Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Germs Nicer than Americans

This is old news but it's the first I heard of it. I found it in Jeanette Farrell's Invisible Allies: Microbes that Shape our Lives (2005)

According to the "1941 Census of Bacteria in the United States," scientists estimated the number of good or neutral bacteria in the U.S. as 10,031,000 quintillion, vs. 308 quintillion bad ones.

This works out to one disease-causing bacteria to every 29,999 good or neutral ones.

Compared to humans in the U.S. at the same time, 7,569 people were convicted of murder, which comes to one killer per 17,000 humans. Based on these numbers, bacteria are twice as nice as people.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Fucking, Austria

Just the name of a town. Yahoo has an article on the unfortunately named(for English speakers) municipality.

Most of these quotes seem incredibly fake but years ago, Snopes published an article on this so "Fucking" in and of itself seems legit.

"I'm looking for Fucking."
"Vienna wasn't as much fun as Fucking."
"My, there are quite a number of Fucking old people here tonight."

And so it goes.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

More Blood

First day of class and what happens? The blood blister (or small tumor) on my finger rips open and gushes blood like a fire hose. I had to rip a piece off an old baby blanket and tape it over my finger to dam it up.

Meanwhile, I am unable to strike the semi-colon key with any degree of accuracy.
Chupacabra Captured?

Even the Scooby Doo series, which backed the existence of Nessie, openly dismissed the possibility of the chupacabra. Now a Texan is claiming he's caught one.

I dunno--it still looks phony.
I'm an Evil Person

I can't help but laugh.

Yes, it's horrible and I'm a sick, sick monster to snicker but I can't keep it inside.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds

At last, the final chapter. This has a good mix of nuts, all across the political spectrum. Again, I tried to force many of the censors into left/right positions when they might be better described as just plain crazy.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
Conservative: First banned in the Concord Public Library of Massachusetts and later libraries for language, behavior, and use of alcohol.

Liberal: Confiscated in Soviet Union, no explanation given (along with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer); 1957 the NAACP protested for racism and demanded it removed from NYC schools; 1969, Miami Dade Junior College removed it from required reading lists because it created emotional problems for black students that inhibited learning; repeatedly challenged and removed from schools for racial language

Other: Taylor County High School of Butler, Georgia objected to the "improper grammar"

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947)
You Call It: Repeatedly revised and edited in early publications; challenges due to sexual content, that the book "undermines adult authority, portrayal of "the mistreatment of the Jewish people" and Jewish girls; in 1983, four members of the Alabama Textbook Commission wanted to pull the book from schools because they felt it was "a real downer."

Annie on my Mind, Nancy Garden (novel about two girls who fall in love, 1982)
Conservative: Challenged and removed from school libraries because "it promotes and encourages the gay lifestyle" (despite the fact that the girls suffer and are humiliated for being lesbians)

Another Country, James Baldwin (1962)
Conservative: J. Edgar Hoover personally sent a copy of the book to FBI laboratories, upset over the interracial sex and homosexuality; bookseller arrested in New Orleans in 1963 for having copies of the book in stock

Appointment in Samarra, John O'Hara (1934)
Conservative: Boston's Watch and Ward Society, U.S. Post Office (banned from distribution by mail and placed on the U.S. Post Office Index of Banned Books, something I never knew existed), New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, National Organization for Decent Literature which had the book banned for sale in St. Cloud, Minnesota; Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan; and Detroit. The NODL limited sales in many other areas until the organization dissolved in the 1950s.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1791)
Conservative: Franklin's grandson, William Temple Franklin made 1,200 changes to an edition he published; various other publishers; the U.S. Post Office (due to sexual content and flatulence jokes)

Baby Be-Bop, Francesca Lia Block (young adult novel, 1995)
Conservative: bans in school libraries (homosexual themes and language)

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath (1963)
Conservative: "People who Care" and various school challenges for sexual content, use of birth control, negative attitude towards marriage; says a member of People who Care: "School decisions should be based on the absolutes of Christian behavior."

Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin (1961)
Conservative: various school challenges; described as "integration-centered, vulgar, filthy and unsuitable for any age level"; restricted in Missouri "because of black people being in the book.") One protestor explained, "In a rural community, people don't care to have their children read about Negroes,"

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (1932)
Conservative: Banned in Ireland (1932); various school challenges ("language and moral content")

The Canterbury Tales (1387-1400)
Conservative: Fundamentalist Christians and various school challenges for "sexual explicitness," "vulgar language," "Promotion of women's lib" [from a minister in Florida], and promotion of communism [in 1953, Texans objected to the book because it was illustrated by a suspected Marxist]

Captain Underpants
Conservative: School challenges for humor based on "bathroom and bodily functions"; described as "a piece of poop," "irreverence to authority," and "no moral value to that poop character."

Catch-22 (1961)
Conservative: School challenges ("completely sick," "garbage")

Liberal: School challenges (treatment of women, one female character is only referred to as "Nately's whore")

The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
Conservative: Australia and America (a censorship group made a Smutmobile that they promoted around Oklahoma City when the state government debated censorship issues)
Objections because the book is "filthy and profane," promoted premarital sex and homosexuality, "explicitly pornographic," 785 uses of profanity, belief that the books was "part of a communist plot that was gaining a foothold in the schools," "centered around negative activity," and "the Lord's name is taken in vain."

A Clockwork Orange (1962)
Conservative: bookseller arrested for obscenity by stocking the novel in Orem, Utah; various school challenges

Cujo (1981)
Conservative: School challenges for "unacceptable language," "violence," "profane and sexually objectionable," "explicit sex scenes"; described as "a bunch of garbage"

The Drowning of Stephan Jones, Bette Greene (novel about homophobia, 1991)
Conservative: Removed or challenged from school libraries because it promotes "anti-Christian beliefs" and "illegal activity" (presumably homosexuality). One parent described the book as "a rattlesnake that needed to be killed right then and right there."

Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
You Call It: In 1967, the publisher edited out 75 passages to eliminate words like "damn," "hell," and "abortion" to heighten sales. Bradbury was not informed by the publisher but only learned about it in 1979. He demanded the book be restored.

