So, the school board of Republic, MO, made up of 4 adults of marginal intelligence, have brilliantly decided to ban Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse 5” and Sarah Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer” from the high school reading curriculum and library respectively.
I suppose they will do, doodily do, doodily do, doodily do what they must, muddily must, muddily must, muddily must, muddily do, muddily do, muddily do, muddily do, until we bust, bodily bust, bodily bust, bodily bust…
In what sounds like a chapter in a Vonnegut novel, the hilariously named Wesley Scroggins (really? seriously?), a business professor at Missouri State University, noted that Vonnegut’s “5” contained enough profanity to “make a sailor blush,” and also let off this gem, no doubt while twirling his waxed villain mustache:
“In this book, drunken teens also end up on the beach, where they use their condoms to have sex.”
You hear that? They used their condoms. Scroggins, naturally clutching his pearls and fanning away the vapors from reading a fictional account of teenagers doing things that teenagers so, albeit more cautiously and safely, simply cannot believe how such smut is peddaled through this school district.
In the following chapter of this absurdity playbook, it turns out that only one of the 4 school board officials have actually read either book.
I mean, you guys don’t need to me lay out why this is silly.
They just banned a book that is known by the title: Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death, by Kurt Vonnegut, A Fourth-Generation German-American Now Living in Easy Circumstances on Cape Cod [and Smoking Too Much], Who, as an American Infantry Scout Hors de Combat, as a Prisoner of War, Witnessed the Fire Bombing of Dresden, Germany, ‘The Florence of the Elbe,’ a Long Time Ago, and Survived to Tell the Tale. This is a Novel Somewhat in the Telegraphic Schizophrenic Manner of Tales of the Planet Tralfamadore, Where the Flying Saucers Come From. Peace.
They banned a book who’s main character is a nihilistic optomatrist who gets captured in WWII by the Tralfamadorians, an alien race that look like like upright toilet plungers with a hand at the top, in which is set a single, green eye. They reveal that the universe will be accidentally destroyed by one of their testpilots.
They banned a book by an absurdity aficionado, a satirical master whose work often centers around the idea that the vast majority of people in the world are fucking morons and we just have to maneuver around them.
As for Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer”, which I have never read, I will let the author speak for herself:
“Not every teen who has sex or experiments with drinking feels remorseful about it. Not every teen who has sex gets pregnant, gets someone pregnant, or contracts an STD. Not every teen who has sex does so while in a serious relationship. Not every teen who has sex outside of a relationship feels guilty, shameful, or regretful later on. And you can ban my books from every damn district in the country — I’m still not going to write to send messages or make teens feel guilty because they’ve made choices that some people want to pretend don’t exist…I’ll never be ashamed of my choice to write about real issues.”
Sing it, sister.
No doubt, Kilgore Trout finds this all utterly bizarre. So it goes.