Yes, Grasshopper if you ban it, they will read it!


Cortez writes "If you are an aspiring author. work diligently to get banned: Here's Proof:

" The 1989 book hadn't been a hot read until a Grand Rapids teacher got into hot water recently for reading the short story "Telephone Man" to her middle-school class. The tale is about a mentally handicapped boy who imitates his father in using racial slurs. But when black students rescue him one day, he comes to realize his father's racist views are wrong.
"The book sold out the day it was banned," said Debra Davis, inventory manager at the Schuler's Alpine Avenue store in Walker."


Obviously, we could increase our circulation of books by encouraging groups to make very public challenges. I'm waiting to see an article in Library Journal on just how to do that.

And any schmuck on the street will tell you that what you do generally derives from what you think.

Hey twisty, check out this new lisnews article. Harlequin is going "edgier" to get the young people. Edgy for sake of being edgy:

NPR : Harlequin Books Seek a Younger Audience; Harlequin Books, famous for its romance novels, is introducing new and more explicit lines. The books explore new, edgier subject matter in a bid to produce novels that will prove popular with the 21st-century reader."

LOL, I would never deny that some books do that. My experience has been that most book challenges, however, have to do with books that have received good reviews.

I don't disagree with anything in that statement.

Minor is a minor, if something was off-limits to minors it doesn't matter how close to the limit they are. That kind of hair-splitting is where you get into trouble.

The porn star books seems like a good enough example. Reviews describe it as explicit and considering what it mentions she's been through that could get pretty bad.

And why should we keep this book out of the hands of children? Lets assume that a 17 year old male picks up the book and wants to check it out. Why should we stop him?

We already split hairs. The Juvenile collection, in my library, is separate from the Teen collection (which is still housed in the juvenile department), which is separate from the Young Adult collection (which is shelved upstairs with the Adult collection). I think it is a great mistake to treat all minors the same. To say that a 17 year old and a 6 year old need to be treated the same.

I don't have a problem with Juvenile vs Teen its when you start breaking down teen into a year by year section where becomes more unwieldy then necessary.

Why should we stop him? Because he's a minor and there are certain things minors shouldn't have access to. If his parents want to check out the book for him thats their responsibility but we should not be undermining that responsibility.

We would be undermining that responsibility if we knew ahead of time that they didn't want him to check out the book, if then. Parents don't have to go to the library to find out what their children check out. They can certainly ask when either their child gets home, or when they get home.

What sort of things do you feel a minor shouldn't have access to?

Oh my goddess! Common ground!:)

If you can't figure out that a majority of parents would not want their child to check out a book like "How To Make Love Like A Pornstar" then God help ya cause I can't.

So you do whatever the little voices in your head tell you too?

You're scary, and should be shot. That's what my little voices say to me.

Luckily, the whole function of civilization is to make sure people follow laws, and play nicely with each other. Apparently, like other barbarians, you've not learnt any tolerance, and I hope you run into other people just like you, but with different views. Say, a muslim fundamentalist? Or a Hindu nationalist, a Chinese communist, a violent anarchist agitator, or a Christian fundamentalist. Or maybe someone more extreme?

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

I'm confident in the parenting abilities of the majority of parents, and that they are quite capable of making sure that their own children know and respect their values without governmental invervention. And they are fully capable of discussing with their children, either before, or after the fact, why they should not be reading "How to Make Love Like a Pornstar."

My question was directed towards you. What harm would come to a 17 year old who read that book?

I'm confident in the parenting abilities of the majority of parents, and that they are quite capable of making sure that their own children know and respect their values without governmental invervention.

If you are providing access to materials that go against those values then you in fact are the one who is playing the role of government intervention.

I already told you I'm not going to split hairs by going year by year, if you want to section it off by high school and junior high and grade school that's a reasonable approach.

What harm does it do to a teenager? It lowers the bar of human decency and expectation, and creates the impression that such a life is something approaching normal. It legitimizes her life in such a way as to make it a reasonable goal for young people unsure about their own future.

Psychiatrists will tell you that it is not what you think that is bad, but what you do. You're thinking that we should be invincilby ignorant is irrelevant since it happens only the privacy of your mind and can have no material impact. You're attempting to make us be invincibly ignorant is both personally and socio-culturally self-destructive behaviour.

First off, I'm not using the "can't-please-everybody" as an excuse. I'm using it as an example of real world situation. Our copies of It's Perfectly Natural actually aren't in Children's. They're in the General Collection marked as a Young Adult book. Does that please everybody? No. We've still had complaints that the book is available to children. We've even had people suggest we move it onto a higher shelf where children can't reach it. So, in reality, we've pleased the people who don't want it in the children's section, but pissed off those who either a) don't want it at all b)don't want it acessible to children c)think we should card for books and on and on and on. So it's not like we didn't do anything, but you're not going to make everybody happy. Not even your methods make everybody happy.

