Pixel Scroll 9/19/23 In Pixelated Ink Which Glows Under Starlight

(1) OPEN LETTER AGAINST BOOK BANS. “Ariana Grande, Garbage, Natasha Lyonne Sign Open Letter Against Book Bans”The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

Ariana GrandeGuillermo del ToroPadma Lakshmi, Roxane Gay, Gabrielle Union, Sandra Cisneros, Amanda Gorman, Margaret Cho and Ron Perlman are among the signatories of an open letter calling on creative communities in Hollywood and beyond to leverage their voices to stop book bans.

Upwards of 175 actors, musicians, authors, comedians, reality stars, models, media personalities, academics, activists and more have signed the open letter spearheaded by Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton and published Tuesday via public advocacy organization and political action committee MoveOn Political Action….

The letter’s release coincides with National Banned Books Month and comes amid a corresponding public petition from MoveOn, which will connect signatories with future advocacy opportunities around book bans. Such opportunities include methods of support or events related to MoveOn’s Banned Bookmobile, which launched a multicity tour this summer after measures touted and supported by Gov. Ron DeSantis resulted in an increase in banned and restricted books in Florida schools, according to The Associated Press.

In October, the bookmobile will once again distribute free banned books, in addition to hosting events held in conjunction with Crooked Media’s live Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It podcasts, and author readings in Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina as part of a broader “Read Banned Books” initiative….

Here is the full text of the letter from Moveon.org.

As artists, creators, entertainers, and activists, we recognize and are horrified by the threat of censorship in the form of book bans.

This restrictive behavior is not just antithetical to free speech and expression but has a chilling effect on the broader creative field. The government cannot and should not create any interference or dictate what people can produce, write, generate, read, listen to, or consume.

We cannot stress enough how these censorious efforts will not end with book bans. It’s only a matter of time before regressive, suppressive ideologues will shift their focus toward other forms of art and entertainment, to further their attacks and efforts to scapegoat marginalized communities, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks. 

We refuse to remain silent as one creative field is subjected to oppressive bans. As artists, we must band together, because a threat to one form of art is a threat to us all.

We are calling on everyone to join us in pushing back against these book bans, support free and open creative industries—regardless of personal or ideological disagreements—and use their voice at the local level to stop these bans in their school districts. There is power in artistic freedom, and we refuse to allow draconian politicians to take that from us.

(2) CHENGDU VENUE PROGRESS PHOTOS. [Item by Ersatz Culture.] Here from a Weibo post are a couple more photos of the interior of the Chengdu Worldcon venue.  It looks quite different to my eyes from the earlier images, not sure if it’s the lighting, angle, or if they’ve applied some coating – the Google Translated hashtags include “#金molstone# #石 CrystalWallboard#”, whatever those might be.

(3) CORA FINDS A CRACK IN THE FOUNDATION. Cora Buhlert is doing episode reviews of Apple+ series Foundation. (Access all of them here.) The latest is “Foundation travels ‘Long Ago, Not Far Away’ and blows up its own premise”beware spoilers.

…Warning! There will be spoilers under the cut!

“Long Ago, Not Far Away” was a really good episode of Foundation. Well, at least ninety-five percent of it were really good. Unfortunately, the last five minutes or so not only ruined the episode, but the entire series….

(4) TEXAS BOOK RATING LAW BLOCKED. Publishers Weekly tells how “In a Blistering Opinion, Judge Officially Blocks Texas Book Rating Law”.

After nearly three weeks of waiting, federal judge Alan D. Albright delivered a major victory for freedom to read advocates, issuing a substantive 59-page written opinion and order officially blocking Texas’s controversial book rating law, HB 900, from taking effect. The decision comes after Albright orally enjoined the law at an August 31 hearing and signaled his intent to block the law in its entirety.

Signed by Texas governor Greg Abbott on June 12, HB 900 would have required book vendors to review and rate books for sexual content under a vaguely articulated standard as a condition of doing business with Texas public schools. Under the law, books rated “sexually explicit” (if the book includes material deemed “patently offensive” by unspecified community standards) would be banned from Texas schools. Books rated “sexually relevant” (books with any representation of sexual conduct) would have required written parental permission for students to access them. Furthermore, the law would have given the state the ultimate power to change the rating on any book, and would have forced vendors to accept the state’s designated rating as their own, or be barred from selling to Texas public schools….

