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Repair <- vs -> conserve

Just why does Cor Knops think it would be "unethical" for Sue Dunlap to
repair some hymnals, if that is what the church wants?

I am assuming the hymnals in question are not rare treasures, so that
there is no "higher duty" to the objects themselves. I also assume that
the hymnals are used every Sunday and are kind of beat up. The church
apparently does not want them "conserved" in their current condition, nor
do they want to pay to have them "restored" to their original condition.
New books would be a lot cheaper. Maybe the church would rather spend the
money on a soup kitchen they run.

Does Cor Knops think that if Sue refuses the request to repair the
hymnals, the church will realize they have no alternative but to spend a
great deal more money, and send them to be "restored" or "conserved" by
Cor Knops or someone else? It seems to me that this is Cor's real reason
for calling Sue "unethical." It is the same reason for calling
strikebreakers or union members "scabs" or "yellow dogs" for violating
union rules or undercutting union wages. Who elected Cor Knops to General
Secretary of the Book Restorer's and Conserver's Union?

I also did not like the insufferable way Cor Knops denigrates other
workers. In my short experience, I have not seen a more mean-spirited
piece on this list.  Does Cor Knops think books--even hymnals, to be
sure--are more "holy" than cars, and that auto mechanics and others who
repair such lowly utilitarian objects are trash? I like books a lot, but
some people are really crazy about cars and who can say their tastes are
not equally worthy? Not to mention that most cars cost more than most
books. Also, many would agree that a good auto mechanic is hard to find.
I know I'm sputtering with indignation here, but in closing I would like
to say that I would rather spend time with any of the auto mechanics I
know than with someone like Cor Knops.


Wayne Batcheler
New  York

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