Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Screams Over Scrotum!

We think the book banning here is pretty stupid but this takes the cake!:
An award-winning children's book has been banned from some US schools and libraries because it contains the word "scrotum". Susan Patron's The Higher Power of Lucky, which won this year's prestigious Newbery Medal for children's literature, has incurred the wrath of teachers and librarians over a passage on the opening page in which a character describes where a rattlesnake has stung his dog.
You can read Susan Patron's take on the whole business here and leave a message of solidarity.

Postscript:

Gelf Magazine argues that youth literature is full of scrotums and has a list of other books that will now have to be banned. [Found via]

Neil Gaiman also defends the use of the word against school librarians who have "gone over to the dark side" and adds:
I'm English, a country in which "the dog's bollocks" is an expression of approbation and unconditional approval.

17 comments:

Jamal Afiq said...

Hello Sharon,
First of all, on "banning" I think the censorship board should take the core message of a book before banning it. If its positive than the use of one perceived negative word should be allowed because in the end readers take the whole picture of it and not by narrowing it down to one word to describe a context.Secondly, I am very much interested in your creative writing class but was told its already full, when is the next one coming up? pls let me know. You can reach me at jamalafique@yahoo.co.uk

always for the better,
jamal

Burhan said...

"I'm English, a country in which "the dog's bollocks" is an expression of approbation and unconditional approval."

Those wacky English! And what's the deal with calling the derriere as 'bottom'?

bibliobibuli said...

jamal - hi! i haven't set the date for my next course but will let you know as soon as i do. hope to be able to give you an answer by next week. i have a class going on at the moment but that finishes in three weeks time

bibliobibuli said...

burhan - a "bottom" is the thing you sit on. what's wrong with that? "bum" is acceptable tho' a little more informal. "arse" is much less polite. "butt" is the end of a cigarette and "ass" is a donkey.

you will need to brush up on your nonclemature of body parts for when you go to the UK and for heaven's sake don't boast about your "giant millipede"!

Ron said...

Hi Sharon,

Back at BiblioBillaBong.hlvj


Cheers, Ron ...

Ron said...

I think I should pack up and go to bed!

The 'hlvj' above is part of the word verification for the previous. ( I am beginning to really hate the new blogger especially the way it won't remember my 'identity'.

bibliobibuli said...

great ron. prepare for a visit!

k0k said...

Great gods of absurdity...!

What in the world is wrong with the word scrotum?

bibliobibuli said...

kok - nothing at all as far as i can see!

Kenny Mah said...

First they ban the books, it will words next...

Slowly, librarians begin getting complaints from their regulars. "My book's missing all the ____'s!" Another laments, "Mine lost half its nouns and all the adverbs!"

Or amusingly so, "Are you sure I got the right Kama Sutra? The instructions don't make sense. And someone's been all over the pictures with a black marker pen!"

Except maybe not. They may ban the word "amusingly" too.

Till one fine day, all we can do is brush our fingers across blank white pages and reminisce about the days when still we had our voice.

Kenny Mah said...

Hmm... Looking at the above, I notice there's a typo. A word missing in the first sentence. Or was it banned?

Madcap Machinist said...

I related the news over dinner and my think it's violent. No problems with the word scrotum. Of course, the way I tell it...

Madcap Machinist said...

my ^friends

word banning is already happening!

Madcap Machinist said...

an interesting thread at Cosmic Variance on the topic...

politicalchick said...

Do you know?

Utusan Malaysia published an article on "Wanita Palestin lahir bayi kembar lima" yesterday and they censored (by blurring the picture) those babies' (tiny) penis. And im talking about NEWBORN babies.

Nona (TV3) aired a short documentary on "How to give your infant a massage". A mom was demonstrating the massage on a baby and that poor baby's penis was blurred out/censored. The baby was like what..3 months?

And not to mention last December's The Economist magazine - Adam's wee wee and Eve's boobies were censored too!

What can i say. I guess the old government folks working for the censorship board are easily aroused by images of newborn babies' private parts. that explains why they feel it's immoral to NOT to censor them because the public too, are sick like them and we too, will get aroused watching a mother massaging a naked 3 month old baby.

Sickening isnt it.

bibliobibuli said...

thanks for the link machinist ... enjoyed reading

political chick - oh yes, the black pen silliness ...

Anonymous said...

Heh well whatever, leave them to their jobs, can get lots of stuff like that online if you know where to look :)