Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Hurray for Sex, Cursing and Witchcraft!

Damn, shit, fuck, crap...

There, you've now read something that might be worthy of being banned or deemed unacceptable for the those with gentler sensibilities.

Oh, and "nipple." Nipple, nipple, nipple.

Just read how a Colorado school district banned Rudolfo Anaya's book, Bless Me, Ultima, on account of foul language. Though I've never read the book, it is critically acclaimed and I seriously doubt that the naughty language is as gratuitous as my little spew above.

What, pray tell, is the point of this kind of censorship? Besides making a book more alluring to a young (or old) audience, censorship is futile. We all live in a world where people cuss and yes-indeedie, have sex.

Persusing the list of Frequently Challenged books at the American Library Association site, I see the following:

3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou--Never read it, but no doubt disturbs the easily disturbed because it deals with "reality."
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain--Mark Twain is, at least fun to read. As opposed to all the Shakespeare that high schoolers are forced to slog through, utter obliterating any love of the written word.
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck--Again, "reality" frightens the easily frightened.
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling--Reviled by God freaks whose faith is so weak that a novel might turn them into robe-wearing devil worshipers.
8. Forever by Judy Blume--Snerk. Show of hands. Who hasn't read Forever? It was, in my day, anyway, considered to be "the" naughty book to read. Ironically, I write hotter sex scenes. Forever is guilty of one thing--an accurate depiction of just how crappy teenage sex really is.
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman--Ah, yes, the "Right" protecting the rest of us from "gay cooties."
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger--Tedious, self-absorbed journey of a perpetually bored teen. Hardly subversive.
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry--Features a utopian society where people, glurp, care about other people. Can't have that. Not in Dubya Bush's American, anyhow.
16. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine--Because we can't frighten the little darlings. Or maybe the faithless God freaks find the books threatening.
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker--Hmm, perhaps, like Maya Angelou's novel, challenged because it deals with, glurp, black people?
20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel--Cave people sex, mercy me. I guess it's safer to pretend that we all are the products of immaculate conception.
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous--Because even a negative depiction of drug usage upsets the anti-drug zealots.

Okay, I'll stop. But what the above list demonstrates is how many people have a profound intolerance for reality. Sex is a reality. Teenagers having sex is a reality. (They were doing it back in the "good old days." They just didn't talk about it as much.) Cursing is reality. America's Greatest Generation, the WWII folks cussed. (What do you think FUBAR stands for?)

If a child brings home a book with challenging concepts, a parent should be...gasp...a parent and use it as an opportunity to talk about their values. And...let the kid read the book. To do otherwise is to raise a child in a vaccum.

On that note...I pre-ordered the next Harry Potter book. So I should get it soon after it comes out in July. No waiting forever on the library hold list. (Thanks to the Kirby's gift certificate.)

Nikolaij...
Is still for sale, cheap. (Kidding)
Did the loud, banging thing last night around midnight. Just long enough for me to get up and start to head out to the barn. Then he shut up.

I couldn't get back to sleep. Damn horse.

Writing...
Got part of Chapter Three in the romance written--working title Pinnochio's Dream. Did the weekly critique for Critters.

Still toying with a story based on the Perfect Circle's song "Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums." The song is about repression in a time of war (timely, eh?). I find the lyrics particularly evocative.

I'll be the one to protect you from your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from a will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from your enemies and your choices, son.
They're one in the same.
I must isolate you.
Isolate and save you from yourself
Sleep.
Sleep
.

I think the resulting story will be dark, scratchy, and R-rated, much like the song. Probably SF.

Cheers,

P.K.

 

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