Friday, April 28, 2006

What think you?

I know what I think about Book Banning. And what might that be? I am opposed, period, across the board, no exceptions. If your only defense against a book is to ban it, you don't have any defense against it. (I had seen this earlier, but decided against linking to it. Then Maxine Clarke sent it along, and so I changed my mind. See the influence you have over me, Maxine!)


  1. Anonymous4:14 PM

    I'm with you. No banning of books or, for that matter, television in this house. If my ten-year-old daughter is subjected to violence or sex or themes beyond her years on TV--and she certainly has been over the years--is that going to have a "pernicious" effect? I don't think so, because she's stable and level-headed and has parents she can talk to and ask questions of. I just don't believe that the evils, such as they are, one might find in books or visual media can have the power to undo years of supportive parenting.

  2. Yes, I'm against banning too.
    My girls use the internet a lot, and read a lot, and I do worry occasionally. Cathy read a lot of books a few years ago like that Katie thingy one, which was about a young teenager (?) who thought she was having a friendship with someone on the Internet who turned out to be a paedophile. So she is pretty clued up I think. Jenny is younger and gets people she's never heard of joining her Flickr group, but I guess that's Web 2.0 for you?

    Anyway, I agree with the principle that you can self-filter via applying common sense even at a young age, and if children know that "there are no questions you can't ask" then I guess we are all OK.

    I was relieved when Cathy showed no interest in reading Goosebumps while at primary school (many of her friends were reading them). They sounded quite nasty in a "scary" kind of way for children of that age. However, a few years later, she read all the Darren Shan books on the recommendation of her friends at school, and they were probably a lot worse. I don't know, I would not read them myself.

  3. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Hi, Maxine. From my limited experience of them--I've read a couple--I don't think the Goosebumps books are nasty in terms of being scary. They're just boring as far as quality of writing goes.

    I was talking to my daughter once about how some things can be terrifying without being in the slightest bloody, and I described that scene in Silence of the Lambs in which Hannibal lightly touches Clarisse's finger. Chilling. This, of course, made her want to watch the movie. I said that I wasn't going to rent it because it would be absolutely terrifying to her. (I suppose that's censorship, but stay tuned for the rest of the story.) Well, it then showed up on TV--and I hadn't said she couldn't watch it, of course, only that I wouldn't rent it--so we watched part of it, then wound up renting it and watching it all anyway.

    Now, the first time I saw the movie my heart rate was through the roof. She didn't bat an eye. This is around the same time that a friend of hers sobbed through Harry Potter III and had to leave early. I realize kids are different, but Rebecca seems to be pretty well innoculated against on-screen scares.

    Frank, if you're still reading this: did you get my note about the July BAFAAB week?

  4. Anonymous5:58 PM

    I have a 10 year old (also an 11 year old, a 12 year old, a 7 year old and a 3 year old) and while we don't agree with censoring anything for adults, we definitely censor what our kids watch since we think gratuitous violence and pornography send the wrong message to young children. I don't want them to be inured to these things. I want them to be shocked when they encounter them. This outlook is greatly helped by the fact that we do not have TV or cable reception where we live. It's books, an occasional evening DVD or Video, and the wonderful world of Mario in this house. Plenty of harmless fun ... providing they've chipped in and done the dishes!

  5. I think filtering what your kids see and banning books are different. I think you not only have the right, but the obligation, to keep certain things away from your kids. Banning a book involves keeping it away from everybody. And you'll hear no defense of TV here.