Conservative: A few school districts; Venado Middle School blacked out all objectionable words with black marker.

Quote from the book I'd forgotten: "the word ‘intellectual' became the swear word it deserved to be."

Fallen Angels, Walter Dean Myers (Novel about Vietnam, 1988)
Conservative: Challenged or banned in many schools (Contains 300 "vulgarities")

Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying (1991)
Conservative (but not Americans): Varying degrees of bans and challenges in Australia, New Zealand, France, and England

Go Ask Alice (1971)
Conservative: Massive school challenges (drug use, sexual situations, homosexuality; words including "shitty, goddamned, pissing, ass, goddamned be Jesus, screwing, ass, and shit.")

Howl and Other Poems, 1956
Conservative: Seized as obscene in the U.S. (even after U.S. Customs cleared the book); described as "coarse and vulgar"; containing words like "cock," "fuck," "ass," "cunt," "gyzym," and "asshole"

Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby Jr. (1964)
Conservative: American and European but the most severe in England. The last major novel, poem, or play prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959.

Leaves of Grass (1855)
Conservative: American and English, including Boston's Watch and Ward Society and the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice; book stores refused to carry it from initial publication; banned in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.
In a landmark of the American legal system, jurors in New York were told that the poems were "too grossly obscene and lewd to be placed on the records of the court." In other words, they were asked to find it obscene without reading or hearing it.

One critic said of the book, "a generation cannot be entirely pure which tolerates writers who, like Walt Whitman, commit, in writing, an offense like that indictable at common law of walking naked through the streets."

Manchild in the Promised Land, Claude Brown (autobiography, 1965)
Conservative: Baton Rouge's Concerned Citizens and Taxpayers for Decent Books and various schools; described as "too explicit" and "filth and obscenity"; one protestor was quoted as saying students "have no need to understand life in a black ghetto."

Liberal: Parkrose High School of Oregon ("women are degraded")

Naked Lunch (1959)
Conservative: Last literary work to be legally declared obscene; described as "mentally sick" and "grossly offensive"

Of Mice and Men (1937)
Conservative: Banned in Ireland (1953); banned in many U.S. municipalities by school groups including the Parents' Coalition of Hamilton, Ohio; challenged by the Klu Klux Klan of Greenville, North Carolina in 1977 for "profanities and using God's name in vain," parent claimed her daughter was a victim of "psychological and emotional abuse" by reading it in school; described as "vulgar" and "Steinbeck is known to have had an anti-business attitude"; 108 uses of profanity;
"It should be burned up, put in a fire," said an unnamed minister in Hamilton, Ohio

Liberal: NAACP; various school challenges; (use of the word "nigger"; 12 racial slurs throughout the novel; treatment of the mentally retarded)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962)
Liberal: Use of "racial slurs" such as "nigger," "coons," "boys," and "Jap"; portrayal of women

Conservative: Use of "obscene, filthy language" such as "boobs," "bitch," "fuck," "ballcutter,"; descriptions of "bestiality, bizarre violence and torture, dismemberment, death, and human elimination."

The Scarlet Letter (1850)
Conservative: American clergy and Tsar Nicholas I (Tsar Alexander II lifted many of Nicholas's bans, including many American works)

Described as "a dirty story," should only be in "a Brothel Library," "brokerage of lust" (in two separate occasions), and charged with promoting prostitution, adultery, and illegitimate children.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
Liberal: Use of "nigger"; "institutional racism"

Conservative: Use of "damn" and "whore lady"; "anti-white"

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds

Same basic disclaimer as last time. There's an old saying: prudes have an advantage over perverts--a woman can only take it off down to her skin but there's no limit to how far a prude would want her to cover up.

An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser (1925)
Conservative: Banned in Boston for being "obscene, indecent, and impure" (a woman begins to take her clothes off in front of a man)

Arabian Nights (basis for Disney's Aladdin) (English translation 1881)
Conservative: British and American prudes, one of which called it, "an extraordinary agglomeration of filth."

The Art of Love (Ars Amatoria), Ovid [Latin love poems] (A.D. 1)
Conservative: Emperor Augustus, the Catholic Index, the U.S. Customs Office

The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison (1970)
Conservative: "vulgar" and "obscene" language

Candide (1759)
Conservative: Catholic church, especially in France ("godless and sacrilegious, and as tending to undermine morals"). In 1928, U.S. Customs seized a shipment of books intended for Harvard, an action upheld by the U.S. government

Confession, Rousseau (1884)
Conservative: the Vatican, ultra-prude Anthony Comstock attempted to ban the book in the U.S. in 1892; banned by U.S. Customs in 1929 but rescinded the ban a year later (sexual content)

The Decameron (14th century)
Conservative: the Vatican; the Boston Watch and Ward Society in 1903; ruled as an "obscene, lewd and lascivious book of indecent character" by a Cincinnati court in 1906. (for sexual humor, mockery of religion and the clergy)

Fanny Hill, John Cleland (1748)
Conservative: British government (1749); Massachusetts (1930); NYC in 1963; New Zealand (1965); Justice Thomas C. Clark of the U.S. Supreme Court wrote in 1966, "The pubic hair is often used for a background to the most vivid and precise description of the response, condition, size, shape, and color of the sexual organs before, during and after orgasms."

Forever, Judy Blume (1975)
Conservative: Various school challenges; described as "pornography and explores areas God didn't intend to explore outside of marriage," and "does not promote the sanctity of family life."

Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor (1944)
Conservative: the U.S. Post Office (1946) banned distribution by mail; Massachusetts (1948); New Zealand (1952): "70 references to sexual intercourse; 39 to illegitimate pregnancies; 7 to abortions; 10 descriptions of women undressing, dressing or bathing in the presence of men; 5 references to incest; 13 references ridiculing marriage; and 49 miscellaneous objectionable passages."

