Library Juice 7:15 - July 16, 2004


1. Links...
2. A New Perspective on Reference Weeding and CD
3. Support for National Geographic Society in Case Involving Public Access
4. Social Forum on Information, Documentation and Libraries
5. NEA - a lupine aroma (ALA Council Thread)
6. Burger King "Bill of Rights" - a document of neototalitarianism
7. Libwahians ah smaht peabow

Quote for the week:

"The people of every country are the only guardians of their own rights, and
are the only instruments which can be used for their destruction. And
certainly they would never consent to be so used were they not deceived.
To avoid this, they should be instructed to a certain degree. I have often
thought that nothing would do more extensive good at a small expense than
the establishment of a small circulating library in every country, to
consist of a few well-chosen books, to be lent to the people of the
country, under such regulations as would secure their safe return in due
time. These should be such as would give them a general view of other
history, and particular view of that of their own country, a tolerable
knowledge of Geography, the elements of Natural Philosophy, of Agriculture
and Mechanics." -Thomas Jefferson, 1809

Homepage of the week: James Stegall


1. Links...


the April 2004 Association of African Universities Accra Declaration on
GATS and the Internationalization of Higher Education in Africa July 2004

[ New on the GATS and Libraries web page - ]


Selected Intellectual Freedom Resolutions

Including two adopted by the ALA Council at the 2004 ALA Annual

A Resolution Against the Use of Torture as a Violation of the American
Library Association's Basic Values


Resolution on the Federal Communication Commission's New Policy on
Broadcast Indecency

both adopted on June 30, 2004.

[ sent to ALA Member Forum by Don Wood ]

Editor's note: According to Mark Rosenzweig, the mover of the Resolution
Against the Use of Torture, the version of the resolution published here
in the last issue was not the final version. The final version is
available at the link above.


Core Values Task Force II Report

This contains ALA's final, adopted Core Values Statement

[ sent to Member Forum by Don Wood ]


S.D. governor pulls plug on part of library Web site

[ sent to the PLG list by Tom Baxter ]


Terry Epperson's Guide to the USA PATRIOT Act in Libraries:

[ sent to the PLG list by Terry Epperson ]


The Plight of the Captive Auditor
Excerpt from a classic essay by Charles L. Black, Jr., from Columbia Law
Review, 166 (1953)
Reprinted in Stay Free! #16, Summer 1999


Karvonen, E. (ed.) (2001). Informational
Societies: Understanding the Third Industrial
Revolution. Tampere, Finland: Tampere University
Press. [Online].

[ sent to multiple lists by Zapopan Muela ]


Science must 'push copyright aside'
Richard Stallman,
founder of the GNU project
This article can be also read at:
Gay, Joshua. (ed.)(2002). Free Software, Free
Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman.
Boston, MA: Free Software Foundation, GNU Press, , p. 87-88.

[ sent to multiple lists by Zapopan Muela ]


The September Project ... linking 9/11 with local discussions of the
Bill of Rights....

[ sent to me by Jessica Albano ]


Librarians Against Bush

[ from Chris & Caroline Mavergames and Jen Cwiok, the site's authors ]


"Lost and Found Books"
Episode of PRI's radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge
Interviewed: Nicholas Basbanes discussing his latest book: "The Splendor of
Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World;" Nicholson Baker
on his collection of old newspapers; Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason on
"The Rule of Four;" Lev Grosman on "Codex;" and Walter Hamady, owner of
Perishable Press Limited, which prints fine limited edition books.
RealAudio of the program is available...

[ looked up after listing to the show on KALW ]


The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity has
received a $928,142 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library
Services (IMLS).

[ sent by Gretchen Whitney to the JESSE list ]


Kate Monk's Onomastikon (Dictionary of Names)

[ sent to me by Jeanne Schramm ]

2. A New Perspective on Reference Weeding and CD

In some libraries, the reference collection is hurting. Reference
stats are down, and so is the budget for reference collection
development. The usefulness and the convenience of the internet for
answering many reference questions is the most easily identifiable
reason, as much decent information for reference purposes is available
on the web - more every year. As a result some libraries are heavily
weeding their reference collections and coping with a dryer funding
situation for refreshing them.

