Book brings a sack of trouble


If you're like me, and you know you want to be, you're probably getting sick of seeing the word "scrotum" everywhere these days.
But I just couldn't let this Toronto Star article go unoticed. Linwood Barclay deserves a major award for what is by far the funniest title I've seen in a loooong time, and I read hundreds of titles a day.
I know humor is subjective, but this one really made me laugh: Book brings a sack of trouble .

"We knew we had all sorts of things down there, but fortunately there weren't writers like Susan Patron around then or we'd have been scandalizing our parents by calling all our bits by their proper names, instead of using crude, juvenile substitutes."

And in case you were wondering, yes, controversy sells. Criticism of an award-winning children's book over the word "scrotum" has brought Susan Patron's "The Higher Power of Lucky" into the top 40 on


"we'd have been scandalizing our parents by calling all our bits by their proper names, instead of using crude, juvenile substitutes"

Because you know parents love it when their grade school kids walk around talking about their 'bits'.

If joke writing were your vocatation you would be sacked for that. However I thought is was funny, I had a ball.

I agree they're not mature. Having half of your family die of TB makes you mature fast.What it means is that kids today do things at 13 that people didn't used to do until their 20s.It not maturity. That's a mind set or a skill. It's action.

"13 is the 20"

Myth. Children of a hundred years ago became adults at a much younger age. More distractions doesn't make you more mature, if anything it makes you less. And I will argue about a more permissive society. Society changes and it can go one way as well as another.

Do you think that when these young readers grow up they will have a keen appreciation of the works of Balzac?

I'm not unsympathetic to that. There are things that are too heavy for kids of a certain age to handle.At the same time the progression from today's child to tomorrow's adult is gradual like calculus not sudden like arithmetic.Maybe books that talk about sexual issues or booze, drugs, violence, etc. aren't appropriate for kids of a certain age. But sooner or later the big ugly world will find them. I can't help but think that it will be eaiser for a kid to handle drinking, drugs, sex, conversations about same, etc. if they are prepared a bit for it beforehand.The view that you can "protect" kids from certain things supposes that they haven't already been exposed. I think your view of children is idealized and unrealistic. 13 is the 20, dude.Your view seems to be that these conversations and thoughts need to be stopped. Most of what I've heard from parents and teachers indicates that these conversation are already happening.There will be kids reading that book who might have had sex already. You can argue about a permissive society and media and what its done all you want. But you can't get shit back in the donkey, as the man says.Did you really not know about genitals and proper or / and slang terms for them until middle school? Really?And if they already know, what's the problem?

Speaking of strawmen, no one is talking about about screaming anything. But yes when you have a book for kids that involves conversations from AA members talking about being drunk and seeing snake-bitten dog scrotums that is exactly the type of conversation you are teaching and encouraging children to have.

If you ever get canned from your library you could make a killing, due to your expertise with men made out of straw, in the scarecrow industry.A) No one said it was totally awesome if children screamed words for genitals all the time, or that it should be taught or encouraged.B) What everyone is saying is that no one who objects to the book or the word appearing in it can point to anything bad it does other than it makes them (the offended) feel oog-y.The most ironic thing is that when my scrotum itches I actually scream out "GREG MCCLAY'S SCROTUM ITCHES!" I have for years. It's weird.

Next time your at work or eating in a restaurant make sure you let everyone know if your scrotum happens to itch. It is after all the scientifically correct term.

I know, I know, it's all fun and games for us, Helen. But it's the children, who no one thinks of, who suffer.

Chuck's, argument is that children are going to be dipped in the mire and mauled by the wolves eventually, so why not now? And why not in the library? Isn't that what even stupid animals like rabbits do? Throw their young to the wolves, so they'll be prepared when...oh, um I guess they won't need to be prepared for anything, cuz they'll be dead!Here's a different analogy. The federal reserve doesn't train anti-counterfeit money inspectors by having them look at all sorts of counterfeit money. They have them learn about, handle, become familiar in every way with REAL money. Then (when they grow up - because 13 is never 20, except in the minds of pedophiles), when they know real money, they can always spot the fake stuff.This is what all decent adults once knew about children. You protect children so that you can nourish them with the good. Then they will be prepared with a solid world view that can recognize and say no to evil. This particular book is probably not at all evil, but the absolutist intellectual freedom principle (in defense of the book) being applied to children is indeed evil. The now-archaic term for what Chuck and apparently 99% of children's librarians are advocating for debauchery, that is, seduction from virtue.

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