Monday, November 28, 2005

Parents declare war on books, for the children

A group of Michigan parents, the Troy Community Coalition, is protesting retailer Urban Outfitters for carrying books and other products they say encourage youth drug use and promiscuous sex.
I guess they're trying to be edgy and to appeal to the 16- to 25-year-old crowd, along with the grunge clothes," Comiskey said. "But this is not the type of business we want in Troy. We want them to clean up their act if they plan to do business here."

The parents have even called the cops on the store.

Formal complaints have been made to the Troy police about the books, flasks and drinking and sex board games on the shelves. But residents were advised the store is operating within the law. A visit last week found some of the mentioned books and games.

"They may not be doing anything illegal, but it's not right," said Liz Fallert, 46, of Birmingham.

News flash: People can't be arrested for writing and selling books about sex and drugs.

But, in spite of the First Amendment, some of the parents are optimistic they're making an impact.

"I was glad to see they removed a book that had explicit photos and drawings of sexual positions," said Fallert, who had initially gone to the store to purchase "Kosherland," a Jewish spoof to the traditional "Candyland" board game.
Oh, really? Are you sure the reason the book is off the shelves isn't because it's so popular it sold out?

Regardless, the parents won't be satisfied until all their censorship demands have been met.

"I will be writing to the corporate offices, and if necessary may be planning something else, including a public protest," Comiskey said.

What have they got planned? A book burning ceremony in front of the store?


Jonthon said...

I've always thought a fun counter-campaign would be to organize and write emails against those stating they intend to do so. Perhaps we could all write the corporate headquarters, supporting their willingness to provide information within the bounds of the law, and encouraging them to endeavor in doing so regardless of the protests?

As an aside, the book in questions sounds like the Kama Sutra, which may very well have sold out. After all, its a centuries-old Indian text, and it's proven a best-seller for...oh, everyone that's carried it since.

kaptinemo said...

Oh, boy. This kind of thing seems to pop up every few years or so. Usually it's bored soccer moms who have got nothing better to do with their time getting a first taste of political activism and thinking they're actually a bunch of white knights on a crusade. This is partly how the insanity of the DrugWar came about.

But there's another, uglier reason behind this, and it's partly a subconscious one.

I would lay even money that most of those who are the loudest proponents of this have never spoken to their kids at all about drugs (including alcohol, of course). It's an 'out of sight, out of mind' sort of 'reasoning' that if little Johnny or Suzy never sees a book on the shelf about sex or drug use of any sort, then they won't feel the impulse to ask Mom and Dad about it, and inevitably put them on the spot about their own past behavior.

These are the kinds of parents who were quietly, deeply relieved to let a paid mercenary (who has ulterior motives of their own) handle a dirty chore they'd rather duck. Namely, DARE 'education'. They lacked the integrity and intestinal fortitude to take the 'bull by the horns' and be brutally honest with their kids. And anything that reminds them of this fact must be removed from sight, lest it both prick their consciences and provoke the inevitable - and uncomfortable - questions.

There's a word for this: cowardice. And no amount of intimidation (the ONDCP's cajoling in their ads for them to "Be the parent!" is the code for this) can erase this fact.

Adam Scavone said...

I've come across countless people handing out Bibles on the street in my lifetime - Bibles that encourage the stoning-to-death of homosexuals and others, Bibles that include countless acts of graphic violence.

High Times and Cannabis Culture, on the other hand, have never (to my knowledge, and I would be VERY VERY surprised if they had) advocated violence against others.

Handing out thousands of HTs and/or CCs on streets around the protest would be another great counterprotest.

God Bless 'merica, and Tom, the parting shot of your post is an instant classic.