a visit to the library


Welcome readers.

It was with great pride and humility that I accepted the offer to contribute to this outstanding organ. At last, thought I, a chance for intercourse with fellow dilettante intellectuals and the possibility for a little culture to percolate through this morass of philistine, illiterate putrefaction. Poetry and literature, these can be classed among the greatest of sentient homo-sapiens developments from the humble savage.

What to do next? Well, it’s off up to the library to swot up on my (already ample) knowledge of the finer arts. Perhaps the chance to get some copies of treasured poems including the works of my particular favourite poet Ernest Dowson. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae and all that (trouble with Dowson is his Latin titles are often longer than his poems).

So it’s up to the newly opened local library I pop. Big mistake. Has anyone been to one of these awful rat holes these days? Almost devoid of books, apparently the only way to access the required information is to join row upon row of morons plugged into computers and gawping at monitor screens.

Time was when you could meditate over a good book in Carthusian silence and perhaps have a crafty letch at one of the librarians (there was a rather tasty looking piece at Nelson library I seem to remember). No chance these days. The usual one is sat next to some spotty nerd with earphones out of which is emitted scratchy (c)rap music at 90 decibels. Lots of arguments with them, none of whom seem to be reading anything which smacks of literature. It’s usually conversations on Facebook (omg), having such witty (lol) interactions with vacuous chums in cyberspace. But they’re not the worst. Some of the old seniles are worse; holding conversations with some other deaf old git sat 3 or 4 computers away at the top of their voice. I ask you, they should know better at their age.

Then there’s the mobile phones! What more do I have to say. Nobody seems to do anything about it. Women droning on to some dreary mate about their marital/boyfriend problems, conversations from spouses in the supermarket asking what to add to the shopping basket – the world’s gone mad! The librarians are no better, shouting across the room at one another as to which section Jordan’s autobiography should go in – Science Fiction if you ask me – there’s not much about her that is real and that’s for sure.

Then there’s the kids - aaaaaaargh! Revolting Callums and Chelseas scooting across the floor doing train impressions or just moaning. Every now and then some dowdy slapper screams out at them to “be’ave yer bloody self” but otherwise nothing gets done, in fact, just the opposite. I swear one Monday I was in there and the librarian is sitting with a load of the little bleeders singing ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’. The next Monday it was Baa Baa bleedin black sheep! This has to stop. Still it could be worse, they could pay to have Lady bleedin Gaga in concert so as to attract the yoof into the library experience.

Oh for the tranquil days of yore, those “happy highways where we met and cannot come again”.

Not to grumble though.



Nils Corundum


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