…“The Court does not dispute that the state has a strong interest in what children are able to learn and access in schools. And the Court surely agrees that children should be protected from obscene content in the school setting,” Albright concluded. “That said, [the law] misses the mark on obscenity with a web of unconstitutionally vague requirements. And the state, in abdicating its responsibility to protect children, forces private individuals and corporations into compliance with an unconstitutional law that violates the First Amendment.”

In defending the law, Texas attorneys had moved to dismiss the suit, arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the law, and that the state has the right to regulate vendors who wish to do business with Texas public schools—essentially asserting that rating books would simply be part of the cost of doing business in Texas. Albright demolished those arguments in his opinion, and harshly criticized the ill-conceived law in denying the motion to dismiss.

At one point, Albright observed that the burden placed on vendors by the law are “so numerous and onerous as to call into question whether the legislature believed any third party could possibly comply.” And he called out state attorneys for their inability to answer basic questions over the course of two hearings. “Generally, the government was confused and unaware of how the law would actually function in practice,” Albright observed, citing “approximately 40 instances during the August 18th hearing (‘Hearing 1’) where the government either did not know how the law would function or did not have an answer as to what the effects of certain provisions were.”…

(5) PREVIEW GREG JEIN COLLECTION. Heritage Auctions takes you “Inside the Sensational Sci-Fi Collection of Model-Making Legend Greg Jein” in this post for The Intelligent Collector.

Greg Jein was a giant among the Hollywood illusionists who created small things to fill big screens. The model- and miniature-maker never left his hometown of Los Angeles. Yet he was never earthbound: Jein spent decades introducing us to aliens who brought their motherships to Earth, and he sent us soaring time and again into space, the final frontier.

Jein, who died at 76 last year, was nominated for Academy Awards and Emmys, hailed as a magician and beloved as a mentor. Among Hollywood’s special effects wizards, Jein was heartbeat and historian, craftsman and custodian. His life’s story might have made the perfect film.

A fan first, foremost and forever, he made models when he was little. By the time Jein reached his mid-30s, he was a twice-Oscar-nominated maker of motherships, airplanes, city blocks and other models for Close Encounters of the Third Kind and 1941, both directed by Steven Spielberg.

“Greg loved what he did, creating things with his hands,” says Jerry Chang, Jein’s first cousin. “He could see in his mind things other people couldn’t.”

On October 14-15, Heritage Auctions is honored to offer the entirety of Greg Jein’s vast and unparalleled assemblage, which includes his prized trove of models and memorabilia and the cherished miniatures he made. The landmark Greg Jein Collection Hollywood Platinum Signature® Auction

There’s also a gallery of “The Most Revealing Behind-the-Scenes Photos From the Greg Jein Collection” at the link.

(6) NEW SOPHIE BURNHAM TRILOGY. DAW Books has acquired Sargassa, the first book in a trilogy from debut author Sophie Burnham. Set in an alternate North America called Roma Sargassa, where the Roman Empire never fell, readers will plunge into a landscape of political intrigue, queer romance, and impending revolution. The acquisition encompassed three books with World English rights and was agented by Maria Napolitano at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Sophie Burnham

…Executive Editor Navah Wolfe expressed immense enthusiasm about the acquisition, stating, “Sophie’s impressive worldbuilding, compelling characters, and insightful social commentary make Sargassa an exceptional addition to DAW’s repertoire. We are immensely excited to introduce their work to the world.”

