Sunday, July 15, 2007

Censor This! (Our Censorship Round-Up)

Oh, my. Lots to link to this week:

  • A new media rating site for parents, Kids in Mind, that doesn't make moral judgements, but instead gives parents information, so they can make their own judgements.
  • The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression has chosen Speechless (a non-fiction title) by Bruce Barry as its “ABFFE Book of the Month," part of a campaign to promote free speech.
  • One of those depressing lists about how little Americans read that make you want to give up writing completely.
  • Another example of American Puritanism: the illustrator of a German picture book is asked to censor two anatomically correct pieces of art in a museum. Honestly, the pictures must be seen for this story to seem as outrageous as it is.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bazoongas Redux

Aha, the press has uncovered the "bazoongas" story. In other words this is the continuing saga of the banning of Nikki Tate's Trouble on Tarragon book.

Edmonton Journal

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Alas, the press can't resist a few jokes about the topic (nor could I for that matter). But the actual reasons for banning this book are, well, even more ludicrous. Here's what the principal says are the reasons behind the "screening" of the book: "In this case, the book was screened and was found to be not suitable for addition to Elizabeth School's library because of the language used in the bullying scene in question, he said.
"Do you work from the assumption that everything that is published automatically is guaranteed a spot in a school library until it's removed? And then if something doesn't make it on the shelves you call it censorship?" said Parohl."

So it's only censorship after you put it on the shelf then take it off? But if you choose not to put the book on the shelf at all that is just "screening." Ah, I see. This book has been nominated for three awards. And who were the people who put together those lists of nominees? Librarians. How dare they put a books with interesting stories on their awards lists!

This is really a laugh and cry story. I mean what's so offensive about the word "bazoongas"? It's not even a real swear word.