The Goats, Brock Cole (young adult novel, 1987)
Conservative: School officials and parents for sexual content (although none exists in the book)

The Group, Mary McCarthy (novel, 1963)
Conservative: Banned in Ireland (1964) for "sexuality, suggestions of homosexuality, and ‘promiscuity'"; New Zealand (1964)

It's Perfectly Normal, Robie H. Harris (sex ed book, 1994)
Conservative: School officials, parents, religious groups, Republican Leadership Council; challenged and restricted in various U.S. public libraries and schools because it "promotes homosexuality and abortion," "tries to steer the child toward being pro-homosexual or at least neutral."
The leader of the Republican Leadership Council said that people who defend the book "are [the] same people who spat on us when we came home from Vietnam [and] who will cry over their dead son's or daughter's casket because some child molester thought it was perfectly normal to molest their child."

Jude the Obscure (1895)
Conservative: Religious and public figures including Bishop How of Wakefield who publicly burnt it; literary figures including his publisher who heavily edited the original story to protect sales; described as "grimy," "steeped in sex," "foul in detail."
The reaction to the novel caused Hardy to stop writing fiction; he lived for another 33 years but never produced another novel.

The Kama Sutra
Conservative: English and American prudes, including the work's printers who refused to complete it

Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)
Conservative: English and American prudes including the Boston Watch and Ward Society and New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. An English prosecutor asked his jury, "Is it a book that you would have lying around your house? Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?"

Lolita (1955)
Conservative: American, New Zealand, South African, French (both Fourth and Fifth Republics), Argentinean, and British prudes ("sheer unrestrained pornography"

Madame Bovary (1857)
Conservative: French; English; the National Vigilance Association; the Catholic newspaper, the Tablet; objections were in part because it first appeared in a magazine with liberal politics.

Memoirs of Hecate County, Edmund Wilson (short stories, 1946)
Conservative: American and British prudes including the New York Society for the Improvements of Morals; book sellers arrested in NYC and San Francisco.

Raymond Chandler said that the book "made fornication as dull as a railroad time table."

Moll Flanders (1722)
Conservative: British (18th and 19th century); American (up until 1929).

Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth Century American Art, Richard Meyer (Nonfiction about censorship of gay artists, 2002)
Conservative: Virtually only British, upset over one of Robert Mapplethorpe's naked child photo.

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, Samuel Richardson (1740)
Conservative: Catholic Index (1744), various British and American

Peyton Place, Grace Metalious (1956)
Conservative: banned in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1957 (ruled unconstitutional); banned in Ireland in 1958; opposed by the Rhode Island Commission to Encourage Morality in Youth

Rabbit, Run, John Updike (1960)
Conservative: Ireland (banned in 1962); various American high schools

Sanctuary, Faulkner (1931)
Conservative: brought to trial as obscene in Philadelphia County; after Faulkner won the Nobel Prize for Literature, banned in Ireland; placed on the National Organization of Decent Literature's "Disapproved List."

Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson (1994)
Conservative: Banned in Texas and Washington school districts for profanity after student complaints (one student admitted to The Spokane Spokesman Review that students only complained because the novel was 460 pages long.)

Sophie's Choice, William Styron (1979)
Conservative: Banned from California school district for sexual content and profanity

Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller (1934)
Conservative: Banned in the U.S. for 30 years after publication

Ulysses (1918)
Conservative: U.S. Post Office (burnt 500 confiscated copies in 1922); finally judged acceptable by Judge John M. Woolsey in 1934

Women in Love, D.H. Lawrence (1920)
Conservative: Various American and British, including Supreme Court Justice John Ford who tried to restrict the book after his daughter read it; Ford founded the Clean Books League to combat obscene books

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Banned Books, Part II

The religion section is where things started getting incredibly one-sided. I think liberals would dominate a list of ridiculed or mocked books, but conservatives were mainly represented in actually "suppressing." Again, it's grossly unfair to lump Stalin with a mainstream liberals and Hitler with mainstream conservatives but I didn't have time to come up with a better way to do it.

Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds

The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine (1794-95)

Conservative: Religious figures everywhere; the British government (after the Revolution) arresting several publishers of the book on British soil)

Paine was a Deist with strong faith in God but was painted as an atheist by his enemies.

The Analects, Confucius
Liberal: Mao Zedong
Other: Ancient Chinese empire

The Bible
Liberal: Marxist governments, especially Soviets, Chinese, Romanian, and Ethiopian; American school systems (banned the Bible from school libraries, in 1989, a public school in Omaha, Nebraska banned even the possession of a bible in a student's bookbag); various American atheist activists seeking to ban it from public libraries

Conservative: Catholic Church, Anglicans, Protestants (over unauthorized translations and removing sexual content); Americans objecting to "Bible as Literature" college classes; Nazi Germany: Many of the provisions of the Nazi's National Reich Church involved banning the Bible and Christianity in general, including the following:

"13) The National Reich Church demands the immediate cessation of the printing of the Bible, as well as its dissemination, throughout the Reich and colonies. All Sunday papers with any religious content also shall be suppressed.

14) The National Reich Church shall see that the importation of the Bible and other religious works into Reich territory is made impossible.

15) The National Reich Church decrees that the most important document of all time--therefore the guiding document of the German people--is the book of our Fuehrer [sic], Mein Kampf. It recognizes that this book contains the principles of the purist ethnic morals under which the German people must live.

16) The National Reich Church will see to it that this book spreads its active forces among the entire population and that all Germans live by it.

17) The National Reich Church stipulates that the future editions of Mein Kampf shall contain its present number of pages and contents unmodified.

18) The National Reich Church will remove from the altars of all churches the Bible, the cross and religious objects

19) In their place will be set that which must be venerated by the German people and therefore is by God, our most saintly book, Mein Kampf, and to the left of this a sword."

The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, Roger Williams (1644)
You Call It: Anglicans (circa 1640s)

Children of the Alley, Naguib Mahfouz [Egyptian religious novel] (1959)
Conservative: fundamentalist Muslims, various Islamic governments (zealots attempted to stab Mahfouz to death, permanently disabling his right arm)

Christianity Restored, Michael Servetus (1552)
Conservative: persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition but even more vigorously by Calvinist Protestants who burnt him at the stake in 1553; Anglicans burnt his work up to 200 years after his death.

Church historian Roland H. Bainton wrote that he had "the singular distinction of having been burned by the Catholics in effigy and the Protestants in actuality."

Church: Charism and Power: Liberation Theology and the Institutional Church, Leonardo Boff (1981)
Conservative: the Vatican, especially a certain Cardinal Ratzinger

Concerning Heretics, Sebastian Castellio [a religious treaty asking for religious tolerance for others] (1554)
Conservative: John Calvin

Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief World Systems, Galileo Galilei (1632)
Conservative: the Vatican

Essays, Montaigne (1580)
Conservative: the Vatican, Protestants (especially Calvinists)

The Guide of the Perplexed, Moses Maimonides (1197)
Conservative: Orthodox Jews; half-hearted persecution by the Church after Jewish leaders literally brought copies of the book to the Dominicans for them to burn.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997)
Conservative - Fundamentalist Christians and Muslims such as Focus on the Family, Family Friendly Libraries, Freedom Village USA, Eagle Forum, and United Arab Emirates school systems.

Some Catholic schools banned the book but in February 2003, Rev. Peter Fleetwood, formerly of the Pontifical Council for Culture, announced to the press, "I don't think there's anyone in this room who grew up without fairies, magic, and angels in their imaginary world. They aren't bad. They aren't serving as a banner for an anti-Christian ideology." [Note: apparently this does not hold true to the new pope.]

The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World, Nawal El Saadawi (1977)
Conservative: Egyptian, Iranian, and other Arab and Islamic governments

Infallible? An Inquiry, Hans Küng (1970)
Conservative: the Vatican

The Koran
Conservative: The Spanish Inquisition and various other Christian governments; Islamic governments (strict translation issues)
Liberal: Soviet, Chinese, and Ethiopian governments

Lajja (Shame), Taslima Nasrin [Bangladesh novel] (1993)
Conservative: Fundamentalist Muslims (offering a $1,250 price on her head)

The Last Temptation of Christ, Nikos Kazantzakis (1953)
Conservative: The Orthodox Church; the Vatican (one of the last major works on the Index); American right-wing groups, including three Republican congressmen; banned from Blockbuster; banned from Escambia County, Florida; banned entirely in Singapore.

The New Testament, Tyndale's translation (1526)
Conservative: Henry VIII, Anglican church, the Vatican

Ninety-Five These, Luther (1517)
Conservative: the Vatican

Oliver Twist (1839)
Liberal: negative depictions of the Jewish character, Fagin. (Sensitive to the criticism, Dickens himself revised the novel, replacing the words "the Jew" with "he" or "Fagin"; in 1949 a group of Jewish parents sued the New York Board of Education for using the novel; the Kings County Supreme Court refused to remove it

On the Infinite Universe and Wonder, Giodano Bruno (1584)
Conservative - Catholic, Lutheran, and Calvinists; ultimately burnt at the stake in Rome

On the Origin of the Species (1859)
Conservative - Christian fundamentalists (never placed on the Vatican's Index)

Popol Vuh [Religious text of Mayans]
You Call It - almost entirely burnt by Cortes

The Red and the Black, Stendhal [French novel] (1831)
Conservative: The Vatican (put on the Index in 1897); Tsar Nicholas I; Francisco Franco.

Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, Immanuel Kant (1793)
Conservative: Prussian government, the Lutheran church, Catholic Index.

Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie (1988)
Conservative - Muslim fundamentalists in Egypt, England, India, Japan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, and Iran. Currently the price on Rushdie's head is up to three million.

The Sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe (1774, 1787)
You Call It: the novel allegedly caused young men to commit suicide, leading to various religious and civil opposition; 160 years afterwards, banned by Franco

The Talmud
Conservative: the Vatican, especially the Spanish Inquisition; Martin Luther; Nazi Germany
Liberal: Soviet Union

The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's Rights in Islam, Fatima Mernissi (1987)
Conservative: Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, other Islamic governments

Zhuan Falun: The Complete Teachings of Falun Gong (1994)
Liberal: Chinese government

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bus Route

School starts tomorrow and the district still didn't have a bus scheduled to pick up my stepdaughter. As a last minute save, they added one today at 6:55 (the last stop before school).

If they hadn't made the mistake, it might have been 6:35 or even earlier so I ought to be grateful but I'm just feeling sick. I didn't get home from work until 12:30 last night and D-boy got up twice (and a damn hamster escaped).

As the annoying promos for Insomnia said, I'll sleep when I'm dead.
Banned Books

It's sad that Nicholas J. Karolides, Margaret Bald, and Dawn B. Sova, the authors of 100 Banned Books (1999) had no problem expanding the earlier edition to 120 Banned Books (2005).

At first I thought it would be fun to divide the books up into those that liberals banned vs. those that conservatives did. It turned out to be much less fun than I expected. While liberals and conservatives ban works on politics and social issues roughly the same, liberals didn't seem to have much of an interest with sex and religious books.

Also the categories aren't fair at all. I had to lump Stalin and Mao as liberal and the Vatican, John Calvin, Hitler, the KKK, and anti-porn activists as conservative. Also I can think of a few banned or challenged from a liberal point of view (such as Dr. Seuss's To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street) that were not included in the book.

For what it's worth, here's the four categories of banned books-- Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds, Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds, Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds, Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds--with a brief description of who wanted to ban it and why.

Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds

All Quiet on the Western Front (1928)
Everyone - (Germans, Americans, Austrians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, and Yugoslavians) conservative and liberal: anyone who objected to its anti-war message.

Andersonville, MacKinlay Kantor [historic fiction of Civil War POW/Concentration Camp] (1955)
Conservative: Christian Action League, Answer for America, Concerned Citizens of Owens District, Daughters of the American Revolution, John Birch Society, Texans for America, and many independents angry over "filthy" language and negative portrayals of the Confederacy.

Animal Farm (1945)
Conservative: John Birch Society, United Arab Emirates.
Liberal: Soviets
Other: Kenyan government objected to negative portrayal of any one-party government

Areopagitica (1644)
You Call It: Puritans and Royalists alike.

Black Boy, Richard Wright [Autobiography] (1945)
Conservative: Special Committee on Un-American Activities; the book's publisher (separated parts of the book dealing with Wright's adult life to another publication because of Communist involvement); Concerned Citizens and Taxpayers for Decent School Books; Concerned Citizens and Taxpayers for Better Education; and Taxpayers for Quality Education for language, racial conflict, that the author had been involved in the Communist party, and not promoting "traditional Judeo-Christian values."

Liberal: At least one complaint focused on the killing of a kitten which could be construed as from a liberal position.

Burger's Daughter, Nadine Gordimer [Novel of life in South Africa] (1979)
Conservative: The Republic of South Africa for portraying "whites as baddies, blacks as goodies."

Decent Interval, Frank Snepp [nonfiction about Vietnam policies] (1977)
Liberal: U.S. Department of Justice (under Carter).

Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak (1957)
Liberal: Soviets for negative portrayal of Marxism and the Russian Revolution
Conservative: John Birch Society for a too sympathetic depiction of Soviets--apparently they didn't randomly eat each other.

El Se or Presidente, Miguel Angel Asturias [Novel of life in Guatemala] (1946)
Conservative: Carlos Castillo Armas's Guatemalan government

The Fugitive, Pramoedya Ananta Toer [Indonesian novel] (1950)
Conservative: Indonesian government for promoting Marxism

The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
Conservative: the Moral Majority and other fundamentalist minister groups, objecting to "obscene" language, "pornographic, filthy, and dirty" actions, portrayal of farms and government, taking the Lord's name in vain ("129 times, vulgar language, 264 times, references to sex - 31 times"). Irish, German, and Turkish governments.
Liberal: 1999 law suit against Puyallup, Washington school district that the book was racist ultimately led to an award of $7.5 million, creation of school offices of diversity affairs, and administrative changes.
Other: Pro-America, a women's group that objected more to the portrayal of California than anything else.

The Gulag Archipelago (1973)
Liberal (Soviets) Depiction of oppression and the penal system

The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, Arthur R. Butz [Holocaust denier] (1975)
Liberal: refused a place in Torrance City Library's banned book week; Canadian government; Northwestern University.

I am the Cheese, Robert Cormier (1977)
Conservative: Mainly school challenges for "vulgar" language, humanism, violating "Christian values," criticizing the government, and causing children not to trust governmental officials (this was before the Clinton administration).

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (1983)
You call it: mainly libel suits by people named in the book.

Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo [anti-war novel of WWI] (1939)
Conservative for vulgarity, sexuality, gruesome violence, unpatriotic sentiment, pacifism, (in Wisconsin in 1982, the book was challenged openly for being anti-war); House Committee on Un-American Activity)

Liberal: Trumbo himself (Republicans and right-wing groups used the book as an argument against involvement against Nazi Germany; the right claimed that Jews were suppressing the novel. During the war, the army declined to include the novel in packages of books distributed to troops).

Land of the Free: A History of the United States [textbook] (1965)
Conservative: The Tablet, a Catholic newspaper; the Textbook Study League, Inc. (formerly the National Anti-Communist League of America); United Republicans of California; the Concerned Parents of Rialto; and the John Birch Society); all of whom claimed the book favored communism and one-world government, was "slanted in the direction of civil rights," "mocks American justice," "ridicules religious beliefs," "fails to develop the great tradition of America, e.g., love of country, strong individualism, worship of God and private enterprise [note the lack of a comma between "God" and "private enterprise"].

Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848)
Conservative: German government, the Catholic Church, the House Committee on Un-American Activities, San Antonio Minute Women, pre-communist Russia, and many more.

In 1953, President Eisenhower told the nation "Don't join the book-burners" and defending the availability and the reading of Marx (but later made conflicting statements).

Mein Kampf (1925)
Liberal: various Jewish groups including the American Jewish Committee; various book publishers (usually including negative comments about Hitler in forewords).

Other: the German government, various other governments, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, E-bay (allows sale of English translation but not the original German version).

My Brother Sam is Dead, James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier [novel about the Revolutionary War] (1974)
Conservative: for vulgarity, "drinking and battlefield violence," "a negative approach to God," and being unpatriotic.

1984 (1949)
Conservative: John Birch Society, Rev. Len Coley, and others for language and sexual content, and being "a study of communism."
Liberal: No liberal groups or individuals were listed but I can't believe that no Marxist group challenged the book for its portrayal of communism

Novel without a Name, Duong Thu Huong [Vietnamese novel] (1995)
Liberal: Vietnamese government for negative depictions of Karl Marx, communism, and the Vietnamese government.

Paradise of the Blind, Duong Thu Huong [Vietnamese novel] (1988)
Liberal: Soviet and Vietnamese governments for negative depictions of communism, and the Soviet and Vietnamese government.

The Prince, Machiavelli (1542 original Italian; 1640 in England)
Religious: The Catholic Index, Huguenots, Anglicans, and Protestants in general (the book was blamed for the St. Bartholomew Massacre even though Catholics of the time were forbidden to read it)

Conservative and Liberal SUPPORT: both Mussolini and Castro vigorously encouraged the reading of the book

The Rights of Man, Thomas Paine (1791-2)
Monarchist British; various religious figures

Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
Conservatives for bathroom language, unpatriotic, use of the Lord's name in vain; the book was "a tool of the devil," "anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and just plain filthy."

Spycatcher, Peter Wright [autobiography] (1987)
Conservative: Margaret Thatcher, MI5

The Ugly American, William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick (1958)
Conservative: Joe McCarthy, House Un-American Activities Committee, usually for political depictions but sometimes the charges focus on the language; "filthy language and references to sex"
Liberal: Senator J.W. Fulbright (D-Ark.) for its portrayal of Americans

Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Conservative: Pro-slave southerners; Tsar Nicholas I; banned in Italy but NOT included on the Catholic Index.
Liberal: for its portrayal of blacks

The Pentagon Papers (1971)
Conservative: Attorney General John Mitchell, Justice Department

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Recycled Movie Songs

If you have kids and let them watch television, you've probably heard Smash Mouths' "All Star" a few million times. Some songs get on the Hollywood playlist and keep going for decades. Most of these come from Richard Roeper's 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed and Other Surprising Movie Lists but I added a few I remembered.

