Pixel Scroll 4/9/24 Ebenezer Scroll! Tonight You Will Be Visited By Five Pixels (Three, My Lord!)

(1) IMAGINE THERE’S NO MUSIC. “59 Years Later, The Oldest Sci-Fi Show Ever Is Fixing A Very Big Beatles Problem”Inverse tries to guess how Russell T. Davis will do it in a Fab Four-themed Doctor Who episode — because he can’t afford the rights to the real thing.

…In the upcoming relaunched Doctor Who Season 1 (2024), the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) will travel to the 1960s in the forthcoming episode “The Devil’s Chord,” and, at some point, cross paths with the Beatles….

… As Russell T. Davies says in the new Empire interview: “‘How would you do a Beatles episode without Beatles music?” Previous movies about the Beatles have faced similar problems. The 1994 biopic Backbeat — which chronicles the Beatles’ early days in Hamburg — features no actual Beatles music. Meanwhile, the 1979 movie Birth of the Beatles (helmed by Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand!) used cover versions of most Beatles songs to avoid copyright issues of the time.

But, for Davies and Doctor Who, the copyright law problem became “the entire plot.” As Davies says, “I knew instantly you can never play Beatles songs on screen because the copyright is too expensive… That’s where the idea came from — copyright law!”

Could this mean the Doctor and Ruby will inspire alternate Beatles songs? Could the Beatles be getting by with a little help from their time-traveler friends? We don’t know the exact plot of “The Devil’s Chord,” but there’s a good bet that the Doctor will almost certainly inspire a classic Beatles song. We’ll just have to read between the lines to figure out which one.

(2) CAROL SHIELDS PRIZE FINALISTS. The Carol Shields Prize shortlist has been revealed. The award recognizes “creativity and excellence in fiction by women and non-binary writers in Canada and the United States”.

One of the finalists is a work of genre interest.

  • Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

In this eco-thriller, a guerilla gardening collective named ‘Birnam Wood’ (after Macbeth) meets an American billionaire. In his review for WHYY’s Fresh Air, John Powers writes, “this New Zealand-set book is a witty literary thriller about the collision between eco-idealism and staggering wealth.”

The other shortlisted books are:

  • Daughter by Claudia Dey
  • Coleman Hill by Kim Coleman Foote
  • A History of Burning by Janika Oza
  • Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan

The winner gets $150,000 and a residency with Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland, Canada. Each of the four runner-ups will get $12,500. The prize-winner will be announced May 13.

(3) INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE SHORTLIST. Based on the descriptions of the works at the website, there are no books of genre interest among the 6 that made the International Booker Prize 2024 shortlist today.

(4) 2023’S MOST-CHALLENGED BOOKS. From the American Library Association: “ALA Releases Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2023”. Publishers Weekly has the list. Based on the descriptions, none are sff works.

The Most Challenged Books of 2023

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, for LGBTQIA+, and sexually explicit content.
  2. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, for LGBTQIA+ and sexually explicit content.
  3. This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, for LGBTQIA+ and sexually explicit content.
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, for LGBTQIA+, and sexually explicit content, rape, drugs, profanity.
  5. Flamer by Mike Curato, for LGBTQIA+ and sexually explicit content.
  6. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, for rape, incest, sexually explicit and EDI (equity, diversity, inclusion) content.
  7. (Tie) Tricks by Ellen Hopkins, for LGBTQIA+ and sexually explicit content.
  8. (Tie) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, for sexually explicit content, profanity.
  9. Let’s Talk About It by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan, for LGBTQIA+ and sexually explicit content.
  10. Sold by Patricia McCormick, for sexually explicit content, rape.

(5) IN-BODY EXPERIENCES. Logan Dreher discusses “Octavia Butler, Audre Lorde, and the Power of Pleasure” at Reactor.

…I’ve been especially interested in revisiting three of her strangest works—her vampire novel Fledging; “Bloodchild,”a short story about a colony of humans living alongside an insectoid race of aliens; and the Xenogenesis trilogy, which explores human’s post-apocalypse relationship with a bioengineering race of extraterrestrials called the Oankali. Across these stories, I see a recurring fascination with the reality of our bodies, our needs and frailties, and the way our bodily desires inextricably link us to each other.

