Channel 25 gives angry mouth-breathing mom air-time to talk book-banning…
11:00 AM EDT on August 31, 2022
Earlier this month, we told you about the holier-than-thou, very successful crusade by future Oklahoma State School Superintendent Ryan Walters to get a graphic novel about the social struggles of a non-binary teen trying to navigate our chaotic world banned from Tulsa Public Schools.
Even though nobody in Oklahoma really knew the book existed, much less that it was collecting dust in a library, the right-wing types latched onto the issue, igniting both sides of today's ye old culture war debate.
For example, as a response to Walter's book banning initiative, a rebellious Norman High School English teacher shared the QR code for the Brooklyn Public Library's "Books Unbanned" website that's been making the rounds on the left-wing social media echo chamber.
I guess a teacher informing students there's a place they can find banned books that students will likely never read didn't set too well with the stodgy, sanctimonious, controlling, conservatives who run Norman Public Schools. They placed the teacher on leave, which prompted her to resign.
Naturally, that story made the national news and caused both sides of today's cultural civil war to lose their shit, inspiring even regular, every day, mouth-breathing, attention-seekers to take up communication arms and grandstand on the topic.
For example, people like Laney Dicksion – a local dog groomer with a last name so pornographic by conservative standards that she shouldn't be allowed within a 1,000-feet of a school.
I guess Laney's kid was in the classroom where the QR code was shared.
It inspired her to contact Channel 25 claiming she innocently scanned the QR code that her kid brought home from school, saw Gender Queer was available, and then bought it. She was – surprise, surprise – outraged by what she saw inside and wanted to talk to the news about it.
Although Laney comes across as nothing more than a right-wing plant, and the backstory on how she obtained the book was far-fetched and obviously contrived, Fox 25 reporter David Chasanov saw ratings and clicks dangling in the air and quickly rushed to interview her for a story.
This was the result:
Wow! How's she able to both breathe through her mouth and talk at the same time?! Get that woman on America's Got Talent! That's an impressive skill that no book at the library can teach!
Yep, the teacher at the center of the controversy should face criminal charges for sharing a QR code to a library website, says the lady who washes her hair with dog shampoo. Obviously, she makes a great point and OSBI agents should be swooping down on the teacher's house as we speak.
Anyway, I kind of want to scold David Chasanov for giving this lady with extreme views that, sadly, most Oklahomans hold dear, attention that she doesn't deserve, but A) I'm kind of doing the same thing, just in a different way, and B) with Channel 25 being a Sinclair-owned station, he's probably just doing the bidding of his puppet masters!
Also, David saved a little face by filing a follow-up where he spoke to rational, well-reasoned, stereotypical liberal characters who actually know how to read...
Although I'm always going to be anti-book banning, I have middle-of-the-road thoughts on all this...
The book that inspired me to become a writer, and also realize that most of the world is made up of goddam phonies, is one of the most frequently banned books in history – The Catcher in the Rye.
When I read it as a lonely and confused 8th grader, it literally changed the trajectory of my life, and – for better or for worse – my understanding of the world. It felt like there was someone out there speaking to me, going through the same bullshit that I was.
If Gender Queer or some other banned book can do the same thing for some other teen going through their own personal issues and struggles, that's great! Even if there's a tame-by-Google-search-results-standards graphic illustration or two inside, read away!
That being said, I didn't stumble across The Catcher in the Rye at a public school library. It wasn't assigned reading for an English class. The book was given to me by my Uncle Phil (RIP) – a.k.a. the guy who brought Strawberry Newports to the OKC Arts Festival – and I'll always be thankful to him for it.
Maybe – just maybe – that's the best way for books that half of our society deems controversial should be shared?
Although Gender Queer is fairly innocuous – and right-wing culture war sycophants who want to defund public education are taking individual illustrations out-of-context to manufacture controversy that doesn't affect them or their children – I can see why some close-minded, paranoid mouth-breathers may not want their kids to have the ability access the book at a public school.
So if you know of a kid or even adult who should read it, buy them a copy. Or better yet, do what Summer Boismier – the Norman teacher at the center of the controversy did – and give them the QR code below:
Anyway, I guess I'll wrap this up and patiently wait for the next dust-up in today's culture wars to cover. If you want to read a thoughtful, well-written description of Gender Queer, and why it's important, check out this dude's Facebook post.
Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.
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