• When I was a kid back in the early 1970s, our small town’s library was a cramped set of rooms on the third floor of the township building. You had to go in past the police desk and up three flights of stairs. My mom was a library regular who was furious that many would-be patrons just couldn’t make it up those stairs. She made library runs for some of her older neighbors who couldn’t manage it, and recruited them all in her campaign for a new library.
Mom wasn’t a natural-born organizer or rabble-rouser, but she was mad, she was right, and she enlisted lots of help from others who agreed. Her model was the persistent widow from Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:
In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.”
For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.”
And it worked out pretty much just like that. The town built a much larger new library — wheelchair accessible, all on one ground-level floor — and the place soon became a thriving center of activities for young children and senior citizens and others who had been unable to use the old one above the Dunellen PD.
The mayor even gave my mom a plaque that basically said, “Fine. We built the damn library. Now leave us alone.” (I’m paraphrasing — it was a decoupaged certificate thanking Jane R. Clark for “his” dedication and service to “his” community. And someone had typed an “er” over the “is” to change his to h
Dunellen’s new library didn’t cost anything near $41 million, but I was reminded of that story when I read this: “The New $41 Million Hunters Point Library Has One Major Flaw.”
It’s an otherwise beautiful facility that’s apparently technically in compliance with the ADA. But many of its sections are off-limits to anyone who can’t manage the stairs. If you’re gonna spend $41 million on a new library, at least talk to some of the older folks from your community who might like to use it. A “beautiful” building that is inhospitable to humans is not actually all that beautiful.
• “Pat Boone may be one of the most famous singers in the past generation. In some ways, he was as big as or even bigger than Elvis Presley.” That’s shameless swindler Steve Strang, fleecer of rubes, displaying his usual respect for accuracy and introducing his interview with the man most famous for desecrating Wop bop a loo bop, a lop bom boom. (Hear for yourselves: The Original. The Failed Imitation.)
Like many 85-year-old white men in America, Boone seems to spend too much time watching Fox News and nursing imaginary grievances. He’s angry, for example, that twice-removed former Alabama judge Roy Moore was the victim of “smears”: “Boone says those accusations were never proven — the left just wanted to attack Moore because he defended the Ten Commandments.”
The old fart also warns of “literal campaigns heavily funded by wealthy people to take away our right to even quote the Bible.”
Over the past half century there’s been an ongoing debate about Boone’s personal complicity in the racism behind his whitesploitation covers of songs like “Tutti Frutti.” This bonkers interview would seem to settle the matter as Boone’s confession.
Strang, meanwhile, happily “Amens” and reinforces every Snopes-debunked statement from the reality-fleeing former celebrity. He presents the whole thing with the glee of a man who knows that a Pat Boone interview is just the thing to appeal to the demographic of Fox-addled geriatric Christians he’s scaring out of their Social Security checks and who has studied the actuarial tables to confirm he can siphon money from that crowd until they die and he retires to Paraguay.
• The unfortunate life and fortunate death of States Rights Gist.
• Hemant Mehta points us a local article in the Grand Rapids Press interviewing the two candidates for mayor of that city. The Republican challenger is an earnestly dim pastor named Daniel Schutte. Both candidates were asked about their “top three priorities” if elected. Incumbent Mayor Rosalynn Bliss shoehorns five policy arenas into her answer. Schutte is unable to come up with three.
His top priority as mayor, Schutte says, would be “To proclaim the glory and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only ‘answer’ to every one of our problems and challenges.” To the extent that this means anything at all specific, it does not suggest any reason that Schutte would need to run for mayor to pursue such a priority, suggesting instead that running for mayor seems like a major impediment to and distraction from this pursuit. (If you’re wondering why Schutte puts the word answer in ironic scare quotes, the reason is Jesus Christ, apparently, who is the “answer” to all such questions.)
As for his second and third priorities, Schutte lists abortion and abortion:
2. To address the No. 1 “civil rights” issue of our day … the murder of the precious and unwanted children of Grand Rapids that may be destined to be destroyed through their murder (commonly referred to as “abortion”).
3. To seek to make the city of Grand Rapids a “sanctuary city” for all unwanted children destined to be murdered through abortion.
Here is a man who has so thoroughly absorbed the what-about function that is the sole purpose of this self-deception that he what-about-abortions himself. Twice.
That displays the usual effects of the toxic sin of abortion-is-murderism — self-righteous pride, sanctimony, dishonesty, etc. But it also demonstrates the sheer terror that shapes — or more accurately, prevents — Schutte’s thinking. He will not allow anyone to finish a sentence without interrupting to jam his fingers into his ears and recite “What about Satanic baby-killers murdering babies?” to drown out every other thought, question, doubt, fact, person or story. He cannot even allow himself to finish a sentence without doing that.
This is the end state of embracing the sinful lie of abortion-is-murderism. It turns you into the kind of person who couldn’t pass a Turing Test.