Pass for a Librarian
A Dulciferous letter to the editor of The New Yorker:
Ken Auletta churns out the words
At The New Yorker he has lots of fans
This last October (shh shh shh)
He wrote in there about the Guardian
Al Rusbridger he an editor
Got the powers that be saying EE-NUFF
But he wears glasses (shh shh shh)
Seem like he don't look that tough
So, Auletta, what does he say?
Rusbridger (shh shh) he could (shh shh)
"Pass for a librarian."
Auletta, man, it seems real strange
And I don't want to leave you in the lurch
You researched Google (shh shh shh)
But you don't know how to do an image search?
Cuz if you did you'd find out real quick
A fact that's known throughout the land
Crowd wise Google (shh shh shh)
Proves a hair-bun makes a librarian
Auletta he's just like the crowd
Glasses (shh shh) meekness (shh shh)
"Pass for a librarian"
Here's something folks don't seem to know:
Librarians have the public trust
Cuz they give good read (shh shh shh)
In every shade of literate lust
Rusbridger dude is probably okay
He might could be a library pearl
Even Dulciferous, man (shh, shh, shh)
Stranger in a strange world
Because shhhhhhh happens, dontcha know
Casanova (shh shh), Marcel Duchamp (shh shh)
They passed for a librarian
Auletta's gone on Google
He tells us all that it's the end
Of the world as we know it (shh shh shh)
like we need a bad remix of REM
Librarians love the robosearch
The algorithmic artificial sense It makes it better (shh shh shh)
When they add in real intelligence
Long-term, where's Google?
Corporate ashes (shh shh) corporate dust (shh shh)
Can't pass for a librarian
Tags: librarians librarian stereotype stereotypes Ken Auletta Dulciferous The New Yorker Alan Rusbridger Nancy Pearl librarian action figure Casanova Marcel Duchamp Librarian (Occupation) Google Googled
Added: 2 months ago
["Pass for a Librarian" appears on screen, as stop-motion animation is used to make it appear as if a Nancy Pearl action figure is shushing the camera]
["A Dulciferous letter to the editor of the New Yorker" appears on screen, as librarian Jud Barry (hat, white shirt, striped black-and-white tie, "crazy eyes" novelty glasses) puts a finger to his lips and shushes the camera]
[cut to a still photograph of journalist Ken Auletta super-imposed over the New Yorker's "letters to the editor" section]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Ken Auletta churns out the words!
[cut to a closeup of the letters section of the New Yorker, as one in particular is entitled "Pass for a Librarian"]
JUD BARRY: [singing] At The New Yorker, got lots of fans! This last October, shh-shh-shh, he wrote in there about the Guardian!
[cut to a still photograph of Guardian editor, Al Rusbridger (black hair, thick black glasses, dark suit)]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Al Rusbridger, he an editor!
[cut to a still image from the Guardian's website (with the headline "You've Had Your Fun. Now We Want the Stuff Back.")]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Got the powers-that-be saying "Enough!"
[cut to a closeup of the photograph of Rusbridger]
JUD BARRY: [singing] But he wears glasses, shh shh shh, seem like he don't look that tough!
[cut back to the photograph of Auletta, as "Okay, let's see here ... wears glasses ... doesn't look tough ... I need some kind of simile, gotta bring him to life ... Librarians are kinda meek, they wear glasses too. Hmmm ... " appears on screen]
JUD BARRY: [singing] So, Auletta, what does he say? Rusbridger, shh shh! He could, shh shh!
[cut back to the closeup of Rusbridger, as "He's also an accomplished pianist. Why not say he could pass for an ivory-tickler?" appears on screen]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Pass for a librarian!
[Barry stops singing, as the camera holds tight on the closeup of Rusbridger]
JUD BARRY: Big fucking deal, man. It's a stereotype.
[cut to Barry "playing" his tie like a washboard (including the use of thimbles on his fingertips), super-imposed over an image of the New York Public Library's reading room]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Auletta, man, it seems real strange! And I don't wanna leave you in the lurch ...
[cut to a shot of Auletta's book "Googled," with two Nancy Pearl action figures placed on either side]
JUD BARRY: [singing] You researched Google, shh shh shh!