But in weeding and collecting, many librarians are behaving almost as
if the internet didn't exist. What I mean is, the convenience of the
web as a resource for the more commonly sought-out information isn't
changing their priorities in weeding and collection development - they
are still following the criteria they have always used. A new, major
factor has emerged that ought to be taken into account and weighed
heavily: is the information in this reference book already freely
available on the web in an adequately authoritative and accessible
form, or not?

Taking this factor into account adequately should have an interesting
affect on reference collections, which is that books containing
compilations of more obscure information, unavailable on the web,
would be retained (when they would otherwise be discarded because of
age, though still useful, or lack of demand) or acquired (when they
would othewise be passed up due to expense and specialization). The
result could be much more powerful reference collections in the same

That we still aren't collecting and weeding according to this idea to
a great extent probably represents a slowness in accepting the web as
a reliable reference tool. Are the resources at, for
instance, going to stay where they are and remain free? The answer
seems uncertain. But even if in five years time access to resources
like that begins to be restricted to subscribers, that access can be
included in the collection development budget in order to save shelf

Accepting the web as a reference tool doesn't mean switching to the
web so much as it means freeing up shelf space for the kind of
reference works whose compiled information will never be available on
the web, effectively deepening our resources as reference librarians.
In this sense the web and print can be seen as resources in
cooperation, not in competition.

3. Support for National Geographic Society in Case Involving Public Access

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 10:41:47 -0400
From: Judith Matz <judith[at]>
Reply-To: Activities and Programs of ARL <ARL-ANNOUNCE[at]>
Subject: [ARL-ANNOUNCE] Library and Archives Associations Support the
National Geographic Society in Case Involving Public Access

Library and Archives Associations Support the National Geographic
Society in New York Court in Support of Public Access

Washington, DC, June 28, 2004--Six library and archives associations
today filed an amicus curiae brief in Faulkner v. National Geographic
Society, a case that has major implications for projects that involve
retrospective digitization of print versions of scholarly materials and
the public's access to those materials. In the brief, the American
Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA),
Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Medical Library Association
(MLA), Society of American Archivists (SAA), and Special Libraries
Association (SLA) state that "the decision will...have profound
consequences for the library andarchival communities and those who use
collective works."

At stake in the case is whether publishers of collective works and
others who may choose to legitimately digitize them can re-publish those
works in a digital format without seeking permission of authors or other
contributors. Several freelance photographers, as well as some writers,
sued the National Geographic Society (NGS) for copyright infringement
because some of their works are included in a CD-ROM produced by the NGS.

The CD-ROM contains photo-scanned images of the entire print version of
the National Geographic magazine from 1888 to 1996 in a searchable
format. A lower court found that the publication on CD-ROM is
permissible under the Copyright Act. The library and archives
associations are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
to affirm that decision.

The associations filed the amicus brief due to their concern that a
reversal of the lower court decision would thwart efforts to digitize
selected library collections, thus reducing access to these important
resources by the public. The associations support the decision by Judge
Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
that the Copyright Act permits the NGS to reproduce and distribute,
through the CD-ROM compilation, the copyrighted materials that appeared
in the original issues of the magazine. Judge Kaplan found that as long
as digital versions place photographs and articles in the same context
as the print original, there is no infringement of copyright. Thus the
District Court determined that the fact that articles and photographs
appear in a new medium makes no difference to the case.

Faulkner v. National Geographic Society differs considerably from New
York Times v. Tasini, in which the Supreme Court affirmed the copyright
privileges of freelance writers whose works were originally published in
newspapers and periodicals and then licensed by the publishers to
commercial electronic databases. The associations believe the Copyright
Act permits publishers, libraries, archives, and the public to take
advantage of new technologies to preserve and distribute creative works
to the public if no changes are made to the original work once
republished in a different format.


The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is a nonprofit
educational organization with 5,000 members dedicated to providing
leadership and advocacy in the field of legal information and
information policy. Contact: Robert Oakley (202-662-9160)

The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit educational
organization of over 64,000 librarians, library trustees, and other
friends of libraries dedicated to improving library services and
promoting the public interest in a free and open information society.
Contact: Miriam Nisbet (202-628-8410)

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization
of 123 research libraries in North America. ARL programs and services
promote equitable access to and effective use of recorded knowledge in
support of teaching, research, scholarship, and community service.
Contact: Prudence Adler (202-296-2296)

The Medical Library Association (MLA) is a nonprofit, educational
organization of more than 900 institutions and 3,800 individual members
in the health sciences information field. Contact: Carla Funk
(312-419-9094 x 14)

The Society of American Archivists provides services to and represents
the professional interests of more than 3,800 individual archivists and
institutions as they work to identify, preserve, and ensure access to
the nation's historic record. Contact: Nancy Beaumont (312- 922-0140)

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit organization for
information professionals and their strategic partners, and serves more
than 12,000 members in the information profession, including corporate,
academic and government information specialists. Contact: Doug Newcomb

Judith Matz
Communications Officer
Association of Research Libraries
21 Dupont Circle, NW #800
Washington, DC 20036-1118
Phone 202-296-2296
Fax 202-872-0884

4. Social Forum on Information, Documentation and Libraries

Readers... In the last issue I provided a link to information about
this conference in Argentina. I've decided to use considerable space
in the current issue to highlight it and to try to bring greater attention
to it, as it is an important meeting. I think we might have a lot to
learn from the proceedings, both in terms of the ideas exchanged there
and possibly as a model for activities in North America.


Social Forum on Information, Documentation and Libraries

* August 2004 *

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The First Forum of Information, Documentation and Libraries will be held in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, on August 26-28, and it's a proposal from the
Grupo de Estudios Sociales Bibliotecológicos y de Documentación (Argentina)
-  Social Studies Group in Librarianship and Documentation  and  Círculo de
Estudios sobre Bibliotecología Política y Social (México) - Study Circle on
Political and Social Librarianship
Every act of production, socialization and preservation of information
constitutes an act of identity and social responsibility for societies,
especially for the professionals related to them.  
However, the immobility and exclusion of sociopolitical issues from the
agendas of library associations at both the local level as well as
international have not allowed the creation of new proposals and the
reproduction of the world's recent social transformations within our
Este Foro surge como una forma de integración inicial para elaborar un
conjunto de actividades profesionales, desarrollar y ofertar productos, e
impulsar iniciativas concebidas como mecanismos de transformación social y
mejora política.

This Forum is a first attempt to create professional activities, develop and
offer products, and promote initiatives conceived as mechanisms of social
transformation and improving politics, as well as to improve politics.
El evento es libre y gratuito  
This Forum is free

1. Promover el desarrollo de marcos teóricos y técnicos centrados en las
problemáticas y contextos sociales de los servicios documentales y de
información, en particular en Latinoamérica y el Caribe.
To promote the development of theoretical frameworks to analyze problems in
the social context of document and information services, especially those
in Latin America and the Caribbean.
2. Apoyar y difundir experiencias y modalidades de resolución originales
relacionadas con la circulación, preservación, producción y acceso a los
bienes culturales informativos (impresos o electrónicos) en/desde
Latinoamérica y el Caribe.
To support and disseminate experiences and original types of resolution in
the areas of circulation, preservation, production and access to the
informative cultural wealth - in either electronic or print formats -
in/from Latin America and the Caribbean.
3. Intercambiar ideas, planteamientos teóricos, experiencias, metodologías y
productos que permitan desarrollar nuevas estrategias regionales para el
desarrollo de servicios documentales y de información en el contexto de la
globalización (sociedad del conocimiento, sociedad de la información).
To exchange ideas, theoretical approaches, experiences, methodologies, and
products that allow the development of new regional strategies for the
development of document and information services within the context of
globalization (Knowledge-based society, Information Society.)
4. Establecer las bases para la consolidación de una red continental
orientada a la construcción de un espacio de discusión permanente dedicado
a la bibliotecología y las ciencias de la información desde las
perspectivas social, política y humanística.
To establish the basis for the consolidation of a continental network
directed towards the development of a place dedicated to the permanent
discussion of political, social and humanistic librarianship.
5. Definir estrategias políticas y sociales para el sector (bibliotecario,
documental e informativo), tendientes a garantizar relaciones culturales
libres, igualitarias y plurales entre los pueblos, preservando su derecho a
la autodeterminación y al desarrollo autogestivo.
To define social and political strategies for the profession that guarantee
free and egalitarian social relationships among people, respecting their
right to self-determination.

