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Eyestrain: In my Godless Secular Humanist High School We Read <i>Color Purple</i> in 10th Grade.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

In my Godless Secular Humanist High School We Read Color Purple in 10th Grade.

In this NCLB-age, I guess the closest this lady's kid gets to that is to color with a purple crayon (not to say that I think Color Purple is all that, but it was a good book; made me think about just what a success in life really means).

Possessor of the pinched, suspicious expression currently required of all red-stated 'Merkin Moms, she's found things she doesn't like about Catcher in the Rye.

Voila le quote de l'argent:

Before filing her complaint, Minnon said, she and her husband researched the book using Sparknotes, an online study guide. She is now reading the book.

"That's where we got a lot of our information about (Holden Caulfield) being with a prostitute, his lying, his drinking, using girls for pleasure and his depression problems," she said.

Those mature themes, plus the profane language used by the main character, are inappropriate for 14-year-olds, she said.

Nothing like using an on line cliff notes site to determine whether you oppose a book's being on a reading list, is there?

And in other book-hating homophobe news, there's this gem from yesterday's Guardian:

What should we do with US classics like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or The Color Purple? "Dig a hole," Gerald Allen recommends, "and dump them in it." Don't laugh. Gerald Allen's book-burying opinions are not a joke.

Earlier this week, Allen got a call from Washington. He will be meeting with President Bush on Monday. I asked him if this was his first invitation to the White House. "Oh no," he laughs. "It's my fifth meeting with Mr Bush."

Bush is interested in Allen's opinions because Allen is an elected Republican representative in the Alabama state legislature. He is Bush's base. Last week, Bush's base introduced a bill that would ban the use of state funds to purchase any books or other materials that "promote homosexuality". Allen does not want taxpayers' money to support "positive depictions of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle". That's why Tennessee Williams and Alice Walker have got to go.

But there's more. There always has to be more from a nutcase of this caliber...

"Well," he begins, after a pause, "the current draft of the bill does not address how that is going to be handled. I expect details like that to be worked out at the committee stage. Literature like Shakespeare and Hammet [sic] could be left alone." Could be. Not "would be". In any case, he says, "you could tone it down". That way, if you're not paying real close attention, even a college graduate like Allen himself "could easily miss" what was going on, the "subtle" innuendoes and all.

So he regards his gay book ban as a work in progress. His legislation is "a single spoke in the wheel, it doesn't resolve all the issues". This is just the beginning. "To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time."

Hopefully the attention-span addled American public hive mind will view this bigoted religiousity as a fad, and be bored with it all by next season(I say hive mind as opposed to the individual American mind, which works pretty well when left to think on its own). But crazier shit has happened with worse material to work with.