The Rock & Roll Librarian

August 28, 2007

An Open Letter to Michael Vick

Filed under: Celebrities,Ethics,rants — Tyler Rousseau @ 4:29 pm

Dear Vickey (that’s our little joke), 

Now I know some people would like to believe your public statement was just done in hopes of getting a lighter sentence.  They’re saying things like ‘showing no remorse would probably result in longer jail time’ or ‘he did that in hopes that they’ll let him play football when he gets out of prison’ or even ‘sure, he’s only remorseful that he got caught.’ 

Don’t worry, I don’t believe them.  I mean, can’t a man simply say he’s sorry and that be enough for everyone?

I mean, I remember one time when I was seven that I stole a pack of gum from the store.  It was super-tasty and my palate thanked me many times for the sugary treat. I enjoyed it greatly.  But then my Mom found out and, after that (or after the fact if you please), I was filled with remorse… just like you.

 And as I said, I was seven.  So, when you say you have some growing up to do, I know where you are coming from.

But I said I was sorry and why wasn’t that enough?  Okay, yeah, the facts remain that I stole, which is illegal, and I couldn’t replace the damage I’d done because the item was ruined, but still… did I really have to go back into the store, apologize and pay for the gum I had stolen?  I already said I was sorry!

 And I can’t believe people don’t believe you when you said you did not bet on the dogfights and only funded the operation and killed dogs.  Many celebrities give money without expecting anything return.  Given, most donate to things like charity, but nonetheless.  Why can’t they accept that it wasn’t an investment but yet, the simple gift of monies that charitable men do… just this time it was for the training and brutal killings of dogs.

So, when they send you to jail, know there are people who care.  And don’t you worry about getting out early for good behavior… nothing says that like an apology.

 After the fact…

After getting caught in order to stop the behavior…

After pleading guilty once everyone you worked pled guilty and agreed to testify against you for reduced sentences…


 The R&RL

PS.  Do they really give out soap on a rope for the showers now?  What’s that about!?

May 22, 2007

Portis’ comments on dogfighting… bite me!

Filed under: Ethics,rants — Tyler Rousseau @ 3:07 pm

First off, I will apologize to the strict-library readers of this blog; this is a complete non-library post.  It is a post about sports, laws, animal rights and the bubbles which celebrities live in.

 But it is pop culture… so I can kind of justify it through that.

On April 25th, Police executed a warrant into Michael Vick, quarterback for the Altanta Falcons, Virginia home for suspicion of drugs.  Upon searching the house, police found anywhere (depending on which news source you read) from 12-60 dogs and equipment that presents evidence of dogfighting.

Okay, fair enough, the search warrant was for someone other than Michael Vick… someone Vick knows and allowed to stay in the home.  I’m even sort of willing to go with the fact that he rarely visits the property and during any of the rare visits to the property never saw the dogs or mistreatment of them.  I’ve seen some of Vick’s throws last season, it is quite possible that tunnel-vision effects him at home as well.

But the comments made by Clinton Portis and Chris Samuels in defense of dogfighting bordered on absolute stupidity.

Yesterday, Clinton was quoted as saying, in defense of Vick; “But it’s his property; it’s his dogs. If that’s what he wants to do, do it.”  Apparently, Clinton assumes that a person who owns property is immune to any state or federal laws for any wrongdoing on the property (dogfighting is a felony in the state of Virginia).

Samuels and Portis furthered justified the crime by making statements that other people, like police and judges, probably dogfight as well.  Whether true or not, it still doesn’t dismiss the fact that dogfighting is a felony.  Upon making these statements, Portis stifled laughs.

So, I guess the question comes down to why I am posting this on my blog.  As best I can answer, it deals with the philosophical side of me that is tired of hearing false analogies used by atheletes and celebrities in order to justify their behaviors.  Forget the notion of whether it is morally wrong or not, it is illegal and they know that… so, let’s stop hiding under a victim’s shawl and ignorant fronts.  Make a stupid statement, and retract it later, then you deserve the negative publicity your are receiving.

 But the animal lover side of me also wants to support fox support Kevin Hench and his statement; on behalf of every dog I’ve owned… “bite me.”  

Once again, I apologize to any reader who doesn’t care for the once-in-a-while rant I throw in this blog. 

May 21, 2007

Teen Librarians. Who we are and what we are not.

Filed under: librarians,Libraries,Library Policies,policies,rants,Teens — Tyler Rousseau @ 12:39 pm

As a Young Adult Librarian, I have made the professional decision to immerse myself in young adult culture; the books they read, the music they listen to, the resources they use for information.  I have also taken on the responsibility to provide programming opportunities for the teen community to participate in, if they choose to do so.  In other words, teen resources are my specialty.