[cut to Barry super-imposed over the Google Images search bar as the word "librarian" is being typed in]
JUD BARRY: [singing] But don't know how to do an image search?
[cut to the search results page, with several examples of the "stereotypical" librarian image (old lady, hair in a bun, glasses, etc.)]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Because if you did, you'd find out real quick, a fact that's known throughout the land!
[cut to a still image of the cover of the book "Nympho Librarian" by Les Tucker ("The prim miss took off more than her mask of respectability behind the stacks ... with any man who asked!")]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Crowd wise Google, shh shh shh!
[the camera zooms in on the cover, where a female librarian (yellow hair in a bun, glasses, black bra and panties) is straddling a man in red boxers holding a book ... then pans up to focus on her hair bun]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Proves a hair bun makes a librarian!
[cut to an image of Facebook's "Like" button, quickly followed by an old-time advertisement for a minstrel show featuring a man in blackface ("Billy Van, the Monologue Comedian")]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Auletta, he's just like the crowd!
[cut to an image of Johnny Depp's face (where he's wearing glasses) superimposed over the snake on a "Don't Tread on Me" flag (with "Read" replacing the word "Tread")]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Glasses, shh shh! Meekness, shh shh! Pass for a librarian!
[Barry stops singing, as an image of Charles Darwin with a finger over his lips is shown, then Barry appears emulating the pose (except he slowly lowers his index finger and extends his middle finger in its place)]
JUD BARRY: Come on, don't flip him off.
[cut back to the Google Images search bar, as the words "librarian lust" are being typed in]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Here's something folks don't seem to know!
[cut to the (apparently unrelated) search results page, with several images of librarian Nancy Pearl]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Librarians have the public trust, because they give good read, shh shh shh!
[cut to a closeup of one of the images, as Pearl is balancing some books on her head (the spine title on one of the books has been replaced with Barry's book "Shhhhhhh! Happens: Exorcising the Censor Within")]
JUD BARRY: [singing] In every shade of literate lust ...
[Pearl's face slowly "morphs" until it is replaced with Rusbridger's]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Rusbridger, dude's probably okay!
[his face slowly morphs again, until it is replaced with Barry's]
JUD BARRY: [singing] He might could be a library pearl! Even Dulciferous, man! Shh, shh, shh!
[the camera pans up to the title of Barry's book]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Stranger in a strange world ... because "Shhhhhhh Happens," dontcha know!
[cut to a painting of Casanova kissing a woman (as "Passion for a Librarian" flashes on screen)]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Casanova, shh shh!
[cut to an image of Marcel Duchamp's "Sad Young Man in a Train" (as The Big Lebowski's face flies across the screen)]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Marcel Duchamp, shh shh!
[cut to an image of the cover of the print edition of "DDC 23" (changed to spell out "Dada Decimal Classicacodylate")]
JUD BARRY: [singing] They passed for a librarian!
[Barry stops singing, as an image of a urinal appears on screen (labelled "P*ss for a Librarian")]
JUD BARRY: They're not gonna print it ...
[Barry pops up and shushes the camera, then cut back to an image of "Googled: The End of the World as We Know It"]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Auletta's gone on Google!
[the camera pans down across the title of the book]
JUD BARRY: [singing] He tells us all that it's the end!
[the subtitle of the book is replaced with "I Feel Fine"]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Of the world as we know it, shh shh shh! Like we need a bad remix of REM!
[cut back to Barry "playing" his tie, super-imposed over an image of Auletta's book]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Librarians love the robosearch! The algorithmic artificial sense! It makes it better, shh shh shh! When they add in real intelligence!
[cut to an image of "Franklin's Experiment, June 1752"]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Long-term, where's Google?
[the image flashes (to simulate lightning), then Google Cloud logo appears and covers Franklin's kite]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Corporate ashes, shh shh!
[cut to a closeup of the cloud, as "Public Property" flashes across the screen]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Corporate dust, shh shh!
[cut back to Barry "playing" his tie]
JUD BARRY: [singing] Can't pass for a librarian!
