Thursday, April 20, 2006

Banning Books

A book about Manga has been banned from libraries, despite being shelved correctly in the general reading section (not in the children's section).

OH WHO WILL SAVE THE CHILDREN FROM THE DEPRAVED MANGA PERVERTS!??!?? OH PROTECT MY POOR BABIES (read: 16 year old boy) FROM THE EVILS OF SOCIETY!!!! GET THIS SMUT OUT OF THE LIBRARY!!! (nevermind that the Bible contains rape and incest, and the library contains tons of other books inappropriate for children, gotta get rid of this because cartoons are for kiddies).

What I find particularly annoying about this story is that it starts with a case of good parenting: the boy saw material he knew was inappropriate for his beliefs and told his mother so she could counsel him. Excellent! That's exactly what should happen in this case.

But then the mother, instead of being a rational being, decides to ask the library to remove the book (BAN IT! IT DOESN'T FIT MY WORLDVIEW! BAN IT!) instead of reasonably asking it to be labeled or reshelved (to be fair, after asking for it to be removed, she did ask for it to be "restricted", which I consider a slightly less hysterical reaction. But it should have been her first reaction, not sloppy seconds).

Then some uppity-up idiot who hates freedom and America decided to ban the book completely. Censoring scumbags. So, it started with a tiny gleam of good parenting, and ended with a horrible farce of fascism. All we need now is the County Board of Supervisors Chairman, the distraught mother, and the now apparently permanently damaged son to hold a book burning in the library parking lot.

Very, very annoying.

And, yes, for the record, I just put a hold on the book at my library system. They have twelve copies, and it appears to be a moderately popular book, shelved in the NonFiction section (741.5952).