Byt now most of you have heard the story about the librarians censoring the children;s book that features the word scrotum. If you have not, here is a link.
At anyu rate, in the student newspaper today, a guest columnist had a piece titled:
Librarian Censorship of Scrotum is Just Nuts
How dare we tell our children the truth! And, how dare we use real words to tell that truth!
Next up: “Ballsy Activists Fight ‘Scrotum’ Censorship”
The kid who wrote that is probably going to be expelled for it.
But that’s OK. The Onion will probably hire him.
Here’s my other recent favorite story about those times when you have to put your balls to the wall.
Those librarians should be sacked.
That’s one hairy predickament…
This is almost as bad as when they stripped the “penis breath” line from E.T.
Indeed. I bet if the author had used some cutesy euphemism, it wouldn’t have even raised an eyebrow.
You mean like, “…when he saw a rattlesnake on the passenger seat biting his dog Roy, on his privates”?
I think “biting his dog Roy in the jewels” might have been acceptable (but who knows with the bluenoses?) and could have led to an interesting kid’s interpretation and story, but it would have been a different story. “Nutsack” not so much.
My cup runneth over.
Osama Von McIntyre
Well, “nutsack” has kind of a cute feel to it…
I would like to know what that thoughtful librarian is doing about the Lake Titicaca problem. It is far worse than the scrotum scourge.
i wonder if this is being discussed at scrotator today.
this is right up there with the article I read through the AP’s middle east section which had the headline about the saudi’s offering aid for “reformed camel jockeys”.
I admire anyone who has the balls to write a title like that. :D
Also, books about
DickPenis Van DykeLesbian.
How dare they! I don’t know how I would have survived my childhood without being read books like “The Lion, the Witch, and the Scrotum”, “Lord of the Scrotum” and “10,000 Scrotums Under the Sea”.
I don’t know what all the fuss is about. It seems as if those upstanding librarians have licked the scrotum problem.
I personally would like to thank these librarians for tackling this scrotum issue with both hands. Even though they may be taking one on the chin in the public arena, I firmly believe each of them deserves a gift of gratitude. Perhaps a pearl necklace?
Some of these posts are just, well, inscrotable.
I was thinking more of a tea bag.
This is Ridickulous. Really, how much of a dick would you have to be to censor the word ‘scrotum’–and how much of a pussy would you have to be to be offended by it in the first place?
The sight of pre-teen boys should not be sullied by the medical names for their own body parts. How can we maintain their purity otherwise?
We’re dicks! We’re reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don’t like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn’t appropriate – and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves… because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don’t know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don’t let us fuck this asshole, we’re going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!
yet another jeff
“War Over! Balls Thoroughly Licked!”
I love to hang with you guys.
*boils some water*
Tea bag anyone?
My personal favorite headline: Trojans Come From Behind Against Beavers.
This conversation is complete bollocks.
“You’re going to meet with the Balls’ mysterious leaders, the Brain Balls. They’ve got a lot of brains, and they’ve got a lot of…chutzpah.”
“These Balls are making me testy!”
Oooh, nice one. Obviously, though, you’ve never read “Squad helps dog bite victim,” a collection of newspaper headlines with double entendres, misplaced modifiers, and participles that really needed to be firmly attached but weren’t. Looking it up for this comment, I found this list, which probably stole most of them from that book. Of many good choices, some of which are surprisingly unperverted, I think my favorite is “Prostitutes appeal to Pope.”
Yes, but is it thoroughly licked?
What do I have to do to get one of those? Damn, I keep asking for one.
OMG, that’s real!
Don’t be so testy, people will think you’re nuts.
The way those librarians are carrying on you’d think someone tried to steal their family jewels. I think they’ve got a wild hair. They should try this fine product.
Years ago the Cleveland Public Schools had a superintendent named Frederick Holliday. He was a troubled man, and one day (on a Saturday, when no students were at the building) he drove to one of the high schools in the district and shot himself to death.
A few days later the Cleveland State University student newspaper ran a story about the suicide, with this headline:
DEATH TAKES A HOLLIDAY
There was a miniature uproar about it, but I thought (and think) it was kind of funny. Not the suicide, but the headline.
Now that’s clever headline writing. But I’m sure they’ll nail his balls to the walls. Hehehe.
Um, I’m a librarian.
When I heard about this book, and when I heard that it was written by another librarian, well… I admit I shook my head in disappointment.
Look, we deal with challenges to books on a daily basis. One of the rules we enforce to the best of our ability is Intellectual Freedom as defined by the ALA. The deal is, we have to balance that with Community Standards, of putting materials on the shelf that are not offensive to the reasonable person (unreasonable people, btw, are the nabobs who keep challenging stuff like Harry Potter and, I bleep you not, Horton Hears A Who. But I digress).
The problem is the word ‘scrotum’ while technically accurate isn’t one used in everyday conversation, and can be considered offensive to a reasonable person. There were, are, better words to use that wouldn’t be as offensive.
I support Intellectual Freedom. I support anyone’s right to write what they want and read what they want (I bite my tongue when I see people checking out books by authors I *know* are partisan evil hacks). But there has to be a cutoff point between freedom and common decency. That writer should have found a better word to use than ‘Scrotum’.
I am reminded of a movie I recently watched called “Kotch” with Walter Matthau, where he goes to a prenatal class with a young lady he’s taken an interest in helping, and he says to the lady showing the movie: “I’m interested in knowing why you call it a womb… instead of a uterus”.
Let me get this straight. The medically correct term for that body part is “offensive to a reasonable person”?
I call shenanigans. I guess when you’re from the same state as MacacaMan and your 11 year olds are using chewing tobaccy, “scrotum” is offensive.
Well, it’s just not a very pretty word. I’m sure they’d have a much harder time getting rid of “vulva” and “vagina” simply because of that magical “V” sound that reminds someone of velvet when it’s spoken.
Jesus (NMYM). The correct term for a body part is “offensive” in your world?
Tell me, in 20 years, figuring likely advances in Net technology and resources, why would we need libraries?
We won’t. And after this, I hope it doesn’t take 20 years. All that money to lock up the books and the information, and put it in the hands of people who find the names of body parts “offensive.”
I’m sorry, how does that add value, again?
Good fucking lord.
Oh, Libraries Schmibraries, between Wikipedia and Conservapedia, we’ll have all the knowledge we need!
Or Velvetta. Cheese.
Please don’t mess with Aqua Velva.
It’s just a beautiful thing. A wet Velva.
Nice list, Cyrus.
Hmmmm, never realized the sexual connotation before.
ROTFLMAO, I shouldn’t laugh, but that headline is just hilarious.
The name “Velva” is something of a mystery. It was a farily common girl’s name in the midwest many years ago. It’s the name of a town in North Dakota, which was the birthplace of Eric Sevareid, a man I consider to have been the best journalist this country ever produced.
But the origin of the name is apparently unknown.
Yes, but it’s access that interests me. We could have all the knowledge of the universe in a box. But unless the box is wired to the people, it’s just another opportunity for abuse and manipulation.
I don’t see how libraries add value in the wired age, except as repositories, vaults.
I was funnin’ ya TZ, you took me seriously?
Hmmmm, are you feeling okay tonight?
Way back in the late sixties, the public schools in this small, midwestern city of mine decided that they would add Harper Lee’s marvelous TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD to the 9th grade English curriculum. A very prominent, very powerful, very vocal citizens’ group protested this move on the grounds that the language and subject matter of the book was too advanced for 9th graders and, indeed, for anyone below college-age. There was quite a nice little brouhaha over the whole thing with the media, our local colleges and university, and, of course, local churches all getting into the act.
The whole controversy went up in smoke, however, when one reporter asked one simple question of the spokesperson for the citizens’ group that objected to the book in the first place. That one question? HAVE YOU READ THE BOOK? Turns out no one in the citizens’ group had actually read the book. They had just “heard things” about it.