In each of these stories, humans are less powerful than their nonhuman counterparts, whether that’s the tentacled, pheromone-exuding Oankali in Xenogenesis or the three-meter long, centipede-like Tlic in “Bloodchild.” But for all of their physical superiority, the nonhuman characters are desperately reliant on their relationships with humans. In Xenogenesis, the Oankali can exude chemicals that drug humans with a thought and heal with a touch. They manipulate their own genetic makeup and easily heal their own bullet wounds. Yet they depend on their human relationships in order to live. Oankali adolescents go into metamorphosis where they are comatose—profoundly helpless—and rely on their human partners to care for them. In Imago, the final book in the trilogy, a young Oankali begins to physically dissolve, unable to survive because it does not have human companions to ground it in a stable form. As the narrator notes, “We called our need for contact with others and our need for mates hunger. One who could hunger could starve.”….

(6) AFROANIMATION AWARDS NEWS. “AfroAnimation Summit Honors Kemp Powers, Camille Eden, Bruce Smith & Jermaine Turner”Animation Magazine introduces these icons and other awards finalists.

AfroAnimation, the largest annual event featuring diverse and BIPOC animators and creators, announced today the honorees for the first AfroAnimation Summit Icon Awards

…Icon Award honoree Kemp Powers, director of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, will headline the summit’s kick-off panel April 10, ‘Developing Original Stories and the Art of Diverse Storytelling.’ Pioneer Award honoree Camille Eden, Vice President of Recruitment, Talent Development & Outreach at Nickelodeon, will speak on the April 11 panel, ‘Unveiling the Untold Narratives of Women in Entertainment: Triumphs, Challenges, & Journeys.’

In addition, Bruce Smith, creator and executive producer of Disney+’s The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, and Jermaine Turner, Director of Adult Genre Animation for Netflix, will be honored as industry pioneers at the AfroAnimation Icon Awards….

FRWD Awards Semifinalists. (Celebrates the art of diverse storytelling in the film, new media, and streaming platform industries.)

  • Best Series: Castevania, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, Young Love, Scavengers Reign
  • Best Animation FeatureSpider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Elemental, The Boy and the Heron, Craig Before the Creek
  • Best International SeriesKizazi Moto: Generation Fire, IwájúKiya & the Kimoja HeroesSupa Team 4
  • Best Animation Director: Kemp Powers (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse)

(7) M. JOHN HARRISON MEMOIR. Saga Press will publish author M. John Harrison’s anti-memoir Wish I Was Here on September 3, 2024. 

What is an “anti-memoir”? M. John Harrison has produced one of the greatest bodies of fiction of any living British author, encompassing space opera, speculative fiction, fantasy, and magical and literary realism.  Yet in WISH I WAS HERE, he asks, ‘Is there even an M. John Harrison and if so, where do we find him?’ This is the question the author asks in this memoir-as-mystery, turning for clues to forty years of notebooking: ‘A note or it never happened. A note or you never looked.’

Are these notebooks records of failed presence? How do they shine a light on a childhood in the industrial Midlands, a portrait of a young artist in counterculture London, on an adulthood of restless escape into hill and moorland landscapes? And do they tell us anything about the writing of books, each one so different from the last that it might have been written by another version of the author?

With aphoristic daring and laconic wit, this anti-memoir will fascinate and delight. It confirms M. John Harrison still further in his status as the most original British writer of his generation.


[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born April 9, 1937 Marty Krofft. (Died 2023.)

Who’s your friend when things get rough?
H.R. Pufnstuf.
Can’t do a little, ‘cause he can’t do enough

Who here didn’t grow up watching some of the shows created by the Krofft brothers? Well, this is the day that Marty Krofft was born, so I get to talk about their work. So let’s get started.

Their very first work was designing the puppets and sets for Banana Splits, a rock band composed of four animal characters for Hanna-Barbera.  To get a look at them, here’s the open and closing theme from the show.

