Baby Be-Bop by Francesca Lia Block

30 09 2009


Few things chap my ass more than censorship and book banning – especially in libraries.  The library is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world and has been since I was a child.  I was raised in a fairly religious (fairly = crazy) house and there were plenty of topics my mother did not want me to read about.  You know what she did?  She didn’t let me check out books on those topics.  She, you know, parented me.  I remember checking out a book called Sand Witch when I was probably 8 – and didn’t realize that “Sand Witch” was completely different from “sandwich” (why I wanted to read a book about sandwiches is beyond me).  Magic is the Devil and when my mom looked at what I’d gotten from the library, she made me return it.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy – my introduction into the secular world was pushed back a couple of years.  The fact that these dimwitted fucktards can’t handle that much responsibility with their own children is not my damn problem. How dare they force their backwards hate filled views on a PUBLIC INSTITUTION.  FOR SHAME.

One of the books these jackasses want burned (yes, burned) is Baby Be-Bop by Francesca Lia Block.  I read this in little more than an hour after borrowing it from my public library and it damn near broke my heart.  The main character is Dirk, a teenager being raised by his grandmother in LA.  He’s always known that he was different and has spent his life trying to fit in – until he meets Pup (no, that name is never explained) and falls in love.  The problem is that Pup is a boy – so Dirk can’t tell him, or anyone, his true feelings.  The story follows Dirk’s journey from fear to self-loathing to self-destruction and – finally – to the realization that he is loved and accepted no matter who he wants to kiss.  Reading about his anguish and anxiety over the fact that he’s gay brought tears to my eyes more than once.  And knowing that there are bigots hateful enough to deny children and teens the right to read a book that may help them work through their own fear and depression fills me with rage.

So, I ask that you see if your local library has a copy of Baby Be-Bop.  Or And Tango Makes Three – the true story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that adopt an egg – and the most contested book in the country today.  Or one of the other dozens of books that have the crazies up in arms.  If they do, check it out.  Or let your library know you appreciate them making it available to the public.  Or go here and see if there is something else you’d like to do to speak out against censorship.  Because there’s a friggin’ reason that freedom of speech is in the FIRST Amendment.




One response

7 10 2009

Funny you wrote this as just last night on our local news we had a report on banning books. A local man was up in arms over the fact that his son was reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower. What tipped him off that this book was inappropriate for his high school aged son? The fact that his kid was actually reading a book the school had assigned.

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