‘It’s just all kinds of filth’

by on October 5, 2006

He’s gone for the irony hat trick…!

Boingboing reports on this article is about a man who has asked his daughter’s school to take Fahrenheit 451 off the curriculum because of its use of “bad language” and (for extra irony points) smoking, amongst other things. The incident is wonderful not least for the fact that he chose to lodge the complaint last week – which just happend to be the American Library’s Banned Books Week as well!

I checked to see whether Fahrenheit 451 had itself been a banned book in the past, but sadly not. Perhaps if he belonged to a religious or ethnic minority he could have claimed the Guinness Book entry for “most ironic attempt at censorship” – a record currently held by Jackson County, Florida for their attempt in 1981 to ban George Orwell’s 1984 due to it being “pro-communist.”

On second thoughts, that’s not actually ironic so much as plain stupid.


Hmm. Saw this a couple of days ago, and it sparked much lively debate on a mailing list I’m on. My view..? Well, for what it’s worth…

I don’t have a problem with him not wanting his daughter to be
reading it – after all, according to the story, she instigated the
whole thing. Fair enough – if it’s upsetting his daughter, politely
ask the school if she can be given alternative work to do while the
rest of her class is studying Farenheit 451.

What I do have a serious problem with is his demand that the book be
removed from the curriculum. That’s where parental concern for his
daughter becomes narrow minded and dangerous censorship.

I did post it to Fortean Times under the headline “Man tries to Ban Book About Book Burning In Banned Books Week”. But they didn’t listen to me. Non-alliterative bastards.

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