Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lock Up Your Daughters

Candlewick Press' editorial director Liz Bicknell contributes to the op-ed page of The Baltimore Sun today, writing in support of The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler, which has been removed from all the schools in the Carroll Country system by the superintendent, Charles I. Ecker.

As Liz points out, the fact that Mr. Ecker acknowledges that he has only "skimmed" the book is true too often of those who censor. My contempt for Mr. Ecker is so ingrained by my education and experience that it is probably too reflexive to even be called outrage; what really kills me is that the man is clueless enough to not only admit to the media that he hasn't read the book, but that even in face of the subsequent controversy, and even while saying that he is reconsidering his decision, he still, according to the Sun, has "no plans to read the book in its entirety." Clueless and lazy. (Add nervy: on the occasion of his recent 77th birthday Ecker told a reporter, "'I went to the doctor for my physical. Doctor said, 'You're in such good shape, I bet you feel like a 30-year-old.' I told him, 'Where is she?'")

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a dick.

Andy Laties said...

Same old same old. Gives us something to whet our blades on. This on censorship, from a book by Wilhelm Reich (illustrated by the young William Steig in the '40s):

“I met you…in the person of a little Bronx judge with high ambitions and an uncertain future. You made a point of my having books by Lenin and Trotsky in my library. You didn’t know what a library is for, little man. I told you to your face that I also had Hitler and Buddha and Jesus and Goethe and Napoleon and Casanova in my library, and explained that to understand the emotional plague one must examine it closely from all angles. That was news to you, little judge. ‘Throw him in jail! He’s a fascist! He despises the people!’ You’re not the ‘people,’ little man. You’re the one who despises the people, because you work not for their rights but for your career. This too has been told you by any number of greathearted men. But you’ve never read them, little man, I’m sure of that. I show respect for the people by incurring serious danger to tell them the truth. I could just as well play bridge with you and crack stupid jokes. But I wouldn’t sit at the same table with you. You are a poor advocate of the Declaration of Independence.”—Wilhelm Reich, Listen Little Man!, Translated by Mary Boyd Higgins ([1946] New York: Farrar, Strauss, 1974): 81-2.

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