Stop using words like 'exact' and start working with words like 'general'.

The problem with that arguement is that you're making an exact decision about a general subject. The decision to make a book available for children is an exact decision. It's binary. It's yes or no. Is the book available or isn't it? The subject matter influencing this decision is highly general. Is It's Perfectly Natural okay for kids? Some will say yes, some will say no, some won't care either way. That's not exact in any shape or form. So once again, you're not going to please everyone and you're going to upset someone no matter what you decide.

So the thing is, you're going to have to decide and then you're going to live with the decision and then, on some days, you're going to have to reverse or change that decision no matter what you feel.

I have some booze and cigarettes I'd like to give ya! Apparently banning it just means its good for you.

we could increase our circulation of books by encouraging groups to make very public challenges.

"Suppression is a bad and indirect way to plant a religion."

Of course, you're not talking about suppression here so much as exploiting a latent function to censorship that has bitten censor morons on their backsides more often than not.

For my money, we should not take this action. Leave the challenging up to the censor morons and let the marketplace of ideas take care of itself. Exploiting this sociological phenomenon will itself engender a backlash.

Apparently banning it just means its good for you.

Now there's a typically asinine right-wing rationalization. "Alcohol and cigarettes contain toxic substances, therefore ideas and thinking for yourself are bad for you."

How's that again?

Don't you think a vast majority of the the stuff coming out is pretty much garbage that is designed to shock and therefore make it controversial enough that people buy it? I believe the term used is "edgy".

Typical asinine left-wing rationalization that only what you can see can harm you.

No, actually I don't. Edgy and garbage can be two different things. D. H. Lawrence was considered "edgy" in his time (even though they wouldn't have used that term). James Joyce, Henry Miller and Emile Zola were all considered "edgy" (same caveat). There is trash that is edgy and there is trash that is not. However, I would direct your attention to ALA's top 10 challenged books for 2004. Number 10? Of Mice and Men.

Would you argue that the opposite is true then? That banning something must mean that it is bad for you?

Speaking as a supporter for the legalization of marijuana, no.

Are you willing to admit that not all ideas and information should be accessible to minors?

A vast majority of stuff being published, put on television, shown in movie theaters and sung that are considered edgy are in fact garbage and shocking just for the heck of it.

Only if you're willing to admit that trying to decide exactly which ideas and information should and should not be available to minors is like trying to herd cats.

If we say that racist books aren't fit for minor consumption, then I'm going to have to go down to CS and pull the newest edition of Little Black Sambo. While they may have cleaned up some of the artwork to appear less racist, there's no arguing that "Sambo" is a racist term for a Black person.

If we say sexual information isn't fit for minor consumption then not only do all the anatomy books need to go, but so do books like What's Happening to My Body for girls and boys.

Before I'm called "extreme" I think it should be pointed out that there's always going to be a grey area for ideas for minors. Some ideas are obviously not be aimed at minors, like the Joy of Sex series. But some books which are aimed at minors face criticism every year like It's Perfectly Natural. Some people think that book is too explicit, some people think it's just fine. So what do you do to please them all?

How about stop trying to use the excuse of can't-please-everybody to do nothing at all.

Stop using words like 'exact' and start working with words like 'general'.

Depends upon the age of the minor and who is making the decision. A 17 year old is a minor, but I think all ideas and informtion should be made available to them. I think a 6 year old cannot necessarily handle all ideas and information, but that is a parental decision, depending upon how the information is presented. If you mean, for example, the idea that sex with and adult and a child is a good thing, I would agree. That is not good for a child. If, however, you mean that we shouldn't talk about pedophilia at all with a 9 year old, I would disagree. I suppose in order to answer that, I would have to know what you have in mind. I can't come up with anything I have in my library that I would rip out of the hands of a minor.

What books in the library do you think need to be kept out of the hands of minors (all minors?) and why?

I would agree with some, but disagree with the "vast majority". At one time, most people felt that the vast majority of the new novels of the late 19th Century were garbage. They are classics now.

Do you think that The Chocolate Wars is garbage? Or Richochet River? Robert Cormier's book was the number one challenged book last year. Robin Cody's book was challenged in my state in just the last few months. My impression is that challenges have nothing to do with the literary quality and everything to do with what they feel is upsetting in the content.

I think it would only be governmental intervention if I forced the teen to the take the book and required that he read it. Other than that, I don't see how that works.

Thank you for the info.. I disagree, but at least I understand where you are coming from.