[cut back to the image of the Google Cloud and Ben Franklin, as his kite has been replaced with the New Yorker logo]
JUD BARRY: This is the New Yorker ...
[Barry appears on screen and shushes the camera, then the screen cuts to black]
["Dulciferous is a librarian" appears on screen]
["Chateau Nougat-Chouchou Halloween 2013" appears on screen]
Freedom of Information
A British newspaper wants to take its aggressive investigations global, but money is running out.
by Ken Auletta
October 7, 2013
At eight-thirty on the morning of June 21st, Alan Rusbridger, the unflappable editor of the Guardian, Britain's liberal daily, was in his office, absorbing a lecture from Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister David Cameron. Accompanying Heywood was Craig Oliver, Cameron's director of communications. The deputy editor, Paul Johnson, joined them in Rusbridger's office, overlooking the Regent's Canal, which runs behind King's Cross station, in North London. According to Rusbridger, Heywood told him, in a steely voice, "The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, the Attorney General, and others in government are extremely concerned about what you're doing."
Since June 5th, the Guardian had been publishing top-secret digital files provided by Edward Snowden, a former contract employee of the National Security Agency. In a series of articles, the paper revealed that the N.S.A., in the name of combatting terrorism, had monitored millions of phone calls and e-mails as well as the private deliberations of allied governments. It also revealed, again relying on Snowden's documents, that, four years earlier, the Government Communications Headquarters (G.C.H.Q.), Britain's counterpart to the N.S.A., had eavesdropped on the communications of other nations attending the G20 summit, in London.
Such articles have become a trademark of the Guardian. In 2009, it published the first in a torrent of stories revealing how Rupert Murdoch's British tabloids had bribed the police and hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians, and the Royal Family. In 2010, the Guardian published a trove of WikiLeaks documents that disclosed confidential conversations among diplomats of the United States, Britain, and other governments, and exposed atrocities that were committed in Iraq and Afghanistan; in August, Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, a private in the U.S. Army, was sentenced to up to thirty-five years in prison for his role in the leak.
Now Rusbridger was poised to publish a story about how the G.C.H.Q. not only collected vast quantities of e-mails, Facebook posts, phone calls, and Internet histories but shared these with the N.S.A. Heywood had learned about the most recent revelation when Guardian reporters called British authorities for comment; he warned Rusbridger that the Guardian was in possession of stolen government documents. "We want them back," he said. Unlike the U.S., Britain has no First Amendment to guard the press against government censorship. Rusbridger worried that the government would get a court injunction to block the Guardian from publishing not only the G.C.H.Q. story but also future national-security stories. "By publishing this, you're jeopardizing not only national security but our ability to catch pedophiles, drug dealers, child sex rings," Heywood said. "You're an editor, but you have a responsibility as a citizen as well." (Cameron's office did not respond to requests for comment.)
Rusbridger replied that the files contained information that citizens in a democracy deserved to know, and he assured Heywood that he had scrubbed the documents so that no undercover officials were identified or put at risk. He had also taken steps to insure the story's publication. Days earlier, Rusbridger had sent a Federal Express package containing a thumbnail drive of selected Snowden documents to an intermediary in the U.S. The person was to pass on the package to Paul Steiger, the former editor of the Wall Street Journal and the founding editor of the online, nonprofit news site ProPublica; if the Guardian was muzzled, Steiger would publish the documents on ProPublica. Besides, Rusbridger reminded Heywood, the government's reach was limited: Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian blogger and columnist with whom Snowden had shared the documents, lived in Brazil, and was edited by Janine Gibson, a Guardian editor in New York.
"It was a little like watching two Queen's Counsel barristers in a head-to-head struggle, two very polished performers engaging each other," Johnson, the deputy editor, said. The Guardian has a reputation as a leftish publication that enjoys poking the establishment; its critics object that it allows commentary to occasionally slip into its headlines and news stories. Rusbridger, who is fifty-nine, has been its editor for eighteen years. He wears square, black-framed glasses and has a mop of dark hair that sprawls across his head and over his ears. He could pass for a librarian. "His physical appearance doesn't tell you how tough he is," Nick Davies, the investigative reporter whose byline dominated the Murdoch and WikiLeaks stories, said.