Marriage is love.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

These New Times are Old

Why do you think people feels emboldened these days to act like we are living in Berlin, Germany, circa 1939?

"El Segundo Finds Authors Too Un-American for Its Library

Authors Agatha Christie and Jack London will not be honored by having their names on two new reading rooms at the El Segundo (Calif.) Public Library, thanks to the city council’s rejection of the library’s choices. At a March 15 meeting, council members objected to Agatha Christie because she was British and to native Californian Jack London because he was a socialist at one time.

“I’m a great fan of Agatha Christie. Murder mystery novels is what I read. But she’s a British citizen,” Councilman John Gaines said in the March 18 Los Angeles Times. “And I’m also a great fan of Jack London. I read all his books as a kid. But quite frankly, he was a world-renowned communist.”

The two authors had been proposed for naming two small reading rooms recently constructed with a $321,000 city grant. Library Director Debra Brighton said she was surprised by the council’s rejection, adding that the names were endorsed by library staff, trustees, and Friends who had chosen them from a list of 25 that included Jane Austen, Pearl Buck, and Ernest Hemingway. She noted that London had denounced socialism “in the latter part of his years,” and that Christie’s books have been “only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare.”

Councilman Jim Boulgarides said the city’s objection was “silly” and advised Brighton to run background checks the next time. “My colleagues decided we needed a political and nationality litmus test,” he said in the March 18 Torrance Daily Breeze. “I didn’t think that was necessary.”

The still-to-be-named rooms are scheduled for dedication March 25."