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Just exactly what is a "Hell's Librarian"?
Hell is a metaphor for what is considered bad. It's that place that some people say is the "storage facility" for anything that isn't their particular flavor of "what's right".
Well, welcome to modern society. Pick your poison.
Many years ago, I had a vision that there would come a time where all of our information that was stored on the internet wouldn't be safe, and by that I meant
that it might just "disappear".
I wasn't sure why. Perhaps it was just a good case of being able to read threads of energy or certain bends and paths of trends, but what I saw was a lot of folks
losing their data. Pictures, old stories, writings, clippings, etc...all seemed like it was going to disappear by some form of closure.
We've seen this kind of thing before. Geocities took a dirt nap, photobucket gave you some time to print out your photos before they went in a different direction,
certain other places that "hold" or "store" your valuables have come and gone, changed their formats and deleted entire pasts...all with the flip of a switch.
Even if you keep your beloved memories on your home p.c., one virus can wipe out an entire hard drive.
As if those things weren't hard enough to keep up with, now we're faced with "cancel culture".
The Cambridge Dictionary has defined "cancel culture" as the following:
a way of behaving in a society or group, especially on social media, in which it is common to completely reject and stop supporting someone because they have said or done something that offends you: The main argument against cancel culture is that it doesn’t enable people who have wronged society the opportunity to apologize and learn from their mistakes. If you are an Internet user, chances are you have come across the idea that we live in a "cancel culture" or "call out culture."
It also goes on to say:
*Cancel culture has its place - it helps to call out and remove problematic people from mainstream culture.
*Let’s call cancel culture what it really is: it is our way to exert some control over a world that is increasingly becoming more dangerous and less tolerant.
*In a cancel culture, we appoint ourselves the arbiters of right and wrong and also the judge and jury, because thanks to social media, we get to dole out punishment.
"problematic", "mainstream", "control", "judge", "jury", "punishment". All of these should be red flag words, and ring heavy recollection of witch burnings.
In 1692, those who were called out as a "witch" were also called out by means of accusations, and cancelled by means of execution. That ostracization took not
only innocent lives, but made it damned difficult for those who were accused and survived to thrive any longer within their current social dynamic. Many were
forced into poverty by the confiscating of their land, personal belongings and merchandise, or were driven away from their community entirely.
Cancel culture is a slow and progressive indoctrination into that same mindset.
As we watch our communities become severed, pandemic ravaging our lives and securities, statuary and cemeteries being vandalized and cultures being vehemently condemned
and destroyed, we can't help but worry about who or what will be next.
We're already metaphorically burning the accused and weighing them down with rocks.
Granted, some of the people who are being "called out" are assholes, but what of those who have "changed their ways"? Where is forgiveness? What happened to
"it's never too late to change your mind"?
There isn't one person on the planet who doesn't have some sort of history. Much of that history is now catalogued, digitized and screenshotted. What you say today can
and probably will come back to "haunt" you in some respect. As a society, we have to understand that the things that we try to "cancel" are sometmes the only
things we have as evidence not to repeat those experiences. When common understanding of a thing is gone---it's gone.
How long before all of our histories, be they books or trinket or photo or memoir finds itself on the "chopping block" because of some new law or trend?
Museums know the value of backups as the rush is on to digitize every shred of physical history...just in case.
We must do the same...only not only in digitization of the physical, but the other way around. We need to have physical items in case the digitized versions become
This is where "Hell's Librarians" come into play.
As a hell's librarian, we agree not to partipate in cancel culture and to uphold the history of "hell" as we know it...the here and now.
We keep our histories and all things we personally find of value and interest in both digital and physical formats.
We may share photos and stories and such online, but we know it's important to keep "hard data" or physical objects just in case a particular website goes down,
or changes it's user agreement, or in case of any other misfortune.
We do this for our family as mementos by way of scrapbooks, journals and photo albums as well as for future generations to have a complete and accurate history of the
selected information we choose to save...just in case.
Somebody has to "keep the time" and since we are the caretakers of our family, we choose to do this.
Print out all photos. Either print them out on your home printer, ask a friend to print them for you or send the files to a photo printing place.
Keep these photos in a photo album or photo box, with clear dates and names of people and places.
Keep physical scrapbooks of vacations, parties, and life moments with trinkets and mementos.
Buy hard copies of your favorite music and books and other media.
Obtain a large trunk or fire safe box (or both) to store them in.
Take the oath
*ahem*...repeat after me:
"I (state your name) solemnly swear to save the history of that which I find of value by preserving it in any way possible,
without judgement, without intolerance, without predjudice and without violence or bloodshed.
I affirm that I will keep the time by keeping record of my experiences in the world as I see it, and I will do so until I cannot any longer.
I will appoint an apprentice or ask another to take up the history in the event that I am no longer able to so."
Show off your librarianship!
--->Get a printable bumper sticker (good for bike, butt or vehicle)<---
--->Grab this doohicky for your social posties<---
--->Buy a T-shirt<---
Want to help your community better, get the inside scoop on new books, old histories and other stuff? Consider volunteering or at least going to events
at your local library.
Wanna raise even more Hell?
Join the Sinister Tea Sorority...a place for socializing with fellow Hell's librarians, where you can share ideas and make friends!