James Brown "(I Got You) I Feel Good"
Exit Wounds (2001)
Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
Isn't She Great (2000)
Juwanna Mann (2002)
K-9 (1989)
Mr. Jones (1993)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
The Nutty Professor (1996)
Showtime (2002)
A Smile Like Yours (1997)
White Men Can't Jump (1992)

Smash Mouth "All Star"
Inspector Gadget (1999)
Mystery Men (1999)
Rat Race (2001)
Shrek (2001)

George Thorogood and the Destroyers "Bad to the Bone"
3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)
Christine (1983)
Problem Child
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive"
Beyond Silence (1996)
Coyote Ugly (2000)
Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)
First Wives Club (1996)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
In & Out (1997)
Man on the Moon (1999)
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
The Replacements (2000)

Steppenwolf "Magic Carpet Ride"
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Go (1999)
The Limey (1999)
Never Been Kissed (1999)
Outside Providence (1999)

Snap! "The Power"
The Simpsons
Bruce Almighty (?) in previews
Coyote Ugly (2000)
Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)
Hudson Hawk (2001)
Three Kings (1999)
Under Siege (1992)

Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2"
Any Given Sunday (1999)
Bedazzled (2000)
D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)
Duets (2000)
The Full Monty (1997)
Like Mike (2002)
Michael Jordan to the Max (2000)
The Replacements (2000)
Small Soldiers (1998)
Sugar and Spice (2001)

Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky"
Angel Baby (1995)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Contact (1997)
The Fan (1996)
Household Saints (1993)
Maid to Order (1987)
Miami Blues (1990)
My Name is Joe (1998)
Remember the Titans (2000)
Saving Grace (2000)
A Simple Plan (1998)
Superstar (1999)
The War (1994)
Wayne's World 2 (1993)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Zion City

For some reason, I've been seeing a lot of things that relate to Zion City in the news.

My information comes from Kathlyn Gay's Communes and Cults.(Twenty-First Century Books: New York, 1997) but if anyone else has heard of it, I'd appreciate the info:

Zion City, Illinois was established in 1901 as a theocracy. The sect passed ordinances against alcohol, tobacco, and "profane, blasphemous, or obscene language in any public place, or upon any street." The police carried miniature bibles, like police today carry copies of the Miranda act.

They fought vaccination, claiming "All of you [will be damned] to hell who attempt to vaccinate your children for smallpox." The state militia was enventually sent to enforce it.

Rev. Voliva also preached against belief in a spherical earth and the law of gravity. He would throw objects in the air and when they fell, he proclaim it God's will, not some fancy scientific theory.

The church republished a booklet "One Hundred Proofs That the Earth Is Not a Globe" by William Carpendar, to combat the satanic belief that the earth is not flat as the Bible clearly states.

Eventually the Zionist Church was torched and today Zion City is just another suburb.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Not to Rub It In. . .

The Cincinnati Enquirer just reported the Cincinnati Public Schools received their highest rating ever of "continuous improvement" (the third of five categories). That's great news but some people are acting like problems are over.

When the Forest Hills School District missed the top rating (by one-tenth of one percent in one category), they went out of their heads to push themselves back up.

I (and a million other people) had to go to Nagel Middle School orientation today, for students with last names A to L. If CPS could do something like that and get students prepared BEFORE classes start, they'd sky-rocket.

Good news that was overlooked by the papers is that CPS enrollment is down to 38,818. That's an unbelievable drop compared to just a few years ago. With fewer students, it ought to be easier to manage. It's scary but the local Catholic school system has far more students than CPS.

CPS might try a new slogan: "Our buildings are crumbling but 100% pedophile priest-free!"
The Horror, the Horror

Along with the fantasy guide, I just finished Anthony J. Fonseca and June Michele Pulliam's Hooked on Horror: A Guide to Reading Interests in Horror Fiction.

It didn't try to force stories into single categories like the fantasy guide did (many books were placed in four or five different categories) which seemed more fair and realistic but somehow not as fun. Here's the categories they came up with:

Category One: Ghosts and Haunted Houses: Wuthering Heights (!), The Haunting of Hill House, and Tim Powers' Expiration Date

Category Two: Golems, Mummies, and Reanimated Stalkers : Frankenstein and rip-offs.

Category Three: Vampires and Werewolves : Dracula, I am Legend, and Salem's Lot

Category Four: Demonic Possession, Satanism, Black Magic, and Witches and Warlocks : Clive Barker's Damnation Game, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, Tim Powers' Last Call, and James Blaylock's All the Bells on Earth

Category Five: Mythological Monsters and "The Old Ones": Neverwhere (okay, there was an angel but he wasn't quite Cthulhu.)

Category Six: Telekinesis and Hypnosis Carrie, Firestarter, The Shining, and knock-offs

Category Seven: Small-Town Horror Stepford Wives and Robin Hardy and Anthony Shaffer's The Wicker Man

Category Eight: Maniacs and Sociopaths, or the Nuclear Family Explodes Robert Bloch's American Gothic and Psycho and Jack Ketchum's Red

Category Nine: Technohorror Jurassic Park, The Boys from Brazil, and John Shirley's Silicon Embrace

Category Ten: Rampant Animals and Other Eco-Monsters Jaws, Cujo, Godzilla, and the Birds

Category Eleven: Psychological Horror Stephen King's It and Janet Berliner and George Guthridge's Madagascar Manifesto (series about an alternate history where the Nazis relocated Jews to Madagascar). And here I thought I was the only one who heard about the Madagascar plan (ultimately scrapped as too expensive).

I agree with Psychological Horror being an important part of horror overall but some of the choices are a little strange.

Category Twelve: Splatterpunk : Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse (or just about anything else she writes) and Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho

Category Thirteen: Comic Horror : Christopher Moore's Practical Demon Keeping, Greg Kihn's Horror Show, and David Prill's Serial Killer Days

The book didn't have "Best of" lists like the fantasy guide. That was a letdown.

