Sorry, was channeling the Daily Mail there for a moment. It is a little sad to see the boxes being removed, although I doubt most people will care too much. I can't say I cared when people stopped sending telegrams…
Anyway, today I rejoined the library, after a considerable period of absence. Unfortunately, I didn't have the correct identification (a passport was all very well, but I needed something confirming my address, which sadly a passport doesn't have), so I can only take out two items until I provide something better. I did have a look for the books that have been recently recommended to me, but it appears that the library has had a refit recently, which has installed lots of new computers, DVDs, videos, and CDs, but removed most of the books. The books that remain are arranged in an interesting fashion, unless the placing of the Jack The Ripper books in the Careers section is a new tactic by the Government to wean the long-term unemployment back to work ("can't find conventional work? Why not try serial killing? Comes with Healthcare plan!").
I'll order the books when I go back with further id; this time, I left with a book on Dada and Jon Ronson's Them, a book about various conspiracy theorists and their views on the New World Order, government crackdowns, and twelve-feet high lizards. It has a great opening:
It was a balmy Saturday afternoon in Trafalgar Square in the summertime, and Omar Bakri Mohammed was declaring Holy War on Britain. He stood on a podium at the front of Nelson's Column and announced he would not rest until he saw the Black Flag of Islam flying over Downing Street. There was much cheering. The space had been rented out to him by Westminster Council.Eventually, Ronson discovers that there's a common element to most of the conspiracies, a cabal known as the Bilderberg Group who meet once a year and decide the fate of the world. He sets off to find out more, only to find himself being followed on the streets of Portugal:
Sandra from the British Embassy called me on my mobile phone to inform me that she had spoken to the Bilderberg office at Caesar Park and they had said that nobody was following us and how could they call off someone who didn't exist?It's quite funny, although Ronson always reminds you that there's an edge to the people he's going around with; off-hand comments, visits to the ADL, people making martyrs out of others who have suffered tragedies, and so on. Definitely worth a checkout from the library, I think (Jon Ronson is currently writing a follow-up, which will be out at the end of the year, with a new Channel 4 series following at around the same time).
'He is,' I said, in a staccato whisper, 'behind the tree.'
'The good news,' said Sandra, 'is if you know you're being followed, they're probably just trying to intimidate you. The dangerous one would be those you don't know are following you.'
But this was scant comfort. What if these men were the dangerous ones, and I just happened to be naturally good at spotting them? What if I was adept at this?
Haven't started the other book yet, but I imagine it'll be interesting, although I doubt there will be any appearances by the Brotherhood of Dada, the greatest supervillains of all time: