Thursday, March 01, 2007

Beam Me Up, Scotty. They're Done Down Here-

Isn't it sweet when the High Moralists start getting all hot and bothered?

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Livingston Daily Press and Argus

The office of U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy has forwarded a complaint about inappropriate books assigned to Howell High School students to the FBI, a spokeswoman for Murphy said. Gina Bilaya said that while the referral is routine, it also indicates that Murphy is taking the complaint seriously.

Vicki Fyke of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education made the complaint, alleging that assignments of books by Richard Wright, Pulitzer winner Toni Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut violate laws against distribution of pornography to minors because they contain depictions of sex and rape, and obscene language. "The Freedom Writers Diary" by Erin Gruwell is also named by Fyke.

Fyke's complaint also went to county prosecutor David Morse and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. Morse said he is finishing reading the books and hopes to have a decision by Monday.

Morse said one of the main issues is whether or not the books meet the legal definition of pornography, which includes books that only appeal to readers' prurient interest in sex, and have no literary or educational value. He said the books must be considered as a whole to make that determination, which is why he wants to finish reading them first.

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OK, on the one hand, one is tempted to say, well, at least he's reading them. But "taking the complain seriously"? Richard Wright? Kurt Vonnegut? Toni Morrison?

Are we on Candid Camera?

These are not pornographic authors -end of discussion. Or it should be. You may disagree with their politics, but there is not any question of their legitimacy as serious authors, under the letter of the law, which is where the U.S. Attorney should be operating. But instead the U.S. Attorney turned the case over to the FBI, as if the FBI has nothing at all better to do than try and figure out if Toni Morrison is a serious author. But that's not all- U.S. Attorney Murphy, who apparently thinks the FBI's time is best spent deciding whether Richard Wright writes "smut" or not, has been nominated by the President for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

That will make me sleep better tonight.


Joey Polanski said...

I think a appropriate compromise coud be found.

Say, keep assignin them books, but jus cut out th part wit da sex & da rapes in em. Substitute a page sayin, heres where th sex / rape scene goes.

Maybe include a pitchr instead.

anaglyph said...

A vivid image of someone pissing on a bushfire springs to mind though, when you consider what we're doing right now.

These conservative knobs must be foaming at the mouth over the unfettered freedom of expression on the net.

It might help you sleep even better to remember that even though the US is the fermenting pot for all these kneejerk nutcases, you guys did invent the Internet. For that I, at least, am prepared to cut you a lot of slack.

Mike said...

It's interesting that this comes out of the tiny hamlet of Howell Michigan. That city is a bastion for the KKK in Michigan. A few years ago, there was a storefront display of a mannequin all decked out in the traditional KKK hood and sheet. Right on the main street. Talk about freedom of expression!!

Of course these fine folks are concerned about what their little inbred retards might read, but they don't mind them walking by a storefront display showing a KKK outfit in all of its glory.

As Colonel Kurtz said, "Drop the bomb. Exterminate them all."

Colonel Colonel said...

Joey- I think you're onto something. But why stop at pictures- let's distribute DVD Supplemetal Teaching Aids.

Reverend- well, you're welcome for the internet, but I think we may be about to use up our international goodwill. If we were a cat, we'd be on our 11th life right now.

Mike- someone from Michigan brought this up on a mailing list today. Apparently Howell is a sister city to the fine town of Hurricane, Utah, which I drove through a few years ago, which boasts signs that say:

"Welcome to Hurricane. United Nations Personnel are Barred from Entering this city by City Ordinance".

PS- Amy came up with another Seussism at Dinner-

"That Cat in the Hat Goes Splat!"

Mike said...

Hurricane Utah is also a big time polygamist city and they hate authority of any kind there. I drove through there too last fall and had to stop for gas. It was an experience I never want to repeat.

I am ashamed to admit it, but my sister in law lives in Howell. She's an old hippie though and doesn't partake of Klan activities. Her husband is an old hippie too and his favorite Dr. Seuss book is
"Horton Smokes A Hooter."

Phoebe Fay said...

You know, if those silly twats had gone to a good Catholic high school like me, they wouldn't have to be reading those books now to figure out if they're smut. Toni Morrison and Richard Wright were both assigned reading. Never did get any Vonnegut, though. Fuckin' nuns.

And anaglyph, don't be cutting us any slack, winternet or no. You give those censors any slack and next thing you know, they're lynching literature left and right.

Colonel Colonel said...

Mike- Horton surely does seem to be having the best time of any of the Seuss characters.

Phoebe- Well, according to the -real- Fundi's, Catholics, like Mormons, are not really Christians, so I guess it's not surprising that they peddle smut in their schools.