Friday, September 30, 2005

I Know Why A Blogged Bird Sings

Hey, kids!

It's been quite a week, without a Bitch here in St. Louis, but a Bitch is due back any day now...

In honor of a Bitch and Banned Books Week (which ends tomorrow) I'd like to share this info from the fine folks over at the American Library Association. Here's a very small list sampled from some of the most challenged and banned books from 1990-2000.

I'm sure many of y'all have seen this already, but perhaps a few haven't. I just hate to assume we're all on "the same page." Sorry...that was really bad -- I just couldn't help myself.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

It's very odd and disturbing to see so many books that I know, love and cherish.

And are you really surprised that women and minorities seem to be very well represented -- especially when it comes to someone else telling them to be quiet?

Surprisingly Ann "let's return to McCarthyism" Coulter is no where to be found, but then again, I suspect our friend Ann never quite got the point of Judy Blume's Forever. The Arctic blasts of bullshit that woman utters can best be explained that Ann never read What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls.

I, for one, was all up in Judy Blume's world when I was a child and teen. Now, I never read What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls but I was really into What's Happening, the TV show. My love for tell-it-like-it-is black women started young. It's available on DVD, just in case you've forgotten the eloquence of Dee "I don't eat jackass meat" Nelson.

For the life of me, I also cannot understand why anyone would object to Maya Angelou's autobiography. The answer seems obvious -- flatout racist assholism -- but if anyone else knows of any legitimate answer, please fill me in.

Now, I can appreciate why some folks did not enjoy Madonna's Sex book. That bitch acted like she invented the deed itself....but to ban it? C'mon, now....

All we have to do is look at the work of a certain Dr. Kinsey (another banned book favorite) to know that folks will screw around - whether or not they read, see or watch the act. They might not choose to go about it all the ways the Madonna did in her book -- but they'll try to, nonetheless.

It goes with the territory, I suppose. Some folks wanna tell it like it is and some folks just wanna tell it like they want it to be told.

Whether or not those two things are one in the same or mutually exclusive is something to consider...but for another day.

It's the weekend -- and all this talk of sex leaves me wanting to get my Kinsey on! And that, kiddos, is a subject that is better appreciated in person and not with a computer screen or a book, for that matter!

Thanks for reading and being so kind in a Bitch's absence. She'll be back Monday and I'll be just as happy about that as you are!

-- Rob Thurman

10 comments:

Clipgirl said...

I cannot even believe you wrote about the ALA's most challenged book list. I actually started a post this morning about this very thing. Great minds must think alike...whatever. I'm still going to post it.

Kim said...

Bridge to Teribithia made my love of books solid and intractable. It absolutely changed my 5th grade life. I just wonder if the people who bitch about these books actually READ anything except what comes from the Christian bookstore.

Sedie said...

I can't believe the books that are on that list! What kind of society do we live in where a girl can't even read a book to help her understand her bodily changes????? Don't even get me started on the women and racism thing. . . that's why I'm going to encourage my child to read with me. Whatever other people say, they best not interfere with my brining up a well-rounded intelligent member of society. . . . at least when my child is confronted with tough decision, she/he will have the information to make an EDUCATED decision.

Jim said...

It's really mind boggling isn't it? I mean, hellooo! Nothing by Dr. Angelou should ever be banned reading. I guess the assholes who determined this list must have also written certain portions of the bible. *LOL
Rob, you did a great job filling in for ABB! Those were some pretty big (albeit dainty!) pumps to fill and ya did good buddy. :)

nostradumass said...

Excellent posts all week Brother Rob. I hope a bitch will see it in her infinite wisdom to let you guest blog in her presence, not just her absence. I had no idea Judy Blume was such a controversial figure... granted, I've never read a Judy Blume book, but I remember all the girls at my elementary school reading them--apparently they were reading smut all along.

guess that's it for now. thanks for the entertaining and thought-provoking posts.

PissedOffPencil said...

Wow... I had no idea that books actually were banned in the country that always defends freedom of speech?

Back here in Sweden, the only books/magazines that aren't readily availible in libraries are books that pay tribute to racism and pornographic magazines. If anybody here wanted to ban Huckleberry Finn or Harry Potter, he or she would only recieve a peal of laughter.

Btw. you've done a fine job in ABB's abscence.

brother said...

The Pigman was part of the high school curriculum back in Newfoundland. We were forced to read it!

Funnily enough - "The Joy of Gay Sex" was not a part the curriculum. The one textbook that would have made my life a lot easier.

Later,
D

Lisa said...

Hey Brother Rob! You did a damn fine job even if you ain't black nor a bitch! Good work! I enjoyed your posts.

ABB - welcome home, girl! Hope you had a marvy time.

cats said...

i can't get over how many of those books were so important to me while growing up and continue to be so very special.

yes, i noticed the minority and women thing too... and that (unfortunatly didn't suprise me at all).

thanks for carrying on in abb's absence! you rock

Anonymous said...

I am surprised no one has mentioned another Alice Walker novel (more conducive to the Occupy movement and times of crises): Meridian. Especially for any Southerners...

Ok, thanks.

LRJ