Skip to main content

Maybe shame-based competition WOULD solve our nation's problems

I went to my hometown this weekend of Champaign, Illinois. Champaign is located in the center of the state (basically), but if you talk to someone from Chicago, they will say it's in "southern Illinois." This is because people from the Chicago area are tools and think everything south of Chicago is southern Illinois. THE REASON THIS IS INSULTING is that in Champaign, WE make fun of that area. We do not wish to be included in it. They have southernish accents because of being on the border with Kentucky and Missouri, and they're all farmers. I think. True, Champaign is surrounded by cornfields, but we have an EXCELLENT university. A university that smells like cow manure when the wind is right, but an excellent university nonetheless.


I am writing a post solely so I can use this gif

The Champaign Public Library was one of my favorite places in Champaign growing up. It was the only place of note I could walk to from my parents', it had microfilm machines so I could do research on whatever weird topics had found me that week (also I got to pretend I was about to crack a murder case, because why else do people look through microfilm? certainly not to print out opera reviews from the '70s, I can tell you that), and the VHS section enabled my obsessions from Kathryn Grayson to Barbara Stanwyck in an era where there was Blockbuster or nothing.

The old Champaign library was hiiiiideous. Mainly because it had been built in the 1970s, a decade when there should have been a moratorium on architecture -- "Hey, we seem to be designing things terribly. Let's just sit this out until it fixes itself" -- but I loved its aesthetically unpleasant corrugated aluminum siding. I just searched for a photo of it, but no one took one because it was too ugly. 

Champaign has a rivalry with its twin city Urbana. Imagine if Democrats and Republicans were each given free rein of a town, and you have Urbana-Champaign. Everything in Urbana is very pretty and very old and very poorly maintained because they never have money. Everything in Champaign is commerce-driven and shiny and kinda sorta soulless. And we were shamed -- SHAMED -- by the Urbana Free Library (get over yourselves, Urbana, all public libraries are free) because it was this big beautiful stone edifice built in 1918 and we had our ugly stepsister library next door because our city didn't care enough about making its library pretty.

UNTIL. UNTIL ONE DAY, when I can only assume a councilman said "Fuck this, we're getting a better library than Urbana" and we built this marvelous creation:


I miss the building I walked to on the weekends and drove to first thing after I got my license, but I'm not an idiot. I'm not going to bemoan the fact that the children of Champaign now have to deal with a gorgeous library with a successful self checkout system that Chicago tried and failed at. And there's a FriendShop in the basement where you can buy donated or discarded books, and it's raised $50,000 for extra programs so far. I bought these:

This was like $7

Champaign's library is awesome. I'm super proud of it. It weirdly gives me hope for Republicans. Maybe if we say things like "Hey, y'know, uh, Mexico's got awesome healthcare," they'll be like "SCREW MEXICO, USA #1 WE'LL GET THE BEST HEALTHCARE IN THE WORLD." And then we can fix all our problems. One can only hope.


Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'. You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters. If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing: We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilar

Minithon: The Mini Readathon, January 11th, 2020

The minithon is upon us once more! Minithons are for the lazy. Minithons are for the uncommitted. Minithons are for us. The minithon lasts 6 hours (10 AM to 4 PM CST), therefore making it a mini readathon, as opposed to the lovely Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon and 24in48, both of which you should participate in, but both of which are a longer commitment than this, the Busy Watching Netflix person's readathon. By 'read for six hours' what's really meant in the minithon is "read a little bit and eat a lot of snacks and post pictures of your books and your snacks, but mostly your snacks." We like to keep it a mini theme here, which mainly means justifying your books and your snacks to fit that theme. Does your book have children in it? Mini people! Does it have a dog! Mini wolf! Does it have pencils? Mini versions of graphite mines! or however you get graphite, I don't really know. I just picture toiling miners. The point is, justify it or don't

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop ( Odyssey Books , where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have. I feel like we could get to this point, Emily INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy