Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mock-yeah, Ing-yeah, Bird-yeah

Some Brentwood parents want to ban a classic book. To Kill a Mockingbird is full of potty-mouthisms, dirty sex talk and folks with poor hygiene. From a letter to the editor to the Tennessean:
Neither eighth graders nor high schoolers have the maturity level to separate and appreciate books of this nature.

The profanity and suggestive lines in this book are far too advanced for this age group.

I am not going to go for the standard rant about narrow-mindedness and tolerence and the worthiness of art and literature in our society.

Here's my question: Who the fuck are these people?

Really. My kid is four, but I am old enough to have college-age kids. So these parents of eighth graders are probably near my age, or even younger. Who the fuck are these people? Where were they when I was growing up?

The last thing my parents needed to worry about regarding my behavior in Junior High and High School was a book. Here is a summary of my memories of high school.

Uh . . . it's kind of blurry . . . let's see. . . oh yeah, I spent the whole time stoned, drunk, cussing and fucking. And I wasn't alone. I didn't need a book with naughty words to tell me to act that way. I acted that way because I was in high school. We all acted that way. Now we're all parents. We set the bar for bad behavior.

I know that when my daughter is that age, I will be worried sick, because I lived through everything I hope she will be strong enough to avoid. I am providing her a foundation of self-worth to work from, and I will do my best to try to help her go down the right path. The last thing I am worried about is a book.

The letter writer continues:
We as adults and teachers should take a stronger stand to keep profanity out of the classroom. The minute any kind of profanity is introduced into the classroom, all respect has been lost.
Look, lady, I'm all for keeping profanity out of the classroom. I'm all for keeping profanity out of the workplace. I'm all for decorum. I don't cuss in front of my kid. But give me a fucking break.

Banning a classic work of American literature because of profanity is akin to banning Michelangelo because it will expose our youngsters to dicks. If you can differentiate between a picture of David and a picture from Huge Swinging Studs dot com, then surely you can differentiate between profanity in a work of literature and a teacher saying, "I said sit down and shut up, you cocksucking, motherfucking assholes."

I'm sure your students can.


At 5:13 AM , Blogger Evi said...

Hey, my highschool years are quite blurry too.Yuck, who would want to remember anyway? Well, i totally agree with you about the book and i love the way you made your point. VERY ENTERTAINING!


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