Someone please get this man some pancakes.
February 8, 2002 9:38 PM   Subscribe


 
please, make the pancakes links stop.
posted by moz at 9:49 PM on February 8, 2002


pancakes aside, that's just a horrible thing to do. why would you want to ruin a place that provided a free educational resource?
posted by lotsofno at 10:03 PM on February 8, 2002


yep, you are asking for it.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 10:03 PM on February 8, 2002


Mmmm, pancakes.
posted by verdezza at 10:07 PM on February 8, 2002


I wonder if it was his own version of book-burning. The article doesn't mention if they were all copies of Catcher in the Rye or anything. What a pointless act. "Hey, I know what I'll do today, I'm going to destroy information!"
posted by mathowie at 10:15 PM on February 8, 2002


Why would he do it?

"The man spent two months at Western State Hospital after the King County library incidents, and is likely to be returned there in the current case, KING-TV reported."

Let me go out on a limb here and take a wild guess that he is suffering from chronic mental illness, probably some kind of delusional disorder or schizophrenia. Pointless to us, but I'll bet he's easily able to justify it to himself.
posted by apollo at 10:33 PM on February 8, 2002


There's such a thing as second-degree malicious mischief? Wow! You can be charged with that if you do donuts on a football field or smash windows at Starbucks so be sure to switch to decaf. There's also unlawful discharge of a laser in the first degree! My but don't they have a law against everything nowadays?
posted by ZachsMind at 10:33 PM on February 8, 2002


mathowie, I can't make this out as book-burning but, then again, I can't make this out as anything other than wacko. The AP report is so badly written---
"'These are just completely unsalvageable,' [Domkoski] said [...] 'It's malicious, it's senseless.'"
"...but library employees have managed to salvage most of the damaged materials, Domkoski said."
Seems Domkoski can't get his story straight or---is it AP that can't get *it's* story straight?
If anybody came by my house and poured syrup over any random stack of books herein (even if it were the stack I set aside for the hospital thrift shop), I'd take a blunt object to his head.
I think this guy's a wacko...but then I think book-burners are wackos, too...and I'd take the same blunt object to their heads if they messed with my books.
posted by realjanetkagan at 11:30 PM on February 8, 2002


You seem keen on taking blunt objects to people's heads. That strikes me as a little wacko. It's my bet that you don't have too many friends that are "wackos" what with the strict parameters that you have so you won't have to worry about your books, or jail time.
posted by ashbury at 12:27 AM on February 9, 2002


What a lame reporting job. You know, there is quite a difference whether he was using Pure Maple Syrup or some crap like Ms. Buttworths. "Cane them, cane them I say Mr. Prime Minister, that will stop this nonsense."
posted by Mack Twain at 12:42 AM on February 9, 2002


Wow. This sound like something out of the Trenton High School Theatre Arts production of When Mrs. Buttersworth Goes Bad, wherein A 500-year old demon is ressurrected and possesses a syrup bottle. Now one guy must stop her before her army takes over the world. Or maybe not.
posted by bragadocchio at 4:15 AM on February 9, 2002


I hope they throw the book at 'em. *sound of crickets*

I got nothing.
posted by Tacodog at 7:08 AM on February 9, 2002


that bastard! how does he dared to do that? he should get his intestines filled with syrup via the anus! books are sacred, man; and destroying them and only be charged with "second-degree malicious mischief" it's nonsense. it's more nonsense if you consider he has do the same before. someone should invent a device called "syrup-detector" to be put at the entrance of the libraries…
posted by trismegisto at 7:36 AM on February 9, 2002


Or syrup-sniffing dogs.
posted by davidmsc at 8:43 AM on February 9, 2002


I'd take the same blunt object to their heads if they messed with my books.

::: joins the book-protection brigade, swinging a hammer and trying to look menacing :::
posted by rushmc at 10:07 AM on February 9, 2002


It doesn't look like he targeted specific books as he poured syrup into the book-drops, so can't have know exactly what he was destroying. Unless he was just against reading, period.

Ah, it's terrible though. Books are sacred. I think the burning of the library at Alexandria is among the saddest events in history. (Well - there are so many to choose from...)
posted by mdn at 10:32 AM on February 9, 2002


Mmmm... pancakes.
posted by hitsman at 11:41 AM on February 9, 2002


I've never gotten the "books are sacred" deal. I read books constantly. I buy books for personal enjoyment, hardback and paperback. I have a degree in English.

But I still don't get it. The days of books as the repository for information are over. Book burnings (and this numbskull's shenanigans) are no threat to knowledge. All they do is make the participants look as foolish as they are.

Books are just another possesion.
posted by NortonDC at 11:55 AM on February 9, 2002


makes me embarrassed to be from Tacoma. (I wonder which libraries those were - we have some really nice little libraries!)

actually, it makes me wonder about the larger story. I live in the general vicinity of Western State - and it looks like he didn't make it far before going back to his syrup-pouring ways. does that mean that he was living in Tacoma before the original stint @ Western State, or that he didn't have the means to go back to wherever he'd been before then?

one of the things that must surely contribute to Tacoma's reputation is the proximity of Western State.
posted by epersonae at 12:38 PM on February 9, 2002


Quote from article #1 :

"These are just completely unsalvagable," he said as he looked over damaged items Friday. "It's malicious, it's senseless."

Quote from article #2 :

Ruined books probably won't be replaced, but library employees have managed to salvage most of the damaged materials, Domkoski said.

Consistency is a lost art form.
posted by Satapher at 1:14 PM on February 9, 2002


Perhaps the particular books looked at Friday while the comment was said are unsalvagable, but most of the other damaged materials are?
posted by EatenByAGrue at 1:56 PM on February 9, 2002


> The days of books as the repository for information are over.

Just wait 'til the day the power grid goes dark. If you want your deathless prose to be read a thousand years down the road you better make sure it's written on something that can be read without any technical infrastructure except eyeballs.
posted by jfuller at 3:02 PM on February 9, 2002


Books are just another possesion.

And yet, somehow, I see a difference between these objects that self-disseminate knowlege and a Brittney Spears T-shirt.

(and what jfuller said as I was previewing this.)
posted by rushmc at 3:05 PM on February 9, 2002


jfuller - If you want your deathless prose to be read a thousand years down the road you better make sure it's written on something that can be read without any technical infrastructure except eyeballs.

And you'd better be sure it's not the standard paper that 99% of what you see today is printed on, as its acid nature will make it crumble away in 200-300 years even when treated with care.
posted by NortonDC at 4:09 PM on February 9, 2002


But I still don't get it. The days of books as the repository for information are over. Book burnings (and this numbskull's shenanigans) are no threat to knowledge. All they do is make the participants look as foolish as they are.

Well, generally yes, but it depends on the book. If you were to go out and burn one of only two or there extant copies of an important 17th-century tome, it's a little more of a crime against knowledge than if you set aflame the latest Danielle Steel novel.

Also, there are usually far fewer copies of most books out there than most people realize. The average book never even has more than a couple thousand copies printed in the first place, most of which don't sell and end up being pulped. And the ones that sell the fewest copies are the ones least likely to have their contents saved in any computerized form ... especially those written pre-1985 or so. So I'd say it's a little early to get too nonchalant about book burnings in general, unless you know they're wasting their time on guaranteed-to-stick-around-forEVer titles like Harry Potter. Then you may feel free to just point and laugh.
posted by aaron at 4:50 PM on February 9, 2002


aaron - Well, generally yes, but it depends on the book.

Then that means the text is sacred, not the book.
posted by NortonDC at 5:33 PM on February 9, 2002


But if the book is the only copy of the text...?
posted by aaron at 5:56 PM on February 9, 2002


Besides, there's something to be said for retaining copies of books as physical works of art, not just as formless vessels for the containment of words. The cover art, hand-binding techniques used on 250-year-old books, etc.
posted by aaron at 5:57 PM on February 9, 2002


aaron - But if the book is the only copy of the text...?

That means it's time to make copies, especially electronic ones. I have much more faith in the continued availability of the texts collected in Project Gutenberg than damn near anything else.

Besides, there's something to be said for retaining copies of books as physical works of art, not just as formless vessels for the containment of words. The cover art, hand-binding techniques used on 250-year-old books, etc.

That varies work to work, which means it not something intrinsic to any "sacred" nature of books.
posted by NortonDC at 9:50 PM on February 9, 2002


> its acid nature will make it crumble away in 200-300 years

I write my personal blog on cuneiform tablets, Norton. Haven't gotten many hits yet but boy are they durable.
posted by jfuller at 6:22 AM on February 10, 2002


They caught him.
posted by NortonDC at 2:17 PM on February 11, 2002


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