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Thread: Politically correct liberals & born-again's in Alaska join forces to ban books

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    Exclamation Politically correct liberals & born-again's in Alaska join forces to ban books

    PC liberals & born-again Christian conservatives in Alaska join forces to ban books. Over and over again, PC liberals have joined with born-again Christian conservatives to ban books, proving that both PC liberalism & born-again Christian conservativism are a threat to free expression. Writers, painters, musicians, comedians, and sculptors should unite in fighting both PC liberalism and born-again Christian conservativism. PC liberalism and born-again Christian conservativism are big threats to the literary world.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/29/b...ard-books.html
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    I was pleasently surprised to discover Wolf that this was not one of your free wheeling takes on; testicles, rogering, masturbation and other unmentionables that cause palputations to those like myself of a delicate literary disposition.

    Once one had got past your initial sentences which straggled on, and ended with a pile of pendent genitives and accusatives, we got into the meat and two veg as encompassed in the attached article link.

    Horror upon horror that they wanted to ban “Catch 22”. This was perhaps the most funny book I had ever read; a one off work of genius by Heller.

    It then begged the question as to where will these arbiters of the Alaskian wastes stop next?

    “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” was an inspiration in my 20s, and only now as an amateur writer can I appreciate how difficult it is to express sex in words; for the line is so fine and delicately balanced between alternate descriptions of “rutting” and “****ing.” Even sexual stimulation. “Playboy” centrefold was part of growing up, but “Hustler” and others of their ilk were like being mugged by a dead, depraved, metrosexual sheep.

    To seriously answer your question regards censorship though.

    I’m afraid I must face reality. There exists an extreme in writing or other artistic endeavours, so extreme as to promote: serious crimes, violence, and hatred. The question is can it be handled in a fictional way to illustrate scenarios, wherby individuals can be persuaded to attain behaviour not injurious to society as a whole.
    Not easy these days. So much false news and lies spread by; lobby groups, politicians of all persuasions and detached, blinkered, keyboard warrior fanatics, appealing to the lowest common denominators in mans prejudices.

    If you get a chance, read up about the Ancient Greek City State.

    It was, by todays standards, a basically patrician state run in the interests of all; by leaders that genuinely had the interests of all the inhabitants and welcomed effective interaction. Long since gone and leaving us withering scenarios of either; socialists that have long lost the understanding of socialism; populists that are suitable cases for treatment; and religious groups convinced that they solely have the right set of spiritual values. All of them have so far strayed away from the simplicity of the core concepts that they are supposed to represent. Read my thread on the growth of spiritual thought in the Christian world if you are in anyway interested.

    In conclusion; no I do not believe in censorship, in an uneducated manner. For some obscure example I’m thinking of the additional covering of male genitals on Italian sculptures that was carried out by conservative interests in the 19th century, and I then compare that with the statute of The Boy David in Florence.

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    I often can't say what I want to say around here, I get warned, something I say is distorted, points are taken away, etc. I will respond the best that I can, although it sort of feels like my hands have already been tied behind my back.

    Increasingly, on the question of censorship, there seems to be less and less difference between politically correct liberals and born-again Christian conservatives. Both tendencies are very hostile to literature, and both politically correct liberalism and born-again Christian conservativism can trace their way of thinking back to the Puritans of the Mayflower. I wish that the Mayflower had sprung a leak.

    Basically, politically correct liberals and born-again Christian conservatives want to tell writers, comedians, painters, and sculptors what they can and cannot do in their art. I find this completely unacceptable.

    Like the born-again Christian allies, the politically correct liberals seem to be more offended by "obscenity"than anything else. I've observed here in "Segregation City" Chicago (which is very liberal and progressive and all of that) that politically correct liberals seem to be more upset by "obscenity" in comedy, then they are by racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of bigotry. Like the born-again Christian conservatives, many politically correct liberals are just a bunch of prudes who stifle creativity.

    Today, the politically correct liberals and the born-again Christian conservatives are trying to make literature, comedy, theater, music, painting, film, and sculpture into a boring and politically correct stale environment. No wonder the English kicked these Puritans out of England.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Haha. No. We are not taking the Puritans back.

