Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Okay, I officially don't know what to think. I don't support the war in Iraq. I know that much. I have all sorts of reasons for not supporting it, which I won't get into here. But that aside, I know there are good people serving in the military, and that they need support and recognition from the country they're serving, even if I don't agree with the way they're serving it.

So, I've been looking at this site:

Books For Soldiers.

It collects requests for mail, books, videos, DVDs, and other "items of need" from soldiers serving primarily, it looks like, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and connects them with people here in the United States. It's based on a bulletin board, where people can leave messages, requests, addresses, support and encouragement, and so on. It looks like quite a few soldiers in the field have Internet access these days.

A lot of the things that people are requesting--DVDs of Three Kings, The Lord of the Rings, Reservoir Dogs, and so on--are sort of bemusing. I mean, war is hell, right? There's something strange about knowing that soldiers fighting a war feel that they should have access to Peter Jackson movies. I don't think it's wrong, I'm not criticizing, I just think it's surreal in quite a few ways. I mean, the only movies I own are Jaws on VHS and a bargain copy of Twenty-Eight Days Later. I just graduated to a DVD player a few months ago. Maybe that just makes me a slow adopter of technology, but it also sort of makes me think a little more closely about what we consider basic amenities. I suppose, in one sense, if we have light, portable DVD technology, why not send it to the field so the troops can watch Daredevil? On the other hand, well... I'm not sure what's on the other hand, really. A lot of the requests seem to be for things like FHM and Maxim magazine, which, again... Oh, argh. I don't know. There are too many hands going on here for a poor sheltered idealistic Canadian academic librarian to handle.

I'll just have to find someone who wants a used copy of The Sound and the Fury, ship it off with some Baby-Wipes and a postcard, and leave it at that.

Funny, how real life interferes with one's librarianish ideals.


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