs
of accessories people can purchase
for their Apple iPod, along with brief
discussions of how the accessories
perform so consumers can make smart buys.

And, for instance, “The New Tower Of Babel,”
by Dietrich Von Hildebrand, has been tossed.
Or sold to raise a couple of quarters.
Hildebrand, a theologian, wrote that
the modern world’s conceptual conflicts
and confusions stem from Promethean
presumptions on the part of mankind and
share similarities with the classic
Judeo-Christian story of fracture
caused by the Babel tower incident.

With “The New Tower Of Babel” off the shelf,
books shift over a bit, making room for
new and more relevant titles, such as,
Godless: The Church Of Liberalism,”
by Ann Coulter, in which Coulter describes
atheism and evolution as
something like a religion supporting
Democrats as they fight Republicans.

Soon, a young person will ask someone old
what exactly the word “Atlantis” means.
The adult will laugh and tell the youngster
that “Atlantis” is a word that refers
to any kind of imaginary
existence—for instance, when writers dream
of a fantasy reality where
books could be written even if the books
had no explicit corporate sponsorship
and even if the authors did not have
explicit party affiliations.

(Tomorrow: Paris Hilton And The Butterflies
From Atlantis #4: Atlantis

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