But I am not the babysitter for every teen that enters the library.

And I am not the only person capable of handling teens’ questions.

I am not disciplinarian for all teens.

Nor are my job responsibilities significantly different from any other librarian.

 I am not their babysitter- Teens that come into the library are my specialty, not my responsibility.    Just because a teen enters the building, it does not mean they can only be in the Teen Section.  Teens have the same rights as all other patrons, they are allowed to go in any other part of the library.

I am not the only person to handle a teens’ question- Listen to the needs of the patron first and then figure out if my expertise is needed.  If they know the name of book they are looking for, help them.  If they want to find out where the copier is, show them.  But, if the teens wants book recommendations, programming information, research help… I’m your person.  Remember, I don’t send every old person your way.

I am not the teens disciplinarian- If teenagers are acting up in the library, this is not my fault.  Furthermore, don’t send me the rambunctious teen and tell me to “deal with them.”  In doing so, you have negated your own authority in the teens’ eyes.

My job responsibilities aren’t significantly different- If you don’t expect the rest of your staff to work multiple nights, then it shouldn’t be expected of your YA Librarian.  If your typical Reference or Children’s Librarian does two programs a week, don’t expect the YA Librarian to have programming everyday, or every moment that teens are present.  If you don’t expect your other programs to have 100% attendence from members of the library community, don’t expect every teen to show up for every program.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of good Teen Librarians who leave the position because of they discover the job expectations are disproportoinate to other positions in the libarary.  Consider families, consider the lives outside of job and please consider the wear and tear you put on your Teen Librarian when you send them patrons you personally would rather not deal with.

We are programmers, we are selectors, we are outreach and we are staff members dedicated to maintaining the enthusiasm and interest of the library’s future adults, future taxpayers, and advocates.  We do not need a thank you for this… we just ask for your consideration.

May 3, 2007

The Tao of Dicky… Speaking in Third Person

Filed under: dicky,Ethics,humor,librarians,Libraries,rants — Tyler Rousseau @ 1:32 pm

One time, a person (who we will now call Grasshopper) thirsted for knowledge.  In his quest for enlightenment, he climed up levels to ask advice from Dicky.  Upon arriving to the quasi-zenith, Grasshopper looked upon the man and asked for his opinion…

“The Dicky doesn’t care for that” was the response he received.

“I am confused” said Grasshopper “I thought that climbing to the top of all levels, I would find the wise Dicky for I thought he was upon the highest of all levels.”

“The Dicky understands and agrees with you, it is the only level appropriate for Dicky” said the man.

“So… Does Dicky speak through you then?  For I thought I would be able to speak with him directly.”  Grasshopper rubbed his head in embarassment and hoped for a reasonable solution.  He waited as an annoyed sigh came from the mouth of the man upon the zenith, who then breathed in with the intention of speaking…

“Grasshopper, it is important that one uses third person when referring to oneself; it is all part of the levels thingy.  It shows that wisdom has grown to the size of an entity and therefore justifies one’s place on the levels.  The Dicky clearly understands this and therefore uses it vehemently.”

“erm…” was all Grasshopper could say at first.  “Does this mean that I am talking to Dicky now?”

“The Dicky feels he has made this answer clear.”

“But couldn’t you also be talking about Dicky?  It seems confusing and almost contrary to the whole reason why the English language created possesive indicators such as I, me or myself.  In a way, it feels conceited.  More so, using “The” in front of third person is quite pretentious; it implies oneself as an entity and not just a person.”

The man smiled at Grasshopper and said, “The Dicky has taught you well.  Go forth and make your own levels… but lesser than mine, of course.” 

February 12, 2007

Bye bye Napster, hello any other method…

Filed under: music,random,rants,Technology,technology woes — Tyler Rousseau @ 1:51 am

When I got my mp3 player, I decided to go ahead with the free trial of Napster that came with it.  At first, I was pretty happy; unlimited downloads for most music (some was still purchase only), free streams, and an easy but slow audio-to-device transfer software.  So when my free trial was over, the $20 per month fee seemed a good deal and I kept the membership.

Then the updates came.

Actually, the recommended update was meta-data that helped Napster keep track of what was on my mp3 player.  If I did not link my device once a week, my device would give me a message saying I needed to synch the device to Napster and then refused to play the music.  So, if I didn’t pay attention to when I last synched my device, I would find myself on a trip with all the desired music and no way to play it.

