Book Banning

Yesterday I told you in this post about how a Florida middle school principal lost her job because a few parents were upset when their little darlings were exposed to the penis of David in Michelangelo’s classic sculpture.

Today I’m giving you an update on book banning n America, something that Florida also seems to be at the forefront of.

According to a new report from the American Library Association (ALA), attempted book bans and restrictions at school and public libraries continue to surge, setting a record in 2022. The vast majority of complaints have come from conservatives, directed at works with LGBT or racial themes.

More than 1,200 challenges were compiled by the association in 2022, nearly double the then-record total from 2021 and by far the most since the ALA began keeping data 20 years ago.

Last year, more than 2,500 different book titles were objected to, compared to 1,858 in 2021 and just 566 in 2019. In numerous cases, hundreds of books were challenged in a single complaint. Of the reported book challenges, 58% targeted books and materials in school libraries, classroom libraries, or school curricula; 41% of book challenges targeted materials in public libraries.

The report not only documented the growing number of challenges, but also their changing nature. A few years ago, complaints usually arose with parents and other community members and referred to an individual book. Now, the requests are often for multiple removals, and organized by national groups such as the conservative Moms for Liberty, which has a mission of “unifying, educating, and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”

Librarians around the country have told of being harassed and threatened with violence or legal action by those individuals and groups seeking to remove a book from a library’s collection so that no one else can read it. ALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada said, “Every day professional librarians sit down with parents to thoughtfully determine what reading material is best suited for their child’s needs. Now, many library workers face threats to their employment, their personal safety, and in some cases, threats of prosecution for providing books to youth their parents don’t want them to read.

Book bannings and categorizing classic works of art to be pornographic. This is conservative America in 2023, I’m afraid.

MLMM Story Starter — Climbing the Corporate Ladder

She gritted her teeth and began the climb up the corporate ladder, determined to succeed no matter what obstacles came her way. Liz spent long hours in the office, taking on new responsibilities and challenges with every step. And, despite the tough competition and cutthroat environment, she held her ground and continued to work hard, never giving up on her dream of reaching the top.

Liz slowly rose through the ranks, gaining the respect and admiration of her colleagues and superiors. Her dedication and perseverance paid off, and she was soon offered a promotion to a higher position.

Unfortunately, all it took was one misstep for Liz to tumble back down. She was shaken, but as mortifying as her fall was, she was not one the throw in the towel. She picked herself up, dusted her damaged pride off, and started over. Learning a valuable lesson, she vowed that this time failure was not an option. This time Liz was ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix Story Starter, where the opening line is, “She gritted her teeth and began the climb.” Image credit: AI ART.

Weekend Writing Prompt — Junk Mail

I used to look forward to the mailman’s arrival

To the handwritten letters and postcards from friends

But now my mail is mostly just flyers, brochures, and bills

All but the bills go right into the trash

(Exactly 37 words)

Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where the word is “mail” in exactly 37 words.

SoCS — Emptying

For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has given us “the last thing you emptied.” She wants us to think of the last thing we emptied or something we empty often and use it as our response to this prompt.

I consider you to be a friend so I’m going to tell you something that I haven’t told anyone else. I’m trusting you to keep this between us. Do we have a deal? Great.

I know I shared with you in this post a malady I suffer from, Old Man’s Syndrome (OMS). It’s an affliction that usually starts to manifest itself when men enter their sixties and begin to feel the aches, pains, and indignities that come with old age. It also means not being able to sleep through an entire night without having to get up to pee.

My OMS occurs virtually every night somewhere between 2 and 5 a.m. That’s when I wake up and have no option but to get out of bed to go pee. It doesn’t matter whether I stop drinking fluids right at dinnertime or continue to imbibe until just before bedtime. At some point during the night I have to take a leak.

But again, you know all that about me. And you also know that just over two months ago I fell off a ladder and broke my hip. I had to have an emergency partial hip replacement surgery and am recuperating from it as we speak.

But you didn’t know what I’m about to tell you, and I’m only telling you this because Linda asked me to. You see, I still need a walker to get around. And that includes getting from my bed to my bathroom when my nightly need to pee occurs. Sitting up, getting out of bed, reaching for my walker, and half rolling, half limping from bed to bathroom while half asleep, doing my business, and then half rolling, half limping, and getting back into bed is a bit of an ordeal.

In order to avoid that hassle — I can’t believe I’m actually telling you this — I keep a men’s urinal bottle like the one pictured below, at my bedside.

When I wake up and have to pee, rather than struggling with the walker to get up and go to the bathroom, I reach over and grab the men’s urinal bottle, strategically position it between my legs, position my thingie at the wide mouth of the bottle, and let it flow.

I know it sounds gross, but I’ll continue to do this until I can get out of bed and simply walk to the bathroom and pee without having to use my walker.

When it’s time to wake up in the morning, I get my walker, grab my men’s urinal bottle, and then half roll, half limp to the bathroom, and empty out the bottle of nocturnal piss into the toilet. Then, of course, I rinse out the bottle.

Remember, you promised not to tell any one, so let’s keep this confession between just the two of us, right?

FOWC with Fandango — Jovial


It’s March 25, 2023. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “jovial.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.