It's a scene straight out of a dystopian novel; a plot written, say, by an incredibly creative author, one capable of imagining a nightmare scenario that is so unbelievable it wouldn't pass editorial muster on a blog, let alone at a major publishing house. Yet it's actually happening! Today! Proof that truth is definitely stranger than fiction...
Imagine it: as a result of a single complaint by the father of a high school student, the Toronto School Board is currently engaged in re-assessing the inclusion of Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale in the curriculum - a book any person of any age can legally buy in a shop for as little as a dollar!
You read that right, folks... Tyranny, censorship, and a waste of taxpayer money all because one egotistical prude feels his opinion is more important than the consensus of an entire society.
Of course, the American Library Association has named The Handmaid's Tale one of the most challenged books ever, and truly it's been as challenged as it's been honoured - which is saying something. Not only did it win the Governor General's Award, the very first Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nebula Award, and the Prometheus Award, it was also nominated for the Booker Prize. Then again, people are always trying to ban 1984, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Wrinkle in Time, and James and the Giant Peach (!) for goodness' sake, so I suppose anything is possible.
What were we talking about? Oh yeah, bigots imposing their antiquated values as a means of impeding progress*...
Calling the book 'rife with brutality towards and mistreatment of women (and men at times), sexual scenes, and bleak depression' and 'anti-Christian'**, not only has this bluestocking decided to celebrate Freedom To Read Week - February 22nd to 28th - with a spot of theocracy, he's neglected to also try and ban the Bible, which contains all of those things, plus slavery, incest, and polygamy*** besides.
The gentleman's name is Robert Edwards, and he's been quick to state that he doesn't seek to ban books, and that his only opposition to Atwood's novel is its occasional use of profanity; because high school kids have never heard profanity, since if they did they might start using it, and high school kids (especially high school boys) never use profanity. Right... So now not only is he censorious he's a pathological liar as well. And this person is responsible for raising a child!
Your spaceship is waiting Mr. Edwards; enjoy your flight back to the planet Total Fucking Deluded Nutso. Oh dear, now I suppose he'll try and get my blog banned because I used profanity... Bring it on, bitch! Not only should the Toronto School Board refuse to proceed with this matter, they should press criminal charges against Mr. Edwards, who should go to jail for even suggesting such a thing in 2009. I wonder what programs the school board will have to cut to pay for this total waste of time.
Next I expect comes book burnings, although that'll probably wait until Stephen Harper's Conservatives have succeeded in stealing themselves a majority government; then again, who can tell? The Alliance Church - from which the Prime Minister takes his marching orders directly rather than the electorate, 60% of whom are virulently opposed to him after all - is notoriously cagey about its political agenda, in the time-honoured tradition of Fascist organizations. Particularly galling is how these villains drape themselves in the words of a humble carpenter whose message was one of unconditional love and non-judgemental doctrines.
I have absolutely had it with Christians trying to force their beliefs on me; I've tried being sensible, I've tried being understanding, so now I'm going to try outrage and logic - outrage to keep my head from exploding, and logic because it's the best kind of poison with which to kill religion. No more Mr. Nice Gay indeed...
*Progress is also known as 'the forward motion of time'...
***Among many other outrages.
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