6. Promover la solidaridad internacional entre los trabajadores de la
información documental y la cooperación entre las bibliotecas basándose en
la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos y los convenios
relacionados orientados al desarrollo de un marco democrático para la
construcción de esfuerzos cooperativos.
To support international solidarity among all kinds of information workers
and cooperation among libraries based on the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and related agreements directed towards the development of a
democratic framework for the construction of cooperative efforts.  
7. Estimular la participación crítica y creativa en la solución de problemas
y en el desarrollo de propuestas teóricas y de orden práctico para la
creación, mejora, consolidación y actualización de desarrollos
bibliotecarios y documentales.

To encourage critical and innovative participation in the solution of
problems and in the development of theoretical proposals for the creation,
improvement, consolidation and updating of library development.
8 Constituir un foro permanente con el objeto de realizar una convocatoria
para una reunión preparatoria de una Cumbre Social Mundial de la
Información y el Conocimiento.
To set up a permanent forum for the creation of a Information and Knowledge
World Social Summit  

Ejes Temáticos
The themes of the First Social Forum of Information, Documentation and
Libraries will be those related to the social, political and economic
perspectives of libraries and information studies.  They are divided into
six categories:
Políticas públicas de información.  
Características, programas alternativos
Acuerdos internacionales
Estrategias de acción
Information Public Policies
Characteristics, Alternative programs
International agreements
Action strategies
Procesamiento, circulación y producción de información
Análisis de normas internacionales en el intercambio de información
Sistemas de catalogación y clasificación
Derechos de autor
Cooperación interbibliotecaria
Processing, circulation and information production
Analysis of international rules for information exchange
Cataloging and classification systems
Interlibrary cooperation
Servicios documentales y de información
Modelos de gestión bibliotecaria  

Document and information services
Library administration models
Derechos humanos y libertad de acceso a la información
Conocimiento nuevo  
Perspectivas éticas
Perspectivas de género
Derecho a la información  
Usuarios y ciudadanía
Minorías sociales
Human rights and freedom of access to information
New knowledge
Ethical perspectives
Gender issues
Right to information
Users and citizenship
Social minorities

El (por)venir de la bibliotecología
El quehacer bibliotecario
Análisis de planes de estudio en las carreras técnicas y profesionales
La formación profesional y la enseñanza de perspectivas sociopolíticas
La dimensión social de la información en la formación profesional
Análisis y reflexión acerca de los discursos académicos y científicos
Implicaciones éticas en la gestión documental y de la información
La investigación interdisciplinaria y multidisciplinaria en el ámbito
La circulación de la información en las instituciones y entidades
Future of Librarianship
Library practice
Analysis of syllabi in library schools
Professional formation and education from the socio-political perspective
Social dimension of information in professional formation
Analysis and thoughts about leading academic and scientific speeches
Ethical implications of library administration
Interdisciplinary / multidisciplinary research in librarianship
Circulation of information in institutions
Responsabilidad social y política del profesional de la información
Responsabilidad social
Sindicalismo, salarios y equidad
Marco legal y conflictos gremiales
Los bibliotecarios frente a los nuevos modelos de control
Social and political responsibility of information professionals
Social responsibility
Labor unions, salaries and equity
Legal framework and union conflicts
Librarians and new control models

Any suggestions, comments or questions, should be sent to the The Organizing
Committee at:


Grupo de Estudios Sociales Bibliotecológicos y de Documentación (Argentina)

Circulo de Estudios sobre Bibliotecología Política y Social (México)
  HYPERLINK "mailto:cebimx[at]" # cebimx[at]

-- Editor's note: The forum planners have provided a means for including
papers submitted by librarians and scholars who can't attend the conference.
All papers submitted will become a part of the permanent documentation of
the forum.

5. NEA - a lupine aroma (ALA Council Thread)

[ALACOUN:12521] NEA--a lupine aroma
Date: Saturday 06:38:28 pm
From: Michael Gorman <michaelg[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
CC: acreuland[at]
Reply to: michaelg[at]

Dear Colleagues

I think the NEA is crying "wolf!" in its report on reading
( (In politics today
the parallel term is "crying Wolfowitz"--i.e., summoning imaginary threats
and crises.)

The essential point is that they have found a decline in literary reading,
not in reading as such. As Carol Brey has pointed out, reading and
literary reading are not the same thing. Many best sellers (good, bad, and
ugly) are not, and do not pretend to be, literature (they are what we used
to call "non-fiction"). Equally important is the fact that that not all
"literature" (defined by the NEA as novels, short stories, poetry, and
plays) is literature. Whoever said "there are thousands of poets and
hundreds of poetry readers" decades ago was right then and is right now.
Reading plays is a specialized taste and has never been a mass
entertainment. That leaves us with novels, novellas, and short stories.

I read a lot of thrillers but would never claim that such activity is
intellectually superior to seeing a good movie. I also read the New
Yorker but rarely New Yorker short stories. This may be an aesthetic and
moral failing, but I cannot see why reading Anthony Lane, Roger Angell,
Calvin Trillin, etc., is not as worthwhile an activity as reading some
precious fiction feuilleton. There is no data in the report to show a
decline of reading or a decline in the quality of what is read. In the
1920s and 1930s there were numerous magazines that paid (well) for short
fiction for which there was then a huge market. That market moved first to
radio and then, en masse, to television. Does that tell us anything about
the culture other than the fact that the mass of of people will seek their
entertainment and story telling in the medium of the moment?

Sorry for the length of this and apologies to those who think that this kind
of thing isn't what ALA is about, though I do believe that reading and
literacy are central to ALA just as they were long before we had computers
in the library.

Best wishes, Michael
Michael Gorman
Madden Library, CSU, Fresno
(559) 278-2403
"The best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost"

[ALACOUN:12522] Re: NEA--a lupine aroma
Date: Saturday 06:56:23 pm
From: Backwage[at]
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
CC: acreuland[at]
Reply to: Backwage[at]

Dear Michael and other Friends,

If you or anybody else can explain the short stories in the New Yorker I'd
be happy to listen. I quit understanding them about the time Harold Ross
departed. For that matter, I always turn to the cartoons first.

Of course there is such a thing as better literature, and librarians should
know a fine novel from a weak one. Behind the reluctance to recommend
(excused as neutrality in service) there is often simply an empty space
where the books ought to be.

And believe me, if I weren't such a pest about sticking to library-related
business in Council I'd shout a diatribe in support of librarians reviewing
books-- but you can wait and read that in a future issue of Public

M. McGrorty

[ALACOUN:12523] RE: NEA--a lupine aroma
Date: Saturday 08:34:12 pm
From: "K.G. Schneider" <kgs[at]> (Usually Good)
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
CC: <acreuland[at]>
Reply to: <kgs[at]>

Reading plays is a specialized taste and has never been a mass
entertainment. That leaves us with novels, novellas, and short stories.

And nonfiction, which is such a terrible and over-general word for a genre
that stretches from Seabiscuit to histories of the civil rights era.


I read a lot of thrillers but would never claim that such activity is
intellectually superior to seeing a good movie. I also read the New
Yorker but rarely New Yorker short stories.

The best magazine writing, far better than a lot of "literary" fiction, is
found in Atlantic and Vanity Fair. Although the New Yorker actually had some
readable fiction this year. For that matter, I consider a Sunday well-spent
when I can read the entire NY Times. Where is magazine and newspaper reading
reflected in this "study?"

Sorry for the length of this and apologies to those who think that this kind
of thing isn't what ALA is about, though I do believe that reading and
literacy are central to ALA just as they were long before we had computers
in the library.
Best wishes, Michael

Of course it is what ALA is about! Note that I don't see any conflict
between computers and reading. Every day I read articles from many major
newspapers via the Internet, and I am listening to the latest David Sedaris
on my PDA as an download. My desk is scattered with books I
bought through Amazon or other online shops. Plus it is through computers
that I know what libraries in my area have (or more often than not these
days, alas, do not have) the books I want to read.

