Thursday, August 21, 2014


I wasn’t born with a book in my hand or a library card in my pocket, but it was close. I don’t remember when I got my first library card. Oakridge had a nice little library and the high school library wasn’t bad either. And I don't remember anybody trying to ban any of the books in it.

We had a six foot, three shelf book case that my folks proceeded to fill with Reader’s Digest Condensed books and National Geographics. We still take the Geographic. We started in 1956 and we have ALL of them. Grandma had this huge book case. Her sister was a missionary in India and she had several books about the Far East. Inhaled them. Hey I probably would never go there so it was the next best thing. Even if they were written along the lines of the Great White Father brings civilization to the ignorant natives. Heck they were thirty years old by the time I got my hands on them. A set of 1952 World Books. They’re in a box upstairs. And probably still a decen reference for anything before say, 1940.

Mom and dad may have been puzzled at some of the books I brought home. If they even worried about checking. Saw Ben Hur when it came out. Promptly checked out the book from the library. Probably wouldn’t have the patience to read it now. The Time Life books series came out. Library stocked them all. I read them all. Now that I think about it the only genre I didn’t read were romances. Boring, boring, boring.
Checked out a book from the school library about the KKK. My little Methodist soul took a beating when they got the region by region run down about the Klan in the twenties. Turns out the Methodists in parts of Oregon were big Klan supporters. It’s not like there were very many African Americans to persecute at the time, so they ragged on the Catholics.

Stumbled across Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when I was freshman. Which lead to reading everything about the Nuremberg trials that I could find. The folks never tried to stop me, but looking back fourteen might have been a little young to discover just how inhuman human beings can be. I think I was a sophomore at the U of O when I realized that the Nazi’s weren’t unique, just very, very, mind bogglingly efficient.

In college it was South Africa and apartheid. What do you mean we're supporting these assholes?
And all those threads are leading me to a very scary set of suspicions. We joke a little or a lot about the “news” on Fox. But the steady drumbeat that demonizes and denigrates minorities and anyone with politics to the left of the worst Tea Party member or Louie Gohmert makes me wonder if the ideas of Joseph Goebbles on propaganda were on Murdock’s reading list.

Well, this entry didn’t end up where I thought it would. That doesn’t surprise me.

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