    Great Britain first!!!!

    We have here what is termed "fringe comedy," based very much on the early modus operandi of Lenny Bruce. It shocks, (as you do), but in a very subtle, clever way. But then, you must plough your own furrow.

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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    The NYT article is not about censorship. It is about who should determine school curricula: the teachers and principals (i.e. the professionals), or the School Board (who are elected officials). Nobody banned any books. Instead, the school board outlawed certain books from being taught in English literature class.

    I don't know how schools work in the U.K., but here in the U.S. there is a great deal of local control. Each small town has a school system, and generally an elected school board which helps to fund and run the schools, and exercises varying levels of control over what is taught. As we all know, elected officials (in both the U.S. and the U,K) are sometimes whackos, often cater to bizarre prejudices in their communities, and cannot be relied on to know how to arrange school curricula (or Covid19 prevention campaigns). School Board is often an unpaid position; members meet once a month and try to decide policy. These aren't professionals objecting to "Catch 22" -- they're retired folks and homemakers (the employed don't have time) with an interest in education.

    So it's not surprising that some Alaskan school district (out of the tens of thousands of school districts in the nation) exercised bizarre control of the literature programs in their schools.

    Obviously, schools must exercise some choices about which books to read in English 201. I'd suggest that the teachers are best able to judge their own interests (surely the class will be more exciting if the teacher loves the novel she's teaching), and those of their students (my sister was once required to teach Shakespeare to classes filled mostly with Native Spanish speakers who could barely read modern English).

    I support free speech: in fact, I'd suggest that limitations on free speech like copyrights and patents and libel should be liberalized. But let's not cry "censorship" unless it is censorship. Liberals may go overboard supporting politically correct speech, but that doesn't mean they support censorship. Students might protest when their Universities hire some politically incorrect speaker to propagandize the campus. That's not "censorship". We're allowed to object to speech that is insulting, or offensive, or dangerous without looking to "censor" it. School boards are allowed to concern themselves with school curricula without being labelled "censors".

  6. #6
    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    School boards across the Puritanical States of America have been banning books since forever.

    The only distinction between the politically correct liberals and the born-again Christian conservatives, is that while both factions seek to censor obscenity, both factions merely come up with different reasons to censor obscenity. The politically correct liberal ideology seeks to censor human sexuality just like born-again Christian conservatives, the politically correct liberals merely come up with "progressive" sounding arguments. But the end result is the same: the censorship of human sexuality. Politically correct liberals are just as uncomfortable with human sexuality as born-again Christian conservatives. It is part of the puritanical heritage of the USA.

    However, sometimes politically correct liberals actually direct their rage at targets that deserve it. That is, sometimes politically correct liberals protest against right-wing demagogues and other scumbags. This can be a good thing. But more often than not, politically correct liberals join up with born-again Christian conservatives to censor obscenity and human sexuality. And this is why we see this phenomenon of politically correct liberals and born-again Christians conservatives uniting together to ban books.

    Banning books in high school and junior high school settings is reactionary. The argument of politically correct liberals and born-again Christian conservatives that adolescents are "innocent children" is complete nonsense. Innocence dies with puberty. Teenagers are not children. Politically correct liberals and born-again Christian conservatives should stop treating teenagers like children.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry, plays, novels, & other stuff on Amazon:
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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfLarsen View Post
    School boards across the Puritanical States of America have been banning books since forever.

    The only distinction between the politically correct liberals and the born-again Christian conservatives, is that while both factions seek to censor obscenity, both factions merely come up with different reasons to censor obscenity. The politically correct liberal ideology seeks to censor human sexuality just like born-again Christian conservatives, the politically correct liberals merely come up with "progressive" sounding arguments. But the end result is the same: the censorship of human sexuality. Politically correct liberals are just as uncomfortable with human sexuality as born-again Christian conservatives. It is part of the puritanical heritage of the USA.
    Societies from time immemorial have tried (unsuccessfully) to "censor human sexuality". Perhaps we can all agree that some forms of human sexuality should be outlawed (censored is the wrong word). Liberals and conservatives might well agree that rape should be outlawed, as well as sex with children.

    As far as what books high school literature classes should require students to read: perhaps we can agree that they should be books with literary merit (like "The Great Gatsby" or "The Invisible Man"). This would eliminate from consideration most (although not all) pornography. If school districts decide teachers should not require their students to read "Letter from Penthouse" (that's the only porn I can think of right now, which shows my advancing age), does this constitute "banning" or "censorship"?

    Of course it doesn't. The only reason the NYT wrote about the Alaskan school board's decision was that they decided to ban novels that are accepted as having literary merit. Even so, this doesn't constitute "banning". After all, any school that decides to require one book instead of another could (acc. this reasoning) be accused of "censorship". That would be ridiculous.

    Choosing to require students to read one novel instead of another is not the same as requiring biology teachers to teach Creationism instead of Evolution. Reading skills can result from reading one great novel as well as another. Requiring teachers to ignore the mainstream of scientific knowledge is a different thing altogether.

    Finally, the notion that "censor(ing) human sexuality" is a horrid, Puritanical form of repression is dubious. Human sexuality has always been regulated by cultural rules, in every society with which we are familiar. It's likely that we all agree that rape, incest, and sex with children are properly outlawed. There may be disagreement about bestiality or adultery. Fornication (these days) is not generally frowned upon. It may be reasonable to suggest that consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want to each other -- but (in the case of adultery, for example) haven't they sinned against their spouses and all of the members (literal and figurative) of "God and this company" to whom they promised fidelity? Mightn't there be unintended consequences to the elimination of mores surrounding sexual behavior? Is demystifying sex necessarily an unmitigated good? Isn't mystery an essential part of romance?

    I'd suggest that regulations and mores regarding sex are part of a cultural complex that includes romantic love, marriage, child-rearing, etc. When we tweak those regulations, there may be consequences to the rest of the complex (which might be a good thing, but might also be a bad one).

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    The arguments of the above poster is what? That unless books are banned there will be incest and rape on a mass scale?

    This is absurd! What a bunch of hysteria!

    And the other argument appears to be that banning books is not censorship. Yes it is! Banning books is definitely censorship!

    And the argument that censorship or banning books is okay as long as it only affects teenagers is just plain wrong. Teenagers should have the right to read whatever they want! Teenagers are not children!
    Last edited by WolfLarsen; 05-05-2020 at 09:31 AM. Reason: Forgot my book! I've got to grab it before it gets burned by these PC liberals & born-again conservatives!
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    No books were banned -- they were just excluded from a school's curriculum (this may constitute "censorship", but not "banning".)

    When you objected to "the censorship of human sexuality" it was unclear what you were referring to. If you were merely referring to censorship of sexually explicit writing, you could have said so. In addition, the history of censorship and book banning is not generally one of Puritanical objections to sexually explicit writing. Is it likely that the Alaskan school board rejected "The Great Gatsby" or "The Invisible Man" because they were too titillating? I don't remember much sexually explicit material in either one. The Catholic Church and the Communist Party (noted book burners, both) banned books that questioned the authority of the authorities, not those that were sexually explicit.

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    Exclamation Call it whatever you will, but it's still book banning to me!

    Excluding the books - banning the books - what's the difference?

    Next thing you know the new politically correct term for book burning will be "community bonfire night".

    It will be a community of politically correct liberals and born-again Christian conservatives burning books together.

    Then the above poster refers to the "Communist" party. I assume he's talking about Stalin, because Lenin let authors & painters do whatever they wanted, and before he died Lenin denounced Stalin. And Leon Trotsky made common cause with writers and painters, like the manifesto he wrote with the surrealist Andre Breton. Trotsky strongly defended the freedom of expression of artists and writers against censorship.
    https://generation-online.org/c/fcsurrealism1.htm
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry, plays, novels, & other stuff on Amazon:
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  11. #11
    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    I don't want to get in a purely political discussion, I only want to discuss literary and artistic freedom.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfLarsen View Post
    Excluding the books - banning the books - what's the difference?

