ambiguity

April 19, 2010

The Words of Wisdom, Let Them Be.

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:26 am

The American Library Association on Saturday released a list of “the most challenged books of 2009″, featuring what American parents believe to be offensive and dangerous books. Among the names are classics such as Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”, ranked at number four and J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher In The Rye” at sixth.

It perplexes me, to the point I question my own taste in literature. The “Twilight” series, which I maintain is not only poorly written, but poorly thought out, ranks in between the two legends. I won’t disagree too much with that, not because I find the books offensive(well, not morally anyway), but because if anyone is going to challenge a book, it better match the abomination that is vampires and werewolves fighting over a tomboy.

It really is fascinating, the reasons parents give for challenging these books. Reasons such as “nudity”, “sexually explicit”, “offensive language” and my personal favourite, “religious viewpoint”. Based on these four criteria alone, I wonder with every inch of my being, how the bible isn’t at the top of that list. It has everything, everything parents could possibly find offensive in a publication. Murder, rape, sodomy, bloodshed, offensive language, yet once again religion gets away with it. But that’s not the biggest thorn in my flesh.

Clearly, American parents understand the sort of influence books can have on us. But to want them removed from curricula, to deprive children of beauty in print, purely because they’re afraid of the potential knee jerk is cowardly, cruel, ignorant and a complete underestimation of their own flesh and blood. Parent’s don’t seem to give their children enough credit nowadays, and again, while I can understand that a good percentage of children are imbeciles, that shouldn’t mean that the rest of them have to suffer.

One of modern society’s biggest problems has reared its ugly head. Overprotective, anal, irrational parents who believe that they know what’s best for their children, who believe that they must regulate content being distributed so as to prevent their children from falling victim to bad influence, who believe that without controversial content, their children will grow up to be loyal, patriotic and intelligent individuals, who believe that if their children read only the bible and “Where’s Waldo?”, they’ll grow up to understand that the world is a messy and complicated place, and sometimes you don’t find what you’re looking for, but if you say a prayer, a magic finger will descend from the heavens and point that candy cane out to you.

Instead of lodging complaints, why not educate your own children? Why abandon the responsibility and accountability that is yours and yours alone? Why fault an external entity when quite clearly, there is more you can do about it than stopping them from learning? Simple. Because it is easy. Convenient. Because no one likes to blame themselves when their children don’t grow up to become what they imagine. Because it is much simpler to point a finger at someone else than to look into the mirror and admit that you failed as a parent.

Well the truth is, your vision of perfect children won’t manifest. But at least they will be who they are. They will have learned, they will have absorbed, they will know their loves, their hates, they will laugh and cry, all based on their own standards of humour and sorrow, they will understand, they will think, they will consider and make their own decisions, they will succeed, they will make mistakes, but at least it will be theirs. They will be John, Kevin, Sarah, Jane, Michelle, Adam, Stephen, Joanna… They will be unique individuals who know who they are. And if they turn out this way, you would’ve done your job as a parent. You would’ve helped nurture another human being into mental maturity. And while he or she may not be the perfect child, he or she is undoubtedly and unmistakably yours.

Advertisements

1 Comment »

  1. too true. parents have certainly abandoned bringing up their children.

    Comment by genghis — April 20, 2010 @ 11:45 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: