Why Is New York City Planning to Sell and Shrink Its Libraries?

Defend our libraries, don't defund them. . . . . fund 'em, don't plunder 'em

Mayor Bloomberg defunded New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth and increased city wealth, shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for wealthy real estate developers at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity. It’s an unjust and shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.

It should NOT be adopted by those we have now elected to pursue better policies.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Michael Moore (Who Says The Attacks On Libraries Are An Effort To Dumb Down The Public and That Librarians Saved His Book From Censorship) Has A Terrific New “Must See” Film: Fahrenheit 11/9

Michael Moore, who we met and chatted with about libraries and about whom we've put up two previous posts, has a new "mus see" film in the theaters, "Fahrenheit 11/9" 
Michael Moore has a new film out: Fahrenheit 11/9.  We recommend that everyone see it.

First, before we go on to say a few words about the film, let us remind you about Michael More and libraries and librarians (also that Citizens Defending Libraries co-founders Carolyn McIntyre and Michael D. D. White had a chance to have a few words with Mr. Moore about libraries).

Here are our two Citizens Defending Libraries previous posts about Mr. Moore and the libraries and librarians:
    •    How Did Trump Get Elected?: Michael Moore In “Terms of My Surrender” Envisions That It Was A Dumbing Down of the Country That Involved Closing Libraries
In this post we brag about meeting Michael Moore to have a few words with him (and his informed bodyguard) after his Broadway show where her surmised that part of the way that Trump got elected (and, presciently, that control of the Supreme Court is being lost) is that we  started “closing libraries” (plus shutting down news outlets) to “dumb down this country.”
    •    Michael Moore’s Anti-George Bush Book Was Saved From The Censorious 9/11 Tyranny by A Courageous Librarian Mobilizing Comrades
This our post about the amazing story told by Moore during his Broadway Play one night about how librarians, including one librarian there in the audience that night, saved his book from censorship and non-release so that it able to go on top become a bestseller.
Now to Moore’s film-

Moore’s film is a beautiful, skillful film put together in a way that allows even veterans experienced in lots of political engagement and activism to have new insights about the big picture.

We also learned a few things-  We didn't know about the bombing of Flint by our military!  (Moore keeps returning to his hometown of Flint, Michigan with heartrending effectiveness–  including its ongoing water crisis–  as a lens to frame and more perfectly understand the structural problems that beset our nation's democracy as a whole.)

We know that Moore said in some interviews he had a tough time balancing as he navigated through some difficult territory as he made his film.  Yes, that’s absolutely certain, given that people with a variety of pre-formulated view political points will be watching it.  He does an extraordinary job.

Don’t expect Moore to play favorites letting anyone off the hook.  That includes Democrats Moore says he likes and has worked hard supporting even within the film’s time frame.  Moore also takes on the New York Times: Is that the reason that the New York Times gave Moore's film the teenyist little review?  Fly-specking a review of Moore's film in the back pages of its entertainment section is unlikely to encourage attendance or public consciousness of it.

Buried in the back pages of the Times entertainment section, a brief review of Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 get short shrift compared to the eye-catching space devoted to Keira Knightley's period costume drama picture biopic about Colette.
On a few things, exceptionally thorny subjects (watch to identify them), we think Moore did a great job of filling in the dots big and bold, putting them up on the screen plain as day, while refraining from actually connecting those dots himself when he was too close to saying the verboten.  He leaves it to the intelligent audience to figure it out and connect the dots, or not. . .  immediately, or in time.

What do we mean?  See the film and we expect you will likely piece it together.

One slight on-target criticism: Moore covered a lot of territory, but he didn’t get to the subject of climate change.

Is the film about Trump?  You’ll probably hear that it is, but Moore has explained that Trump is only on screen for about twenty minutes of the film.  More importantly, the film is about the conditions fostering Trumpism and why, unless we change them, we can’t expect something different even post-Trump.  The film speaks about the extreme danger to our democracy and its existence that must be fended off . . .  Yeah, who would have thought that we would be selling off and shrinking libraries, eliminating books when that is not what the public wants and libraries cost a relative pittance to fund?

Perhaps we can stay in that vein to conclude by telling you this . . . .  To illustrate how unaccountable the nation’s elected officials are to the public, the film at one point briefly runs through a long list where the government has gone off in directions quite contrary to what a significant majority of the public (often about 2/3 or more) wants.

We don’t have the exact list Moore came up with and used in his film, but we know it overlaps to a fair extent with this list that we have included to make much the same point in connection with the Sunday, Oct. 7th (1:00 PM) Voter Disenfranchisement Forum!  in which we are participating.  (Love to see you there too!)— 
  • medicare for all; •  protection of women’s reproductive rights; •  stricter gun control laws; • stricter regulations on and breaking up of the big banks; • more environmental regulation; • equal pay for women; • easier, less restrictive immigration; • less surveillance of American citizens; • less military spending and a pull back from the U.S.’s endless and ceaseless military interventions (wars); • continued support for traditional public schools, and free college; • more restrictions on money in politics.
Maybe in the “extras,” when Moore's film comes out on DVD, Moore will throw libraries into that list!

Oh, by the way: The subject of libraries and education does come up in the film.

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