Saturday, May 29, 2010

Letter to the Library

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.
Peter De Vries

To whom it may concern at the public library:

I do not appreciate, nor do I find it appropriate, that you advocate rape.

Don’t deny it. You know what I’m talking about. That poster on the giant bulletin board that greets you when you enter the library. The one next to the flyers about yoga class, and story time and poetry hour. The one that says “Rape Each Other.” Yeah, that one. I have a problem with it.

The library is a family place. And even if it weren’t, rape is never okay. Never.

I realized after the second, no third, no fourth look that there were three other words on the page, and if you put all those words together, the poster actually advocates against rape, or for awareness or for keeping an eye out for rape or some anti-rape related message.

But those other words, the ones after “rape” and before “each other”, the ones that are the pivotal difference between a pro-rape, and anti-rape message, were barely visible on the poster. Why? Because the poster was black. And the word RAPE, was in big bold white letters at the top of the poster. And the words EACH OTHER were also in big bold white letters at the bottom of the poster. And those three pivotal words WATCH OUT FOR were in light black fuzzy smaller letters in the middle of the poster.

In case you haven’t connected the dots here, white writing stands out against a black background and is easy to read. Light black writing against a black background? Not so much.

So I’m going to need to you to either fix the poster or take it down. Yes, I finally realized the message was, RAPE: WATCH OUT FOR EACH OTHER, but that was after a quadruple take and much studying and squinting and getting out of the glasses because surely my library isn’t telling me to rape someone. But if I were in a hurry and just flying by, that’s exactly what you told me to do. And that’s not cool.


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