Each year the Intellectual Freedom of The American Library Association declares one week, "Banned Book Week." This year it runs from September 21-27. You may not think that such a thing is necessary here in the Land Of The Free, but the reality is that even in this day and age books as varied as Harry Potter to the Webster's-Miriam Dictionary face banning and censorship. Further, while very conservative religious groups often take the blame, the data shows that book banning happens in every state - both conservative, and liberal....more
Warning: This post contains graphic photos of real women.A couple of weeks ago my friend, The Hot Italian, sent me an article about vagina censorship. It seems that the oldest student newspaper in Australia, Honi Soit, published cover photos of 18 vaginas (vulvas really, with some labias poking out), and just before the paper went to print, the university decided to stick a black rectangle over the "juicy" parts of the photos to avoid a lawsuit. ...more
If your 12- or 13-year-old child or grandchild were being bullied, would you want her to hear a YA author–one who had herself been bullied–speak about hope and survival? Even if she wrote a novel about bullying that had the word “ass” in the title?...more
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about the Smothers Brothers. As a child, I grew up listening and laughing along with their old vinyl records, which eventually were replaced with a couple of CDs. In my home, we used their comedic material as standard family jokes, from the slithereedee to pumas in crevices to “Mom always liked you best.”
The battle for the controversial documentary to reach audiences is getting bloody, and at its center are an indie mogul, a rating system rife with criticism, and -- perhaps most important -- a grassroots campaign started by a Michigan high schooler to ensure that this important film is seen by her peers....more
Carl Zimmer, a celebrated science writer, has published a piece about Neil deGrasse Tyson in the January issue of Playboy magazine. Almost immediately after the article started making the rounds on the internet, the question of whether "respectable authors" should publish in magazines like Playboy arose.
I have. I opened an email from Moveon.org a few weeks ago and thought, "Jeanine, you have fifteen minutes. It'll come back if it needs your attention." And I promptly clicked "delete" and the email vanished. Honestly, I didn't think about it again. ...more
It’s the height of silly, really, since to look at the magazine, you wouldn’t necessarily even know you were looking at a gay couple and their baby. And, as the GLBT group pointed out, it isn’t exactly Hustler. Let’s face it, Elton John has seen his sexiest days. And even if they did realize they were looking at gay dads, I’m pretty sure no young shoppers were harmed by the magazine cover before the shield was put up or after it was removed.