by Neil Godfrey
Oh the searing intellectual prowess that is being brought to bear against the mythicist case and mythicist bloggers such as myself! How can we withstand this pulverising assault? This shock and awe!
Steph and Maurice have found a post of mine from 2010 in which I explained that though I was a librarian I never saw or touched a book.
One of his statements followed on a shocking earthquake in New Zealand: ‘I’m a librarian, but I never see or touch a book’. Perhaps this is why he seems incapable of gathering information available in books with any semblance of accuracy. (Maurice Casey, Mythicism: A Story of Bias, Incompetence and Falsehood, accessed 23/5/2012 – I like the rhetorical touch Casey uses to introduce what he is about to say about me — See my P.S. at the end of this post for a response to the innuendo Casey has planted here.)
It is also apparent he does not read whole books, once claiming on his blog ‘I’m a librarian, but I never see or touch a book.’ (Stephanie Fisher, An Exhibitions of Incompetence . . . accessed 23/5/2012)
Both footnotes point to my 2010 post, Oh Dear! What Half a Million Books Thrown on the Floor by an Earthquake Look Like . . .
The context surely explains that I was speaking about my job — that though I am a librarian I do not work with books but with digital resources — and not about my personal devotion to study and books. But such a distinction is apparently far too subtle for Steph and Maurice, blinded as they seem to be by a compelling need to find fault at any cost in one whose arguments they have diligently avoided addressing.
Maurice’s and Steph’s “exposure” of my supposedly willful bibliophobia is as meaningful as faulting a bank manager for saying he never sees or touches cash.
Or for chastising a computer programmer (who only works at a terminal all day) for saying he never sees or touches a computer.
If you’re asked while driving if you want to share a beer and you say No, do you expect to be understood as saying that you are a teetotaller?
My whole point, as is surely clear from the context — and note that Steph Fisher herself was the first to comment on that post and expressed no such indignation over what she and Maurice have supposedly discovered subsequently in my words — is that, contrary to popular perceptions, not all librarians do work with books. A number of us work full-time on digital and online resources. A more apt job description for me would be something like “research data manager and digital resources coordinator” — establishing policies and procedures for the management of research datasets, research publications and cultural resources to make them as widely accessible as possible via the web. But no-one knows what any of that means so “librarian” it still is. My comment in the post was alluding to the wider discussion of the future of print-books in a digital age.
This is as profoundly devastating to my reputation as James McGrath’s innuendo that I appeared never to have actually read a particular book I was discussing because I enclosed its title with quotation marks instead of italicizing it!
Steph once informed me that she passed on to Maurice Casey all he needed to know about me and this blog. So I am surprised she did not mention my collection of cash computers beers books at http://www.librarything.com/home/neilgodfrey nor the many scores upon scores of blog posts addressing scholarly books I have read, liked and shared with others on this blog (see the Categories drop-down list on the right hand margin).
But Steph knows that the logic of her criticism is flawed so she tries to fudge her complaint to suggest I really meant I never read “whole” books.
If this is the depth of criticism I am going to have to wade through I can see I won’t need to be rolling up my trousers past my ankles.
I have professional colleagues working at the Canterbury Library. I was relieved to learn all were okay and there had been no mass fatalities as were experienced in the horrific 2011 disaster. The image of the books fallen from the shelves went the rounds of librarians everywhere and all empathized with those who would have the task of picking everything up. At least we could ease some of the shared pain by finding room to make light of it to some extent given that no lives were lost and that there was only a mess to clean, not total destruction.