Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I treasure and admire efforts which will engender in people a love and appreciation for writing, print, and books. You can include newspapers in that list.

Gail Lindley of legendary Denver Bookbinding in North Denver, has joined up with Denver Public Library to raise consciousness on what goes into bookbinding. She offers an open house at her pioneer Denver company at which folks can learn the ins and outs of creative bookbinding. I hope to get the Auditor's office over to her business soon.

At the dinner I was honored to attend on Thanksgiving, several six, seven and eight year olds lined up for fat browned turkey. I asked them if they were studying cursive in their schools. One youngster responded "isn't that where you connect all the printed letters by lines?" "Bingo," I smiled. She said she was teaching herself cursive since the school was not teaching it. Cursive is out now. Printed letters only. The promise of a great education, but cursive need not apply.

Cursive has been out for used, on the scrap heap of the politically incorrect.

A few years back, when I asked my son, Daniel Patrick, the calligrapher's son, to write neatly his ballot's signature. He irritated me as I sensed he was right when he scoffed: "Dad, if I sign neatly, the Election Department will think it's a forgery." I shot back, "Sign with your usual sloppy scrawl." He was right and he was a prophet in his own time. Hens now legally clawing away in dusty Denver yards are more legible than some scribbling I have seen. I wonder how folks at the elections department can analyze true signatures with all the hen scratching evident today? Daniel Patrick added shaking his head at my antiquated reverence for technologies from the ancient times, "Dad, you know we won't need actual written signatures anymore, we have electronic signatures on our computers." Right again, Daniel, our signatures at the city are all electronic, except for bonding documents and the like.

Dramatizing another shift in our culture to computer mediated communications there is a new public school in Denver which has no library at all. I guess this is since the students all have access to the great library in the sky in cyberspace. What was formerly a library at North High is now called The Ginn Family Learning Resource Center. I am glad the school administration finally recognized Wally and his dad's great contribution to North High and North Denver. A call to DPS notes that only ½ of the 122 libraries in DPL have librarians. The rest have teachers or paraprofessionals as available. Each school principal makes the decision. Did anyone hear this issue discussed in the recent school board election?

No more libraries? Can you hear the cheering chorus, the uproarious caterwauling by some Denver school board members, accompanied by cacophonous phalanx of DPS administrators clapping? Maybe we can eliminate all the libraries. Think of the branding opportunities. Soon all school texts will be lined up on our electronic notebooks. Will there be any books left for Gail at Denver Bookbinding to repair since you can get them electronically? Where is cyberspace anyway? Is it the great electronic library in the sky without diamonds?

So, Gail, keep up your wonderful collaboration with our Library to teach people how truly fascinating bookbinding can be. Put me on the email list. Or better yet, just tell me about it when I see you at the Safeway on 44th and Lowell.

Fr. Walter Ong, S. J., former professor at Regis University, reminds us that all technology is for the good of humanity as long as it is interiorized properly. And the new technology makes the old technology an art form.