Thursday, May 08, 2008

Serious Bad Controversy Here, Yessir

The American Library Association released its 2007 annual list of the most controversial books in the United States, based on complaints at schools and libraries. This was the second year in a row for this one.

You'd think it was something with, say, some sex and violence in it, wouldn't you? Something low, nasty, corrupt, dirty. Something debasing, perhaps, with an evil message.

No, it's a kids' book about a happy family of penguins.
NEW YORK - A children's story about a family of penguins with two fathers once again tops the list of library books the public objects to the most.

"And Tango Makes Three," released in 2005 and co-written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, was the most "challenged" book in public schools and libraries for the second straight year, according to the American Library Association.

"The complaints are that young children will believe that homosexuality is a lifestyle that is acceptable. The people complaining, of course, don't agree with that," Judith Krug, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The ALA defines a "challenge" as a "formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness." Penguin tale tops list of `challenged' books

This is one messed-up world we live in, he said, in his G-rated voice.

What kind of book is this? From, here is the School Library Journal review of the book:
PreSchool-Grade 3-This tale based on a true story about a charming penguin family living in New York City's Central Park Zoo will capture the hearts of penguin lovers everywhere. Roy and Silo, two male penguins, are "a little bit different." They cuddle and share a nest like the other penguin couples, and when all the others start hatching eggs, they want to be parents, too. Determined and hopeful, they bring an egg-shaped rock back to their nest and proceed to start caring for it. They have little luck, until a watchful zookeeper decides they deserve a chance at having their own family and gives them an egg in need of nurturing. The dedicated and enthusiastic fathers do a great job of hatching their funny and adorable daughter, and the three can still be seen at the zoo today. Done in soft watercolors, the illustrations set the tone for this uplifting story, and readers will find it hard to resist the penguins' comical expressions. The well-designed pages perfectly marry words and pictures, allowing readers to savor each illustration. An author's note provides more information about Roy, Silo, Tango, and other chinstrap penguins. This joyful story about the meaning of family is a must for any library. From School Library Journal

Charming ... true story ... capture the hearts ... joyful story ... uplifting ...

Read the ALA's press release HERE.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Offensive book with the insidious purpose of corrupting the morals of small children

May 08, 2008 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, AnonFreak-- that's YOU.

May 08, 2008 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and let me guess, AnonFreak... gay marriage killed the dinosaurs too (with your mode of thinking, that is).

May 08, 2008 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"readers will find it hard to resist"

Readers=small children

hard to resist=corrupting


May 08, 2008 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AnonFreak= one confused, hateful individual.

May 08, 2008 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
A principal of high school students dropped Beloved because 2parents complained it had sex, violence and racism. I suggest the principal be dropped. When I read about this sort of thing- I think it would be wonderful to be able to see how these parents are monitoring their own kids lives. I'd bet in 99 out of 100 cases their own highschool age kids watch cable Tv(althugh regular Tv has plenty of sex, violence and racism,), using who knows what on the internet, listening to music that is less than pure and playing violent video games. These people should stick to policing their own families and leave the rest of us alone.

Found a copy of Catcher in the Rye in my college sophmore's books. It is out of that liberal Midwest college and off to Liberty or Regent or Grove City for her!

May 08, 2008 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Unfortunately, that is what happens in the public school system; if you have an administrator who is not sure of him/herself they automatically bow to any complaint.

CRC/G have tried that in MCPS but we have some pretty upstanding administrators (as well as BOE) who know a pile of crap when they see it.

At my school, we have an administration that cares for children, no matter who they are and they will not, be any means, let one bigoted parent or community member hamper the lives of the rest of the students in that school.

May 08, 2008 6:24 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

I've always wanted someone to go after Huckleberry Finn, not for the alleged racist connotations, but for the gay one.

Come on guys, a big black guy and an innocent white twink on a raft floating down the Mississippi River. The possibilities are endless.

May 08, 2008 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly the kind of lewd mind we need to watch out for.

May 08, 2008 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The book is based on the truth.

Roy, Silo, and Tango, the chick they hatched and raised, can still be seen at the zoo today.

May 09, 2008 12:01 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...


my comment about Huckelberry Finn was sarcasm.

May 09, 2008 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one, BT.

The fundamentalist mind is not trained in irony or sarcasm in Sunday school.

May 09, 2008 12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"my comment about Huckelberry Finn was sarcasm"

Mine was too.

But I didn't have to make filthy allusions to do it.

Go figure.

May 09, 2008 1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AnonFreak said, "
But I didn't have to make filthy allusions to do it.

Go figure."



Please, there isn't a moment of the day that goes by or a post that you put on this blog that doesn't involve you thinking constantly about the sex lives of others (in this case, gay sex).

Now you are starting to see why the word "freak" is part of your name!

May 09, 2008 6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you ever stop and think about what you say? Bluck-Tsu made a comment suggesting sex between a grown man and underage boy in classic literature, that clearly demonstates how everything revolves around sex for gays, and you think the one who objects to that is "constantly" thinking about sex?

May 09, 2008 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I do, AnonFreak.

I stand with my words:

I believe that you are sex-obsessed.

May 09, 2008 9:40 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...


you are being silly. My comment about Huckleberry Finn was a HUGE joke. I think someone reasonable would take it as such.

I guess by your definition, skits on MadTV and Saturday Night Live demonstrate the "secret inner turmoil" of cast members. I wish you had been there to diagnose James Dobson when he made the comments about SpongeBob Squarepants or Jerry Falwell when he talked about Tinky Winky.

May 09, 2008 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My comment about Huckleberry Finn was a HUGE joke."

Obviously, Alvin.

The point is, that's where your mind goes. It's typical of gays.

May 09, 2008 1:21 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Now u r being EXTREMELY silly. I guess I should be happy that you didn't take the racial connotations of what I said and try to "analyze" that.

You know us black men. if we aren't trying to corrupt innocent southern white women, then we go after innocent southern white twinks. LOL

I'm just glad I didn't make a joke about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

May 09, 2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were going to conjure up more filth, we're all glad, Balvin-Tsu.

Another gay tactic is whenever someone doesn't accept homosexuality as normal and natural to try to stir up some racial division.

Pathetic is the operative word.

May 09, 2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Gays always think about sex? I thought it was men who always think about sex. My sense is that Showerheads and their followers are the ones who have filthy minds since they are so consumed with the sex lives of others. When they yammer about the gay lifestyle- I think about my neighbors who do disgusting things like play catch with their son, ride bikes with him, go grocery shopping at Sniders and Whole Foods and yes, please don't read this ,Anon- too shocking- doing yard work. Now that I realize it is a gay lifestyle activity- I am not doing yard work anymore

May 09, 2008 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dreary always comes up with the saddest comments. I guess everyone needs a niche.

"Gays always think about sex? I thought it was men who always think about sex."

I thought TTF considered gays real men. Go figure.

"My sense is that Showerheads and their followers are the ones who have filthy minds since they are so consumed with the sex lives of others."

Again, we see the interesting idea that opposition to having lunatic gay views imposed on society constitutes obsession with sex.

Orwellianism lives in our time!

"When they yammer about the gay lifestyle- I think about my neighbors who do disgusting things like play catch with their son, ride bikes with him, go grocery shopping at Sniders and Whole Foods and yes, please don't read this ,Anon- too shocking- doing yard work. Now that I realize it is a gay lifestyle activity- I am not doing yard work anymore"

So odd that doing yard work somehow negates a promiscuous lifestyle in the mind of TTF.

May 09, 2008 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... AnonFreak.

I'm no therapist, (I do, however, hold a M.A. in neurolinguistics and am in my 2nd year of my Ph.D. in International Education Policy) but I do think you should seek help for this unhealthy addiction you have with the sex lives of others.

And you have children? Poor kids!

May 09, 2008 4:30 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Have it your way, anonymous.

I'm just glad I didn't follow my original instinct and make a joke about Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

After all, bed and porridge was involved in that story. LOL

May 09, 2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I do, however, hold a M.A. in neurolinguistics and am in my 2nd year of my Ph.D. in International Education Policy"

That must be a mighty fine kolledge!

"I'm just glad I didn't follow my original instinct and make a joke about Goldilocks and the Three Bears."

At least, that would be a straight joke.

May 09, 2008 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not necessarily.

May 09, 2008 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I did not read "beloved" but I did see the movie.

A black young women who can't speak is raped or shes rapes a white older guy who has a daugther the black women's age.

she walks around half naked if I remember right chanting stuff while pregnant.

It was a bizzare movie, very gross, a definite sex scene between the women and the older man.

I don't think that is appropriate for highschoolers... if the book is anything like the movie.

You are defending it Andrea ... did you read it ?

Highschool starts at age 14.

May 09, 2008 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone who may have grown weary of expectorating epithets at each other, NPR has recently aired a couple of interesting shows on transgender kids. I’m sure everyone will have their own opinion on these broadcasts. It’s a two-part series, and you can find the first text version (with a link to the audio file) here:
and the second part here:

The text portions have been edited some and don’t have all the details that the audio links do. I hope you find them informative.

BTW, BT, I burst out laughing when I read your Huck Finn comment… some time later I thought “oh, wait a minute, he could have been serious.” Thank you for the clarification.

For any mothers out there, Happy Mothers Day!



May 10, 2008 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"expectorating epithets"

good use of the language, Cynthia

I'll exempt from epithets for the day

May 10, 2008 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, pray hard at church tomorrow, AnonFreak. Pray that God gives you the gift to think for yourself. You're such a tool for the "Christian (unchristian) Right (wrong)".

May 10, 2008 9:34 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Thank you, Cynthia. The same to you and everyone else.

Jim, may you be especially loving to yours tomorrow as well.

May 10, 2008 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
My son read Beloved and the Bluest Eye in high school. Guess what anon- real life even happens in high school and earlier. One of my daughter's good friends committed suicide- a shocking,sad incident. Therefore, something my daughter should not have read about in a book, I guess. Rape and murder happen to high school and younger kids- it is in the newspaper - therefore, I do not let my kids read the paper. If you don't want to let your kid read these sorts of things- that is your business- but do not censor the rest of us. I hope your kids don't read the Bible- Dinah- raped, Tamar- seducing her father-in-law, Samson with a harlot- I could go on but I think even you can get this.

May 10, 2008 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think books that you give your children should be about positive themes and good morals and patriotism.

They are going to develop some moral sensitivity from what they read. If you let them read things where not only are these situations (rape, adultery, incest, drugs, stealing) presented, but presented in a not necessarily negative light, they may develop ideas that perhaps that behavior is okay.

We can somewhat control what kids are exposed to on television, so that they don't think that random sex is okay. So that don't think that suicide is something everyone does. So that they don't think that rape is common.

For those of us who would like to make sure our kids are not exposed to that material, the highschool library should be a safe place - so that parents don't constantly have to monitor what they are bringing home from it. For those of you that are okay with your kids reading this, you are welcome to visit the adult section of your public library and check out the book for your two year old.

The world is in some cases what you expect it to be, and behavior in some cases follows expectations. If you raise your child to expect that this happens, what makes you so sure that they won't be more likely to engage in the behavior ?

May 10, 2008 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, you do realize this is a children's book about two penguin who raise a baby penguin, right? There is no sex in it, just a loving family.

May 11, 2008 12:24 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Anon, get thee to a nunnery!

You honestly believe that the high school library should not be an adult library? Are you kidding? I graduated to the adult section (upstairs) of my local public library when I was eight. And, yes, reading helped me develop my moral compass. The Bible, over and over again (all the passages) with commentary, thousands of pages of it. Classics, from Homer through Vergil to Joseph Heller.

None of those teach the pablum you call "good morals and patriotism," the simplemindedness that leads to torture and preventive wars of aggression. They require contemplation of reality, the gray areas which we all must confront, and help us develop our moral compass. It cannot be imposed, because when it is the backlash can be fierce.

May 11, 2008 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You graduated to the adult section of your public libary at 8 ?

I want to thank you for proving my point.

May 11, 2008 1:52 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

You know, Wyatt, I realize I will never be able to reach someone like you with a closed mind. Not that I would ever stop trying, but I will expend my effort elsewhere, as I do on this blog to reach those other than you.

I can fairly say that I would never want to live in the world of your fantasies. Saudi Arabia is just not my style. You're a very sad man, an example that no matter how good public or private education may be, there are some who will simply refuse to benefit from any education.

Btw, there was nothing in the adult section that helped me understand who I was in those days. All the research has been done in the decades since then. You, of course, couldn't care less.

I noticed also how you ignored my comment about years of Bible study, which, since it didn't lead to a closing of my mind, you would consider simply irrelevant. Another sad example of the modern Christianist extremist viewpoint.

May 11, 2008 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Oh, okay- Anon really is sad. We do not have cable, no violent video games but my children did not grow up just reading fake crap. Rape is common- it is used as a weapon against the women and children of Burma and Darfur and in many other world conflicts. And rape happens a lot right here- in high school and in college and even earlier. Suicide is not common but it happens and hiding it doesn't make it less real. You are a negligent parent if you hide the realities of the world and of history from high school age kids.

I don't really care what you do-although I truly believe the lies by omission are a terrible thing to do to kids- esp. kids of middle school and high school age- to pretend to kids we live in a Disney world(and your kids know the truth). I am just glad libraries and schools are not run by people like you. Fahrenheit 451 comes to mind.

Dana, I think this anon sounds like theresa- she has said she would not answer some questions her kids asked- telling them they were "too young".

May 11, 2008 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The usual anon didn't make that comment that you are over-reacting to, Dana.

May 11, 2008 11:33 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...


Over-reaction? Are you kidding me?

May 12, 2008 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the individual was saying that perhaps your lack of commitment to traditional sexual mores was the result of your exposure to adult material at, what most would consider, a young age.

Big deal. You probably already knew many people would think that, right?

In the words of Galinda, "nothing to fly off the handle about."

May 12, 2008 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a group of self-appointed censors in Fairfax called PABBIS (Parents Against Bad Books in School). They were the same crowd that ran with pfox and a group called FairfaxParents. There was a tremendous hullabaloo around the time of the work to add sexual orientation to the anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies. They harassed the poor school board until the board changed their policies on challenging books in libraries. I checked the website. PABBIS last updated their site in November of last year, so I guess their still minimally involved.

I remember when bunches of students stood up and spoke against PABBIS' attempts at censorship.

It's the same crowd that doesn't like queer people and immigrants; all part of the same puzzle, as far as I can figure.

Anonymous, I think you should move someplace like Prince William or Fauquier (Wythe, maybe? Mississippi?). I think maybe in America there's nowhere you can run to hate people in peace. Progressivism is taking over the country.

May 12, 2008 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your usual anon here. I actually agree with you guys that virtually all books, outside of outright pornography are OK for high school students and fine in high school libraries. Assigning in English class is a little more problematic, however, since kids are then required to read them. Here, the teachers should be accountable for their choices.

Middle school and, certainly, elementary schools libraries are appropriate for common sense filtering, perhaps by a parental committee. Unfortunately, the average teacher does not accurately gauge community standards.

May 12, 2008 11:49 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Defining "community standards" is the real problem, isn't it, Anon?

Btw, why would you or anyone believe I don't abide by "traditional sexual mores"? You know nothing about my sex life. My gender identity and intersex anatomy and physiology has nothing to do with my sex life, or how I relate to others in an intimate sense, but the comment once again points to the right-wing sexualization of fundamental human biology.

May 12, 2008 4:03 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 12, 2008 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Robert, PABBIS member Susan Jamison has written some rambling letters in support of Recall/showerheads. She was the author of the badly written letter condemning the new health curriculum sent to parents in MC high schools using the PTSA directories.

May 12, 2008 9:19 PM  

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