Thursday, October 4, 2007

Celebrating Banned Book Week

Have you kissed a librarian lately? ( I know at least one dear reader who can answer with a hearty "yes!" You know who you are.)
Ray Bradbury, said, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."

Have you kissed Ray Bradbury? Don't worry, you don't have to.
Seriously, though. What is the most challenged book from 2006? The Qur'an? Lolita? The tale of O? Any answer would be hideous, right? Even banning an Ann Coulter book makes my skin crawl. But let's consider what the true answer is.
That's right. Have you read this book? Just ask Khubz about it. It's your everyday Daddy penguin and Papa penguin fall in love and they build a nest and they hope and they hope and they hope and then a baby penguin ("Tango") comes into their lives.
Apparently some people who read this book haven't read my post about how homophobic assholes should just say, "I'm so glad your baby has come to you." Instead those same assholes file complaints about this children's book being "anti-family." Enough of them for it to rank the # 1 challenged book, according to the ALA.

Really? Anti-family? Huh. Because this book is right up my family's alley.
Does the book depict wild, sadomasochistic penguins cruising for queer sex in the bathroom at the zoo?
No. We leave that sort of behavior to closet-case, asshole senators.
Well does the book depict bizarre, unnatural gay acts that might tempt young readers to purchase a cart load of butter-flavored crisco?
Um, if by "gay acts" you mean a couple taking turns nurturing the egg, sharing responsibility for getting food and nuzzling one another--that's in the book. But I didn't read anything about the zoo keepers providing any crisco.
Does the book suggest that love matters more than gender?

Yes, actually.

Does the book suggest that two people, no matter what kind of genitals they have, who love each other can make a home with one another?

Does the book suggest that a child can be part of a family even when that family does not replicate or imitate or honor the patriarchy?


And that is the problem with this book.

, like these assholes, have a problem with a book that suggest that two men can love each other. That a child can be loved by and nurtured in a family that does not look like the families these assholes have. That they (these assholes) do not get to define what love or family means even though they control the laws, the process, the guns, the money and usually the world.

and I manage to divide up household responsibilities even though there is no penis to distinguish us or guide us. Scully and I manage to cuddle and argue and pay our bills and go home for the holidays and get the oil changed and the laundry done--even with a matched set of vulvas.

I wouldn't mind having a bit more money. I certainly wouldn't mind having a bit more influence over the laws, the process and the world (in which case we'd be getting rid of the guns.)
But I decide what "family" means to me. I decide how I love in this world.

And tonight, I decide which book to read before bedtime.

It's very, very sweet.

This was supposed to be a post about banned book week! Sorry!

Just go thank a librarian, will you?


Anonymous said...


to yo' book readin' mama...

dig the post...glad the happy trio are back in the land o' the living...


Anonymous said...

Banned books are cool!

Anonymous said...

This post made me sooo happy because as an English/Cultural Studies grad student, we always had a week-long live reading of banned books in front of the student union, and at least a few of the lit professors would read the various banned childrens books. "Heather Has Two Mommies" was always a favorite. Plus, it's really funny to see college students sitting in a semi-circle on carpet squares on the pavement outside on the plaza listening to a professor read a kid's book, and usually doing "voices" for the characters--really feels and looks like adult kindergarten!!


J said...

Ha! That's a great visual image--especially to think about this adult kindergarten being organized around a book as dangerous as Heather Has Two Mommies. :)

dawn224 said...

That's a great book. And there's not a birthing mother on the planet who wouldn't give her teeth to share nurturing the egg.

Sabine said...

Yay! You go...I could not have said it better myself. A Family by definition per me: 1) parents and their children, considered as a group 2) a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together
Tranquil :o)

Kimberly Ann said...

Guess I know which book I'll be buying for my son's reading collection.

Kermit said...

I'm on the mailing list of a bookstore in Los Angeles where Ray Bradbury still regularly comes to buy and sign books. If I was there, I might kiss him.


belledame222 said...

Does the book depict wild, sadomasochistic penguins cruising for queer sex in the bathroom at the zoo?

well, you know those penguins are all morally suspect...