Just Like Europe

Read Gina Barreca's report on the AWP confererence, starting with our panel on Sick Humor.
I'm back at The Market and on my way to the public library for the Living Library event.
Alas, the Living Library event was a huge disappointment. More than a tinge of the do-gooder to it. There was a room in the basement of the public library with tables across it. Each table had two people you could "check out" for an interval to talk to you about bee keeping or urban bicycling and the like. The bee-keeper was checked out and wasn't back when she was supposed to be. And it was all theoretical for me, because I don't plan to keep bees. But that looked like the most interesting topic. The Westward weekly newspaper listing about the event said that such things are done in Europe. The whole thing seemed very Fahrenheit 451-ish.
Tonight B and I walked around Denver and saw a bookstore advertising a contest to see who could write best about what book s/he would be if s/he had to be one, a la Fahrenheit 451, the premise of which is that booked are banned.

Internationally, there is the Human Library, also a do-gooder project. The notion is that you can choose among an array of people to "check out" and the interaction reduces prejudice and stereotypes. It was started in Denmark by some kids who sought to eliminated violence after their friend was stabbed in the back. (He survived.)