After working for Hanna-Barbera, they went independent with the beloved H. R. Pufnstuf, their first live-action, life sized puppet series. It ran a lot shorter than I thought lasting only from September to December of ‘69. Like everything of theirs, it ended up in heavy, endless syndication.

Next was The Bugaloos. This was a musical group, very much in keeping with the tone with Banana Splits. It was four British teenagers wearing insect outfits, constantly beset by the evil machinations of the Benita Bizarre. Here’s the opening song, “Gna Gna Gna Gna Gna” courtesy of Krofft Pictures.

Lidsville, their next show lasted but seventeen episodes, and I’ve no idea if the short longevity of their series, all of them, was planned or due to poor ratings. This show had two types of characters: conventional actors in makeup taped alongside performers in full mascot costumes. It was mostly stop motion in its filming. 

Opening credits are here. The opening was produced at Six Flags Over Texas. The show was itself shot at Paramount Pictures film studio in Los Angeles.

Sigmund and the Sea Monsters lasted two seasons though it was aired over three years, the second delayed because a fire at the beginning of season two which destroyed everything. It’s about two brothers who discover a friendly young sea monster named Sigmund who refuses to frighten people. Poor Sigmund. This time you get a full episode as that is all Krofft Pictures had up, “Frankenstein Drops In”.

There’s two more series I want to note. 

The first is Land of the Lost which was created though uncredited in the series by David Gerrold. So anyone know why that was? It was produced by Sid and Marty Krofft who co-developed the series with Allan Foshko. Lots of genre tropes here. A family lost in a land with dinosaurs and reptile men? It was popular enough that it lasted three seasons. And here’s the opening and closing credits for season three.

The very last pick by me is Electra Woman and Dyna Girl which lasted but sixteen episodes of twelve minutes. Despite the ElectraEnemies, their foes here being way over the top, this is SF though admittedly on the pulp end of things. 

So they stayed active including doing rebooted versions of new versions of Electra Woman and Dyna GirlH.R. PufnstufLand of the Lost and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters

Marty Krofft passed on from kidney failure on November 25, 2023, at the age of eighty six. 


(10) VASTER THAN EMPIRES, AND MORE EXPENSIVE. Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis might be sff – which might matter more if the film can make it into theaters. Variety says it will premiere at Cannes. However, The Hollywood Reporter learned studios are not lining up to accept the film’s high-dollar marketing risk: “’Megalopolis’: Francis Ford Coppola’s Challenges in Distribution”.

…The project, which Coppola first began writing in 1983, cost a reported $120 million to make — funded in part by the sale of a significant portion of his wine empire (the 2021 deal was reportedly worth over $500 million). Clocking in at two hours and 15 minutes, the film follows the rebuilding of a metropolis after its accidental destruction, with two competing visions — one from an idealist architect (Adam Driver), the other from its pragmatist mayor (Giancarlo Esposito) — clashing in the process. References to ancient Rome — including Caesar haircuts on the men — abound…

… One source tells THR that Coppola assumed he would make a deal very quickly, and that a studio would happily commit to a massive P&A (prints and advertising, including all marketing) spend in the vicinity of $40 million domestically, and $80 million to $100 million globally.

That kind of big-stakes rollout would make Megalopolis a better fit for a studio-backed specialty label like the Disney-owned Searchlight or the Universal-owned Focus. But Universal and Focus have already tapped out of the bidding, sources tell THR…. 

(11) THANKS FOR YOUR GIZZARD. James Davis Nicoll comments on “Five Science Fiction Stories About Involuntary Organ Donation” at Reactor.

… Why should some teenager enjoy perfect skin, a pain-free back, and functional joints when persons of my age could make much better use of these body parts? Yet such are the politically correct times in which we live that simply proposing, never mind implementing, mandatory organ1 donations is considered somehow controversial.

Science fiction can see past the squeamishness of short-term social fashions to the glorious world we might have if we were willing to apply technology in a socially responsible—which is to say, one that benefits the people in charge—manner. Consider these five classic tales….

