Archive for July 2011
WHEN PHENOMENOLOGY MEETS MARKETING
Okay, there is some nice Shepard Fairey art right here in our neighborhood, curtesy of the folks down at EVO. Like Banksy or Mr. Brainwash, Fairey is one of the biggest names in street art. His Obama likeness (the neon-highlighted contemplative Obama) is probably his most famous piece. I guess Evo has put his art on their wall because they are selling Fairey’s “OBEY” line of clothing. Wait… Shepard Fairey has a clothing line? Please.
Harrisford, Texas – According to the Dallas Morning News, the local school board in Harrisford, Texas has implemented a round of book-banning that will take effect before the beginning of the next school year. The list of 50 banned books was revealed at the end of the July board meeting under a unanimous decision by board members. Some of the titles marked for banning in the district include the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling for anti-Christian leanings and “promotion of teen witchcraft,” Cory Doctorow’s For the Win for exploiting adolescent violence, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are for its themes of beastiality and Karl Wolfbrooks Ager’s Faking Smart! for its “sexualized content and moral relativism.”
“These were all books that have been brought to our attention by honest people with the intention of protecting our youth. There’s no bias involved here,” said Harrisford Superintendent of Schools, Errold Multch. “In some cases a child has to be shielded from undue influence, and this is just what this board set out to do.”
Some Harrisford school librarians, however, feel caught in the middle. Sheila Roman, head librarian at Harrisford High, thought the school board was acting a bit overzealous. “They do this every now and then and it’s just a drain on resources,” she said. “Kids are going to read Where the Wild Things Are whether it’s at their school library or not,” Roman said. “It’s an award-winning book. Everyone has it at home.”
The Harrisford book ban raises some concern over legal issues and the right for school boards to determine what is, in the words of the Harrisford board, “morally sound”. When asked if book banning might be perceived as censorship and consequently a violation of the 1st Amendment, Superintendent Multch had this to say: “You can talk the 1st Amendment all day long if you like, but you can’t give my child access to trash.” Another member of the board, who wished to remain anonymous, argued that censorship wasn’t at issue here. “What we got is books that are filth and polluting the minds of the young,” she said. “Where kids is at stake, the Harrisford board makes its own constitution,” she added.
In Harrisford, where the needle has been pinned at 102 degrees over the last two weeks, this move by the school board is sure to raise temperatures even further. “We have to grin and bear it,” added Ms. Roman. “The problem is, every time the board makes another round of bans our collection gets smaller,” she said. “Pretty soon I’ll be obsolete,” she said.
Harrisford schools open at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday September 6th.
Great book! There were a couple of stories here that were hard for me to get into (a couple of the early SF), but most were impressive. Loved the two origin stories of the Earthsea world – “The Word of Unbinding” and “The Rule of Names.” What was particularly interesting to me was reading some of her other SF pieces. What a writer! The dialogue was flawless, and my respect has grown for Ms. Le Guin many fold after this experience. She has earned another devotee and I’m eager to read her other larger works.