Thursday, February 22, 2007


Doesn't "Banned Books" sound archaic and old fashioned, like a cultural artifact of our ignorant past? I won't argue that there aren't useless books or books of highly questionable worth, but it seems that there is at least one highly regarded book that is getting banned, snubbed and bleeped because of a word. "The Higher Power of Lucky" uses the word scrotum. It's a dog's scrotum, and it's been injured. Because the book was written for children there is a huge panic over the use of the word scrotum. The book is a Newberry winner, which means it is very likely a good book. I haven't read it, but that doesn't stop me from defending the use of anatomically correct words in books, in life, in casual conversation. Do I want to raise ignorant children that are afraid of the words that describe the world? No. Do I want to mystify our world? No. Do we need to create negative, uncomfortable associations with language that is mature, correct and appropriate? No. I have more to say, and fortunately other people are speaking up as well. Do you know why I think Beavis and Butthead are funny? Because they are stupid and ignorant. Do you know why I think Beavis and Butthead are not funny, why they are offensive and scary? Because they are stupid and ignorant. Only fearful, ignorant people would snigger and squirm about a dog's scrotum.

<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<*<* Update: February 20, 2010.
Going through archives. Dusting etc. I did read the book, not long after I originally posted this opinion. The book was fine. The "scrotum" was the right word to describe something that happens, without lingering, or giggling, or making a "f@rt joke" of it. Is there any movie for children produced in the last nineteen years that does not include a f@rt joke? Could we please ban those?

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