Monday, August 15, 2005

All-Time Favorite Fantasy Books

According to a Locus Poll of All-Time Favorite Fantasy Books (conducted in 1987), these are the readers' choices for fantasy books

1. The Lord of the Rings
2. The Hobbit

3. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin
4. The Shadow of the Torturer, Gene Wolfe
5. The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
6. The Once and Future King, T.H. White
7. Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelanzny
8. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson (Gave up early)
9. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey (Read one in the series but never went back)
10. Little, Big, John Crowley
11. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
12. The Gormenghast Trilogy, Mervyn Peake
13. The Riddlemaster of Hed, Patricia A. McKillip
14. The Incompleat Enchanter, Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp
15. Watership Down, Richard Adams
16. The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
17. Glory Road, Robert A. Heinlein
18. A Spell for Chameleon, Piers Anthony
19. Dracula, Bram Stoker
20. The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
21. Silverlock, John Myers Myers

22. Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury (Remember reading it but don't know if I finished)
23 (tie) The Stand, Stephen King and The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey
25. Lord Valentine's Castle, Robert Silverberg
26. The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
27. The Shining, Stephen King
28. Conjure Wife, Fritz Leiber

29 (tie) Deryni Rising, Katherine Kurtz and The Worm Ouroboros, E.R. Eddison
31. Witch World, Andre Norton (started but lost interest)
32. Salem's Lot, Stephen King
33. Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

I think if the poll were conducted today, there'd be a lot of changes.
Fantasy Hall of Fame

Short Stories selected to The Fantasy Hall of Fame, Robert Silverberg ed. I put the ones I've read in bold.

1. Shirley Jackson's The Lottery"
2. Harlan Ellison's "Jeffty is Five"
3. Roger Zelazny's "Unicorn Variations"

4. Terry Bisson's "Bears Discover Fire"
5. Robert Bloch's "That Hell-Bound Train"
6. Peter S. Beagle's "Come Lady Death"

7. Robert Silverberg's "Basileus"
8. Avram Davidson's "The Golem"
9. Ursula LeGuin's "Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight"
10. James Tiptree Jr's "Her Smoke Rose Up Forever"
11. Jack Vance's "The Loom of Darkness"
12. J.G.Ballard's "The Drowned Giant"
13. Gene Wolfe's "The Detectives of Dreams"
14. Lucius Shepard's "The Jaguar Hunter"
15. Anthony Boucher, "The Compleat Werewolf"
16. H.L. Gold's "Trouble with Water"
17. L. Sprague de Camp's "Nothing in the Rules"
18. C.L. Moore's "Fruit of Knowledge"
19. Jorge Luis Borges' "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"
20. Ray Bradbury's "The Small Assassin"

21. Robert A. Heinlein's "Our Fair City"
22. James Blish's "There Shall Be No Darkness"
23. Margaret St. Clair's "The Man who Sold Rope to the Gnoles"
24. Theodore Sturgeon's "The Silken-Swift"
25. Poul Anderson's "Operation Afreet"
26. Fritz Leiber's "The Bazaar of the Bizarre"
27. R.A. Lafferty's "Narrow Valley"
28. Philip K. Dick's "Faith of Our Fathers"
29 Clifford D. Simak's "The Ghost of Model T"
30. Tanith Lee's "The Demoness"
31. Ted Chiang's "Tower of Babylon"

I wouldn't have a problem with the list except that includes Borges. Either Borges should dominate the entire list or he should be considered in a different class. Some of the stories sound familiar but apparently didn't make a lasting impression.

I picked up Diana Tixier Herald's Fluent in Fantasy: A Guide to Reading Interests at the Mt. Washington Library the other day. It divided the genre of fantasy into subgenres and sub-subgenres. I'm not sure if I'd designate fantasy this way but here's what she came up with:

Subgenre 1: Sword and Sorcery

Divided into four sub-subgenres: the quest (Lord of the Rings); heroic, featuring a hero who uses more muscle than magic (Conan, Barsoom); Epic (Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time); and Magical (L. Sprague de Camp's The Incomplete Enchanter)

Subgenre 2: Saga, Myth, and Legend

Divided into Arthurian, Robin Hood, Ancient Civilizations (Greek, Roman, and Atlantean), Celtic, American, Asian, European, African and Mid-Eastern (mainly Aladdin), and Byzantium.

No explanation for why ancient civilizations only includes the three listed or why the Greeks, Romans, and Celts aren't included in Europe.

Subgenre 3: Fairy Tales

Divided in familiar (well-known stories retold) or original (The Princess Bride or John Barnes' One for Morning Glory)

Subgenre 4: Humor

Listings for Xanth (but says don't read beyond the third book), Discworld, Robert Asprin's Myth Series, and Harry Potter (when the book was written, only the Sorcerer's Stone had been published)

Subgenre 5: Bestiary Fantasy involving animals, magical or other

Divided into Unicorns (Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn), Dragons (Gordon R. Dickson's The Dragon and the George), and Uncommon Animals (Richard Adams' Watership Down)

Subgenre 6: The World of Faerie

Smallest subgenre (Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood)

Subgenre 7: Contemporary Fantasy

Divided Urban Fantasy (Neverwhere), the Human Condition (Terry Bisson's Talking Man and Mike Resnick's A Miracle of Rare Design), and Magic Realism (James Blaylock's The Paper Grail)

Subgenre 8: Alternate and Parallel Worlds Split from SF Parallel Worlds.

Divided into Alternate History (Orson Scott Card's Seventh Son series), Parallel Worlds (Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series, Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas the Unbeliever, or basically anything where someone from our world travels to a fantasy world), and Alternate Worlds (H. Rider Haggards' She or Jody Nye's Waking in Dream Land)

Subgenre 9: Time Travel

Split from SF time machines. The authors noted that unlike other subgenres, there is little overlap between adult and young readers. Most young reader time travel fantasies involve a kid from modern times sent back to learn about the Great Depression or the Pilgrims.