    The difference is that by making ANY choice for required reading you are "excluding" all other books from being required. As I said in my first post, the strange thing about the Alaska case is that the elected school board participated in the exclusion, rather than the teachers and principals. Suppose a principal said, "Junior year American English literature curricula will include the novels "Huckleberry Finn" and "Moby Dick". This is mandatory in our school system." The result (in terms of excluding "Invisible Man" and "Great Gatsby") would be exactly the same as it is now (assuming only two novels will be required). .

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    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    Finally, the notion that "censor(ing) human sexuality" is a horrid, Puritanical form of repression is dubious. Human sexuality has always been regulated by cultural rules, in every society with which we are familiar. It's likely that we all agree that rape, incest, and sex with children are properly outlawed. There may be disagreement about bestiality or adultery. Fornication (these days) is not generally frowned upon. It may be reasonable to suggest that consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want to each other -- but (in the case of adultery, for example) haven't they sinned against their spouses and all of the members (literal and figurative) of "God and this company" to whom they promised fidelity? Mightn't there be unintended consequences to the elimination of mores surrounding sexual behavior? Is demystifying sex necessarily an unmitigated good? Isn't mystery an essential part of romance?

    I'd suggest that regulations and mores regarding sex are part of a cultural complex that includes romantic love, marriage, child-rearing, etc. When we tweak those regulations, there may be consequences to the rest of the complex (which might be a good thing, but might also be a bad one).
    This is a perplexity inducing avowal to take literature, or any artistic manifestation for that matter, for what it is not.

    Are artists predisposed, by their craft, to conform to the ethical auspices predominant in a certain social context?

    Only if we assert that art is but an extension of the diurnal essence with which people, in their primarily non-artistic activities, interfere.

    But how could one be so obtuse and parochial? So as to imagine that the mission of the artist (if he has one at all) is to make the pneuma of his work, and that of the absolute, intransitive, consigned by ipseity, irreducible juxtaposition of one's visions, abandoned for not being able to improve it anymore, the artsy reproduction of a social status-quo?

    To what authority is the autonomous artist subordinate when he is making his language, by torments and decantation, speak in a way proper to that which chimes with his senses alone?

    It may be conceived that in this particular artist's case, within his work, a simulacrum of that thing which is to come, akin to that livre à venir, and never of those things that have already come, to be seen by society, and are already a mass grave, a simulacrum, then, that comprises an artificial language which is not referential, which serves no utilitarian purpose, fleshed out with the sole idea of astonishing its very own creator, sexual intercourse with children is the norm. And also the norm there is to kill them afterwards, and feed them to the guests that populate the binge thrown in the honor of infantile perversity. Who are we to say it's not right, when it's the artist that has created this world, isolated from ours, and not ourselves, who are arrogant enough, with nothing special to recommend us to such supercilious elevated airs, to condemn him and his trade for not subscribing to the social norms, for which he cared nothing in his labor?
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmptySeraph View Post
    Who are we to say it's not right, when it's the artist that has created this world, isolated from ours, and not ourselves, who are arrogant enough, with nothing special to recommend us to such supercilious elevated airs, to condemn him and his trade for not subscribing to the social norms, for which he cared nothing in his labor?
    I would never deny the artist the right to create whatever worlds (metaphorically) he wants to create, and write about them however he wants to write about them. I could equally ask, who am I to REQUIRE someone to read books that are offensive to him? If the artist is free to write what he wants to write, the reader should be free to read what he wants to read.

    That is not the case for books that are required reading in public schools. Students are required by law to attend school, and required by self-interest to pass their courses so they can graduate. I never advocated censoring; I merely noted that choosing which texts schools should require students to read does not constitute censoring.

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    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    Censorship by progressives has been a growing problem in recent years. It's gotten very bad on social media like youtube, facebook, and twitter especially.
    "So-Crates: The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." "That's us, dude!"- Bill and Ted
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