Saturday, September 24, 2011

Parked In Front Of The TV

Do you know what I hate?  Trees.  Who do they think they are?  Just standing there, all haughty and obtrusive, housing all manner of vermin and shamelessly littering the landscape with reproductive droppings and spent leaves.  To top it off, they're the cause of 100% of forest fires. 

And do you know what else I can’t stand?  Slides.  What’s the point of climbing a flight of stairs just to zip back down?  It is idiotic behavior and an irresponsible allocation of time.   What kind of message is that to send to the children?  As a taxpayer, I’m aghast that we fund either of these boondoggles.

Of course those are ridiculous assertions, but I’m preparing my opening salvo in case our Parks and Rec department takes any cues from the show that bares the same name.   If you don’t watch the series, NBC’s Parks and Recreation goes out of its way to malign the noble profession of librarianship.   For instance, here’s a quote from the show made by the Parks department’s deputy director Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler):  “The library is the worst group of people ever assembled in history. They're mean, conniving, rude, and extremely well-read, which makes them dangerous.”  This running gag depicts Pawnee, Indiana’s library as the darling of public institutions, and it is the contention of the Parks department that the esteem is hugely undeserved.  Here’s another gem:  “Pawnee's library department is the most diabolical, ruthless bunch of bureaucrats I've ever seen. They're like a biker gang. But instead of shotguns and crystal meth, they use political savvy... and shushing.”

Aside from slandering libraries, the show is pretty outstanding.  It is shot in the same mockumentary-style as The Office and on first blush has the feel of a spinoff (which in some ways it is, as the show’s creators had both been writers for The Office).  But it is really more of a scrappy younger cousin.  The series centers on the earnest and optimistic-to-a-fault deputy director, Leslie, who deeply believes in the power of public service.  She is balanced by her libertarian boss, Ron, who only works in government to undermine it.  The supporting cast is phenomenal, including hilarious young comedians like Aziz Ansari and Aubrey Plaza.  Parks and Recreation just started its fourth season this week - a middle-aged milestone for a sitcom - and should be hitting peak funniness any time now.  I’d suggest tuning in.  And if you need to play catch-up, we have the first three seasons here at your diabolical library.

Ransom - Reference

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