Those of us who enjoyed "Bloom County" in the 1980s might remember the series in which Opus was condemned and expelled from the community as a perpetrator of penguin lust.
Truth is stranger, and ultimately more pathetic, than comics.
The American Library Association has released its list of the most challenged books of 2007 — that is, the books that drew the most requests for removal from public and school libraries. For the second year in a row, "Tango Makes Three" — a book about two male penguins caring for an orphaned penguin egg — was at the top of the list. It would promote the notion that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, apparently. At least among penguins. Who are impressionable. Apparently.
The others on the list, in case you were interested:
1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language
4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint
5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,
7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit
9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
10. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My day would be much better if I could find each and every jackass who objected to "Huckleberry Finn" based on racism, kick them swiftly in the ass, and put them in a headlock while they write this passage out a few hundred times:
So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter- and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather, right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote:
Miss Watson your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN
I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking- thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me, all the time; in the day, and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a floating along, talking, and singing, and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him agin in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he's got now; and then I happened to look around, and see that paper.
It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:
"All right, then, I'll go to hell"- and tore it up.
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