In the book, North America has always been under Roman rule, and the death of the Imperial Historian thrusts his children, Selah and Arran, into the heart of a conspiracy. An underground rebel faction seeks to obtain the Iveroa Stone and use its secrets to reveal the empire’s obscured past and dethrone its dominion. As Selah works to unlock the Stone’s enigmas, she faces a monumental decision: to uphold or challenge the historical narratives of the Roman rule in Sargassa…

Sophie Burnham is a queer nonbinary novelist and screenwriter, backed by an Acting BFA and a concentration in Playwriting from Syracuse University. Honored with a We Need Diverse Books writing grant and a placement in ScreenCraft’s 2020 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Screenplay competition, Burnham’s debut novel promises to enthrall and enlighten readers. Follow them on Twitter at @sophielburnham.

(7) CON OR BUST FUNDRAISER. The Con or Bust Prize Sweepstakes is selling entries.

Dream Foundry’s Con or Bust program issues cash grants to fans and creatives of color to help connect them with SFFH genre events and resources. Con or Bust sends folks to conventions, workshops, classes, and other networking or professional opportunities. Grants can be used toward travel, registration, food, equipment, and other expenses associated with attending the event.

Con or Bust’s fall fundraiser is in full swing! We have lots of bookish prizes, including a 1 year subscription to Apex Magazine, two $50 Weightless Books gift certificates, libro.fm credits, and more. Oh yeah, and there’s a PS5, too.

Fine print:

The Sweepstakes is open only to the following individuals (each, an “Eligible Participant”):

Individual legal residents of, and physically located within, the United States or Canada, and who are 18 (except 19 in Alabama and Nebraska and 21 in Mississippi) years of age as of the date of entry or of legal age of majority or older in their country of residence…

(8) DOING TIE-IN RESEARCH. David Mack gives a detailed example of the kind of research he needed to do for a Star Trek media tie-in novel. Thread begins here.

(9) FREE READ. The 2023 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award-winning story, “The Hitchhiker on Souls’ Road” by A. A. Nour, is currently available to read at the Baen website.

A. A. Nour with award


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 19, 1922 Damon Knight. Author, editor, critic. Kate Wilhelm who was his wife is also regrettably no longer with us. His 1950 short story, “To Serve Man” was adapted for The Twilight Zone. His first story, “The Itching Hour,” appeared in the Summer 1940 number of Futuria Fantasia which was edited and published by Ray Bradbury.  It’s hard to briefly sum up his amazing genre career but let me note he was a member of the Futurians and a reviewer as well as a writer. Novels of his I’ll single out are Hell’s PavementThe Observers and Special Delivery but don’t think I’m overlooking his brilliant short stories. The Encyclopedia of SF notes that “In 1995, he was granted the SFWA Grand Master Award – which from 2002 became formally known, in his honour, as the Damon Knight Grand Master Award. He was posthumously inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2003.” (Died 2002.)
  • Born September 19, 1928 Adam West. Best known as Batman on that classic Sixties series, he also had a short role in 1964’s Robinson Crusoe on Mars as Colonel Dan McReady. He last played the role of Batman by voicing him in two animated films, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face. He also most excellently voiced The Gray Ghost in an episode of the Kevin Conroy voiced B:TAS, “Beware the Gray Ghost”. (Died 2017.)
  • Born September 19, 1928 Robin Scott Wilson. Founder, with Damon Knight and others, of the Clarion Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop. He edited Clarion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction and Criticism from the Clarion Writers’ WorkshopClarion II and Clarion III. He wrote one genre novel, To the Sound of Freedom (with Richard W. Shryock) and a lot of short fiction. He’s not in stock at all at the usual suspects. (Died 2013.)
  • Born September 19, 1933 David McCallum, 90. His longest running, though not genre, role is pathologist Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS where he appeared in every episode of the first fifteen seasons.  (With series lead Mark Harmon’s departure from the show in the fall of 2021 (Season 19), McCallum became the last remaining member of the original NCIS cast.) Genre wise, he was Illya Nickovitch Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and the British series Sapphire & Steel where he was Steel and Joanna Lumley was Sapphire. He played the lead in a short-lived U.S. version of The Invisible Man. He was Dr. Vance Hendricks on Babylon 5’s “Infection” episode.
  • Born September 19, 1947 Tanith Lee. I hadn’t realized that she wrote more than ninety novels and three hundred short stories in her career. Ninety novels! She even wrote two of the Blake’s 7 episodes as well. I am more fond of her work for children such as The Dragon Hoard and The Unicorn Series than I am of her adult work. She has garnered well-deserved Stoker and World Fantasy Awards for Lifetime Achievement. (Died 2015.)
  • Born September 19, 1952 Laurie R. King, 71. She’s on the Birthday Honors list for the Mary Russell series of historical mysteries, featuring Sherlock Holmes as her mentor and later partner. Hey it’s at least genre adjacent.  She’s also written at least one genre novel, Califia’s Daughters.
  • Born September 19, 1972 N. K. Jemisin, 51. Her most excellent Broken Earth series has made her the only author to have won the Hugo for Best Novel in three consecutive years. Her “Non-Zero Probabilities” was nominated for the Best Short Story losing out to Will McIntosh‘s “Bridesicle” at Aussiecon 4. “Emergency Skin” I’m pleased to note won the Best Novelette Hugo at CoNZealand. Yeah I voted for it. And at Chicon 8 she won a Best Graphic Story or Comic Hugo for Far Sector, written by her, with art by Jamal Campbell.

(11) FANHISTORY ZOOM. The next FANAC Fan History Zoom session will be about “Boston Fandom in the 60s” with Tony Lewis, Leslie Turek and Mike Ward, moderated by Mark Olson. It will happen September 23,2023 at Time: 4PM EDT, 1PM PDT, 9PM BST (UK), Sept 24 at 6AM Melbourne, AU. If you want access, please send a note to [email protected]

(12) COVER REVEAL. [Item by Ben Bird Person.] Theory podcast Acid Horizon announced on Twitter/X the new cover for the upcoming Zer0 Books release Against the Vortex: Degrowth Utopias in the Seventies and Today by Anthony Galluzzo.

(13) LIVE ACTION, NOT ANIMATED. “Disney World forced to close rides after finding wild bear in park” reports Entertainment Weekly.

Disney World guests were just treated to a new kind of Country Bear Jamboree.

EW can confirm that a wild bear was found inside the park Monday morning, prompting the closure of at least 10 attractions inside the Frontierland, Adventureland, and Liberty Square areas. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tells EW that biologists with FWC’s Bear Management Program, as well as FWC Law Enforcement officers, are “working on capturing and relocating the bear,” who they say was likely moving through the park in search of food….

(14) CHANGE THE TITLE, CHANGE THE GENRE. Lincoln Michel had fun with this idea – you can too.

(15) ON THEIR OWN TWO FEET. [Item by Nina Shepardson.] Slate has a list of “The 40 best stand-alone TV episodes that can be watched on their own.” Several are from genre TV shows, including Star Trek, The X-Files, and The Twilight Zone. I’d be interested to hear whether other Filers think Slate picked the right episodes…

Whether we’re living in the age of Peak TV or Trough TV, one thing is clear: There’s too much TV. Thankfully, not every show has to be watched in its entirety. One of the best things about television is its serialized nature, the continuous thread that strings viewers along from one episode to the next. It’s a cliché that prestige television is the new novel precisely because of the way that many dramas develop their characters and plots over many hours of storytelling. But an older virtue of TV is its brevity—the way a scenario can be introduced and resolved within the space of an hour, or half that—and some of the best episodes are less like chapters in a long-running novel than like short stories or short films. These are stand-alone episodes….

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Ersatz Culture, Ben Bird Person, Nina Shepardson, Joe Siclari, 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 Cat Eldridge.]

41 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/19/23 In Pixelated Ink Which Glows Under Starlight


    It kinda sorta works. Regardless, it is funny.

    ETA: It seems I am first!

    ETA: No email notification (yet) for this one. I saw it on Twi(x)tter

  2. (10) Happy birthday to my Batman!

    (14) “The Eves of Seven”
    “The Rat of Stainless Steel”
    “The Romancer of Neuro”

  3. (1) “Spearheaded by LeVar Burton”. Funny how an awful lot of people from the ST universe (and the Federation) have stood up in the real world as well.
    (2) Um, that does not look near done.
    (4) Hoorah! Seriously, these people put together a hand-wave of a law, and have no clue how laws actually work.
    Birthdays, re Adam West. Robinson Crusoe on Mars (which was clearly based on Weinbaum’s Martian Odessey) – I expected a sequel…

    Nah, this can’t be first….

  4. P J Evans: Thanks! I have added that as an update to the item.

    Wait a minute.

    The tweet you link to is about an appeal of a decision against Texas law HB 1811.

    The decision in the news here is about HB 900.

  5. @Mike Glyer–A way to tell subscribers there’s a new post out? What mad, impossible fantasy are spinning?

    (Seeking more pain meds and sleep now)

  6. Also born today: Illustrator Arthur Rackham (19 September 1867 – 6 September 1939) — I’m pretty sure my first encounter with him was his illustrations for Charles & Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare.

  7. Regarding book bans:

    They will ultimately be held unconstitutional, but only after the elections. Besides, with AI, online sales, and pirating content, the cat is already out of the bag. ANYONE can get anything to read online.

    I think it’s highly ironic that the controversial content they’re claiming of LGBTQ+etc (and H is also part of the alphabet!) content exists in one book they’re afraid to ban, as conservatives would be up in arms, THE BIBLE!

    With regard to David McCallum, I see someone beat me to “The Sixth Finger” episode of the original Outer Limits. One of my favorite series of his was “The Invisible Man.” It was one of the best.

  8. Of the Left Hand, and of Darkness

    Banning smut in books is holier than thou theater in a world of Google and porn sites. Books are out of their league in the sex game.

  9. @Elusis

    I use The Old Reader for my RSS feeds. It doesn’t provide instantaneous notification, but it is very good. Someone even ported it over to an iOS app. It’s worth the annual subscription (to me) to remove the ads.

    @Carl Andor

    I think it’s highly ironic that the controversial content they’re claiming of LGBTQ+etc (and H is also part of the alphabet!) content exists in one book they’re afraid to ban, as conservatives would be up in arms, THE BIBLE!

    And if government officials (i.e. public school teachers) were handing out Bibles to students in school and then using them as source material for class room activities, people would be correctly outraged.

    If those same teachers were baptizing children and telling them to keep it secret from their parents, then the same thing would apply.

    4) FTR, I agree that the Texas law is nuts.

    Nothing succeeds like undress – Dorothy Parker (12 years late)

  10. Elusis on September 19, 2023 at 11:43 pm said:

    Do folks not use an RSS reader like Feedly, in order to see new posts as they come out?

    Some of us do. (Points to self.)

  11. 2) Looks like the Rebel base on Hoth at the beginning of ‘Empire Strikes Back’, which is ironic.

    10) I dunno, considering some of the tech they used in various episodes, I’d argue that NCIS is at least genre-adjacent.

  12. (1) If only we had something like the all-powerful 2nd Amendment, only for books and ideas and speech and stuff like that.

    (4) See above.

    (10) In hindsight, DAW did the world a service by discovering Tanith Lee and publishing so many of her earlier novels. I can all too easily imagine a world in which those went unwritten or unpublished.

  13. Jim Janney:

    It’s called “The First Amendment.”

    It has to hit the high courts to be done with. Every person interested in books has a stake in this one.

  14. @Jim Janney
    “(1) If only we had something like the all-powerful 2nd Amendment, only for books and ideas and speech and stuff like that.”

    You don’t want books regulated the same way the 2nd Amendment allows the regulation of guns. Guns have to be labeled (with caliber and serial number), so labeling books would be okay. You need a permit to have guns in some places — do you want to have to get the government’s permission to buy a copy of Fahrenheit 451? Minors can’t buy guns; so all books would have to be purchased by parents or other adults. You wouldn’t be allowed to take your books into courthouses. In some states, you couldn’t openly carry your books — you’d have to wrap them up in locked cases, so no walking around while reading. If a spouse or policeman was concerned that you might read a dangerous idea in a book, he or she could get a judge to declare that your books must be confiscated until a hearing was held that proved you were not a risk. Booksellers would have to keep detailed records on customers and what books they bought, and would have to allow the Book Police to come and inspect the records at any time. When you wanted to buy a book, the seller would have to call the FBI and make sure it was legal for you to do so; ideally you’d get an answer more or less instantaneously, but it mike take 2-3 days.

  15. @bill

    You don’t want books regulated the same way the 2nd Amendment allows the regulation of guns.


    Also, if adults would just exercise a little bit of discretion and not hand books presenting adult content to children, this wouldn’t be an issue.

    It has been said that the sin of ingratitude is more serious than the sin of revenge. With revenge, we return evil for evil, but with ingratitude, we return evil for good. – W. Eugene Hansen

  16. @Bill: I’m pleased that you agree that the 2nd Amendment allows those restrictions. Many politicians do not and are working to appoint judges who will agree with them. There are already enough loopholes that anyone who wants a gun, or a collection, can easily get one. And according to Clarence Thomas, only restrictions that existed in the early 19th century are allowed.

  17. @Jim Janney — all I agree to is that this is how the law currently stands. And I expect that after the low-hanging fruit has been litigated, some of the restrictions I mention above will fall in light of Bruen (and they should). The post was not meant to be a statement of what I think is appropriate, just a juxtaposition of how restrictive “shall not be infringed” (2nd Amend.) is currently taken to be, compared to how permissive “Congress shall make no law” (1st Amend.) is.

  18. Not allowing children to read books with adult content? That’s me at the age of 6 reading the adult* books in the library. Don’t I have the right to read whatever I want? My parents had no issues at all with what I wanted to read, why do you want to interfere?

    A Leviathan is Awake
    All the Systems of Red

    *Adult as in “not the children’s section”. Libraries back then didn’t have teen or any other age groups — it was children’s and adults, and nothing else. Sure, things have changed in 50+ years, but the freedom of children to read is of paramount importance.

  19. @Ginger

    *Adult as in “not the children’s section”.

    Nope. “Adult” as in graphically depicting sexual acts in words and images. If it would be at home in the Penthouse “letters” section or in “Heavy Metal” magazine, then it should not be included in curricula developed for public school children.

    If parents want their children to have those materials, then they are free to provide them outside of public school funding. Just the same as parents wanting to teach religion to their children – they can do it without public funding.

    Like you (and like most enthusiastic genre fans, I think), I read widely and left the “children’s library” stuff behind early on.

    They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning. – Clint Eastwood

  20. @Ginger: Just as the kulaks caused Stalin’s abuses by their offensive successes, people who take personal responsibility in their (and their childrens’) reading habits are responsible for the State’s restrictive laws. If only people had been more compliant with the opinions of their neighbors (and of uninvolved people hundreds of miles away), and didn’t dare be tall poppies, the State would haven’t have been forced to turn libraries into punishment centers. Learn to confirm.

    “There must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws – always for the other fellow. . . . not one of these people said ‘Please pass this so I won’t be able to do something I know I should stop’ . . . always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them for their own good.”

  21. @Dann665–The banned books include such shockingly pornographic works as Larry the Farting Leprechaun,, a rhyming book for small children because it uses the word fart, and They Called Themselves the K.K.K.:The Birth of an American Terrorist Group, because it refers to the KKK as terrorists. Llano County, Texas was trying to ban them from, not just the schools, but from the county library system.

    The book banners claimed it was a list of “pornographic” books, yes. Sadly for your certainty about the appropriateness of this, none of their list is pornographic. They’re just books that offend the far right, either by stating facts the far right considers politically unacceptable (yes, the KKK is a racist terrorist organization, not a group of noble freedom fighters), or by using the fact that young children find farting hilarious to help them find reading fun. Or, in other cases, depicting, not gay sex, but gay characters, living their lives and sometimes encountering bigots.

    Texas county weighs closing local library after federal judge orders banned books returned to circulation

  22. “ Also, if adults would just exercise a little bit of discretion and not hand books presenting adult content to children, this wouldn’t be an issue.”

    Gee, Dann, like the Texas teacher who just got fired for teaching The Diary of Anne Frank? So the Holocaust is pornographic now.

    For those who don’t keep up with such things, a group of parents used Utah law to get the Bible banned from school libraries. A doubtless right-thinking other group quickly got it un-banned.

  23. I use Feedly, but I don’t usually bother with it for this site — I just check in on it a few times a day. I find Feedly more useful for sites that update less regularly. (I couldn’t live without it for something like The Order of the Stick.)

    14) Change the genre:
    The Dune of
    A Foundation for

    ….hmm, am I doing it wrong?

  24. @David Goldfarb, you just need to switch up the order a bit:
    Of the Dune
    For a Foundation

    A War of Stars….

    I’m in the check the site at least once a day camp, and have tweaked the display so I know if links (and thus thread updates) have been read.

  25. @Lis Carey — Dann665 is pretty clear that he thinks that sexually explicit books shouldn’t be routinely placed in school libraries. You respond with books that aren’t explicitly sexual, and call them pornographic. Like you’ve done with me many times, you set up a straw man and knock it down, instead of responding to the words actually written.

    Just to be clear — do you believe that some books, because of their content, are not appropriate for school libraries? Or that it is okay to place sexually explicit books on library shelves in front of 13-14 year olds? Which is it?

    @Msb “like the Texas teacher who just got fired for teaching The Diary of Anne Frank?”
    If you’re going to bring that up, at least be accurate. The book that was taught was not the abridged version that we all read growing up. It was a graphic-novel adaptation of the unabridged version, which includes some fairly explicit material (Otto Frank, Anne’s father, never wanted this material to be published, and it was not done so until after he died). This version was not approved by the district, and the teacher made students (8th graders; 13 years old) read aloud passages including one talking about girls feeling each other’s breasts.

  26. @bill–No, Dann was pretty clear that there’s no problem with the current book banning craze because they’re only banning sexually explicit books and only from school libraries.

    The book banners aren’t banning only sexually explicit books. I linked to a specific case, though there are many others, of a county in Texas trying to from the public library, not the school libraries, books for young children that use the word “fart,” books on American history that, for instance, tell the truth about the KKK rather than depicting those terrorists as heroes, and factual books, not pornography, on the human body, aimed at pubescent kids who do have a genuine need for that information, especially if they’re not getting it at home or in school.

    It’s the book banners who describe those books as “pornographic,” either to distract people from what’s actually on the list, or because they have porridge for brains.

    When you say that I described them as pornographic, either you are showing severe reading comprehension difficulties, or you are telling an intentional untruth about me.

    As for Anne Frank’s diary–Anne, not Otto, was the author, and it is her account of her experiences during her two years in hiding. Two years in which she was a developing young woman, not a prepubescent child.

    Of course the girls explored their bodies. This. Is. Normal.

    Yeah, Otto Frank was probably Shocked. He was her father, and in his forties, and probably harbored very conventional thoughts about his Innocent Little Girl.

    And, heck, in the 1940s and 50s, maybe it would have distracted from the rest of her diary. Maybe.

    But it’s not the 1950s anymore, and Otto Frank has been dead for a bit over 40 years. The whole book is valuable for adolescent readers, and no Otto does not get eternal veto power over it just because he was her father. It’s her diary, not his. Normal adolescent girls today won’t be scandalized or corrupted by it. The only people who are scandalized by it today are the same people who are scandalized by calling the KKK a terrorist organization.

  27. @Lis Carey
    “Dann was pretty clear that there’s no problem with the current book banning craze” Dann said the Texas law was nuts. “because they’re only banning sexually explicit books and only from school libraries.”
    No, this is not what Dann said. If it was you could have quoted him. Once again, you make up stuff and go from there.

    “When you say that I described them [i.e., non-sexual books] as pornographic, either you are showing severe reading comprehension difficulties, or you are telling an intentional untruth about me.”

    Holy cow, Lis — did you read your own post? You said (direct quote, you can see it above): “The banned books include such shockingly pornographic works as Larry the Farting Leprechaun,,” You specifically called it “pornographic”. Now I know you were being sarcastic, but those are your words.

