Thursday, April 14, 2011

The One With Offensive People Reading Books

My apologies to those of you who read this blog in a reader. The html etc. in my last post was messed up in an epic sort of way. I think I got it figured out.

Also, I just realized that, even though they were about a month apart, I began the post before this one and the one before that by talking about how much I love books. Sorry to be repetitive.

When we last met, I told you about offensive books that may or may not actually be offensive. Today is kind of along the same lines, but the offensiveness of the next book in question is more ambiguous. At least, it is to me.
Have you ever had one of those conversations with people that, you THINK you know the other person's opinion on something, but then it turns out you're WAY wrong

Par example, you're talking to someone about American Idol (which. . .I DO NOT WATCH), and the person you're talking to says, "Can you believe the shaggy haired guy?"

Now, their tone of voice leads you to believe that they share your opinion on the shaggy haired guy: that he's the most dreamy, talented man to ever stand behind a microphone. (Note: If there are currently any shaggy haired guys on American Idol, that is just a coincidence. I do not watch.) So you nod emphatically.

Then the other person continues by saying, "Seriously. Don't you have to have some TALENT and SEX APPEAL to be on these shows?"


Had you opened your mouth, the conversation would have ended quite differently, perhaps with a fistfight. Instead, your friend thinks you agree on something, and you know for sure your friend has lousy taste in men.

I think you know the types of conversations I mean. I had one of those today.

This lady and I were discussing banned books, and she said, "Oh, we banned a book once."

I THOUGHT she meant this particular library branch. That someone had complained, and they had removed a book because of it.

"Oh yeah?" I asked, wittily.

"Yeah," she said. "It was this book. . .I think it was called 'Two Princes.' It was about this prince trying to find a princess, but he couldn't find one he liked, and he ended up with another prince. A man."

"Oh," I said, rolling my eyes in a knowing manner. "That's ridiculous." My eyeroll was meant to convey that I, too, thought it was ridiculous that they would ban a book for something as innocuous as a gay king. The misunderstanding of the conversation went both ways, however, as I learned when she continued with, "I know. Can you believe it? A gay king. In a children's book! Once I figured out what was going to happen, I stopped reading the book to my grandchildren immediately!"



This lady wasn't offended that a book about gay princes had been removed from the library. She was offended there was a book about gay princes written.

"I collected all of them from this library and shipped them off to other branches," she said as she walked away, basking in her own smugness.

. . . . . . .

Apparently, it's in vogue now to promote small-mindedness and lifestyles different than your own. Excellent.

Incidentally, the book she was talking about is King and King by Linda de Haan.

Unfortunately, it looks like that lady won, because we have no copies in the system. But along with the bad, there is some good. The absolute cutest book I think I've seen in life is called "Where's Walrus?" by Stephen Savage. (I'd post a picture, but Blogger is giving me fits today, so you should just click on it to give it a look.) It's about this walrus that escapes from the zoo and hides from the zookeepper by putting on different hats and taking on different jobs. The book has no words, just pictures, but it's awesome. Kind of makes me want to go have a kid so I'd have an excuse to buy it. Maybe next time I'll find something other than books to talk about.

Then Again, Maybe I Won't.

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