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Monday, October 19, 2009
Banning the Bat
I was sitting at a book signing, my books spread out on a table in front of me. A boy walked by, maybe twelve years old, thirteen... I can't tell ages of kids much anymore. His mother was standing back a bit.
Anyway, he was drawn to the covers of my Adventures of Guy series. The book covers are lively and cartoonish, and they often are mistaken as books for the younger'uns.
But my Guy series is filled with a bit more mature of a theme, and as you know I don't like to corrupt the critters (It's okay to corrupt everyone else).
"Actually, that's for a bit older crowd," I said, and then I gestured towards my new book, Fang Face, which was written for his age. "You might like this one more."
He reached out, but before he could take it, his mother grabbed his arm and pulled him away. As she hurried him away to safety, she shot over her shoulder, "We're Christians, we don't support that kind of book."
My mouth dropped open.
Not like that's anything new, but mostly because I'm talking.
But this time no words came out. I was stunned.
She obviously took offense at the topic of Fang Face... vampires... and somehow felt vampires were a threat to her religious views, and that it might taint her vulnerable, young, sensitive son.
Even more, judging from the sneer on her face, she obviously took offense to me, as I am the creator of the book that so offended her sensibilities.
She knows nothing of my religious views.
She knows nothing of my moral compass
She obviously knows nothing of vampires either, because if she'd have given it a thought, she would have realized that the best way to fight a vampire is ... a cross.
You know, a cross. She was probably wearing one.
So how does this diminish her religion? What possible offense can she take to the symbol she holds so dear being held up as the bastion of protection to the threat from the dark side, the undead?
Most of you who know me know I'm rarely at a loss for words. But it wouldn't have helped me to argue with this lady. Obviously, she uses her religion as a platform to lift herself above other people. She uses it in a way not intended. She could have hustled him away without making a loud moral pronouncement on me.
Will this help her son as he casts about for his own moral compass? Will her strict indoctrination lock him into her feeling on the world, or will he turn away from her, rebel and push away from her black and white views on evil?
Will she drive him to seek out the very thing she tries to shelter him from? Forbidden books. Banned books.
There's a reason that some writers try to write books that will be banned. They are popular. People want to read them.
So bring it on, lady. Get my book banned. And I'll see you on the Best Seller lists!