Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"The New Book Banning"

Here's the link.

I say, save us from ourselves!!


Stuart said...

That's unreal. I had to share the link with my friends + family on Facebook.

Basically every kids book you ever read is now considered "unsafe".

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

Yeah. Unreal. The closing paragraph really sums it up for me:

"Whatever the future of new media may hold, ours will be a poorer world if we begin to lose (or “sequester” from children) the millions of books published before our own era. They serve as a path into history, literature, and imagination for kids everywhere. They link the generations by enabling parents to pass on the stories and discoveries in which they delighted as children. Their illustrations open up worlds far removed from what kids are likely to see on the video or TV screen. Could we really be on the verge of losing all of this? And if this is what government protection of our kids means, shouldn’t we be thinking instead about protecting our kids from the government?"

Stuart said...

I remember watching lots of funny TV shows when I was a kid. Now my kids *rarely* laugh when watching their kids shows. They're just so bland and "safe". If they stay up to watch "Funniest Home Videos" then they're laughing... because it's not a kids show.

Maybe it'll improve as they get older (I don't have much experience with kids shows for 6+ yet) but it reminds me of this sort of thing a lot.

ATOM said...

Heil Hitler! Eh?

Sounds like a 1930's Germany book burning fest!

JoetheLawyer said...

Not to sound too much like a conspiracy theorist, but it may have something to do with the fact that pre-1985 kids books didn't have as many stories on how to be a follower who didn't question authority.

JoetheLawyer said...

Just so my last post didn't make me sound like a total whack job, I had in mind when I typed it a vague memory of something I read concerning the development of the D&D cartoon. I googled around and found it.

This is the pertinent quote from the guy who developed the cartoon:

"The kids were all heroic — all but a semi-heroic member of their troupe named Eric. Eric was a whiner, a complainer, a guy who didn't like to go along with whatever the others wanted to do. Usually, he would grudgingly agree to participate, and it would always turn out well, and Eric would be glad he joined in. He was the one thing I really didn't like about the show.

So why, you may wonder, did I leave him in there? Answer: I had to.

As you may know, there are those out there who attempt to influence the content of childrens' television. We call them "parents groups," although many are not comprised of parents, or at least not of folks whose primary interest is as parents. Study them and you'll find a wide array of agendum at work...and I suspect that, in some cases, their stated goals are far from their real goals.

Nevertheless, they all seek to make kidvid more enriching and redeeming, at least by their definitions, and at the time, they had enough clout to cause the networks to yield. Consultants were brought in and we, the folks who were writing cartoons, were ordered to include certain "pro-social" morals in our shows. At the time, the dominant "pro-social" moral was as follows: The group is always right...the complainer is always wrong.

This was the message of way too many eighties' cartoon shows. If all your friends want to go get pizza and you want a burger, you should bow to the will of the majority and go get pizza with them. There was even a show for one season on CBS called The Get-Along Gang, which was dedicated unabashedly to this principle. Each week, whichever member of the gang didn't get along with the gang learned the error of his or her ways.

We were forced to insert this "lesson" in D & D, which is why Eric was always saying, "I don't want to do that" and paying for his social recalcitrance. I thought it was forced and repetitive, but I especially objected to the lesson. I don't believe you should always go along with the group. What about thinking for yourself? What about developing your own personality and viewpoint? What about doing things because you decide they're the right thing to do, not because the majority ruled and you got outvoted?

We weren't allowed to teach any of that. We had to teach kids to join gangs. And then to do whatever the rest of the gang wanted to do.

What a stupid thing to teach children.

Now, I won't make the leap to charge that gang activity, of the Crips and Bloods variety, increased on account of these programs. That influential, I don't believe a cartoon show could ever be. I just think that "pro-social" message was bogus and ill-conceived. End of confession."



Stuart said...

That's a very interesting story Joe - thanks for posting it!

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

Great post Joe. And directly related to a new matter I will be posting tomorrow,

Group theory. Remember what D&D in part accomplished? It allowed many separated from groups in school or other social climes to form social interaction with their disembodied peers, only to then become a creative collective. This was of course in progress before D&D's advent in many social spheres (IFW, et al). But now I see the group idea is being promulgated for less specific reasons of sharing and building together but rather for experiencing mercantilism. We used to say, "Look at this," when it was an innovative idea. Now I feel that many say, "Wow, that looks cool, it's got flash, etc." The scary point is that these objects are vested with a worth which transcends the reasons they were promoted to begin with, thus placing them on levels which are at once real but having no deeper semblance of "why"other than as a stimulation. The group that embraces it then feeds the idea. "You have Xorx? So do I" Sameness of object = feel good bonding. Not that there isn't anything that might be found within it to share beyond this. Some games are designed like that. Like Tim Brown said in that video on creativity,most kids find a box more interesting to play with than a prefab toy that does only one thing. I had the ultimate satisfaction in being around folk who not only played games but were disassembling and recreating them and also creating new ones. Like any kid, these "men" were asking, "What can we do with this?" It was an individual concern which then was introduced to the group thereafter and thus shared, but it was a value-added lesson and example for all.

BTW: The "project" you sent me to complete is being worked on and in part I drew some information from it for tomorrow's post, but not too much.

Anonymous said...

1053 days until the Asteroid comes...or whatever the "Big Change" is the Mayans were foretelling..not soon enough at this rate.

Brave New World, 1984, Closet Land...

Soon, the MIB in their dark vans are going to take us from our homes in the middle of the night, accusing RPG designers & players of embedding anarchistic messages into our particular gameworlds.

