Thanking My Lucky Stars I Was a Baby Boomer Student

When I read something like the following article I found on Banned Books Week , I realize how darn lucky I was growing up in a world that hadn’t yet discovered

political correctness, school book censorship by parents, and banned books because of outside interference. I just don’t understand parents who believe they need to shield their children from books that contain violence, bad language and sex, when more than likely all of these are a daily occurrence in their kids lives.

As a kid, violence was on every channel; I watched The Three Stooges poke each other’s eyes out daily, cowboys and Indians fought, and as I aged, Honey West exuded sexual tension in every step. As for bad language, as a teenager some of the best new books had cuss words, language people actually use.

The idea that parents should have any say whatsoever over the curriculum is outrageous, even it it’s a website “evaluating” each assigned title, not for the message, or literary quality, but for how many swear words, violence, and sex it may or may not contain.

When I was in third grade, I was an unusually scared kid, despite loving haunted house rides and Halloween etc. I read a book of ghosts stories which frightened me. My mother marched to the school asking why this book was on the library shelves. The teacher answered, rightfully so, that although I was frighted by them, other children found them funny which in retrospect, they were. Should my mother’s complaint have been taken seriously and the book removed. H—, no! Thank goodness for a smart teacher, who by the way, introduced her class to marvelous books.

The father who started the school book evaluation website claims he’s not trying to censor anything, just wants parents informed about what their children are reading. OK. And then what? Every student starts opting for different books, perhaps bad ones? Bad meaning, bad writing. Of course nothing offensive will be in them, nor will they teach your children anything new or real about the world.

And does this father honestly believe that if several parents review a book as being highly offensive, they then won’t demand something be done? Dream on.

So, thank you baby boomer world for allowing me to read the Camelot stories with knights fighting to the death on bloody battlefields. And To Kill a Mockingbird, with the N word, incest, rape, and mob violence.  Or  Stephen Crane’s Maggie, Life on the Streets–a prostitute! And let’s not forget that horribly violent book–The History of the World–what were those teachers thinking, allowing we kids to read about all those bloody wars, when we could have tuned into TV and spared ourselves the trouble.

Here’s the article :

2 thoughts on “Thanking My Lucky Stars I Was a Baby Boomer Student”

  1. As a Christian, a husband & father, Baby-Boomer and a bookoholic I’ve found that there are some things I find objectionable in some books but I don’t think it is my business to stop others from reading those books. I’d prefer doing the part of ‘parental guidance’ as opposed to a censor for the masses. No that I do much of either one of those. Especially since my daughter is grown. I really do live in a closed circle tween home/work/church/store – So it goes…

    I’m more offended by having to say ‘n-word’ as opposed to using the word itself (in a proper fashion such as, perhaps in this comment and its usage in “Huck Finn” might be. Not in name calling… But through discussions with a black lady at my church I could and do see her point that offending some people through it’s use is not a good thing. We did use the word itself in the discussion and I could see it took a bite from her each time either of us said it. So I’ll say n-word…

    But in literature should its usage, and other words that might be offending to someone be struck from the earth? Should we remove every usage of “Indians”, “Braves”, “Squaws”, and on down the line so some Native-American might not be offended? How far should the revisionism be carried?

    Should we remove old dictionaries readily available on the internet because someone might be offended by some word it defines and make a new politically correct one only? – Shades of Fahrenheit 451. –

    I think not.

    I was once a child (and still am in many ways) and I managed to grow up (in some ways) while reading things that were beyond my age and offended me at times. I thank the Lord that I learned beyond my age and was occasionally offended because it shows I’m mentally on the right track at least concerning both learning of the world we live in and about cruelty to people and animals. I did have sense enough not to play a 3 Stooges eye poke on people and those films did make me laugh. Never met anyone that did try it on me. But I grew up a Baby-Boomer.

    We did not have political correction to guide us…

    I think parents should suggest books/stories for their children and watch what they read/watch in order to have a bit of dialog with them just to make sure they are not going to end up being ‘eye-pokers’. If parents allow their kids to read what their kids like to read that will give the parents a clue as to how to use the ‘parental guidance’.

    Might give them an opportunity to play the part of ‘teacher’.

  2. Prying1–a great great post. And in my book (sorry for the pun) a thinking parent who knows how to walk the line between watching out for your children as opposed to censoring them.

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