NSFW, But Access For Children Is Mandatory

As some of you know, it’s Banned Books Week, which is a facile celebration of librarians and educators of how they, not parents nor citizen-accountable school boards, know what’s best for you and your children. I’ve written before on the subject of the Republic school board and its decision to implement a policy of not providing books that do not meet standards of age-propriety to its students (see Local School Board Makes Decision; Right-Thinking People Disagree, Condescend and “Ban” Does Not Mean “The Government Fails To Give It To You”).

I’ve recently read the book, as you might know, and I didn’t really see anything textual that would make it age-inappropriate. Sure, the narrator or the character of the narrator character admits to having a large wang. Sure, he has sex with a skin flick starlet in an alien zoo. Hey, who doesn’t? (I mean, when I was in high school, I read The Demu Trilogy, written a couple years after Slaughterhouse Five–what was it with the writers of that era and compulsory sex in alien zoos? Or have I now completed the entirety of the sub-sub genre?)

However, text aside, Vonnegut adds a couple of line drawings to the text because…. I dunno why he did it. The doodles don’t really add anything to the narrative, I think. Since the book was written to be argued by students by a creative writing professor, I’m sure entire theses and maybe even dissertations have covered them, though.

And on page 153, we get a line drawing of a heart-shaped pendant bearing the Serenity Prayer between a pair of boobies. If you want to see a picture, here it is. I realize that some of you are at work and might get into a spot of fired if you clicked that link and looked at the boobies, line-drawn as they are. I’d like to point out you might already be flagged since the content filter analysis has already run across the word boobies several times.

But isn’t that a pip? If you tacked that picture on your cubicle wall or the inside of your locker door, you would have done your part to make the workplace a hostile environment and made someone uncomfortable. The lawsuits would rain from the heavens or, at the very least, you would get a stern warning from HR.

Somehow, though, it’s unconscionable for some people to even discuss whether teenagers should have publicly sanctioned and funded access to something that I’ve had to mark NSFW on the Internet.

1 thought on “NSFW, But Access For Children Is Mandatory

  1. A subtly staged ban on JDG could help sales. Many public libraries have a pre-printed challenge form for objections against library materials. Perhaps someone (e.g. the author in a dress) could venture into a public library, say, two months before the next Banned Books Week, and accuse JDG of containing all sorts of lurid scenes inappropriate for adults, let alone children.

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