Terrorist Attacks and Doin' It!
I generally buy books. I either buy them on Amazon or at The Strand or sometimes even full price at a place like McNally Jackson or St. Marks Books because I am all about supporting local outfits. All of that made me sort of forget about the fact that there are places where FOR FREE, you can take books, read them and return them. It’s called The Library and in New York we have a lot of them. You’ll hear plenty of tales about the great things you can do with a library card and how books are forever and how reading is fundamental. But I’m here to tell a different library tale. A tale of horror. Or at least kind-of disgust.
I happened to be doing work at the New York Public Library’s recently redesigned, and therefore uniquely habitable, Mulberry Street branch the other day.
It’s a small space, designed vertically, with a work area in the lowest floor where you can sit with your laptop and pretend to work while you gchat with your friend about stupid bullshit that happened on a British teen drama that you watch because your life is otherwise empty, while all around you homeless people doze in comfy chairs.
For whatever reason this particular branch of the library seems geared towards serving a youthful population. To wit:
Great work, guys. Make '˜em feel like they belong in the book place. Given this sentiment, I am never surprised to see large collections of children’s books arranged in such a way as to really catch the eye. Monday, this one caught mine:
For the ocular-ly challenged among us, the book is called:'œWhere Willy Went: The big story of a little sperm!'
I’m all for telling kids the Truth About Sex and Where Babies Come From but I just don’t know that a tale that anthropomorphizes a sperm and egg, refers to them both as 'œbeautiful' (ew.) and imagines the famished moment of human conception as some sort of field day sports event is the way to do it.
But this is where things got weird. As I went to close the book, I caught sight of the frontispiece:
Apparently, far from being a twee, dance-around-the-issue glorified stork-story, this tale of a plucky sperm in a race to fertilize an egg is actually an enduring memorial.
Victims of the September 11th attacks: you did not perish in vain.