Tag Archives: censorship

Censorship & Samuel L. Jackson

I realize that it is banned books week, and this is about movies, but the point that is made is the same either way.

This is not an appropriate video to watch with your children.  Seriously.

Don’t blame authors, libraries, schools, bookstores, or publishing companies because you can’t be bothered checking to see if Fifty Shades of Grey is an appropriate book for your “very advanced” twelve year old.  Read the summary.  Ask a librarian or teacher.  Use the internet.  Arrrrgh!

Oh, and for another banned book?  Do yourself a favor and pick up the audio book version of Go the F*ck to Sleep, read by Samuel L. Jackson, written by Adam Mansbach.  It’s on YouTube, but I don’t know if it’s official so I won’t post the link.  And in case you weren’t sure, it’s not a kids’ book.

Happy (adult) reading.



Filed under Books, Review

Sexist Much?

A librarian in Seattle (also a blogger) received a couple of new books from Scholastic, and immediately noticed a huge difference in them, which she posted.

The books were How to Survive Anything, one for boys, one for girls.  The boys’ book included things like how to survive a plane crash, a snakebite, a tornado.  Good things for anyone to know, right?

Well, the girls’s book had things like how to survive a BFF fight, how to have the perfect school photo, and how to survive a fashion disaster.  WTF, Scholastic?  How exactly does this make sense?  Personally, as a kid, and I’m sure my daughters would agree, I would have rather read the “Just for boys” version.  (see original post on Interactive Reader)

Well, the post went viral pretty quickly, and Scholastic has pulled the books.  Honestly, if they hadn’t been divided by gender, I don’t think it would have been that big a deal.  Maybe the girls’ version could be marketed as school survival, for everyone.  The big objection is the odd division between the genders in terms of content.  Interactive Reader posted a follow-up, in the wake of Scholastic’s decision.

I applaud her, both in her decision to bring these books to our attention, and in her questioning of whether she just participated in censorship.


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Filed under Books, Books in the News

Dr. Seuss Too Political for School?


A school board in B.C. has declared “too far!”

For a teacher had a Dr. Seuss quote in her car.

They peered through the window and suddenly spied

the terrible saying they could not abide:

“I know at the top you are seeing great sights,

but down at the bottom we too should have rights.”

Yertle stood on the others to see from the crest,

ignoring the fact that they needed a rest.

Perhaps the government should take their cue

from Seuss lest they end up with mud-faces too.


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‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Book Now Banned By Libraries In 3 States

I’m not sure about the decision by multiple libraries to ban Fifty Shades of Grey.  Now, as I said in my previous post, I am not a fan of the trilogy.  But does this count as censorship?

I understand in the case of the libraries where they don’t carry erotica, period.  But what about where they decided not to carry it because the writing is bad?  That’s a little subjective. Since when do libraries only carry books that have universally received good reviews?  If they did, they would never carry any book.

Wishful thinking aside, I would never presume to tell someone else what they can or cannot read.  Unless the library doesn’t carry any book in this genre, including “classics” by the Marquis de Sade, then they shouldn’t be banning the book.

Anyone else have any insights here?

The link below takes you to the full Huffington Post article.

‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Book Now Banned By Libraries In 3 States.


Filed under Books, Books in the News

Boycott of Archie Comics Over Gay Marriage

archieArchie Comics has put out an issue that features a gay wedding, involving a regular character who is openly gay.  To me, this is cause for celebration.  To One Million Moms, a conservative group, this practically signals the end times.  They are threatening Toys ‘R Us with a boycott, if the chain doesn’t pull the issue from its shelves.

This is not the first time that the organization has threatened a retailer  with a boycott because of their views on homosexuality – the group recently tried to get Ellen DeGeneres fired from her position as spokesperson for JC Penney – unsuccessfully.

I feel the actions of the organization (as well as the related organization, One Million Dads) are wrong for a variety a reasons.  What my primary issue is with them is their efforts at censorship.  They don’t want anything about gay people in print.  They don’t want anything about gay people in advertising.  Or on tv.    Now, in either the JC Penney campaign or the Archie comic, it’s not like there is any sexual content.  I’m pretty confident that the JC Penney campaign doesn’t feature Ellen DeGeneres saying “Shop at JC Penney.  And I’m gay”.

In my view, having kids see or read about gay people, just living normal lives, is probably the best way for them to grow up free of that kind of hatred.  And I point out that rights and freedoms go both ways: Just as people have the right to believe that being gay is wrong, other people have the right to believe that being gay is just fine.

To me, what should be kept out of toy stores is hate.  Judgement.  That is what doesn’t belong around children.  There is a children’s book which is one I frequently recommended at work called My Princess Boy, by Cheryl Kilodavis.  It is a (non-fiction) story about a little boy who likes to dress up like a princess.  The whole point of the story is acceptance, and loving someone for who they are, not what you think they should be.  That is what we should be teaching our children, and that is a lesson that should be true in every aspect of our lives.  Ideally, we’re making our children better people than we are.  (For more about My Princess Boy, visit http://myprincessboy.com/index.asp )

I finish with a  quote from Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater:

“We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday.

“We’re sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.”



Filed under Books, Bookstore, Review