challenging challenges

I’m on record as throwing “Banned Book Week” under the bus (item #5) …

But the “challenging” list — which somehow slope off into “banning”s — does offer a look-see into public perceptions.  And with that what’s being bunted about in Oregon — worth a look-see.  There kind of isn’t much kvetching going on.  Like, is there anything wrong with this sentiment:

Comments: Patron requested the material be moved from juvenile to teen due to disturbing content and dark/scary themes.

… and with that, this book (look down the list to find out what it is – I’ve never heard of it) goes onto this much vaunted “banned book” list.

The list gets dominated by some patron who hates the gays hiding away seven videos.

The “Har de har har” groaner of the year appears to be someone objecting to Curious George, because… (first thing that pops up when I do a google search for Curious George and racism)

The series’ celebration of the oppression of an abducted monkey parallels the oppression of black Americans, making the books’ fame seemingly contradictory to the atmosphere of innocence in which modern society has deemed it necessary for children to appropriately and healthily develop. …

When we draw George W Bush as Curious George, it’s fine.  When we draw Barack Obama as Curious George, it isn’t.  All true.  But the bigger problem comes in to the current president, who can’t be caricatured as Curious George because it would imply a smidgeon of curiosity.

For no clear reason, this isn’t brought into the list list.

This year included a nationwide campaign to remove Teen Vogue magazine from at least two Oregon libraries because of a sexually explicit article in the July issue. The campaign by Elizabeth Johnston of Ohio, known as the ‘Activist Mommy,’ asked parents to demand that libraries, grocery stores and other businesses remove the magazine.

Quick looksee, and we have the article “How to do Anal Sex” — which I guess is partial to why the local big bookstore has a note next to Teen Vogue praising its “surprising feminist outlook”.  (It’s, I think, where Cosmopolitan would once focus on “how to please your man” and now is praised somewhat for shuffling to “how to please yourself”).  I think there was a pro vibrator article somewhere in the mist, if I recall some kvetching from some conservative magazine writers.

The magazine on the list is Maxim.  “The patron objected to a lack of intellectual content, misogynistic world views, and objectification of women.”  I don’t know which of the three is most strenuously objected to.

“Anomalisa” by Charlie Kaufman (video)
Objection: 1. Sexual (sexually explicit, unsuited to age) 2. Values (anti-family)  Comments: Patron objected to the age difference between two characters who engaged in sexual activity, and that one of those characters was a family man.

If the character was a family man and he was getting it on with someone of his age, would that be suitable?

Running with Scissors” by Augusten Burroughs (recording)
Objection: 1. Sexual (sexually explicit, unsuited to age) 2. Values (anti-family, offensive language)
Comments: Patron concerned material is child pornography and promotes child sexual abuse.

Patron is insane.

Recently the “Rape Rock” act The Thermals played Portland.  It drew protest organized by the feminist book store parodied on Portlandia. And a few articles in the larger of the two “alt weeklies” — for the band to add to their scrap book, as there’s probably not much there since they drew the attention of the PMRC in the 1980s.  Half of me thought it would be neat to see a footnote of music and cultural history, but the problem is… then I’d have to endure some schlocky trying hard for offensive bad music.  Anyway, the protest called their actions a success for “alerting” everyone to an “unsafe band”.  Cool, as I’d not have noticed the band otherwise.  Not cool, as they don’t look very interesting.

The “challenged list” is boring, as I don’t see anything offending people worth looking at.


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