All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States — and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!”
— Kurt Vonnegut,
I meant to celebrate Banned Books week with a quote and a banned book featured each day and I’ve gotten busy as usual. But I will try to continue this because I think it’s important.
Mandrake pointed me to this article:
A children’s book about two male penguins who raise a baby penguin has been moved to the nonfiction section of two public library branches after parents complained it had homosexual undertones.
You can read the article here: ‘Gay’ penguins book frozen out in Missouri libraries
This is kind of a typical dilemma that libraries have to face from time to time. Personally, I think that it should have stayed in the picture book section. But that’s just my opinion. At least they didn’t totally censor the book by taking it out of the collection. I think the difficulty of public libraries is that balance between keeping your patrons happy and censorship.
Interestingly, I just watched “March of the Penguins” last night. It was a really cute movie. And after watching it and seeing the way Penguins mate, I can totally see how this situation could happen. Like, maybe the mother died while out getting food? So the two males took care of the baby together, because it seems like it does take two parents to raise up the baby penguin. One of them goes out and seeks food while the other keeps the baby warm. I think it’s silly for Republicans to jump on this as a “gay” issue. On the other hand, I haven’t seen the book so I can’t say whether the writer was presenting the penguins as gay. But so what if they were? It’s kind of a nice analogy that shows that two members of the same sex, who love each other, can successfully raise a child. Why people think this is a bad thing is totally beyond me.
Image by hatcher.library via Flickr
This is unbelievable. A Republican legislator in Alabama wants to ban all books from public school ibraries that have anything to do with gays, whether they be written by them, or about them. As pointed out in the article:
Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” has lesbian characters.
Crazy! This is just crazy. Some of the best authors of the 20th century banned because of their lifestyle. I don’t even know what to say. Stunned again by those vile nutjobs.