We're here, we're hostile, get used to it.

I know I'm far from mellow, and I know that I do more than my share of ranting, so I'm well aware that this is a grand example of pot and kettle. (Scarily, I am more mellow than I was before.) I also realise its fallacious. I don't care, I've had it.

On the other hand, I *am* the black sheep of this fine profession, so I must protect my turf. So in the fine tradition of Al Franken, here we go.

Don Saklad and Robert Kent, throw down. I demand satisfaction. I call shenanigans.

Both of you have taken seriously important Library issues (Government Secrecy and Cuban Dictatorship, and thus IF respectively for those of you living under a rock like me) and totally blown it.

That's right. Thanks. These were, and still are, important field issues, but now good little Librarians aren't allowed to mention either in polite society thanks to the silly way you both go about your arguments.

Setting this off my rant was a Don Saklad IF Forum post on Censorship presumably on the part of the American Archivists. Here's the drivel:

Re: http://www.boston.com/news/specials/government_center/
[-- Censored by the Society of American Archivists Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct --]

Society of American Archivists Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct

And then attached was a list of committee members, which I'll spare dissemination of. After all, we're Librarians, if we need that list, something's wrong.

Hey, both of you boneheads regularly raise the spectre of censorship at the top of your little lungs, but neither of you manage to do so in a constructive fashion. I'm baffled. This field is all about fixing the problem. Folks I know literally bend over backwards for their colleagues, but before someone can say "Allow me to research that" you hedonists demand ridiculous pools of data one can't possibly produce at the drop of a hat OR immediate radical action. You can both have what you want, you're cake just ain't comin' 10 seconds later.

Most baffling to me in this case was that the pointers are drawing on content ain't nobody gonna be able to reach thanks to Tweedledum not realising how their forum works. Just suppose I'm being a good girl and actually want to check out what happened thanks to a deep seeded sense of fair play. I try that link, and all it does is torque me off that you just wasted my time.

Good intelligent people have LEFT the public fora just to avoid these types of posts. "That ain't right!"

Good intelligent people have been accused of censorship on absolutely no merit. Karen Schneider is no censor. Nor is Sharon McQueen. (To be fair, she was called out by one of Mr. Kent's goon squad.) Moderating a listserv and keeping it on topic is NOT censorship. Nor is saying something you don't like. "That ain't right!"

Good intelligent people from outside the field (yes, I'm forced to admit that things exist outside of LIS. *sigh*) have seen the stuff that transpires under this aegis and walked away with a negative image of the profession. "That ain't right!"

And as a result of crap like this, even stupider things have happened, like (and I still can't get my head round this) The Intellectual Freedom Roundtable closing their official listserv to public traffic. Like say, mine, and I was on my best behaviour. Now it's pay at the gate, that scourge of exclusivity. To IFRTs credit, they started ifforum after all of my whining, and presumably that of other folks', but hey, never should have happened in the first place. But it's a great vignette of what occurs when you violently back someone into a corner. They don't have time to think, so they don't, and sometimes that provokes a nasty response.

And while we're on the subject of deliberately provoking a nasty response, would those of you out there that agree with Fidel Castro's policies of persecuting innocent people please raise your hand? Pardon me while I jump to the wild conclusion that there's no one out there with their paw in the air.

Um, seems to me, and I might be crazy to state this, that no one outside of Castro's regime actually agrees with his policy.

The weirdest thing for me is how two wildly variant styles can both be so uncannily wrong. Don Saklad is so unemotional in posting that one can readily mistake him for a bot. And well, Robert Kent is, em, Robert Kent.

One of the best laughs of my life was having my mail service assume things from that source were spam.

Yes, at the end of the day, you are both right. The government IS hiding things. And yes, repression does in fact suck.

But really, is going about your business inadvertently torquing off lower level Boston bureaucrats going to help anyone? Would an ALA resolution to the effect of "Communist Cuba Stinks." force Castro to change his policy?

So lads, my unsolicited and nastily proffered advice is this: If you want other living, breathing Librarians to take you seriously engage them in a calm, collected human fashion and be willing to wait a bit, and yea even put a little elbow grease into it. Don't flood our mailboxes.

There we go. End of rant. Hate mail here we come.