One of the selections is –

The Reefs of Space by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson (1964)

Reefs features an intriguing deep space ecology in no way inhibited by plausible science. The use of political prisoners as involuntary organ donors is much more plausible….

(12) SPACE COWBOYS READINGS. Space Cowboy Books will host an online Flash Science Fiction Night on April 23 with Howard V. Hendrix, Ai Jiang, and Hailey Piper. These short science fiction readings (1000 words or less) are great way to learn about new authors from around the world. Starts at 6:00 p.m. Pacific. Lasts around half an hour. Register for free at Eventbrite.

(13) TODAY’S THING TO WORRY ABOUT. “They Came From Outer Space. Now, They’re Going Into Hiding.” So says the New York Times.

If you’re looking for meteorites, here’s a tip: Go south. All the way south. And do it soon.

In some parts of Antarctica, there’s a good chance that what looks like a regular old rock could actually be a chunk of an asteroid, the moon, or even Mars. Roughly 60 percent of all known meteorites have been collected there.

But scientific sleuthing for such extraterrestrial material, which can shed light on how the solar system formed billions of years ago, will probably get more difficult in Antarctica in the coming decades. That’s because, as temperatures rise, thousands of meteorites will sink into the continent’s ice and disappear from sight every year, according to a new study published on Monday.

Antarctica’s meteorite largess isn’t because more extraterrestrial stuff is falling there, Cari Corrigan, a geologist at the Smithsonian Institution and a curator of the National Museum of Natural History’s meteorite collection, said.

Rather, meteorites simply tend to be more visible on the Antarctic ice sheet than they would be, say, in your backyard. “Your eye can pick out a dark rock on a white surface super easily,” said Dr. Corrigan, who was not involved in the new research….

(14) ON THE JOB. Here’s the trailer for “Monsters at Work: Season 2” with Ben Feldman, Billy Crystal, and John Goodman. The season premiered April 5 on Disney Channel, and on May 5 comes to Disney+.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAN. [Item by Daniel Dern.] For the small Venn overlap who know both references: “Leslie Nielsen in Star Wars”.

[Thanks to Steven French, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Kathy Sullivan, Dann, Daniel Dern, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, and SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

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33 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/9/24 Ebenezer Scroll! Tonight You Will Be Visited By Five Pixels (Three, My Lord!)

  1. (1) “He’s a real When/Where Man”

    (8) Here’s to Marty Krofft who took on McDonald’s when they swiped designs from Puf’n’Stuf for McDonaldland

  2. (1) The Doctor mentions to this guy that “that girl says she loves you, oh, oh, oh…”
    Birthday: Elektra Woman and Dyna Girl sounds like it was fun.
    (15) Um, er…. what kind of gadget watch is that?

  3. (4) All those books are so much more than the things taken out of context. Yet I know some people will drift by and try to argue for bans and claim they think they are “protecting the children.”

    (8) I grew up watching Banana Splits, H.R.Pufnstuf, and other Krofft brothers shows. That probably explains why I’m bonkers. 🙂 I’m pretty sure I even saw Lidsville. (I recognized parts of the opening credits.)

    Also, it seems Land of the Lost has been influential on a number of Gen X genre writers.

    ETA: I accidentally added the old plus sign back to my name.

  4. Michael J. Walsh: The Rutles!!! But will that help? Seems like just a few weeks ago I ran an item that Eric Idle was crabbing about Monty Python’s dwindling finances — he’s likely to want more than a couple of nickels for anything Rutillian.

  5. I’m afraid I’ve never seen a Marty Kroft show. As far as I know they weren’t broadcast in my area; at least when I was of an age to have seen them. While I’ve heard about the characters since, and seen a few created by talented costumers, I have never been moved to find them.

  6. (13) So, get to Antarctica before too much more ice melts.

    Did my taxes today. Well, started Sunday, and finally finished today. Enlivened by a reminder of my terrible time of emotional and physical breakdown in 2016, the official cancelation of a debt from that time.

    I will need to read distracting things, now. I think another of Sharon Lee’s Archers Beach books.

