Saturday, September 21, 2013

North Carolina School Board bans "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison, citing "no literary value"

The Chairman of the Randolph County Board of Education, Tommy McDonald, said he found it a "hard read". Gary, another school board member, declared the book, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, to have "no literary value". 

After the announcement, Tommy and Gary left to compare their comic book collections.

Story below via The Raw Story

North Carolina school board bans Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’

By Arturo Garcia
A North Carolina school board has banned Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man from its reading list on Monday, citing a lack of “literary value.”
The Asheboro Courier-Tribune reported that the Randolph County Board of Education voted 5-2 to remove the book following a complaint by a parent, Kimiyutta Parson.
“This novel is not so innocent; instead, this book is filthier, too much for teenagers,” Parson wrote in a 12-page statement to the board. “You must respect all religions and point of views when it comes to the parents and what they feel is age appropriate for their young children to read, without their knowledge. This book is freely in your library for them to read.”
In his acceptance speech after winning the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953, Ellison described the book as his attempt to bring back “the mood of personal moral responsibility for democracy” common in 19th-century fiction.
“When I examined the rather rigid concepts of reality which informed a number of the works which impressed me and to which I owed a great deal, I was forced to conclude that for me and for so many hundreds of thousands of Americans, reality was simply far more mysterious and uncertain, and at the same time more exciting, and still, despite its raw violence and capriciousness, more promising,” Ellison said at the time.
However, board chair Tommy McDonald said on Monday that he considered Ellison’s work — one of three books recommended for summer reading for juniors at a local high school, alongside “Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin and “Passing” by Nella Larsen — “a hard read.”
A motion to keep Invisible Man on the approved reading list was defeated 5-2 before the board voted to remove it.
“I didn’t find any literary value,” board member Gary Mason said at the meeting. “I’m for not allowing it to be available.”
In 2010, Time magazine named the book one of the top 100 English-language novels of all time, calling it “the quintessential American picaresque of the 20th century.” 
Reposted with permission. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lights On at Night—Please

Attention, Gloucester drivers (OK, and some of you in Essex, Rockport and Manchester, too), here's a simple fact: dusk is the hardest time to see things. There's a gray quality to the light, and the contrast between light and dark is the weakest. Sure, you can see: but that doesn't mean you can BE seen.

It's astonishing how many drivers are clueless about this simple fact; the evidence of this lies in the number of cars driving around Gloucester with no lights on at dusk, and even during the dark of night. With no lights, YOU CANNOT EASILY BE SEEN.

The photo below should clearly illustrate this.

So wake up, wise up and turn on your headlights — or at least your driving / fog lights — at sunset (it's the law, actually…). And one more thing: this may be a seafaring town, but unlike boats, cars don't have "running lights". Those little amber and red lights at the front and back of your car are called "parking" lights (for a reason).  They're no substitute for your headlights.

Girls Don't Poop (who knew?)

All right:  this a bizarre choice for my first post to my new blog. Then, perhaps not.