We’d like to take a moment to recognize our regular gallery of posters here at The Beat, and commend them for their insightful and informative postings on a variety of topics. If you are not reading the comments here you are missing out; rest assured, we do not allow idiocy to run rampant here, and although we leave the occasional dopey remark up for humor value so far the community has remained top notch.

Which is a roundabout way of saying, we appreciated librarian Kat Kan’s comment on the constant battles that libraries have against people who want to remove controversial books from the shelves.This is not a one time thing — it’s an ongoing struggle. And as we mentioned yesterday, the books that people want taken off the shelves are in some cases literary classics.

Several book blogs linked to the Marshall, Missouri story yesterday, most of them erupting into geysers of snark at the stated belief among citizens of Marshall, MO that reading FUN HOME would attract wandering bands of pornography-reading weirdoes who would hide behind the library beating off into their ratty ols raincoats. Behere’s a sampling:


Sometimes you need to keep an even keel about an issue. You need to look at a controversy from both sides, try to empathize with those whose opinions you don’t necessarily agree with, and reach some informed compromise in order to achieve a greater understanding of one another.

And other times you realize people are just idiots.

YA Literature Censorship

This statement is just silly. I have viewed the pictures that are in question and in my opinion, there are far from pornography. Her comment about drawing clientele from the porn shop is, at least, discriminatory. Not only does she want to decide what books are allowed in the library, she wants to decide who is allowed in the library.

Edward Champion:

Okay, so some of the people of Marshall (and it’s important to note, not all; a brave man named Dave Riley spoke in favor of the two graphic novels) consider illustrations of naked people lying in a postcoital position — a form of illustration, mind you, that goes back to the Paleolithic era and the Moche of Peru, something relatively tame compared against a distinguished history going back centuries before Ms. Miles’ birth — “obscene.â€? Personally, I found both Bechdel and Thompson’s respective illustrations quite beautiful. But that’s just me.


Typical. I wrote a post the other day dissing Banned Books Week, and then Edward Champion finds this article on a hearing to remove two graphic novels from a public library in Missouri. The titles in question are Blankets by Craig Thompson and Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel.

I’m not really against having a Banned Books Week; I just don’t go for its overemphasis on challenges in schools. Parents should question what their children are taught and have every right to voice their opinions on required reading. Pointing fingers, as if their concerns are akin to book burning, can easily turn into a means of intimidating them out of speaking up. Isn’t fighting the suppression of ideas exactly what Banned Books Week all about?