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Slaughterhouse-Five banned by US school

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posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:21 PM
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www.guardian.co.uk...


Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five and young adult novel Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler have both been banned from a school curriculum and library in a Missouri school following complaints from a local professor about children being exposed to "shocking material".

Ockler's novel, which tells of a girl's summer romance as she attempts to get over the death of her first love a year earlier, is being removed from the school curriculum and library in Republic, Missouri, along with Kurt Vonnegut's classic novel Slaughterhouse-Five. The ban follows a complaint from Wesley Scroggins, a professor at Missouri State University, who wrote in a column for a local paper last year claiming that Vonnegut's novel "contains so much profane language, it would make a sailor blush with shame". He said that Ockler's book, described by Kirkus Reviews as a "sincere, romantic tearjerker", "glorifies drunken teen parties, where teen girls lose their clothes in games of strip beer pong", and laid into Laurie Halse Anderson's acclaimed novel Speak, which he felt "should be classified as soft pornography"


Read more at the Guardian

I keep thinking we're finally past this awful trend of banning books from schools for no good reason. Slaughterhouse-Five is an important novel about disillusionment and escapism, written by one of the greatest satirists of our time.

The decision was upheld by the superintendent, a man named Minor, who says that Slaughterhouse-Five doesn't have "any place in high school"! Over profanity! It's been a few years since I read Vonnegut's book, but I don't recall any excessive or irrelevant profanity. And in any case, have you ever met a high schooler who didn't know and use all of the major swear words?

Though I've never read Ockler's book, its banning sickens me as well. But at least I can understand the rationale behind banning it; it sounds like it portrays moral lessons which some would find seriously distasteful.




posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:26 PM
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I'm not for banning anything anywhere....but in this case it really is up to the school. If the kids want to read these books nobody can stop them. They could still get them from the local library or the internet...just not at the school library.

In the world we live in today...they are just covering their butts.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:26 PM
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Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. ~Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:27 PM
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Every once in a while some crazy nut goes for the classic "book ban" throwback.

Keep your eyes on Salem. Sooner or later witch hunts will be trendy again.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by nyk537
In the world we live in today...they are just covering their butts.


That's an interesting point.

Once upon a time it was moral outrage. Today it's fear of litigation from some third party kook's moral outrage.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by Solasis
 


Zack De La Rocha said it better than I can,
"I walk the corner to the rubble that used to be a library
Line up to the mind cemetery now
What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin'
They don't gotta burn the books they just remove 'em"
While it's debatable whether or not kids should be reading about the glories of strip-beer-pong, this sort of thing is merely precedent for the removal of any and all intellectual material that "they" don't agree with. That is unacceptable.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:50 PM
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To even suggest that any book be banned should be an arrestable offense. I can understand these calls from lunatics, but this guy is a freaking professor. Disgusting, what a schmuck. He should be banned from academia at the very least.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:59 PM
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Well, guys, you gotta keep in mind that the best way to make something attractive is to ban it. My school library didn't carry Slaughterhouse Five when I was a kid, either. But I'd somehow heard about it, and wild horses couldn't have kept me away.

Remember the phrase "Banned in Boston"?

Banned in Boston (Wikipedia) [link]


"Banned in Boston" was a phrase employed from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century to describe a literary work, motion picture, or play prohibited from distribution or exhibition in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. During this period, Boston officials had wide authority to ban works featuring "objectionable" content, and often banned works with sexual or foul language.

...

This movement had several consequences. One was that Boston, a cultural center since its founding, was perceived as less sophisticated than many cities without stringent censorship practices. Another was that the phrase "banned in Boston" became associated, in the popular mind, with something lurid, sexy, and naughty. Commercial distributors were often pleased when their works were banned in Boston--it gave them more appeal elsewhere. Some falsely claimed that their works were banned in Boston to promote them.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:06 PM
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I can't really speak for the others having never read them, but slaughterhouse 5 is definitely appropriate for high school age kids. Kid's 15-18 are only 3 to 0 years away from possible mandatory military service. Though Slaughterhouse 5 is often called "the greatest anti-war novel of all time" I don't really see it that way. I enjoyed it very much and first read it while my wife was working on her masters. It was during the Iraq war and I was already a veteran the first time I read it.I think it would be a fine book for a Junior or Senior to do a report on. I guarantee that kids in high school hear worse language daily than what is in Slaughterhouse 5.

As far a must reads by Vonnegut goes. I highly recommend "Handicapper General". Vonnegut's satire directly attacks left, right, and middle. He is one of America's greatest satirists. Only Twain immediately comes to mind as greater.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:09 PM
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This will make the books more sought after. I remember Vonnegut being very popular with kids when I was in school. Not sure about the other one mentioned, but Slaughterhouse Five is an excellent read. Now more kids will hear about it and read it. Good. Censors will never learn.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by Ex_CT2
 


Reminds me of the Catcher in the Rye South Park episode.

All this hype about a "banned" book and the kids finally get their hands on it and by comparison to all the other entertainment and issues kids are exposed to it's a lame read.

