Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Rosie
Posts: 233

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#1 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

well i guess since i'm christian, i learnt pretty early that the christian practice of preaching and converting ppl was not the ideal dinner party conversation.

anyway, i tend to agree with plastic, oppression only enflames desire to rebel! and when it happens, the floodgates open and all hell breaks loose.
my parents have been pretty lenient as far as reading material and what and how much of tv i can watch, when to do school work, etc so i generally tend to do all my homework and studies out of desire to do them for myself. and as for inapripriate reading material, after reading Tolstoy, Eddings seemed completely banal and stupid. so it's a choice that one has to make for oneself. parents can't protect their children forever.
a friend of mine, he does extremely well in school, got top marks and will be studying law in uni- his parents told him that they would allow him to expriment with drugs as long as he only did weed and E, offered to buy him condoms, etc - still a virgin, doesn't smoke nor does drugs (well, except for occasional midoris here and there)
of course, not every teenager is as responsible (and at times really boring) as him...

Jehanne
Posts: 167

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#2 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I gawped at her (I really wasn’t expecting this) and then I tried to defend my books (Edward Eager! John Bellairs! These men are dangerous?) without insulting her obviously strong and previously unknown beliefs. I mentioned that none of the books I mentioned were supporters of modern Wicca, that Lewis and Tolkien were devout Catholics (that probably didn’t help my case, now that I think about it), that formula dictates “good triumphs and evil is defeated”, and that Bilbo and Harry and the rest are brave and determined and all sorts of good adjectives, etc. But she didn’t care. Everything I said went “boing!” off her thick skull.

I didn’t call her a book-burning Nazi cow (I wanted to, but I was good). But I know that I didn’t even come close to convincing her that fantasy isn’t harmful for kids and that reading The Hobbit isn’t going to make her kids smoke pot and run away from home. Her crusade bothers me, though. I mean, she can mess up her own kids, fine, but what if some child had overheard her ranting against his or her hero in the bookstore? Or what if the school bows to her out of fear of a lawsuit or something?

Is there any argument that any of you have found effective when dealing with censorship zealots? Is there anything I could have said to keep her from herding her kids away from me, lest I ply them with The Last Unicorn and A Wrinkle in Time?

Poor kids. Her oldest would probably like hobbits, too, since he’s short and plump and friendly like them. Oh well…

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Snape
Posts: 1294

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#3 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Pray I never meet her! Imagine if I happened to bump into here whilst walking down some alley and wearing my new Planet-Tolkien t-shirt (which u can get from the shop *cough) - She might do all sorts of nasty things to me! :(nn[Edited on 6/12/2002 by Taz]

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PlasticSquirrel
Posts: 3577

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#4 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Never knew I was here with religious types! You kept that from me people *wonders why ;) * Nifty bit of product placement there Tazzy :) If I met the dear lady in question I think she might regret it, very quickly. Tis one of my favourite arguments that one. But i'm too lazy to put my point of view in here today, sorry.
http://www.plasticsquirrel.co.uk for all your bizarre music and musings needs

Jehanne
Posts: 167

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#5 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Great responses so far (thank you! I feel better!) but one thing- "neighbor", not "friend". We weren't friends before and I doubt we can be now. She sneered at me when I ran into her buying the paper this morning. You'd think I asked if her kids liked porn magazines or something. Sheesh.

I admit, since I'm a scholar myself, I lean farther to the left on censorship issues than nearly anything else (except maybe school prayer), and I'm pretty liberal to begin with. But it's not so much her own kids I'm worried about. I'm sure she only has their best interests at heart, so no matter how strongly I disagree with her, I respect her right to try to pass on her values. What worries me most is her inclination to crusade.

I don't believe she has any right to try to protect other people's children, but apparently she's on the agenda for the next school board meeting, talking about "certain books" in the library. Not good. Anything I do at this point is defensive and so I've already lost ground. Plus I don't have kids in the system (and I don't really know any moms or dads who might be on my side), so she has that edge.

My opinion is influenced not only by my love for these books and my liberal politics, but by the fact that I'm Jewish and I grew up in a town with too few Jews to even count as a minority (about 5000 people total, 13 Jews- my family and one other). Judaism isn't about conversion, so it rarely occurs to me to foist on the world my fears about losing someone else's kids to the evils of hobbits and unicorns. I support my neighbor's right to raise her kids in her church and by her guidance, but I cannot support any attempt to impose her beliefs and her religion on others' children. It's not her right, and it's not fair to the kids.

Hadn't thought of cartoons, Chika, thanks! Although she's probably against those, too.- sigh-

PS- the shirts are very snazzy, Taz!

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PlasticSquirrel
Posts: 3577

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#6 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I think it's the worst way to raise kids ever. If you keep on trying to tell them what they can read, what they can watch on the TV etc. etc. then as soon as they are old enough to do what they like, they'll go nuts.
I knew kids when I was at school whose parents wouldn't let them do anything. These guys didn't get so much as a sniff of Shandy til they were 18. I bumped into one of them a month or so ago, and he's fresh out of rehab after a nasty smack problem, so there you go. Most of the others aren't much better off.
I had religion forced on me as a kid (not so mental as to stop me reading what I wanted, but I used to have to go to my mates houses to watch the young ones and suchlike) and it really put me off. Could be one of the reasons for my current brand of militant atheism.
http://www.plasticsquirrel.co.uk for all your bizarre music and musings needs

Ungoliant
Posts: 993

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#7 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Hey, maybe you can use Plastic at the board meeting for a show & tell thingy, Jehanne. ;)

Ungoliant
Posts: 993

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#8 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Interesting article that Taz put up the otherday... http://www.nationalpost.com/artslife/arts/movies/story.html?f=/stories/20020121/1191395.html
...More recently, Christian conservatives have used Tolkien, who was a devout Catholic, as a counterweight to the perceived paganism of Harry Potter.

and
"Conservative ideology is there in Tolkien if you want it, but the books are much more complicated than that," argues Chris Mooney, a senior writer at the liberal magazine The American Prospect. Mooney believes attempts to find a simple ideological postBody in Tolkien inevitably lead to a "reductionist" reading.

"For example, Tolkien was undoubtedly a devout Catholic, but he deliberately kept religion out of Lord of the Rings because he followed the Beowulf model of being a Christian writing about the pagan world," says Mooney.

Again, don't think anything will help convince a fundamentalist if he or she is determined to think otherwise...but you may want to scout around the religious Christian groups in the States and ask them of their opinion on Tolkien and his works. Hopefully you'll get some positive responses and maybe you can use that to argue against your neighbour's case at the school board meeting.

What other books/postAuthorIDs are at risk of being banned?


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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#9 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Mr. S. Rushti(sp?) unless the Iatollah(sp?) has called it off.
'Share and enjoy'

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PlasticSquirrel
Posts: 3577

Question- Dealing with Censorship zealots

Post#10 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Rushdie grond :)
And Enid Blyton was once at risk of being banned, as Noddy getting beaten up by Gollywogs was perceived as racist, whilst his knocking over PC Plod was a bad example, and you don't need much explanation for him going to bed with Big-Ears and coming over all queer :D
http://www.plasticsquirrel.co.uk for all your bizarre music and musings needs

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