Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oh, those Crazy Canucks:Pullman/Catholic Schools/Susan Juby

Gee, I thought everything was happening south of the Canadian border, eh? But no it's happening up here, too. Whatever you Americans do, we can do better. : ) First up, the banning/pulling from shelves/or hiding on the back shelf of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. Read about it here: CBC News Story Or Here: Toronto Star News Story. Since I've waxed on about the reasons why this shouldn't be banned/pulled from the shelves previously, I won't bore you all again.

And now for something completely...well the same. Here's a dastardly article by Susan Juby in The Globe and Mail about banning books: Click right here, eh? This modest proposal suggests iris scanning, wire cages and fingerprinting to prevent children from reading some of the salacious materials available in libraries.

Happy Grey Cup celebrations, fellow Canucks (Go Riders). Happy Thanksgiving to all of you down south. And everyone else around the world, just have a happy day. Read a book. It won't hurt you.*

Arthur Slade
*Unless it's Harry Potter VI and you drop it on your foot.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Medford Parent wants book banned...eeeek.

I thought that the book bannings were over for the season, that Christmas was about to raise its red capped head and people would all be happy and joyous and, well, Christmassy. One big BAH HUMBUG was delivered to the writing world in Medford. Just read this article in the Burlington County Times. The Burn Journals, is a non-fiction book by Brent Runyon which relates his experiences as a suicidal 14-year-old who set himself on fire. No holds barred. A true tale told well which received a starred review from Booklist. But from John Biesz, a parent from Medford, the review was a bit more caustic: "There should be a warning on the book that says it's a piece of garbage." Now, parents are supposed to have opinions. Everyone should have an opinion! What's completely ridiculous about this story is that the school actually sent the book home with a permission slip--they did everything they could to prevent controversy and still this parent is upset and feels "This stuff should never make it into our schools." It would be terrible if people learned about the reality of being a mixed-up teen, wouldn't it? They might learn empathy or maybe understanding. Biesz wants the book removed from the school. I think there are only two words that can sum that up: Bah humbug!

Arthur Slade