  7. Something quite fannish,
    Something quite slannish,
    Something for everyone,
    A pixel scroll tonight!

    from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Consuite

  8. Bur… but Ruby Tuesday is a Stones song!

    — On second thought, Doctror Robert is a very fine, though lesser known, song from Revolver, and some lyrics are positively Whovian.

  9. 8) I will definitely NOT open up that video of the Banana Splits opening theme. It’s an earworm, the world’s worst earworm. I disliked it the very first time I heard it, but every time I hear it again, it still takes days or weeks to get it back out of my head.

  10. The episode takes place in Liverpool, current day….The Tardis in the middle of a roundabout, references around the city of the Beatles.

    Whatever adventure they have happens, they have to jump time to make sure the bad guys are vanquished, and then they emerge through a time warp in the wall into in the Cavern Club. Four disgruntled lads on the stage dust off the debris off their instruments, girls in the audience are screaming hysterically from the apparent collapse of part of the wall.

    The Doctor pulls Rose with him through the cloud of dust, up the stairs, and bumps into a guy in a business suit, with a stack of records tucked under his arm, walking down the street.

    “Hey, what’s going on down there?” the guy asks. The Doctor replies, dusting off his jacket, “Oh, great band. They’re tearing the house down! You’ve got to see them!”

    The Doctor then pulls Rose after him and they head for the roundabout, as the man tentatively descends the stairs to the club.

    The Tardis appears just as they make the roundabout. They go inside.
    “Who was that?” Rose asks, as they enter the Tardis control room.

    “Oh, his father owns a furniture shop on Great Charlotte Street. They’ve put in a record department,” he muses. “Quaint things, records. It’s a pity they’re gravity reliant. I prefer digital to analog myself.”

    He works the controls and the Tardis disappears, leaving stunned commuters going round and round the roundabout in shock.

  11. Mmm.. the issue of getting rights to any Beatles songs reminds me of the very last (then and still now) controversial episode of THE PRISONER (viz: “Fall Out”)- 1st broadcast in UK (ITV/ATV) in Feb 1968 and in the US (on CBS) later that year. The then music editor on the show (Eric Mival) managed to get the rights for “All You Need Is Love” which is used therein. That song was only itself issued in late 1967 within a major worldwide TV transmission link-up. Mival got its use for only a small fee. The fact that the Fab Four were then fans of McGoohan, probably helped a bit….. Be Seeing You!!

  12. Putting in a good word for Butler’s Fledgling— it has a young girl who’s a black, sunlight-proof vampire.

    Checks wikipedia– an alien who looks like she’s twelve.

  13. The Beatles in Music and Video have already appeared on Doctor Who, In the 1965 serial “The Chase” the Tardis occupants are looking at the Tardis visualizer screens and checking out things when the come up on a clip of “Top of the Pops” featuring a live performance of “Ticket to Ride”. As the tapes of “Top of the Pops” were wiped this is the only copy of their performance. However it has been cut from most home media and streaming., it was too expensive to license it.

  14. There’s a charming little documentary about the woman who answered the Beatles’ mail for them, Good Ol’ Freda. As the producers were wrapping things up on it, the Beatles’ licensing agents asked them how many songs they needed rights to. They said something like twenty. The licensors laughed and said, even for Freda we can’t make that work. Pick three.

  15. @Anne Marble

    All those books are so much more than the things taken out of context. Yet I know some people will drift by and try to argue for bans and claim they think they are “protecting the children.”

    I’m not drifting by. And keeping a few of those books indicated above away from bonafide children is protecting them.

    They may well have great merit as books to be read by adults and as such are appropriate for inclusion outside of libraries (or library sections) focused on providing books to children.

    Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. – Martin L. King Jr.

  16. @msb

    Anyone who has not completed puberty is a bonafide child. They lack the physical and emotional maturity needed to properly contextualize the very graphic sexual content present in a few of those works.

    Those works certainly should not be provided to 5th graders.

    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. – Aldous Huxley

  17. @Dann
    Considering puberty has a wildly variable age of onset due to hormonal factors, it really cannot be used as a yardstick for mental maturity.

  18. @jayn

    I disagree.

    Puberty is a process that takes many years to unfold. There is some variation in how it occurs within those years, but for the vast majority of children puberty is reasonably predictable in terms of overall biology. Variations exist but are not “wild”.

    It is a reasonable measure for evaluating what sort of material children encounter.

    To have peace with this peculiar life; to accept what we do not understand; to wait calmly for what awaits us, you have to be wiser than I am – M.C. Escher

  19. @Dann665–

    Anyone who has not completed puberty is a bonafide child. They lack the physical and emotional maturity needed to properly contextualize the very graphic sexual content present in a few of those works.

    Those works certainly should not be provided to 5th graders.

    So, Dann, what do you think about one of the most banned books for young people? Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.

    It’s a book for younger readers in which Margaret (11, going on 12) and her friends discuss puberty, menstruation, and the development of their breasts. This is too explicitly sexual and inappropriate for the book banners. It’s been pulled from school libraries in, among other places, all over Florida and Texas. DeSantis wants all sex education banned before grade six, i.e., age 11.

    I got my period at age 10, fifth grade, and that wasn’t unheard of then,and has become increasingly common.

    Do you think Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret is an unsuitable book that 10yos shouldn’t be able to find in the school library? If no school staff is allowed to mention menstruation, does that mean that if a 10yo girl whose parents think they either shouldn’t or don’t need to discuss menstruation for two or three more years, gets her first period while she’s at school and is scared to death by this (seriously common among girls who don’t know periods exist), should a teacher or other staff member who helps her out and explains that it’s normal be punished?

    The “not below sixth grade” ban on discussing these things is dismally ignorant and harmful.

    DeSantis thinks menstruation shouldn’t be mentioned at all in school before

  20. “Puberty is a process that takes many years to unfold. There is some variation in how it occurs within those years, but for the vast majority of children puberty is reasonably predictable in terms of overall biology. Variations exist but are not “wild”.”

    My mother got her period at 16. In the US 8 years old is still considered within normal limits. In the past several decades the average onset of puberty has been sliding younger for reasons that are not yet fully understood. You’re pegging your criteria for understanding a book on a hormonal surge that has no direct positive effect on cognitive development. There is no reasonable basis for you to connect hormonal surge to better understanding of a text. As Lis notes, kids DO need this information, and it’s better they get it in theoretical form so they understand it before they have to deal with the practical effects in their body and their lives (this includes fiction as well as biology textbook information).

  21. @Lis Carey

    The last time we engaged on this topic, you asked me for specifics. I provided them. You declined to respond.

    I’m not inclined to discuss a different book when you haven’t responded regarding the four I identified.


    I believe you are conflating some of the books indicated above with age-appropriate educational sex-ed materials.

    The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. – Isaac Asimov

  22. @Dann665–

    The last time we engaged on this topic, you asked me for specifics. I provided them. You declined to respond.

    I’m not inclined to discuss a different book when you haven’t responded regarding the four I identified.

    Dann, you never respond to any specifics on any banned that doesn’t meet your specs for what is “really” being banned. And yet they are books that are being banned.

    Why should I bother with your lists that somehow meet your criteria, and which aren’t part of anyone’s campaign to get them into libraries.


    I believe you are conflating some of the books indicated above with age-appropriate educational sex-ed materials

    Nope. Age-appropriate educational sex-ed materials are also being targeted for removal and banning.

    Florida has a new law saying that menstruation can’t be mentioned at all prior to 6th grade, when it is considered not at all abnormal for girls to start menstruating as early as 4th grade.

    Girls actually need to know this will happen. They need to know before it happens, before they start bleeding and have no idea what’s causing it, and may not have mom handy to explain that no, she’s not dying. When, if they’re in Florida, they may have only school staff who aren’t allowed to explain it and help them, or friends who may know enough to explain it, or may not know anymore than they do. And who are far less likely than the teachers to have appropriate supplies handy.

    Oh, and yes, calm, sensible books of tween girls experiencing this, at the ages a fair number of girls do experience it, and talking about it with friends, as well as about other bodily changes they’ll soon start to experience, isn’t pornography, except to pedophiles. It isn’t indecent or suggestive. It’s a fairly realistic story of girls growing up in loving, caring families, and having good friends they can talk about this stuff with.

    Stuff which, yes, despite your confusion on the subject, is in fact beginning to push those dreaded hormones into their systems. Something else that both the boys and the girls will handle better if someone teaches them what’s going on.

  23. @Lis —
    “Florida has a new law saying that menstruation can’t be mentioned at all prior to 6th grade,”
    The final version of the law as passed by the legislature and signed by the governor doesn’t mention menstruation.

    You keep saying that “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” is banned. It’s not. It took only a few minutes to identify a number of Florida elementary schools that have the book in their collections. In the Orlando/Orange County area, it can be found in Avalon Elementary, Baldwin Park Elementary, Killarney Elementary, Lockhart Elementary, Maxey Elementary, Moss Park Elementary, Tangelo Park Elementary, and Whispering Oak Elementary (and probably more — I didn’t try to check every school in the district.) It’s in Tampa-area elementary schools. It’s in the panhandle. It’s all over Florida. I found copies in English and Spanish. I found ebooks, audiobooks, and dead tree books. The book is not banned.

    “calm, sensible books of tween girls experiencing this . . isn’t pornography”
    No, but a number of the books in the scrool item are.
    (and this response is typical. Parents see filthy books on school library shelves — books with child rape, prostitution and sex slavery, pedophilia, etc. — books that by no means are appropriate for school kids. They say “this book isn’t appropriate because it is sexually explicit”, and they bring receipts. And folks like you say “Bigot — you don’t like gays. You’re banning good books that deal with sexual material in age-appropriate ways.”)

  24. @Dann
    “I believe you are conflating some of the books indicated above with age-appropriate educational sex-ed materials.”

    Um, no, I absolutely am not, as clearly shown by what I wrote, which you either skimmed over or deliberately ignored.

    “As Lis notes, kids DO need this information, and it’s better they get it in theoretical form so they understand it before they have to deal with the practical effects in their body and their lives (this includes fiction as well as biology textbook information).”

    Kids need a theoretical grounding in situations they will in the future face in practice. That’s the basis of education. And while bare-bones biology textbook “tab a in slot b”, explanations, chemical discussions of hormones and modest diagrams of secondary sexual characteristics have their importance, it is just as necessary for children to learn what these technical details mean to the complex social interactions of people and their lives…which is where the fiction comes in. Which includes, as Lis pointed out, the much-banned Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Which includes many other great works of fiction with occasional uncomfortable yet true to life details that teach lessons about the world that children can remain ignorant of only at their peril.

    Your proposal that kids should be deprived of theoretical information about what their hormonal surge and sexual maturation will mean for their lives until AFTER they have actually gone through the practical physical buffeting of the hormones on their bodies AND the expectations and demands the adult world will place on them based on the changes in their bodies goes against the very basic educational principle that theoretical knowledge should be in place before dealing with practical experience.

    You have no actual REASON that holds up to logical scrutiny to use the end of a hormonal surge that could come at age 6 or 17 (or not come at all, in the case of various congenital conditions), and has no direct effect on cognitive maturity as a justification to withhold information till the hormonal surge is concluded to YOUR satisfaction. So what you have is an arbitrary authoritarian excuse to deprive ALL children in a school system of that information. Sorry.

  25. [sorry about the delay. We had a nice time in Maine.]

    @Lis Carey & @jayn

    I have identified four books. Not fourteen. Not forty. Not four thousand.


    They are being introduced to children in public schools and public libraries.

    Any beneficial health advice that they might contain is contaminated by being presented using sexually graphic images and language that are inappropriate for children.

    These books present children with the idea that children should be sexually active. That is absolutely harmful to children.

    Let the deflections continue.

    I know some who are constantly drunk on books as other men are drunk on whiskey. – H.L. Mencken

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