The TRUE group is ALL. To be individual, you fail. These RPGs only create False groups, which stray apart from the True Group consciousness.

The government, which will accuse us of encouraging and introducing anarchism among our youth. We are guilty of hidden propaganda in an attempt of subverting the State.

Our escapism is a threat which must be eliminated. To do so too openly allows vocal proponents to become martyrs to the cause. Their cause will seem True & Just.

It is better if such excusions into imaginary fantasy are curtailed in the mind of our children. Best they don't learn what they could be missing.


Cast out dreams, they are lies of a false reality.
Conform to Our Individuality.
Choose to be alive, it is better than struggling to have a life...

OMG, we've become a bad cliche game of 'Paranoia'...


Elton said...

@Grendelwulf: I think Global Thermonuclear War will start before it gets THAT bad.

But burning children's books before 1985 because the inks contained lead is stupid. There has to be something else going on for them to ignore not to ban children's books.

But someone did say that U.S. Law is going to get worse, and worse, and worse . . . It's getting so I'm looking forward to Global Thermonuclear War and being one of the survivors (although no one really wins).

Anonymous said...

This has special significance to me because my mom is a Children's Librarian. I emailed her this link and she sadly wrote back, "Yes, I have been dealing with this for a while - it was announced about 18 months ago and we started to scramble to check our shelves for old books...."

I will talk with her more about it this weekend.

Grendelwulf & Joe, thanks for mentioning conspiracies and esp. the Mayans. I don't think it is too "whacko" to mention that it would seem there is an underlying sinister theme (nothing good can come from book banning, er um information banning).

This paragraph in the linked article immediately brought images to my mind of the Maya:
"I just came back from my local thrift store with tears in my eyes! I watched as boxes and boxes of children’s books were thrown into the garbage!"

Timeshadows mentioned in the last post about PBS and documentaries and I have seen so many shows on Nat Geo and such that reference the Christian missionaries who discovered the Mayan civilization and found their written codexes full of Mayan culture, history... and... Wisdom....

... but the Christian missionaries burned just about every last codex. BURNED! The missionaries decided that they were heretical and inspired by the devil. And I equate organized religion as part of the 'box.'

Later some errant codexes were discovered. So we have like 3 of them or something.

Those codexes contained information that could have had profound and empowering affects on modern man and our evolution of understanding our world.... but now all we have limited information as we live in this govt. created 'box.'

Anyway, my point is that knowledge is power. Knowledge is power and therefore controlling knowledge is power....
extinguishing "innovative idea", free thinking, "thinking outside the box"... individualism vs. "herd mentality"...

Isn't there some proverb or something that goes, "knowledge is the birth of revolution"?

Well, I think our forefathers had some of this profound wisdom and I think they gave us freedom so that each individual could find an avenue for discovering this wisdom (individually). The thing about conspiracies is that they may encompass the founders as the bad guys because of their "secret societies" such as freemasons and Rosecrucians. However, I sincerely do not think the freemasons (ie, Dan Brown books) and these Secret societies are the masters of the "new world order" or where ever this sinister theme comes from. On the contrary I think the secret societies and the Mayan codexes held profound information that all major religions symbolize but fail to communicate. For instance, let me recommend a book about the Rosecrucian beliefs that influenced our forefathers: Wisdom of the Mystic Masters

The power of the individual (self) is far more profound then we are programmed to believe.... thus the "de"programming of knowledge.

... I can't decide if this is intentional (conspiracy) or an extention of the ignorance from living programmed inside the 'box' (such as the missionaries who thought they were doing the right thing).

Mike said...

Let's not panic, OK? I think the blog linked to this story is rather alarmist. Libraries are not required to test their books or anything like that. On the other hand Congress was supposed to issue a policy statement last fall about how/whether books would be affected and nothing yet, at least according to the American Library Association's site (www.ala.org)

"The Commission said it has been mindful of the small business and crafter community in its implementation of the Act, and said it had taken steps to reduce unnecessary testing and certification costs without undercutting the safety benefits of third-party testing.

It also pointed to special issue for libraries and bookstores after testing older books and finding that books printed in the 1970s and earlier exceed the lead limits. In February 2009, the Commission had announced it would not seek penalties for sale or distribution of children's books printed after 1985 unless the seller or distributor had actual knowledge that the book's lead content exceeded 600 ppm." --

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

@Mike. Good points. Of course a lot of damage has been done, and not just with books. Note this link to OVerLawyered: http://overlawyered.com/tag/cpsia/

I saw that there was a lot of pressure put on Congress by the ALA but it was ignored, and that they are now "going" with the understanding, though to my knowledge it has not been confirmed, that the law does not apply to them.

I will read more and do an update article soon enough.

Lord of the Green Dragons said...


Well the destruction of the Mexican, Yucatan (CA) and SA civilizations were done out of greed. In order to stop them from re-rising their worship and knowledge was destroyed as well. This was done on a lesser scale to the American continental Indians. They just herded them and marched them to death. This in the name of expansion (power).

It all goes back to the same sources, large government, religion and mega-businesses/cartels that have their hands in both.

The routing of knowledge in a condensed form has become obvious. The more one relies on tertiary (in this case considered "primary" source, such as PT TV and high profile papers, NYP, et al) news sources the more the need for real facts seems to decrease. It's the "I understand because my neighbor and their neighbor watched/read the same thing and understands as well, and we ate a cookie and had some tea while repeating the mantra or non-opinionated sameness.... so there" syndrome.