Karen G. Schneider

[ALACOUN:12525] Re: NEA--a lupine aroma
Date: Sunday 08:15:28 pm
From: "Margaret Oettinger" <MOettinger[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
CC: <acreuland[at]>
Reply to: MOettinger[at]


Years ago when I was working in a grade school, we instituted the Sustained
Silent Reading program throughout the school. The rules were that everyone
in the building was supposed to stop anything else they were doing during
this time period (15 minutes daily on a rotating schedule) and read. There
were no restrictions on what could be read, only that everyone (students,
faculty, all staff - including aides, custodians and cafeteria workers -
and even visitors) were supposed to read during this time. The objective
was to get people to read .... and it worked! After a couple of weeks on
the program, we began getting grumbles when the time was up. Was everyone
reading "literature" as defined by NEA? Most certainly not! Did we see an
increase in circulation in the school library as a result of this program?
Most certainly yes! We saw an increase in both fiction and nonfiction and
we saw kids that started out bringing their favorite comic book begin
branching out to books of all types. I really believe that the important
thing is to get people reading and to keep them reading. After all, you
need to be able to read to use Al Gore's wonderful invention .... the


M. A. Oettinger

[ALACOUN:12547] RE: NEA--a lupine aroma
Date: Yesterday 02:18:34 pm
From: "Nann Blaine Hilyard" <nbhilyard[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
CC: "PUBLIB" <plib2[at]>
Reply to: nbhilyard[at]

What I read in the NEA report is that there is a high correlation
between serious readers (the "literary" ones) and educational
attainment, civic engagement, and cultural/arts attendance. We, and the
NEA, probably knew that already, but sometimes it's helpful to have
statistics to prove it.

I don't think the report adequately defined "literary" -- I think of the
public library where I worked 20 years ago. My predecessor's legacy was
reclassifying the collection from Dewey to LC (which was among several
reasons he no longer worked there). His decision about "literary"
fiction mean that Pearl Buck was in the PZs while James Michener was in

At ALA/Orlando I went to an excellent program about "narrative
nonfiction," a newly-identified genre whose premise is that "a true
story, well-told, can be as compelling as fiction." (The guest author
was Owen Gingrich, who wrote _The Book Nobody Read_. Other examples
cited: _Longtitude_ and _Galileo's Daughter_.) Evidently this genre
doesn't count in the NEA survey.

The report led me to look up a couple of articles that LJ published in
the 80's and 90's -- the 1880's and 1890's, that is. W.M. Stevenson
(first librarian of the Carnegie Free Library in Allegheny, PA, wrote
about fiction in March, 1897. "Dr. Poole says [in Public Libraries in
the United States], 'One of the primary oobjects of a public library is
to furnish reading for all classes in the community, and reading which
shall be adapted to their various capacities. The masses of the public
have very little of literary culture, and it is the purpose of a public
library to develop it by creating in them a habit of reading. As a rule
people read books of a higher intellectual and moral standard than their
own, and hence are benefited by reading. As their tastes improve they
read better books. Books which are not adapted to their intellectual
capacity they will nto read. To meet, therefore, the varied wants of
readers there must be on the shelves of the library certain books which
people of culture will never read, although it is quite probable that
they did read such books in some stage of their mental development."

Stevenson adds, "The theory that the character of a community is
indicated by the percentage of fiction circulated from the public
library does not seem to be well-founded....Salem is the oldest
settlement in a town of noble traditions in lterature
and science, and yet the percentage of fiction circulated from the
public library last year was 84.62 per cent. and the Boston Public
Library prints no fiction percentage in its last report, leaving one to
infer that it is too high to be a credit to that institution."

