Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"And Tango Makes Three" tops ALA's 2006 list of most challenged books

CHICAGO – Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s award-winning "And Tango Makes Three," about two male penguins parenting an egg from a mixed-sex penguin couple, tops the list of most challenged books in 2006 by parents and administrators, due to the issues of homosexuality.

The list also features two books by author Toni Morrison. "The Bluest Eye" and "Beloved" are on the list due to sexual content and offensive language.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) received a total of 546 challenges last year. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. Public libraries, schools and school libraries report the majority of challenges to OIF.
"The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported," said Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. "For each reported challenge, four or five likely remain unreported."

The "10 Most Challenged Books of 2006" reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

  • "And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;
  • "Gossip Girls" series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;
  • "Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;
  • "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
  • "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
  • "Scary Stories" series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;
  • "Athletic Shorts" by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language.
  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group
  • "Beloved" by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group;
  • "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.

Off the list this year, but on for several years past, are the "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain.

For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Web site at www.ala.org/bbooks

Friday, July 27, 2007

From NBC's Courtney Kube...Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England just provided an extremely unusual -- and totally dumbfounding -- moment at the retirement ceremony for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Ed Giambastiani.
As England was speaking about Giambastiani, a man in a red shirt walked up to the deputy secretary and put a parrot -- yes, a parrot -- on England's shoulder. England said he wanted his remarks to be very personal and that was why "Sweetie Pie" was on his shoulder. But England did not explain the joke for the rest of us. The parrot stayed on England's shoulder for the remainder of his brief remarks. read more...

Thursday, July 26, 2007


"IT WAS AN IRONY THAT SEEMED TO DEFY LOGIC. As oil prices continued their dizzying upward spiral, a popular U.S. automaker in spring 2006 announced it actually would increase production of oversized sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks...And the company continues to produce - and to sell - really large gas-guzzling vehicles, because affluent consumers continue to buy them, despite $3 per gallon and upward gasoline prices. Go figure." - South Carolina Business Journal (1/1/07)

This got me thinking about lag time, the time between when people are confronted with reasons why their actions are no longer logical and when they act. My all-knowing social psychologist co-worker pointed me to a book, written in the 60s about this: Diffusion of Innovations by Everett Rogers. "Getting a new idea adopted, even when it has obvious advantages, is often very difficult. Many innovations require a lengthly period, often many years, from the time they become available to the time they are widely adopted."

This also got me thinking about the differences between political conservatives and liberals. It seems as though generally conservatives take a more skeptical stance towards new ideas and policies, while liberals are more quick to take up causes.

This also makes me think about religious conversion. Sometimes it takes people hearing the gospel one time to become Christians and sometimes it takes decades of relationship.

What is this? Is it healthy? I feel as though this is a very human quality and extends into all parts of life. Maybe it's a personality type thing.

hey, my old blog was at www.xanga.com/mdouglass
xanga sucks.