So, I have one question for the folks who object to the word scrotum: Have you read the book? If you haven’t, shut up already!
Personally, I’m a fan of archive.org–I was browsing through a book there the other day that was over 200 years old. Of course, they have older books in their collection, but my Latin isn’t that good. :)
And past that, they have lots of other stuff there… they’re probably best known for “The Wayback Machine” aka the Internet Archive, but they’ve got movies as well, old cartoons, music, audio books, software, lectures, etc., etc.
P.S. For the books, check out the djvu links if you can, I’m a big fan of those…
Zombie Santa Claus
Or, have you ever seen a scrotum?
I checked on http://www.thesaurus.reference.com, and I couldn’t find a less offensive synonym for scrotum. But when I went to their encyclopedia and looked it up, it was pretty amusing.
Which one should we use? Which one is less offensive than the medically accurate term? Or should we try for some other euphemism, like “nutsack,” “nuts”, “balls,” “‘nads”, “family jewels,” “twig-berries,” “sack,” “crotchly protuberances,” “sperm factories”, “eunuch disqualifiers,” etc.? Which one should we go with, here?
This is almost too easy. All we have to do is compare Paul W’s statement to what the ALA has to say about the Higher Power of Lucky, to see he is either a spoof or an idiot.
I suspect the librarians who are getting a hard on about this book don’t have their MLS (Master of Library Science). The librarians I know (all MLS) often do battle with co-workers who do not. The people who don’t have MLS tend to wring their hands over whether a book is offensive and have trouble understanding concepts like privacy.
Stop, drop the goal posts. This is not the problem because “everyday conversation” is not the standard for what goes on the the shelves of your local library. Or it shouldn’t be if people know what the fuck they’re doing.
And the ALA does not think libraries should be the arbiters of “common decency,” because librarians should not have to waste their time arguing with flake jobs who get offended by books like Our Bodies, Our Selves (lots of terms not used in every day conversation there) or any book on G/L/B issues. Not to mention the whole Harlequin Romance/Modern Western thing.
This is a non-starter. I doubt that there are any reasonable persons who consider the word “scrotum” to be offensive. The key here is that there are adults who think that the word “scrotum” should not be read by children; it’s a matter of offensiveness-once-removed. Oddly enough, I think that liberals are more often mocked for the argument, “It’s for the sake of the children,” than are conservatives. But that’s exactly what this tempest in a teapot is about.
Paul Wartenberg, ummm, I’m a librarian too. And I think you’re off-base on this one. Partly, it’s because I’ve read the book. Partly, it’s because I’ve had to sit on review committees when somebody has challenged a book. Partly, because I cannot think of a word in common usage for that part of the body which doesn’t offend MORE people.
I suspect, but do not know, that it’s not the word. It’s a “how dare they use that part of the anatomy” response. There’s this rather strong belief that for children (at least, and possibly adults) we should just pretend that every part of the body that exists between the waist and the knees isn’t really there. I base this on the fact that I’ve gone through a series of books in the childrens’ section of my library and found other words for bodyparts not commonly used which have raised absolutely zero ruckus. Words like patella and scapula. Sternum is a bit more common, as is larynx.
Frankly, the brouhaha reminds me of the fun of people objecting to Judy Blume books, for much of the same reason. Personally, I think it’s as absurd as the current review I’m doing — each and every one of the Junie B Jones books (specified by title) because the lead character “sets a bad example for children.”
Read the book. There’s a reason it won a Newberry. And a single word that occurs three times isn’t going to change that.
…is winnah, winnah, chicken dinah
Kids always handle these situations so much better than the grown-ups who deem scrotums and wizards “unreasonable” or “inappropriate”. Maybe the adults should take a course on becoming comfy with their privates!
My boys have known what a scrotum is since they found it… which was as soon as they could unlock their primitive grasp.
My middle school students consider these overly cautious adults irritating.
Some people need to get a grip, open up, and quit worrying about harming the children.
This situation is precisely why I love my job… I get to work with the open-minded, level-headed, intelligent ones… the kids!