'The Giver' banned?
I caught this bullshit on the nightly news of my local TV.
A woman in Blue Springs, MO, is launching a campign to remove 'The Giver' from an eighth grade curriculum because it crosses her notions of what a 14 year old should read.
In fairness, I've never read the book, but after hearing her objections on TV, I'm ready to. It sounds like a book that makes kids thing about real issues, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, etc. These aren't abstract problems, these are things millions of Americans deal with every year, in the case of abortion by laying waste to a Holocaust-shaming number of innocent lives in favor of totally guilty lives going on as they damned-well please.
If you consider everything and still decide a 13 year old should be able to have an abortion without her parents even knowing about it (even while the law requires parental consent for ear piercing, tattoos, even a dental cleaning), fine. But from what I heard, it sounds like 'The Giver' is a book that encourages kids to think about this shit, to really think about what it means to be alive or dead, comfortable or miserable, empowered or oppressed. I can't think a teenager pondering these things is a bad thing, even if it grosses out some debutant wannabe Mom in Blue Springs, MO.
What about the slavery sections of Pynchon's 'V.' and 'Mason & Dixon?' Those are visceral, grotesque images, but they are not gratuitous, they are there to make you think about your relationship with the world, with people, and your 'moral relativism.' That last being something conservative scolds seem to thing originated with modern liberals misinterpreting Einstein, but which really boils down to what you value life's inevitable trade-offs at.
When we call soccer 'football' the terrorists have won.