He concludes, "No doubt that the same causes that have produced
democracy and are now tending ever more and more to expand it, tend also
to a constant lowering of the standard reading and with the march of
democracy the fiction percentage in public libraries, unless checked
will grow still larger year by year."

who is an omnivorous reader (though not of plays, Mr. NEA, and not much
and who got all the fiction in that library back to "Fic" where it still
is (I presume)

6. Burger King "Bill of Rights" - a document of neototalitarianism

Brad Blum, CEO of Burger King and a true enemy of democracy, has published a
cornerstone document of neototalitarianism entitled the "Burger King Bill
of Rights" and placed it under burgers and fries on meal trays. As is
ideal for a document underpinning neototalitarianism, it is ephemeral,
nearly impossible for a citizen to cite, and nearly impossible to approach
with the seriousness it warrants. I will republish it here. I justify
this violation of copyright law on the basis that it is in the public
interest to have free access to the documents on which our society truly is
based and is governed. I will reproduce this document once and then offer
an analysis.


"You have the right to things your way. You have the right to hold the
pickles and hold the lettuce. You have the right to mix COKE(R) with
SPRITE(R). You have the right to a WHOPPER(R) sandwich with extra tomato,
extra onion and triple cheese. You have the right to that big meal sleepy
feeling when you're finished. You have the right to put a paper crown on
your head and pretend you're the ruler of [your make believe kingdom here].
You have the right to have chicken fire grilled or fried. You have the
right to dip your fries in ketchup, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce or mustard. Or
not. You have the right to laugh until soda explodes from your nose. You
have the right to stand up and fight for what you believe in. You have the
right to sit down and do nothing. You have the right to eat a hot and
juicy fire-grilled burger prepared just the way you like. You have the
right to crumple this Bill of Rights into a ball and shoot hoops with it."

The central thing to understand about this document is that it has two
levels. The surface level is the humorous jouissance that attracts
consumers to be unserious, to laugh off the heavy responsibility of
citizenship in society and enjoy what they really want - a juicy burger.
This level represents the attraction of "Freedom," which in neototalitarian
society does not mean freedom of speech, freedom of travel, freedom of
thought, or freedom from surveillance, let alone freedom from want. What
Freedom means in neototalitarian society is freedom of (advertising-driven)
menu choice, and above all, freedom from the responsibilities of

If you study this document carefully you will see that it is more than a
joke. At the deeper level it is a cold announcement, from the seat of
corporate power, of the limitation of our rights and freedoms in consumer
society. It is an assertion that our rights do not really go beyond what
defines us as consumers. As American citizens, the right to "hold the
pickles and hold the lettuce" and "mix coke and sprite," which Americans
gleefully accept as the pursuit of happiness are here asserted to be the
only kind of rights we really have. What we thought was our real
Constitution, establishing our self-government, is a childish paper-crown
fantasy of kingship. We do have the right to crumple it into a ball and
throw it in the trash, which the complexity of a society that offers us
such a path to regression naturally tempts us to do. Do we have the right
to stand up and fight for what we believe in? Yes, but under
neototalitarianism it is no different from sitting down and doing nothing,
because media systems have so isolated us from one another that protest is
rendered useless. So, we might as well dip our fries in mayonnaise and eat
them with the jouissance supplied to us by the grand con artist/oligarch,
CEO Brad Blum, and look upon our world with a sleepy feeling.

Laugh it up, customers. The joke is on you.

Rory Litwin

7. Libwahians ah smaht peabow

I had an experience a few weeks ago that still has me scratching my head.

I was spending the day working at the public library in Fair Oaks (on
call), and it was my lunch/dinner break. I was walking across the
parking lot to go to a nearby food place, and I was approaching the
last car in the lot, far away from all the others, a late model Lexus,
very nice. As I was walking by it, a man approached me. He had a
funny walk and a funny look on his face. He seemed, well, simple.

He spoke to me in the distinctive speech pattern of the developmentally
disabled, saying, "Ah you a libwahia?" I smiled at him somewhat
patronizingly and said, "Yes, I am." He said, "Libwahiahs ah smaht peabow.
They ree ah." I smiled and thanked him, and he took a set of keys out of
his pocket. He repeated himself, "Libwahiahs ah vey smaht."

And then he got in the Lexus and drove away.

My thinking on this odd scene is that he was a wealthy guy with a
sense of humor and some acting ability, and maybe that he thinks
librarians take themselves too seriously. Anyway, it made my week and
I wanted to share.

-Rory Litwin

L I B R A R Y   J U I C E

ISSN 1544-9378

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