Public Libraries: Why?

The Burning of the Library of Alexandria in 48 BC

The Burning of the Library of Alexandria in 48 BC

Once upon a time in America, libraries had a limited place in our society. During the days before the internet, the library was one of the only places you could freely access newspapers and magazines to read about sports. While works of fiction have always been laughably useless, I’ll concede that a select number of nonfiction books like Friday Night Lights and the Declaration of Independence should be required reading materials for any patriotic American.

But when Bill Gates created the internet in the mid-‘90s, the library went the way of elevator operators and the horse-drawn carriage. Hell, the internet arguably mooted the need for education altogether. I can literally do anything on the internet. If for some godforsaken reason I wanted to learn about the Ottoman Empire that America single-handedly ended in World War I, I plug the term into Wikipedia and learn everything I need to know in five minutes. Chemistry? Google it. English? Doesn’t matter now that we have spell check. Poetry? Never mattered to begin with. Physics? Not real, but still, you can go to physics.com if that’s your thing. Politics? Virtually every publication has an online comments section where you can become fully informed. Math? Your computer has a calculator. Need to read a book for class? Go to sparknotes.com or, if you need to write a paper, purchase a paper from an online bank.

The internet left an impressive trail of destruction in its wake. Movie rental stores, hard-copy encyclopedias, and waterbeds all have virtually disappeared from the American landscape over the last two decades (although I’m doing everything in my power to revive the later two). If these great institutions couldn’t compete with the internet, how could libraries? You’d think they would have been at the top of the trash heap. Libraries smell weird, they use some decimal system that doesn’t make any fucking sense, they are always infested with losers who have no hope of ever lettering in anything, and let’s face it—everyone hates librarians. Even Leslie Knope hated librarians, and she liked everyone.

And yet, libraries live on. Granted, they have largely become dens for those seeking free access to online adult content, but nonetheless, they remain. Private libraries I can begrudgingly stomach because if some rich asshole wants to finance stupidity, he or she is free to do so. That’s why we fought the Revolutionary War.

Public libraries are a different matter. Your hard-earned tax dollars are being used to ensure that the shelf of your public library is adorned with dusty copies of Lord of the Flies and A Tale of Two Cities that no one has checked out since the Reagan Administration (and understandably so—those books blow). Libraries are also occupying thousands of acres of prime real estate across the country. But that’s all about to change.   

As most of you know, I have declared my candidacy for president in 2020 as the nominee of the newly-formed Lettermen Party. If elected president, I promise to end the American public library system once and for all and return America’s focus to the backbone of our great nation—youth football. We will accomplish this through the greatest public works project since the New Deal. I am calling it the Library Destruction Program (LDP). The LDP will put every wrecking ball and piece of heavy machinery in this country to work razing public libraries to the ground and erecting glorious, state-of-the-art weight rooms or football fields in their place. After-school literacy programs will be replaced with after-school weight training programs where kids can work on their power clean technique and improve their bench and squat max. Instead of sitting around looking at a book about the Cold War, kids will get to actively re-live it by hitting a “Red Square” blocking sled with faces of Stalin, Brezhnev, Khrushchev, Ceausescu, and Putin superimposed on it. Reading circles will be replaced the greatest circle of all—Bull in the Ring.

This is what America was always meant to be. It’s what our Founding Fathers envisioned. The time has come to make that vision a reality, and I’m the only person who can do it.

Just remember: An hour in the weight room is more valuable than a lifetime in the classroom.

 

How to Spoil “Gender Reveal” Parties

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I graduated from high school in 1997. And looking back on it, I think that was the year American society reached its peak. During the twenty-one years that have passed since then, there have been a number of corrosive developments in our society—seat belts, runner-up trophies, concussion protocol, soy, targeting penalties, FDA regulations for raw meat, veganism, and school crossing guards are just a handful of examples. I’ll address all of these problems in due time.

Today, however, I want to address “gender reveal” parties. For those of you lucky enough to have avoided these horrific events, a gender reveal party is where the parents-to-be “reveal” whether their child is a boy or a girl. That’s literally it. They gather a bunch of friends and family together, feed them bad food and bad alcohol (good luck finding a handle of Fireball or steak nachos at a gender reveal party), and come up with some dumbass way to “reveal” the gender, such as cutting a cake that has blue or pink layering or releasing blue or pink balloons. Even worse, gender reveal parties are frequently scheduled on Saturdays and conflict with sporting events. And I can guarantee you there will be some do-gooding disphit present who will tell you to “please pay attention” when you watch football games or a Game of Thrones episode on your phone with the volume turned up.

Back in ’97, the mere notion of a gender reveal party would have been met with a swift punch to the stomach. Sadly, we are today expected to applaud the parents and bring presents. So what should we do to solve this problem?

I believe Abraham Lincoln once said, “Others look at things as they are and say, why? I look at things as they should be and say, why not?” Well, I’m happy to tell you that I took this motto to heart and figured out a way to end gender reveal parties for good.

It all started on Monday, when one of my co-workers named Gregg invited me to a gender reveal party that he and his wife are hosting this Saturday at the same time as the Georgia-Kentucky game. I laughed in Gregg’s face, declined the invitation, and called him a loser. But I’m also a philanthropist, and my mind naturally started to wander to the many poor souls who would still be subjected to this event. What could I do to help them and make the word a better place? There was only one answer—figure out a way to ruin the “reveal” in advance of the party.

It really wasn’t that hard to do. I casually asked Gregg which doctor they were using. When I got that information, I called the doctor’s office, pretended to be Gregg (that part was hard because he talks like a loser and lettered in debate in high school), and said I was calling just to “re-confirm” the gender in advance of a party I was hosting. The doctor’s assistant pulled some papers and confirmed it was a girl.

Step two involved me fake apologizing to Gregg, telling him I was coming after all, and asking for the invite list so I could “coordinate presents” with other invitees. He eagerly shared it with me. Little did he know that I was going to use the invite list to send around a group email with the subject “IT’S A GIRL!” The body of the email said simply: “No need to attend Heidi and Gregg’s stupid gender reveal party now. Enjoy your football-filled Saturday. Go Dawgs! – Coach Letterman.”

Things got a little ugly at work this morning. Turns out Heidi didn’t take things so well and showed up in a blind rage, accused me of “ruining everything,” and attempted to attack me while security held her back and escorted her from the premises.

I received a standing ovation from my colleagues.