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Posted September 22, 2023

Baring the Library Shelves

In my youth, boys would read D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover by flashlight under the bedcovers. I didn’t – I read it hiding in the attic of our home. It  was there that I read Max Nordau’s “Conventional Lies” too. We dreamed of a world where we could read what we want ...

The memories surfaced because of current educational events in Ontario. Specifically, while the schoolchildren were out for the summer, school librarians and other “educators” were weeding out “bad” books from school libraries. They left lots of book-free space for the kids to forage for mind-food where wasn’t any left. It appears that the Hon. Stephen Lecce, Minister of Edfuscation for Ontario, had a hand in that ...

The kerfuffle unfolds  in the Peel District, west of Toronto, the epicentre being its beacon of enlightenment the PDSB (Peel District School Board). This does not mean the malice is not widespread –  everything starts somewhere. Now, the rest of Ontario, of Canada really, are watching the melee praying the kids  win.
The CBC September 13th report “Empty shelves with absolutely no books: Students, parents question school board's library weeding process” (N. Brockbank, & A. King) inform that all books published prior to year 2008 are removed or slated to be removed from school libraries. This is surreal, it blows the mind ...

This gross  inanity is shored up by the damage-control plan the PDSB has deployed to douche the flames of outcry:

“The board said older books, regardless of publication date, will be  allowed in school libraries if they [PDSB finds they] are “accurate, relevant to the student population, inclusive, not harmful, and support the current curriculum.”

How kind of them to “allow” all that! But there is no tyrant I know of who would not strive for the powers the PDSB claims. The oppressors core desire is the facility to pronounce their propaganda  “accurate, relevant to the population, inclusive, not harmful, and [to] support the current curriculum” which the dictator and his cronies have produced.  It reminds of Father Trudeau answering the question of whether he liked the PM job: “... people doing as I say” was part of his response.  

I find it worrisome that people so oblivious to-shooting-themselves-in-the-foot as the authors of the PDSB manifesto do, would get to decide the “education” of the youth of Canada. Those who authored the nonsense in the above citation should be made to say a dozen Hail Marys daily for a month.

“Saviours” are abominable. Democratia exists to disinfect society from these pests.  They are unfit for the task by virtue of deeming that freedom of speech means to fit on the peoples minds chastity belts, so as to block out “bad” speech. They need to be told that the human mind is born promiscuous, inviting impregnation like flowers lure the bees. Curiosity drives the mind promiscuity that makes us into malcontents, forever seeking to excel. Curiosity must be fostered and certainly must be protected from those who “know best”.

The PDSB says it may allow some books. Democratia says:  no books should ever be excluded, they all should be accessible by everyone. Books are meant to be exposed to the winds of debate, to stand or be blown away as they may, all on their own.

Incidentally, back in 1961, the police descended upon the Vancouver Public Library and confiscated Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.  Len Norris the inimitable editorial cartoonist of the Vancouver Sun drew the RCMP officers in riding boots and breeches, standing in front of a librarian’s desk,  the rest of the cartoon depicting book stacks vanishing in the horizon. In the caption, the Librarian ask the cops whether they “needed assistance or they would search themselves”.  There were more cartoons, one depicting Mounties on their mounts patrolling on the sidewalk outside the library And there were other expressions of public disgust that quickly dissipated the censorship wave.

Minister Lecce, reacted to the outcry the way one would expect from a person of his backgound. He graduated from a religious school; he went to some college, but I do not know what he learnt. He claims having been “consultant” – no specifics on that either. Evidently he “worked” as  PR man for Stephen Harper. That is all we know of his career prior to becoming  Minister of Education.

It matters who “says what”: If my Physician suggests a “nose-job” I will listen attentively – If Muhamed Ali would say the same thing, I would run, fast.  I am at a loss to understand how Lecce was assigned the task of educating the youth of Ontario. If that puzzlement makes me “elitist”, so be it.  

True to his PR background, the Hon. S. Lecce would not answer CBC questions about the books going AWOL.  But he ordered a break to “weeding” the bookstacks.  It will last until the storm passes, I guess ...

It all boils down to the question: How have we let things politic go so rancid?

Do not bicker about it, just insist the Books “go home” to the Library shelves they belong, because this is not negotiable in a Democracy; Then let Lecce and his ilk reason out the exclusion of books, one book at a time, in the open, in front of the public eye ...  For outside this, tyranny prowls ...

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