Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Read it and Don't Weep

Peggy reads books with great thoughts and spiritual meanings and worthwhile messages for all.  My choice of reading material is much less high-tone, but if you want to know anything about the life of Barry Livingston, the man who played Ernie Douglas on "My Three Sons," then I'm your guy, since I read his autobiography "The Importance of Being Ernie."

But here's the point:  Peggy can read what she wants and I can read what I wish to read.  I just got that shipload of books from Amazon and I look forward to lots of entertaining reading.

Meanwhile, down in rustic Boone, NC, someone's mother is attempting to tell an entire class full of kids just what they can read.  At question is a book entitled "The House of the Spirits" by Isabel Allende.  I can't tell you what the book is about.  I think Peggy might have read it, with no noticeable damage to her soul.  As the online article puts it,  "House of the Spirits," published in 1982, is described on the author's website as "both a symbolic family saga and the story of an unnamed Latin American country's turbulent history ... The Trueba family's passions, struggles and secrets span three generations and a century of violent change, culminating in a crisis that brings the proud and tyrannical patriarch and his beloved granddaughter to opposite sides of the barricades."

Sounds interesting and educational enough.  But here comes the challenge from outraged mom Charity Lesesne, who is probably all fed up with her kids having to experience real life, so she called the book "graphic" and "immoral" and said the challenging themes and ideas the book presents are lost within the novel's graphic descriptions of rape, prostitution, violence, abuse, abortion and death, as she told the online Watauga

This engendered quite a debate down there on Tobacco Road.  One Ashley Adams from Appalachian State University said, "If you trust her judgement then I am assuming that you have not read any of the books contents. I do not think any parent with any sense of moral right and wrong would be in favor of this book."

But then again, you wouldn't trust Ms Adams's ability to spell "judgment" correctly or use the possessive form "book's" where indicated.  And notice that she points out that if you want your child to read this book, she doesn't think you have any sense of moral right or wrong.  So there.

Like the overuse of the term "slippery slope," banning books takes us on a...greased incline.  Here's a nutty idea:  let the teacher decide what to teach, and parents can show the children where the moral shortcomings of the book's characters lie.  Suppressing books and dissenting points of view can't be good for anyone

As Lenny Bruce said, "l would rather my kid watches a stag movie than a clean movie, like King of Kings. Why? Because King of Kings is full of killing, and l don't want my kid to kill Christ when He comes back."

No comments: