Thursday, March 31, 2005

sock it to me

No, not another sock I'm knitting, although I am in one sock hell. I really need to knit a second sock for the ex-next door neighbor to defeat Second Sock Syndrome sometime. Soonish.

I spoke some months ago about the controversy surrounding The Evil Spawn of Hellfire's The President's appointment of Allen Weinstein as National Archivist. Well, it's a done deal now, and this article from The Washington Post regarding the topic has a rather insulting line in it for those of us who profess to be archivists:

"If the Smithsonian is the nation's attic, the Archives is the nation's sock drawer."

Excuse me for being stupid enough to ask this.

What the fucking hell is that supposed to mean?

Are we just organizing socks here, people? First of all, I was unaware that the Smithsonian, being the attic, was therefore the only thing considered "worthy" enough of being out on display. I guess the extremely long lines I see every day at 5 PM are not outside of the National Archives. I guess they're really outside of the Smithsonian. The people must just be standing in line outside of the wrong building mistakenly, that's it. Right. It couldn't be because they might actually want to see the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution or any number of other historical documents, now, could it?

Nah, that can't be it. They'd all go to the Smithsonian for that.

After all, there are only socks to be found at the National Archives.

[Note: I have never before mentioned that I once took a class from Allen Weinstein one semester I choose to forget when I was a student at Smith College, and that he was a colleague and classmate of my father's in the history department at Yale in the 1950s. The history community is very small, and my father was fairly well-known in it. Dr. Weinstein was not very personable and rarely kept his office hours, but he knew his material, and made me interested enough in history to become a history major. It doesn't mean I agree with the manner in which his appointment was made or in which John Carlin was fired by President Bush. Then again, I still don't agree in the manner in which John Carlin was appointed by President Clinton.]


Blogger Zardra said...

It's kind of sad that the rule book for the appointment process was thrown out for this position. We'll have to wait to see what direction Weinstein's going to go in.

As for the sock drawer comment... WTF!? It's that attitude that keeps NARA underfunded. *grrr*

5:39 PM  

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