Bread or Circuses? Or Bread and Circuses?

If history serves as a guide, succumbing thoughtlessly to decadent desires will bring about ruin. But that's not to say that bread and circuses always spell doom and disaster. After all, we all need to eat, and given the pressures of modern life, a little bit of folly may actually be necessary to keep us sane.

Given the tough economic conditions today, everyone are getting less and less of both. Although I am fortunate to be in fairly good standing, I am nonetheless concerned about what tomorrow may bring, so I have definitely cut back on eating out. I've been bringing leftovers for lunch more frequently (including all week this week, just like the old days). I've also noticed that brown-bagging is on the rise for everyone else, just as cafeterias and restaurants have become less crowded.

In an environment where people are preferring day-old bread over the daily bread in order to save some dough, you can bet that discretionary line-items like clothing and entertainment are going by the wayside. Clothing can be optional, but sometimes laughter is still the best medicine for mental health; it may be urgently needed now more than ever. However, the last thing we want is having to make a choice between nourishment and fun. Fortunately, thanks to the public libraries, you can have your bread along with a side of the circus (sans clowns, of course).

According to the LA Times, there has been an upswing in the usage of libraries. People have been cancelling their Netflix subscriptions to save some money and checking out movies from the local library for free. I've long shunned the library for movies, since the one back in my hometown had a very lousy A/V selection. Now that I have access to a library that is at least 10 times the size of that dinky library, I should take advantage of it more often.

Unfortunately, due to the fiscal emergency in California, I'm concerned that free won't stay free for long. Either some libraries may close, or fees will be charged. Either way, libraries will still be a great source of relatively cheap thrills.


Eli said...

We've been seeing a surge of people at the library since the beggining of last year. We offer all kinds of dvd rentals for free, even the most recent movies. They're willing to put up with the quarter a day fines, at least the sane ones. The las vegas libraries may be a different situation than maybe the LA ones, I wouldnt really know. Were about to open a new one!

Sales Rack Raider said...

It's great to know that people are using the resources, and new libraries are always good =). Based on the packed parking lots, I dare say the the LA libraries are pretty popular these days, but I don't know what is going to happen due to budget cuts. I love the Central Library in Downtown LA, but I haven't been there in a while; it has a pretty good selection. Can't say that about some library collections elsewhere, though.