10 Bad, Wicked, Vice-Ridden, Depraved, Sinful, Dissipated, Impious, Dastardly Books

By DuncanRhys C. Liancourt


––The American Library Association’s list of the ten most frequently challenged books for 2010 is a true frightener, filled with dangerous books Librarians would have you read despite reasonable challenges by cautious Americans who care deeply about their fellow citizens’ moral health. Yet you needn’t worry overmuch or endanger your soul by reading these books because RALF––the Rectifying American Librarians Fellowship––is here to worry for you.

According to the ALA “challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.” Clever wording, as one expects from the slavishly bookish, so clever that it is of course misleading. RALF knows that some “points of view” are more right than others, and since some others with less correct viewpoints struggle, and often fail, to decide what not to read on their own these weak others must have their access restricted by other others for the aforementioned others’ own good. We can only hope (pray, really, but call it hope so certain others don’t get their godless knickers in a twist) that every one of these challenges will result in such dangerous material being banned to protect the weak-willed and the children.

Take the tenth most challenged book, “Twilight,” by Stephenie Meyer. Some complainants took issue with the violence but most noted their religious viewpoint being offended. The author’s Mormonism has been suggested as a reason for this, but the real reason is obvious without even reading the book (which we haven’t because it’s filled with demons and one needn’t read a book filled with evil and false gods to know it’s evil): the heroine, Bella Swan, is wanton, a lustful seductress. The bible warns against seductresses so there can be no good reason for the young people to read about a female with a sex drive who tries to trick an evil but god-fearing vampire boy who at least has the decency to wish he were not a vampire into premarital sex.

The dangers of the ninth most challenged book are similar to those of the horrifying book that tops the list so we’ll deal with them together when we get there. This method gives you time to gird your immortal soul. At number eight is Barbara Ehrenreich’s purportedly nonfiction “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America.” Readers challenge this book’s political viewpoint, and well they may. Every American knows (and every foreigner, too, which is why they all want to come here so badly) that anyone can, if they apply themselves, not merely get by but thrive in America. Also, there is talk of drugs in the book. This is known because a reader challenged the book over drugs. Is it not obvious then that if there really is anyone not getting by in the book it is because they are doing drugs? The book was also challenged for inaccurateness, which demonstrates that it can’t be non-fiction, which brings the author’s character into question. She said she went “undercover” so we must wonder––did she do drugs? What is this book, really, then: sociology or pseudoscience; druggy memoire or completely made up; investigative journalism or radical political polemic? If this book had truly examined America without its author getting high it would be called “Only Lazy Nickel and Dime Wasters Can’t Get By In America.”

Both the seventh, “What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones, and sixth, “Lush” by Natasha Friend, books would force sex education onto girls and all right thinking people know that girls should remain ignorant about sex to avoid temptation. What little bits they might need to know before their wedding days should come only from their parents, of course, and not from semi-fictional girls their own age. These books are tricky and try to undercut these truths. In the former the parents are “distant” and in the latter the father is an alcoholic so that readers may fall into the trap of thinking these, and by extension, other girls in real life might need books to teach them things where their parents fail. These parents are likely bad parents because they read bad books when they were young. Instead of perpetuating this destructive pattern these girls should be shown confiding in an upstanding aunt or in their priest. Also, the number six book, “Lush,” has drugs and we all know that telling kids about drugs is what makes them want to try drugs.

Two books on the list are fantasies that imagine a distant future. Number five, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins is the more dystopian with a ruined world run in totalitarian fashion in which children must fight other children to the death. Why, oh why, must these “writers” always imagine a dark, seedy, violent future when all signs point to the opposite? The number three book is Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” While we’ve heard there is a bit too much Pavlovian conditioning, this future is much more optimistic in that capitalism works even better than at present and is even more highly respected. “The Hunger Games” is obviously too depressing, scary, and violent for young people, but it has also been observed that it commits sexual education. The Huxley book’s heroic and cheerful paean to bravery and solid Western capitalist values is undermined not only by offensive language, and sexual education (these artsy types seem to have one track minds), which in this case might be edited out to make the good parts available, is fatally ruined by its insensitivity. Though it is not clear to precisely what this challenge refers we cannot have readers feeling a book has hurt their feelings.

“Crank” is the fourth most challenged book and its author, Ellen Hopkins, based the main character, a teenage girl, on her daughter. The teenage girl main character does drugs. She probably was allowed to read books that glamorize doing drugs. Case closed.

Offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence: all of these challenges were made to the second most challenged book, Sherman Alexie’s semi-auto-biographical “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” How can it be absolutely true if only semi-autobiographical, hmm? We here at RALF have friends who are Native American (NOT Indian!), Mexican, Asian, and etcetera, so cannot be accused of having one racist bone in our bodies. We welcome all minorities equally and want them to succeed in America as all Americans who work hard can. I’m certain then that you would ask, as we do, what possible benefit there could be in this author with this perfectly white sounding name who clearly has had some education as evidenced by having written a book, what purpose is served by this person pointing out, shoving in people’s faces, really, his non-white parts? And is it not suspicious that he is only an “Indian” part-time? Is he being an Indian when he wants government money that comes from hard working American taxpayers? Neither young people, nor readers of any age should be exposed to this type of hypocrisy and possible criminality, and certainly not to this type of racism against white people.

As noted earlier the ninth most challenged book is on the list for the same reason as the most challenged: homosexuality. We did warn you to gird your loins. Number nine can be quickly dispensed with as it attempts no subterfuge but trumpets its own unsuitability in its title: “Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology.” The editor, Amy Sonnie, by admitting the book’s revolutionary agenda, begs to be challenged in order to become controversial and sell more books. You are surely as open-minded and freedom loving as we and would not wish to ban the book for this reason, but would merely register your disapproval of such base commercialism. There is, however, that word “queer.” we cannot tolerate this kind of bigoted name-calling. We pray that the person who believes they have such feelings will realize they’ve been duped by fringe elements of society, people whose agenda is to destroy family life and therefore America. We encourage them to seek help. In the meantime we condemn only homosexual actions and the radical homosexual agenda, not homosexuals.

The insidiousness, the spite, the deep pessimism and blatantly harmful intent of the most frequently challenged book are impossible to overstate. This book, like the previous one, romanticizes homosexuality and proselytizes a homosexual agenda, but unlike the prior book it is devious. The title is wholesome. The main characters are natural and charming. The story, according to Publisher’s Weekly, is a “heart-warming tale” and is presented as an example worthy to follow. It advertises itself as a true story (“inspired by actual events”) but the spin put on these events, the “scientific explanation” touted by the authors is the most mendacious and manipulative we’ve seen in years. Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson deserve to be banned as much as their cynical and diabolical book “And Tango Makes Three.”

Publisher’s Weekly quotes from the book about two male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo that they “did everything together. They bowed to each other….They sang to each other. And swam together. Wherever Roy went, Silo went too….Their keeper…thought to himself, ‘They must be in love.’” There’s your “true” story of homosexuality in nature––an assumption by a person. And a person who it seems read the types of books as a child from which he should have been protected. What better proof does one need than this poor, lost soul who transfers his learned, unnatural ideas onto a pair of dumb, innocent creatures? It is suspicious, furthermore, that these penguins live in (as does their keeper) New York. Were the zoo in Kansas, Texas, Utah, Mississippi, or anywhere else in real America would this even have come up? It would not have because dangerous books are less available in such wholesome places.

The authors tell us that the male penguins tried to start a family, sitting on an egg-shaped rock or some such nonsense, until the keeper finally gave them an orphaned egg. You see, no doubt, that this is a poorly coded manifesto in favor of same-sex adoption. It is shameful the way these birds have been used to push the misguided agenda of a few obviously troubled individuals. Why did the keeper not try to find a female for each penguin? Maybe the zoo’s stock of females is too small for Roy and Silo to have found the right female. Letting them hatch an egg together may have doomed them since they now think what they are doing is natural.

No, the young people must be protected from such a nihilistic philosophy. If they think the species will die out in a generation or two from everyone thinking they are homosexual and trying to raise rocks or sticks or what have you they will not even bother to go to school, or even to get out of bed in the morning, and who could blame them.

According to Barbara Jones, the ALA’s director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, “we must protect one of the most precious of our fundamental rights – the freedom to read.” We at RALF agree that the freedom to read is ONE of the most precious of our fundamental rights and note that by using that word “one” Ms Jones, who as a librarian type must have selected her word with clear intent, is also saying that there is a right even more precious. That right is the right to not feel offended or made uncomfortable, or asked uncomfortable questions by ones children because of what someone else wrote in a book.

3 Responses to “10 Bad, Wicked, Vice-Ridden, Depraved, Sinful, Dissipated, Impious, Dastardly Books”
  1. Rhonda Pickens says:

    It’s true. I’ve led my children astray and your post drives me to sin again. I immediately went to Amazon and purchased “And Tango makes Three” to give to my daughter and her partner – only encouraging them to add penguins – or gasp! even a child! – to their “Family Menagerie.” [http://thefamilymenagerie.com/]. It wasn’t wicked enough that I made her a godless Unitarian with horrendous books like “Old Turtle” when she was a child, now I am encouraging lesbians to procreate!

  2. Laura says:

    Nice list, but your ironic tone assumes the people reading these books are not actually looking for sinful or depraved literature, they’ve merely been unfairly categorized as such. What can you recommend for those of us who are ACTUALLY trying to read something wicked and dastardly?

  3. Clare Keller says:

    You can’t imagine how relieved I am to discover that I have read only three of these books, and remember only two. My aging brain cells have protected me against the ravages of Aldous Huxley. However, I confess that I was completely convinced of the non-fiction reality, Nay, Truth! of Barbara Ehrenreich’s account. Mea Culpa. But God is Good. He will forgive me, I’m sure.

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