    Re: the Anne Frank book. You and I can agree that the book is fine for some 8th graders. But it’s not appropriate for all 8th graders, and the racier parts shouldn’t be read aloud in class. If my son had come home at age 13 and said he’d been asked to read aloud the passage about Anne’s wanting to see her friend’s breasts, and her desire to kiss her, or her description of her clitoris, yes, I’d be mad as hell and would probably want to see the teacher removed from the classroom. Not because the material is pornographic, but because it’s inappropriate for an 8th grade class as a whole, and it serves no pedagogical purpose to highlight these passages. If the teacher does not realize this, he or she is too stupid to be in charge of a group of pupils. The lessons that should be taught to middle schoolers from the Diary of Anne Frank can be taught just as well without the sexual parts. A teacher who instead focuses on sexualizing 8th graders in lieu of that is not a good teacher.

    ” in the 1940s and 50s, maybe it would have distracted from the rest of her diary.” It’s pretty obvious to every one except you that it distracts from the rest of the diary in 2023.

    “Otto does not get eternal veto power over it” No, but parents do get veto power over material like this being taught to their kids as it was in Texas.

    I’ll ask again, Lis, is there any material that you would not approve of being put into an 8th grader’s library? or is it “anything goes”?

  28. @bill–

    Holy cow, Lis — did you read your own post? You said (direct quote, you can see it above): “The banned books include such shockingly pornographic works as Larry the Farting Leprechaun,,” You specifically called it “pornographic”. Now I know you were being sarcastic, but those are your words.

    So, you knew darned well I wasn’t saying those books were pornographic, but that the list makers were doing so dishonestly, and just straight up lied. Good to know.

    Intentionally misrepresenting someone’s position in order to gain a fake rhetorical advantage isn’t the brilliant rhetorical tactic you think it is.

    “Otto does not get eternal veto power over it” No, but parents do get veto power over material like this being taught to their kids as it was in Texas.

    So why do you present his opinion in his lifetime, a viewpoint that’s a product of a significantly earlier period, as relevant to the current discussion?

    I’ll ask again, Lis, is there any material that you would not approve of being put into an 8th grader’s library? or is it “anything goes”?

    Yeah, actual pornography, and material actually beyond the capacity of the age group it’s being presented to shouldn’t be used. And no, that doesn’t mean “in the minds of parents suffering from the delusion they’ve so far successfully sheltered their little darlings from stuff they’re hearing from their classmates.

    Also, none of that is a valid argument for banning that material from the public library, which is what Llano County, TX, was trying to do.

    Remember (though you’d like everyone to forget), a big part of my point was that isn’t, as Dann falsely claimed, only about what materials are used in the schools. It’s also about the public libraries, and in some places, even bookstores.

  29. @bill

    Thank you.

    @Lis Carey

    One quick thing. I have not falsely claimed anything. My consistent position is that there are some materials that are inappropriate for certain ages in public schools. In a very few cases, there are materials that do not belong in public schools, period. The materials in question are sexually graphic. To the best of my knowledge, they do not involve fanciful farting characters or calling the Klan a terrorist organization.

    You have used misrepresentations of my positions on this topic and coupled that with your own biases to fabricate a golem we could call “mythic Dann”. Let me know when you want to have a conversation with “actual Dann” and I’m in.

    Hopefully there will be another topic at some time in the future where you might be interested in what actual Dann has to offer.

    A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. – Thomas Jefferson

  30. @Dann665–In real life, the materials being pulled and banned from school libraries are not pornographic or age-inappropriate for the age groups they’re being used for. And the young children’s silly fart books, as well as the ones telling the truth about the history of racism and racist conflict in this country, including calling the KKK a terrorist organization, are popular targets.

    The book banners are also going after public libraries, and Llano, TX isn’t the only jurisdiction to threaten to completely defund their public library system if they can’t ban the books they don’t want people to read. It’s an outright censorship campaign, aimed at block access for everyone to anything that challenges the raving right’s notions of appropriateness and correct thinking.

    Maybe you should consider not defending them, especially on the specious grounds that it’s only about keeping pornography out of the schools.

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