Look, I am as pro-free speech as anyone (hell, moreso) but I have a difficult time dredging up sympathy for some of these entries from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. They've come out with their latest "Banned and Challenged" list of comics from around the country ... but you gotta take a look at the fine print.
Case in point: The story Bone was challenged by a parent (one!) because one character is "frequently depicted smoking a cigar, and his cigar butts are used to track him at one point." There's a beer selling competition between two of the other characters.
Now, in the link above, it (cleverly) doesn't mention the level of the school at which this book was available. You have to click on another link to the original story, and it's there that we learn the school is an elementary school. Now, personally, I wouldn't give a hoot if such a book was available at my daughter's elementary school (because my daughter knew better); however, is it really a big deal if some parent(s) do have an objection? It's an elementary school, for cripe's sake! Smoking and beer? Geez, heaven forbid a parent object to the age appropriateness of the book. The parent's objection was overruled by a vote of 10-1, by the way, which causes one to wonder if the CBLDF has too much time on its hands by making this case a cause célèbre when only one parent had an objection and said parent was heartily overruled. Indeed, it seems to make the case that freedom of speech is alive and well, don't'cha think??
In another case, Neil Gaiman's Sandman -- like Bone above -- is chided for being challenged as “unsuited for age group.” Again, why is this so hackle-raising?
Look, the CBLDF has a totally legit beef about the noted works being questioned for being available in general public libraries. They should be available there, since the entire public has access to them. (But they should be labeled and grouped appropriately, certainly.) Where they lose common sense is getting apoplectic about [parental] concerns over age appropriateness. Spare me. The current cadre of modern comics writers weren't so concerned about free speech andf censorship when they ripped Frank Miller for wanting to do a Batman story where he battled al Qaeda.
That's because they're "progressives" like our commander-in-chief who views only some speech worthy of general concern and protection. Let's test it by doing a comicbook parody of Islam and see how the CBLDF reacts. (There actually is someone who's more or less done that; I wonder how he's been treated. I'll check and let you know.)Posted by Hube at October 3, 2012 06:24 PM | TrackBack