 My kingdom for a horse…

But I figured, what the hell, it’s still a good price and I just had to condition myself to make a habit of synching my device. 

Then the transfer device went funky, dinosaur slow too.  It would take 5 minutes to load an album and only one album per logon!  I couldn’t tell if it was a software problem but Napster’s support center didn’t seem to have any more clue than I did.  So, I had to log out after each album if I wanted to download more than one.

But it was still cheaper than buying each individual albuml, so I stuck with it.

And then they installed more meta-programs.  If I wanted to play one of my music files on a different, better sounding, software than Napster’s player, a prompt would pull up asking if I wanted to check for user rights to play the song…  it would pop up after every song!  So, there was no point in trying to play an album on anything other than their player as they took away the convenience.

It was the final straw, I called them up and told them I was finished with their product.  The representative asked me why I wanted to end my contract with them and the answer was long, but simple. 

I paid for the music, it was legal.  However, it seemed that anytime I tried to listen to the music I was being prompted, blocked or checked up on; almost like I was on some sort of parol.  Sure, I could listen to music but it was under their terms as trying to listen with other products, while still being legal, were made to be extremely inconvenient.  The inconvenience that came with the service was not worth the price, no matter how seemingly cheap it was.  Music is about fun and feeling, not user rights, legal obligations or checkups.

And some wonder why people choose to download music illegally.  At least the only time you get hassled is if you get caught.

January 30, 2007

An Open Letter to Our Local Police Department

Filed under: education,humor,New Jersey,random,rants — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:15 pm

Trying to reduce speeding in urban areas is an admirable thing.  After all,  there are enough for our citizens to worry about, like drugs and gangs and guns and floods and the most violent school system in New Jersey, without some jerk in a swift moving vehicle racing the streets to complicate things.

So, I am completely in favor of the idea of putting police vehicles at strategic points on our streets to hopefully slow down speeders; even if they are manned with dummies… mind you, that’s not an insult to the force, you can clearly see the decoy officer in the seat is a CPR “Annie” doll with a police hat.

Anyway, if you are going to use this method it is useful to check up on them, especially after something like snowfall.  Once two inches of snow are covering the entire vehicle, nobody is going to fall for a dummy-vehicle anymore.

Well, alright, a very small percentage still will.  People who suffer a rare eye disease that makes them see through snow, granted.  Drivers with glaucoma, conspiracy theorists even… but we’re not really talking about them, are we?

The point is that, at the very least, you have to make it seem like the police force is interested in preventing crimes and misdemeanors.  Leaving your decoy vehicles covered in snow is like me letting my lawn grow for three weeks, it just proves it’s not a priority.

So, ummm… what is your priority?

December 29, 2006

The Year in Review- The Idiot Tube

Filed under: humor,rants,Reviews,Technology,Teens,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 3:21 pm

Yep, it’s that time of year again; anyone who has the time and effort makes an assessment of the year gone past. With the introduction of my beautiful and awesome daughter, I found myself at home more often and not going out as much; hence TV was probably my biggest pop-culture endeavor of the year. It seemed the logical place to start the “props and drops.”The Best of Them:

Heroes- Yeah, it’s no surprise a comic geek chose this as his favorite, but according to Sci Fi’s poll, 54% of watchers did as well. It just goes to show that there really isn’t a “geekiness” about superheroes or people with superpowers, it is the way in which it is presented. In this case, extraordinarily average people who wake up and find that they are more capable than they ever dreamed, showing their powers to be both a curse and blessing.

24-Jack Bauer, please forgive me… You still remain my favorite character on TV but it was just edged out of top spot this year. When it comes to keeping to keeping viewers on the edge of their seats, no one does a better job. There is only one cast member whose job is secure on the show, Jack’s, anyone else could, and often has, bite the bullet. Someday, Sutherland is going to give up his contract for this show and I just hope they keep it a secret because the day they get rid of Jack Bauer could cause the TV to explode on it’s own.

House- Consistently good, if you like curmudgeons with the ability to heal or kill and a love for Vicodin. I do and can relate to at least one of these defining characteristics. And if I ever meet the actor who plays the cop, I might not be able to restrain myself from punching him in the nose… thank goodness I don’t wander into Princeton too often.

Ben 10- Cartoon about a boy who gets a watch that turns him into several different types of alien beings, all with different powers. Villains try to take the watch from him but don’t succeed… it’s not a spoiler! How else could the show be a series!?

