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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Time Event
11:24p
11:31p
11:40p
"I get a little bit closer to feeling fine"
The Affirmative Action Report is gonna be the bane of my existence.  And Nicole's going to California to be in a wedding, so I'll have to help more than usual with Monday's class (a six-way in-class negotiation).  And there's other (non-work) stuff (I'm fine, don't worry).  I would like an easy life (though I feel lame complaining as plenty of people's lives are *actually* hard/er).

Plan to make myself feel better: gym, comics, junk food, porn.

I did a half hour on the elliptical (interval program) and then a half hour on the rowing machine.  As I was finishing up on the elliptical, NBC news had this thing about "porn in public places."  It was about how easy it is for your kids to access Internet porn at public libraries.  It kinda made me seethe.  They opened it saying that there's inexpensive filter software, and I was immediately worried that they would be all "Why don't libraries use them?" but they finished the sentence by saying that they don't always work, and then they said that librarians also say the software often blocks legitimate information sites -- breast cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.  However, the segment was still all about how easy it is for people to access porn on library computers, complete with examples of URLs they pulled up from the Address bar drop-down (how many people you think immediately pulled up those URLs on their own computers?).  They said that lots of libraries have posted policies saying viewing porn on library computers is against the rules and that if they see someone doing it they kick them out (they even mentioned an incident of catching a sex offender, which totally made me think of the various notices we have posted at circulation in MML with photos of people who are sex offenders or have been banned from area libraries) but one librarian said you can't watch everybody, especially when it gets busy.  There was also mention (I think more with the porn-blocker software) of the fact that "What about free speech?" is also a concern that gets raised.

I think it's hugely important for libraries to be safe places for people to explore (the example of questioning/closeted teens with homophobic parents using the library to find information is always the first example to leap to mind), and while I understand the arguments against porn generally, I don't think it's such a huge deal for teens to be able to access it online.  (And my understanding of how the porn industry is able to remain an *industry* is that you have to pay for most of it, and if you trust your kid enough that they have a credit card whose monthly statement you don't see, well then.  I had my own bank account from the time I was I think 14, though BoA didn't turn ATM cards into debit cards until the spring before my junior year of college.)  I would feel super weird looking at porn on a public computer, but I definitely got some erotica books via ILL.  I felt a little weird about that, since the little old ladies who work circulation have known me since I was an infant, but you do what you gotta do.  (And MML had a privacy policy such that we wouldn't disclose the titles of ILL books when we phoned someone to tell them their book was in unless we were actually talking to the requestor -- so if you were ILL-ing Divorce for Dummies or whatever, your spouse didn't have to know.  Not that I would have cared all that much if my parents knew what I was getting from the library.)  I am such a big endorser of people having lots of information, and I think if you raise your kids well they'll be fine.

A friend of mine lent me a porn DVD, and I started watching it tonight, and I was critting it and was also just so bored.  I recall this from when Les' boyfriend brought porn, too.  I get why the porn industry is so successful, but when I actually encounter it I just find it so un-erotic for the most part.  (I know, I know, I am no one's target audience.)

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