Archive for censored

The Book Booth: Banned Books Week Edition


Image: Columbus Public Library

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, @SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

During the last week of September the American Library Association sponsors Banned Books Week. Our local library has a great display set up and I would not be surprised if your local independent bookseller has one as well. It is a good time to reflect on our first amendment rights as well fight back against the forces of censorship. The ALA has a list of activites and other assorted goodies here.

And it is probably not too late to get some posters and other resources as offered from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Posters

Banning and censoring books has a long history that extends well past the Index of the Church. But more recently, say 1930, it was still well-entrenched here in the USA. The New Republic inteviewed one censor here, and, no, this is not an Onion parody.

And the tradition continues. Nearly every week I hear of some lame attempt to ban certain works, especially in schools, because, you know, the minds of children and teens can get warped. MentalFloss weighs in with a top ten list of books currently under attack.

I've always wondered what banned book I was. Well, always is the wrong word. But I did wonder earlier in the week when I saw this quiz from PlayBuzz and developed by the Columbus State Library. Turns out I'm the Tropic of Cancer, which was a surprise to me as I'm not the biggest Henry Miller fan.

What banned book are you?

Banning books always arouses controversy. And Hollywood, when it is brave (or it can make them a few bucks), will adapt and film those books. Word and Film listed its top ten list of banned books adapted into celluloid.

From the if you can't lick 'em, re-write 'em Department comes this odd attempt to make Harry Potter more palatable to "Christian" values. Harry does make a lot of banned lists, and I don't think Republican Jesus makes an appearance in any of the books. In any event, here is one woman's stab at revising Harry Potter; if you can read more than three paragraphs of some really bad writing, you have a lot more patience than I do. (And thanks to our own Lucian for finding this.)

Harry Potter as a Christian (and no, this is not an Onion story either!)

I don't think that there is any way to clean up these passages from Children's literature though.

You probably wont find Harry Potter or rewrites of it on any list featuring experimental novels. But writers love to experiment with narratives and style. Emily Temple has such a list of some very interesting experimental novels here at Flavorwire.

Over at BoingBoing, Ella Frances Sanders recently illustrated some words from foreign languages which are thought to be untranslatable. Some of these are clever. And I admit to suffering from Tsundoku syndrome. Untranslatable words translated (or sorta).

And finally some good news for those of us who still enjoy actually thumbing through and turning the pages of a book. H/T to old friend George Carroll for finding this article from
Great news for people who actually read books.

Have a great weekend folks. Go find yourself a banned book to read and let us know how much you are enjoying it.


Retailer Tesco "very sorry" (again) for their latest "amusing" product: "The Inflatable Gay Best Friend"


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tesco gay best friend dollProduct description, in case you can't read the teeny font:

"Inflatable g*y Best Friend if SEX in the City and Will & Grace taught us anything, it's that g*y best friends are in this season."

The description goes on to say, "We've had the manbag, we've had leg warmers and iPhone fever, now it's time for the new craze. Although not much can be said for his own attire, your Inflatable g*y Best Friend is ready to give you fashion advice, tell you if your bum looks big and b**ch about everyone who doesn't wear Jimmy Choo's."

tesco gay best friend doll description

Gee, that's not stereotypical at all.

Common sense rule of thumb, generally speaking: Know when to stop. Or in this case, know when to never start in the first place.

Apparently British retailer Tesco doesn't have much common sense, or business sense for that matter. They already got in hot water and apologized for selling offensive "Psycho Ward" Halloween "mental patient" costumes which reinforced stigmatization and misconceptions of mental illness. But, hey, they were "really sorry for any offence caused."

Now they're "very sorry" about their latest offering, an inflatable "g*y best friend." They added the asterisk, I didn't. Yes, they censored the Evil G Word as if it were a vulgarity.

Via Sky News:

It comes a day after the retailer was forced to remove a Halloween costume called "Psycho Ward" from its shelves after it sparked widespread criticism.

On its website Tesco said "The Inflatable g*y Best Friend" was suitable for children aged three to four and was an "amusing gift".

To put it in the Queen's English, we are not amused.

Tesco claims that the doll was "uploaded to the website by a third party seller but was removed from sale immediately because we found it offensive." Offensive? Why, whoever would find that offensive? I mean other than anybody with a functioning brain and sense of decency.

According to the article, the "amusing gift" is still on sale on Amazon.


VIDEO- GOP MI male State Rep. on "vagina" ban of Dem. female reps: "It's like giving a kid a time out for a day."


So now the Michigan GOP  state representative is saying this word didn't bother them...

... Saying, "No means no" did:

Via Daily Kos.


More: http:/

Republicans claim they don't understand how we got started talking about the "war on women" - they apparently forgot that they launched the attack on women's health? Now, they just can't help saying what they really think of the strong women who spoke out on the House floor last week.

I've been saying this since the infuriating incident first happened: This is about control and treating women as if they're tantruming children because they use words like "vagina," "vasectomy," and *gasp!* "no."

Michigan GOP state Rep. Wayne Schmidt:

"It wasn't about body parts. It wasn't about dissent. It wasn't about anyone's religious beliefs. It was that last comment that took it a step too far, and that's what crossed the line about ... The 'no means no' comment. That went a step too far. As I said to someone up north here, it's like giving a kid a time out for a day, you know. Hey, time out."

You know what's really offensive? Cowardly, irresponsible, infantile Republican men who are so afraid of  evil, scary smart, rational women that they punish them with time-outs to eliminate a non-existent problem rather than allowing their smart, rational, elected female counterparts to do their jobs.


VIDEO- BLUNT song parody: Vagina!


I couldn’t resist writing another song parody, this time about some legislators, specifically the infamous Michigan Males, censoring and banning female members who dared to utter the words "vagina" and "vasectomy"! Oh noes!

(I just noticed from the freeze frame that my video program failed to add the apostrophe in "We'll"... it does that. Sigh.)

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