Censorship

Books: The Sexy 'Secret Identity' Of Superman's Creator

On NPR:

Author Craig Yoe explores the risque art of the man behind Superman in his new book, Secret Identity: The Fetish Art Of Superman's Co-creator Joe Shuster.

As Yoe explains, artist Joe Shuster did not earn much money for his part in the creation of the man of steel. After suing D.C. Comics over the copyright for Superman, Shuster drew art for an obscure series of magazines called Nights Of Horror. In Secret Identity, Yoe collects Shuster's racy drawings and details the scandal and murder trial related to Nights Of Horror.

Full piece here.

Related item at The Book Calendar: The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America

Fijian Censorship Update

Following up on the discussion in LISTen 68, reporting by Radio New Zealand International notes that military-backed censors are supervising newsrooms in Fiji.

A territorial delegate to the United States House of Representatives, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, is now advising US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the matter.

Kindle Orwellian Nightmare

This post at Technovelgy ask the question, Could Amazon, via the Kindle, end up being the Big Brother of 1984 fame? Or at least his proxy?

"The apparent success of Amazon's wonderful Kindle has everyone's head full of blissful visions of instantly updated newspapers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - every last error corrected and every last and most recent version included.

Well, maybe not everyone's head.

At UrbZen, the following scenario is presented:

Consider what might happen if a scholar releases a book on radical Islam exclusively in a digital format. The US government, after reviewing the work, determines that certain passages amount to national security threat, and sends Amazon and the publisher national security letters demanding the offending passages be removed."

Read the rest here.

Topeka's library board votes to leave 4 sex-related books on shelves

Four sex-related books will remain on the shelves at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

The Board of Trustees voted 7-3 Thursday night to keep "Sex for Busy People," ''The Lesbian Kama Sutra," ''The Joy of Sex" and "The Joy of Gay Sex" on the library's shelves. The board passed an amended version of a recommendation from Gina Millsap, the library's executive director.

2008 CLA Survey of Challenged Materials and Policies

Kenneth D. Gariepy: You're invited by the CLA Advisory Committee on Intellectual Freedom to participate in its annual Survey of Challenged Materials and Policies.

The purpose of the survey is to gather data about the nature and outcomes of challenges to library materials (e.g., books, magazines, DVDs, CDs) and policies (e.g., collection management, access to Internet and facilities) initiated in publicly funded, Canadian libraries (e.g, public, school, academic) between JANUARY 1 and DECEMBER 31, 2008. Your responses will help inform the Committee's policy and advocacy work.

The survey is open from April 1-30, 2009.

Dirty Books

Spider-Man Faces Being Banned In Nebraska Public School

Follow-up blog entry at Comicbook.com to this story.

After watching the news story on Omaha’s KETV Channel 7 website, I did some research into the title of the book, since it’s never mentioned but the cover appears on air. The graphic novel is Spider-man Volume 2: Revelations. Written by J. Michael Straczynski, with luscious curves provided by John Romita, Jr., Revelations was published in 2002 in hardback. Both Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the Marvel Comics website do not list the book as having been published within the last 6 years, so I don’t know why the book was reported as being new, other than the fact that it was apparently new to that library’s collection.

Now here’s where the school district might have dropped the ball in a big time way. On the copies I have been able to find, the book says in big white letters “Rated PG, Ages 12+.” This book would have been fine in middle or high school, just not in the hands of a 6-year old! Whoever reviewed this book didn’t do their job. Mrs. Svendsen has a right to complain.

Full blog entry here.

Twilight book missing after parent complains

A parent's complaint over sexual content in the Mormon author's fourth novel, Breaking Dawn, coincided with the book's temporary absence from the library at Brockbank Junior High in Utah.

Officials at the Magna school purchased copies of the book some time ago, but as of Wednesday hadn't placed them on library shelves. Principal Terri Van Winkle would not say whether the delay stemmed from a parent's complaint about a honeymoon scene in which sex is implied between the central characters Bella and Edward. But Granite School District officials confirm a complaint was voiced.

Meanwhile, the school has ignored repeated complaints from another parent "appalled" by the "censorship" of a book she says promotes chastity and tolerance.

Let Censorship Flow Forth! New Developments Down Under

First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, posted to his group blog The Volokh Conspiracy about an attempt by the Australian government to ban an anti-abortion website. Professor Volokh also links to the site of Mike Meloni, who has been featured in the past couple months on LISTen, who also speaks to the matter.

Banning books: keeping our children safe from the perils of free thinking

Burning books is not funny. Neither is banning them, or challenging their right to sit on a library shelf. That being said, sometimes people find reasons to hate books that are so absurd, Meghara Eichhorn-Hicks can’t help laughing. It is in this spirit of mocking exasperation that she presents a list of books that have been banned, burned or challenged for totally ridiculous reasons.

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