Tell some kid who spends his days cursing and rambling off homophobic and racist slurs on Xbox Live while his alcoholic mother tears through "boyfriends" like tissues he can't read a book because there's a bad word in it and see what reaction you get.

Likely he'll just ignore you and continue ranting and screaming into his mic.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:19 PM
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"What traitors books can be! You think they're backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives." Fahrenheit 451.
Get the feeling Ray Bradbury's book was the first to be banned before any others.
Farenheit was my required reading in high school as well as Of Mice and Men and A Separate Peace.
Slaughter House 5 was brought up but wasn't required. Never heard of that Twenty Boy Summer so can't say much about that one.
These types of books might get somebody to think for themselves and really we can't have that in this day and age. (sarcasm)


edit on 2-8-2011 by KISSAEA123 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by nyk537
 


where do you draw the line ?

today its withdrawn from the school library

tommorrow - withdrawn from the town library

next week banned from the town bookstore

next ???????????????



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:23 PM
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very sad. hopefully this will inspire kids there to just go online and read about dresden. if you read that book and only come away with the profanity, you are indeed an idiot



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by nyk537
I'm not for banning anything anywhere....but in this case it really is up to the school. If the kids want to read these books nobody can stop them. They could still get them from the local library or the internet...just not at the school library.


I guess you're right, but this also means that no teachers at the school can put the books into a curriculum. And potentially could get in trouble for even suggesting it, I think? But I'm not sure about that bit...

And the fact that a litigious society can lead to this kind of thing... Well, that might be even worse. If people could sue a school for perceived harm by literary classics, and thus control what can be taught to any of the students... That's just plain messed up.






Originally posted by TechVampyre
Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. ~Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959


In general, that's true, especially in modern days... But I hate to say, that hasn't really been borne out by history... How much knowledge did we lose forever throughout history, with the repeated sacking & burning of the Library of Alexandria? sure, that wasn't an active attempt to censor, but it happened... And other books, that weren't intentionally lost, but have slipped away from us?

I seem to be doing this more and more, but Cracked has a couple good articles about those books...

www.cracked.com...

www.cracked.com...






Originally posted by HenryTwoTimes
To even suggest that any book be banned should be an arrestable offense.


I know that was hyperbole, and I agree basically, but man that would be ironic! Censoring discussion of censorship!



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:41 PM
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They should ban all books with incest, crude language, adultery, torture, murder, Rape and bestiality....

Start with the Bible

Hypocrites...



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by whaaa
They should ban all books with incest, crude language, adultery, torture, murder, Rape and bestiality....

Start with the Bible

Hypocrites...

I'm learning the hard way that you have to add something like "sarcasm" ... "/sarcasm" when you do this sort of thing. (Not that I ever bother to do that myself. I think it's lazy and unfulfilling. But it's disappointing that a lot of my best pearls have been cast before swine....)
edit on 8/2/2011 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by jefwane
I can't really speak for the others having never read them, but slaughterhouse 5 is definitely appropriate for high school age kids. Kid's 15-18 are only 3 to 0 years away from possible mandatory military service. Though Slaughterhouse 5 is often called "the greatest anti-war novel of all time" I don't really see it that way. I enjoyed it very much and first read it while my wife was working on her masters. It was during the Iraq war and I was already a veteran the first time I read it.I think it would be a fine book for a Junior or Senior to do a report on. I guarantee that kids in high school hear worse language daily than what is in Slaughterhouse 5.

As far a must reads by Vonnegut goes. I highly recommend "Handicapper General". Vonnegut's satire directly attacks left, right, and middle. He is one of America's greatest satirists. Only Twain immediately comes to mind as greater.

Yeah. My boss's daughter (then 11) came to stay the day with him at work one day. She had been having problems with her notebook computer. He told her to give it to me to have a look at. She reluctantly signed off her chat with one of her little friends. I got a quick view of the chat before I went to work on it--and saw a BUTTload of shorthand acronyms that I recognized as containing four-letter words, the last of which was "GFG."

Kids that age are no strangers to profanity, any more than we were. Teachers know that, we former kids know that, school principals certainly know that--apparently everybody knows that except for the rotten little s**ts' doting parents and sheltered university professors.

By the way, I loved Handicapper General (also known as Harrison Bergeron, if anyone intends to look it up). I think of it often when I read some of the more absurd things Politically Correct idiots do to promote "equality"....
edit on 8/2/2011 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by Ex_CT2

Originally posted by whaaa
They should ban all books with incest, crude language, adultery, torture, murder, Rape and bestiality....

Start with the Bible

Hypocrites...

I'm learning the hard way that you have to add something like "sarcasm" ... "/sarcasm" when you do this sort of thing. (Not that I ever bother to do that myself. I think it's lazy and unfulfilling. But it's disappointing that a lot of my best pearls have been cast before swine....)
edit on 8/2/2011 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)


I never tell when it's sarcasm unless it's directed to a person, usually with a
Most folks with even a modicum of intellect, know sarcasm and satire when they see/hear it. If they don't.... then any explanation would be pointless...




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