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What a relief to have censors for our schools

Sun., Nov. 9, 2008

Few things endanger society like exposing young people to literature.

The classics can poison kids with big ideas that mess with their impressionable minds and make them want more out of life.

Then they move away to earn college degrees and land high-paying jobs that make those of us stuck back here look like a bunch of losers.

We must stop literature from ruining our youth whenever possible.

And that is why I am making Vern Newby and Sid Fredrickson honorary members in my organization – Ban Overly Offensive Books.

That’s BOOBs, for short.

The other night at a Coeur d’Alene School District board meeting these two heroes voted against letting teachers use Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” in classrooms.

Their courageous stand split the board vote at 2-2.

Two board members – Edie Brooks and Diane Zipperer – voted in favor of the book. They obviously don’t care about kids.

The tie tabled the issue until next month when all five board members should be in attendance.

“I find, from my own level, it is extremely repetitious and it drives in the sexuality issues and other civilization’s issues to almost ad nauseam and I find its balance is extremely lacking,” Newby said of the book in a Coeur d’Alene Press story.


Any snob can pick apart a work nobody’s ever heard of. But it takes real guts to stand up to such a universally revered classic.

Man, I’d love to unleash Newby on, say, Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Teenage sex? Suicide? Disobedience? Violence?

You want those immoral themes in our schools?

Not me, buddy.

Purely for purposes of examination, I bought a copy of “Brave New World” at a local bookstore.

I made sure the clerk hid the novel deep in a bag. The last thing I need is for someone to see me walking around with literature in plain view.

Come to think of it, I seem to remember some evil high school teacher forcing me to read “Brave New World” eons ago.

The book tells a dark, satirical tale about a population of human pawns who are numbed and controlled in order to serve the all-powerful ruling elite.

Whoa. I can see why they don’t want kids reading subversive stuff like this in a one-horse, minimum-wage empire like Coeur d’Uane.

Sure, “Brave New World” may seem pretty tame compared to what kids see every day in video games, TV or the Internet.

But don’t be fooled. This book shocked a lot of people – when it came out in 1932.

“It’s time for everyone to read or reread ‘Brave New World,’ ” declares an endorsement on the novel’s back cover.

Oh, yeah? Not if my BOOBs have anything to say about it.

Hopefully, in December another vote with a better outcome will be taken. I’m counting on Newby and Fredrickson to get the ol’ job done.

It’s all part of the Coeur d’Alene School District’s plan to make sure each and every book on required reading lists has been given the school board seal of sanitation.

Oh, it’s such a tiring job being a censor.

Every time you turn around someone is offended about “Huck Finn” being racist or “The Wizard of Oz” promoting humanism or that “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is just plain vulgar.

Art is so infuriating.

Speaking of being offended, here’s something that makes me blush.

With such a dirty, filthy title, how come “Moby-Dick” is still hanging around?

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at


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