Richard Matheson's Bid Time Return (basis of Somewhere in Time )

Subgenre 10: Paranormal Powers

Divided into Psionic powers (Stephen King's Firestarter), Shapeshifters (non-horror), Immortality (Tuck Everlasting or Ken Grimwood's Replay), and Supernatural Beings (again non-horror)

Subgenre 11: Graphic Novels

Sandman, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Watchmen

Subgenre 12: Celebrity Characters Fantasy involving a famous real person

Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld and John Myers Myers Silverlock

Subgenre 13: Shared Worlds

Shared World Series (Thieves' World), Dungeon and Dragons and other Role-Playing Game Worlds, and Novels Based on Role-playing Games

Subgenre 14: Dark Fantasy

General (Fritz Leiber's Our Lady of Darkness) or Weird Tales (Lovecraft)

Subgenre 15: Fantasy Featuring Detectives

Gene Wolfe's Free Live Free, Tanya Huff's Blood Debt, and R.A. MacAvoy's Tea with the Black Dragon

Subgenre 16: Romantic Fantasy

Laura Resnick's In Legend Born (I've never read this but I see the book whenever I look for Mike Resnick novels, so it was the only title I was familiar with.)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Library List

It's been a terrible summer so far and I'm taking it out on the library system. We're at record highs in check outs from Anderson, Mt. Washington, Hyde Park, and Oakley branches; now holding almost every Scooby Doo book ever written.

Kids' video
Pokémon advanced. Volume one, A ruin with a view [videorecording]
Rock 'n learn. Fractions and decimals [videorecording]
Rock 'n learn. Addition & subtraction rock [videorecording]
Rock 'n learn. Alphabet circus [videorecording]
Bob the Builder. Getting the job done! [videorecording]
Bob the Builder. Pets in a pickle [videorecording]
What's new Scooby-Doo? Volume 4, Merry scary holiday [videorecording]
The Wiggles. Cold spaghetti western [videorecording]
Blue's clues: Blue's big news: the baby's here [videorecording] (Nothing says quality like two colons in a title)

Kids' Books
Truck Duck Rex, Michael. (D-boy's current favorite book)
Batgirl : silent running Peterson, Scott.
A visit from the Tooth Fairy Willson, Sarah.
Just like Dora! Inches, Alison.
Ha ha, Maisy! Cousins, Lucy.
Maisy plays Cousins, Lucy. (The one D-boy threw out the window)
Where does Maisy live? Cousins, Lucy.
Noah's ark Cousins, Lucy.
I stink! McMullan, Kate. (about a talking garbage truck)
Scooby-doo! and the opera ogre McCann, Jesse Leon.
Scooby-Doo and the cyber chase McCann, Jesse Leon.
Scooby-doo! and the phantom cowboy McCann, Jesse Leon.
Scooby-Doo! and the farmyard fright Gelsey, James.
Scooby-Doo! and the gruesome goblin Gelsey, James.
Scooby-Doo! and the toy store terror Gelsey, James.
Scooby-Doo! and the deep-sea diver Gelsey, James.
Scooby-Doo! and the snow monster Gelsey, James.
Scooby-Doo! and the bowling boogeyman Gelsey, James
Riddles and more riddles! Cerf, Bennett
Barbie, lost and found Pugliano, Carol.
Ash to the rescue, adapted by Tracey West (Pokemon)
Return of the Squirtle Squad West, Tracey (More pokemon)
Prairie babies McCurry, Kristen.
Too many monsters Bunting, Eve
Fairytale news Hawkins, Colin.
Chicka chicka boom boom Martin, Bill

Kids' CDS
Toddler favorites [sound recording]
Cold spaghetti western Wiggles [sound recording] (Yes, on DVD and CD)
Dr. Seuss's ABC [electronic resource] Seuss, Dr. (tape, book, and CD-Rom)

My Books
Magic, witchcraft, and religion : an anthropological study of the supernatural Lehmann, Arthur C.
The Eliade guide to world religions Eliade, Mircea
Eerdman's handbook to the world's religions
Russian myths
Warner, Elizabeth
Myths of Russia and the Slavs Dalal, Anita.
Mythology of the British Isles Ashe, Geoffrey.
The encyclopedia of world religions
The salmon of doubt : hitchhiking the galaxy one last time
Adams, Douglas (I think I already returned this or D-boy threw it out the window.
Invisible allies : microbes that shape our lives Farrell, Jeanette. (Kid book I checked out by mistake but turned out to be a fun read)
The Oxford book of English verse
The Oxford book of narrative verse
The unfolding of language : an evolutionary tour of mankind's greatest invention
Deutscher, Guy, Dr.
The field guide to North American hauntings : everything you need to know about encountering over 100 ghosts, phantoms, and spectral entities Blackman, W. Haden.
Hooked on horror : a guide to reading interests in horror fiction Fonseca, Anthony J.
Fluent in fantasy : a guide to reading interests Herald, Diana Tixier.
Cthulhu 2000 : a Lovecraftian anthology, Turner, Jim

Chiller Kunzel, Erich. [sound recording]
Drew's famous Halloween horror movie themes [sound recording]

Wife's CDS
Jupiter's bones Kellerman, Faye. [sound recording]

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Still Breathing

I'm counting days until NKU starts back again. It's been a long, long summer.

D-boy is still running amok. On Friday we went to the Oakley and Hyde Park libraries and D-girl checked out another Maisy book. On the way home, she began screaming--D-boy had opened the window and was about to throw the book out. I tried to shut the window but it was too late.

If you're familiar with Beechmont Avenue, this was just after the Columbia Parkway overpass so there was no place to turn around for almost a mile. I've been on Beechmont millions of times but I never noticed that the way the road rises by Lunken Airport, you can't see the cars coming towards you if you're on foot in the middle of the fast lane.

The book and I survived and a few minutes later D-boy fell asleep. Of course, he woke up by the time we got home.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Terrible Week

I'm typing this on the library's computer so I don't have too much time. Had a very bad couple of days and a few just plain bad.

I inadvertently caused someone to learn who the Half-Blood Prince is so maybe it's all bad karma.