Teen Titans- Another cartoon about teenage mutants who go on various adventures and combat the forces of nature along with their raging hormones…

Eureka- In the small town of Eureka, a government facility is embedded and employs some of the world’s greatest scientists. Overall, this is a good thing, but can wield some seriously bad results as well. What happens when rocket scientists botch experiments in labs next to nano-bees or space/time continuum chambers? Apparently, it takes a normal Joe cop to control it all.

I Shouldn’t Be Alive- Real life stories of people who survive situations that are almost guaranteed death sentences. Each show interviews the actual survivors along with the narration and explanation of events, combining drama and science. Call it the morbid fascination part of me, but I really like this show.

Who Wants to be a Superhero- This was good in a very sad way. Fortunately, most of the contestants were using the show as a platform to promote their acting careers or whatnot. It was the other three who took it seriously that truly made the show. Anyone who actually looked towards Spiderman as their father figure when growing up probably has serious issues; ones that could be ideally captured in a comic book!

The Not-So Best… a.k.a. The Drops List

Lost- You really ticked me off with the 2-4 episodes on and month off format. It made no sense and seemed to prove the show was being made up despite your insistence of everything being well thought out. When you returned in the fall season, you stuck around for multiple episodes but went absolutely nowhere in direction with some serious plot flaws. I watched you in order to have something to talk with my friends about during our Indian buffet luncheon dates. If things don’t improve, I’m not sure any Saag Paneer or Samosa is worth that much.

1 Vs. 100- If the show is going to succeed, then they need to fix the format. No one is ever going to for the million bucks in this, the risk reward ratio is way too steep. That said though, if I had to pick a game show to pick up a cool $50K or so, this would be my choice.

Law & Order (pick whatever spin-off you please)- I just hate the show, alright. The main characters are complete jerks who are unapologetic even when they are wrong, the judicial process is a farce and half the things said would land the lawyers in contempt or cause mistrial. I’ve grown to at least tolerate, and sometimes- enjoy, the D’nofrio version of this show but, I’m sorry, I’m just not can’t suppress the urge to put a shoe through the TV for the others.

Obviously, there are going to be far less reviews for what I think are the crummy stuff. After all, I’m not getting paid to watch them and therefore, why the heck would I waste my time in front of the idiot box for them!?

December 13, 2006

An Open Letter to the Guy I Caught Looking at Naughty Stuff on the Internet…

Filed under: humor,Libraries,New Jersey,random,rants,research,Technology,technology woes — Tyler Rousseau @ 8:59 pm

Here is the helpful tip I would like to write to my most memorable customer today… 

If you are going to use a computer that has only yourself to block the view, there is a good chance that others will see what you are looking at anyway.  Not that you care what anybody else thinks but you may want to reconsider watching porn in public places.  But if the urge is too much to ignore, perhaps it would be a good idea to try and play some angle to your porn watching… say a site that you could claim you are researching different positions of the Kama Sutra, maybe some racey artwork where you could put up the argument that even a naked person holding a gun and snake is making some kind of statement.

Notice the use of tact and slyness?

However, once you completely cross the line of decency and start watching people playing with pigs, as I caught you doing so today, it is hard to find any sort of defense for yourself.  The research excuse is out the window, artful/political statement won’t fly anymore… and neither will those poor, pigs.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going home to throw out every piece of pork product found in my house… you’ve taken me one step closer to becoming a vegetarian. 


Your friendly Librarian

August 29, 2006

I saw it on television…

Filed under: random,rants,Technology,technology woes,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 3:51 pm

A friend of mine made a good point about television and its so-called negative influence.

We always hear stories about kids who hurt themselves or commmit bad acts because they “saw someone one TV do it.”  Usually, this is followed by the parents blaming everyone but themselves for for the lack of forethought from their child.

However, we never hear of children doing good deeds because “they saw someone do it on TV.” 

Is it because there are no good acts to be seen on TV or, perhaps, the parents are quicker to blame themselves for their child’s new-found virtue?

August 14, 2006

RIAA Sues Dead Man’s Family

Filed under: music,rants,RIAA — Tyler Rousseau @ 11:41 pm

I’m not sure if anyone really believes the RIAA is in it for the artists integrity anymore… they seem to have made it fairly clear that they are financially motivated and hell bent on “making a point.”

Telling a student at MIT he should drop out in order to pay the fine kind of bordered on sleazy.  Not necessarily evil, but definitely crummy of them to think their drop in the bucket fine warrents the end of an academic career…

But suing a dead man’s family  doesn’t just border the realms of bad taste, it is the house that holds it.   Here is their official request.

In fairness to theRIAA, the link above does show their tender side, a request to give the family a 60 day extension before going to court… y’know, in order to cope with their loss.

I wish, I really do, that any of this was a joke.

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