Books and Hypocrisy in America: One father’s unique perspective
April 15, 2013 | 10:15 am
By Joanna Cabot
The image above (also linked to here) has been making the social media rounds lately.
Not much to say about it other than “I agree.” It reminds me of a documentary the Beloved and I have been watching on Netflix this week about a man who left the Neo-Nazi community and is trying to start his life over again. One of the things that disillusioned him about that community was the hypocrisy—the leaders would preach that they were doing whatever they did “for the children,” but the rate of domestic violence in that community was staggeringly high. What this picture is trying to illustrate is that same hypocrisy.
For another perspective on this same topic, author John Scalzi recently answered a reader question on whether he has ever taken a book away from his daughter, and “what guides [his] parental choices on book selection?”
When Athena was an infant I would take books away from her so they would not be unduly chewed upon. Otherwise, no. The rule of thumb in the Scalzi household has always been that if you can reach it, you can read it, and we don’t have very many books in the house that can’t be reached, frankly.
He adds that the offer comes with the addendum that she is free to discuss anything she reads with her parents at any time. But he also says that, even bigger than the “books which may be inappropriate” threat is the “books which are crap” one, and he’s has to bite his tongue about some of YA literature’s trashier offerings. Still, he points out that his daughter seems to have turned out just fine, and has benefited from both the knowledge she’s gained from reading widely anything she pleases, and from the way it ‘demystified’ the adult world for her.
I’d love to see the book collection at the Scalzi home. I bet he has some cool stuff.