Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Can't Make This Stuff Up

It seems everyone on the planet with the faintest interest in books is agog over the latest idiot scandal in the US. I'm not going to link to anything to do with it because I'm too damn tired of seeing stories about it to bother looking for another -- and you probably are as well. What am I talking about? It's this ridiculous brouhaha over the word "scrotum" being used in the Newbery award-winning childrens' book, The Higher Power of Lucky (Susan Patron).

Of course I'm not surprised that there are parents stupid enough to want to prevent their children learning the proper names for body parts, but they (and their kids) are to be pitied because they actually strive for ignorance. But librarians? Striving for ignorance? From the New York Times:
“This book included what I call a Howard Stern-type shock treatment just to see how far they could push the envelope, but they didn’t have the children in mind,” Dana Nilsson, a teacher and librarian in Durango, Colo., wrote on LM_Net, a mailing list that reaches more than 16,000 school librarians. “How very sad.”

The book has already been banned from school libraries in a handful of states in the South, the West and the Northeast, and librarians in other schools have indicated in the online debate that they may well follow suit. Indeed, the topic has dominated the discussion among librarians since the book was shipped to schools.

What I think is "sad" is that there are now librarians so eager to nip literacy in the bud. "Scrotum" is "Howard Stern-type shock treatment"? Really?

Wow. If that's not sad then nothing is.


Tess said...

Hmmm, I guess they better tell that to all the Health teachers out there before they further corrupt America's children. Sheesh - what a load of c***.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

I'm sure there are many people in the UK too who would jump on the suppression bandwagon, but the sensible majority would just call it a load of bollocks!

Taminator said...

All I can say is, what would these people do if they'd taken a page from Wayne, Kevin's older brother on the tv show, The Wonder Years? He often called poor Kevin "Scrote." Jeff used to roll at that phrase.