Today’s theme: “A” is for Arrogance

… or for taken Aback. My daily online reading turned up some real gems this morning. First, let’s talk about this interview with Terry Goodkind. (Yes, it’s old, but if you didn’t see it in 2003 either, it’s new to you!) My personal favorite quotes here include these:

Because most fantasy is about world-building and magic, a lot of it is plotless and has no story. My primary interest is in telling stories that are fun to read and make people think. That puts my books in a genre all their own….

Kansas City, KS: What made you choose to leave out other common races(dwarves, elves, etc) from your books?

Terry Goodkind: Please refer to the previous answer, in which I explain that I’m not writing fantasy … My purpose is not weirdo cultural diversity. I repeat: I am writing stories about important human beings….

There’s actually very little to read today because more and more books center around characters who are either unremarkable, pathetic or reprehensible. I don’t like authors who choose to tell stories about these kinds of people. I like stories about individuals who can show the nobility of mankind.

I never did like his work, but perhaps this is because as a fantasy reader I prefer things that are “plotless and have no story.” Although “weirdo cultural diversity” has a certain ring to it as well…

Moving on to Arrogant (or Aback) example number two, today both Tame the Web and Librarian’s Rant pointed to this charming little story about a children’s knitting group getting kicked out of a library. Why?

Pamela Haley, manager of library services for the united counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, said the ban on crafts was put on place because the municipality is revamping its 18 library branches in an effort to attract more people and needs to be more literacy-focused to achieve that end.

However, riddle me this!

She said the library’s new fall lineup includes teen book clubs and Scrabble nights. The library will also be holding some events not focused on literacy, such as video game nights, to attract a younger crowd.

But under the new plan, there will no longer be a space for Kingston Currie and the other girls, aged six to 10, who used to sit around a table teasing yarn into organized patterns and items with crochet hooks and pairs of needles.

I’m all for video game nights, but kicking out the knitting girls and keeping the gaming seems somewhat — well, the most polite word that comes to mind is shortsighted. Way to market, guys! (Perhaps they’re just concerned about “weirdo programming diversity?”)


  1. joshua m. neff:

    Terry Goodkind is a disciple of Ayn Rand. That pretty much says it all to me. (I’ve never actually read any Goodkind, but I really don’t want to now.)

  2. Angel:

    “Weirdo cultural diversity? WTF does that mean? That has to be the term of the day, or a really good name for a band. I was not much interested in Goodkind for starters, but that attitude definitely alienates me from bothering. I will take the world-building, magic worlds with little plot any day.

    I saw the knitters’ story, and I did make do a “say what” when I saw it. So, keep the videogamers, toss out the quiet, well behaved, doing something constructive knitters. I think I saw a line, could have been in the article, or someone blogging about it, that part of kicking them out was because they were not “experiencing the library.” Again, WTF is that supposed to mean. I guess they are worried about their “weirdo cultural diversity?” I mean, what can be more weird than a bunch of girls actually knitting when they could be kicking ass on Halo 3 or DDR?

    Best, and keep on blogging.

  3. Hazel:

    That’s the neatest link between two stories I have EVER seen.
    1) Give me cultural diversity any day, preferably with a dragon or two as well.
    2) Throwing these young girls out to attract “a younger clientele”. How young do they want them to be? As I understand it these girls are aged from six to ten!
    Life’s weird.

  4. 42gems:

    I would actually have said “a is for asshole,” as in pompous asshole. I really cannot stand Goodkind’s holier-then-thou attitude, he seems to think that because his books have twenty page tirades on objectivism, that he is somehow a god. And the sucess of his books astounds me, especially since he isn’t a very good writer.

  5. The Liminal Librarian » Blog Archive » Shooting ourselves in the foot:

    [...] incredibly stupid and patron-alienating, usually having to do with kids. It’s not enough to kick out the knitting girls, now we’re carding and turning away students who want to walk across the street from their [...]

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