Category Archives: American Library Association

Hot Air, Now And Forever


I don’t want to slip into 1980s, Sinbad-brand humor, you know — women be different from men — but, to tell the truth, women be different from men.

(If you don’t know who Sinbad was, or if you’ve mercifully forgotten him, don’t ask questions. Just be thankful.)



Anyway, my post yesterday about the dreaded prostate exam brought scads of double-Xers out of the woodwork to proclaim that a doctor’s digits inserted into a man’s rear entrance for the purpose of gauging the size and consistency of said man’s gland is, well, nothing.

Nothing, that is, compared to what women have suffered.

It’s not even nothing. It is, these commenters will have us believe, akin to getting one’s hair tousled by a favorite uncle or finding a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk.

What is it about women that they take such pride in the type and extent of pain they can suffer?

◗ No pain on Earth can compare to that of childbirth.

◗ Nothing is like getting a pap smear.


Torture Device Or Stainless Steel Duck?

◗ The full pelvic exam must have been developed by a psychotic sadist.

One correspondent wrote, “Guys are such wimps.”

I get the feeling my women friends are, well, proud of the pain they’ve suffered.

Such a strange thing to be proud of. Especially considering my own life has been devoted to the avoidance of pain. I’m proud of no pain. I am proud, though, of having dodged countless episodes of pain in my 57 years.

Women, I love you all. But, y’know, we’re just different.

Maybe I am getting all Sinbad-y here. I’d better stop.

Censorship And Sensibility

As you know, this is Banned Book Week. And the number one challenged book in the nation for the year 2012 was — drum roll, please — the Dav Pilkey juvenile story series, Captain Underpants.

According to the American Library Association, the Capt. U. books were banned and otherwise persecuted by constipated, paranoiac, supremely pain-in-the-ass parents and officious do-gooders because Pilkey’s prose includes bad language.

Captain Underpants

The Officer In Question

No, not fuck or blowjob. Not that kind of bad language. And certain not rape, war, dismemberment, nuclear bomb, or slavery — hell, nixing books that contain those obscenities would probably leave nothing for our precious teens and impressionable adults to read. Which, come to think of it, just might be what many of the busybodies of this holy land want. But, back to Pilkey, his word sins include fart and snot rockets. The monster.

This variety of verbiage has driven professional tut-tutters to organize and pressure school boards and municipal libraries to remove such smut from the public’s shelves.

Makes you want to thank god we have such caring, conscientious individuals around to protect our delicate eardrums and eyes, no?

Anyway, my fave banned book always has been Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Use the comments section on this page to tell us what your most beloved banned book has been. Or, if you prefer, let us know the last banned book you’ve read. The following list may help. It includes selected banned titles from the Library of Congress’s Books That Shaped America exhibit.

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • Beloved
  • The Call of the Wild
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Gone with the Wind


Banned? Honestly?

  • The Great Gatsby
  • In Cold Blood
  • Invisible Man
  • Moby Dick
  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Moby fucking Dick?

Look, folks, these uptight lunatics have to be stopped. The first thing any of us can do is read a banned book. Do it.

The Pencil Today:


“I’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them.” — Alfred Hitchcock


Books are dangerous things. That’s what quite a few jittery folks in this holy land think.

There are enough bibliophobes around to cause heaps of trouble for librarians who are brazen and perverted enough to stock their shelves with certain titles that any god-fearing soul knows will weaken the nation and destroy the family.

Herewith is the American Library Association’s list of 2011’s ten most challenged books in these Great United States, Inc.:

  • The Lauren Myracle series including “ttyl,” “ttfn,” and “l8r”
  • The Kim Dong Hwa series “The Color of Earth”
  • “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • “My Mom’s Having a Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy” by Dori Hillestad Butler
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie
  • The “Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
  • “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones
  • The “Gossip Girl” series by Cecily Von Ziegesar
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Harper Lee, Contributor To Delinquency

Any of these books may well turn your child into a young socialist or aspiring terrorist. If you are an older person and you even inadvertently read one of these tomes, you’ll suddenly find yourself wishing to acquit black men falsely accused of crimes, use indelicate language, and — worst of all — possibly think about sex.


Drop everything you’re doing right now and pick up a copy of the Indiana Daily Student or click over to the IDS website. Read the unsigned editorial about the personal struggle of a self-described chunky Hispanic latent homosexual who endured years of bullying at the hands of his schoolmates.

If it doesn’t make you cry, you’re probably dead.

The author of the piece points out that a conservative Christian Cro-Magnon man named Douglas Wilson is slated to speak at IU Friday. Wilson thinks current anti-bullying efforts let gay and lesbian kids off the hook. They’re bad seeds, he concludes.

I checked out Wilson’s website. Man, this guy is a piece of work. He links the late IU sex researcher Alfred Kinsey with Nazism. He also espouses age-old Puritan chestnuts like a wife should be submissive to her husband (but not in the fun, light bondage way, either).


Here’s an example of Wilson’s “thinking” on Barack Obama’s health care reform bill: “When they urge the passage of Obamacare because this person will now ‘have coverage,’ they overlook the fact that nothing good can come from men wanting to be God.”

Wait, what?

Wilson’s wife also has a blog. They’re both the kind of folk who need to cite a Bible passage for every thing they say. Only their Bible doesn’t seem to have a passage advising them not to terrorize kids who are struggling with their sexuality.


I’ve long suspected noted brute-with-a-badge Joe Arpaio is playing with a short deck. Now I know it’s true.

The longtime Maricopa County (Arizona) sheriff jumped on the Birther bandwagon months ago. He’s upping the ante now. Arpaio’s current take on that particular psychotic reaction makes earlier Birther charges seem almost sane.

“America’s Toughest Sheriff”

Tough guy Joe now says the Republicans are in on the scheme!

Yep. GOP senators and even the motley crew running for the Republican nomination for president all have have thrown in their lots with the conspirators who took a Kenyan baby and groomed him to become the President of the United States.

Not even Stephen King could come up with this stuff.


Does the thought strike you that this great nation is riding a time machine backward?

Guess who’s in the headlines again, 54 years after the Cuban revolution, 50 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and fully four years after he quit as Cuba’s boss because he was getting too old and feeble to terrify anybody anymore.

Yep. Fidel Castro.

America, I’ll Be Living In Your Nightmares For The Next Fifty Years!

I’m not part of Castro’s fan club. There’ve been good and bad things to say about his bully-boy reign. Sure, everybody can read and health care coverage is universal in Cuba. But just try being a dissident and see how far that’ll get you on the island.

Anyway, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who has no filter between his reptilian brain and his mouth, the other day was talking about the Marlins new stadium which is located in Miami’s Little Havana district.

Perhaps Guillen, not normally known as a sage political observer, figured Hmm, lots of Cubans around here. I’d better say something nice about Castro.

So he gushed about the Havana strongman. “I love Fidel Castro,” he brayed. “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years but that son of a bitch is still here.”

Suddenly, Guillen found out that the nearly one million Cubans who live in Miami are the ones who’ve wanted to slice Fidel’s throat this last half century. Don’t ask me why, but there’s hardly a group on Earth with longer memories and holding a deeper grudge than the people who fled Cuba after Castro took over.

Miami has rarely seen a storm like the one that’s blowing over town right now.

Local pols are screaming that Guillen should be fired. A state legislator is calling for “punitive measures” against him, according to the Associated Press.

The owner of Miami’s Major League Baseball team has suspended Guillen for five games.

No one knows if this will be enough to satisfy the baying hounds who right now are ringing Marlins Stadium, calling for Guillen’s head.

Look, Guillen’s a big-mouthed dope. So are Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus and every other professional gabber who has delivered racist, sexist, insensitive, insulting, or deliriously uninformed diatribes. But we don’t punish people for stupid talk in my country. We don’t take their jobs away from them.

If we did, everybody would be in hot water and nobody would have a job.

Not The Most Respected Political Commentator Around

Wait a minute…, everybody is in hot water and nobody does have a job. Oh well, you know what I mean.

Back to this going back in time bit, though. Wasn’t it just a few years before Fidel Castro blew into the national consciousness that we proud Americans were punishing folks and taking away their livelihoods just for talking or thinking the wrong way?

It looks like old Joe McCarthy has never really gone away.


Tyrone Davis’s soul hit from the spring of 1970.

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