Friday, October 05, 2007

Think of the Children!

Head spinning nonsense from today's daily mail...

"Children's books that don't have happy endings should be banned, it was claimed yesterday.

Youngsters are already exposed to enough misery in their lives and should be protected from such stories, says a parents' group.

The Happy Ending Foundation is planning a series of Bad Book Bonfires for later this month, when parents will be encouraged to burn novels with negative endings.

The foundation has also written to school librarians across the country to coincide with Children's Book Week, which began on Monday, urging them to take ' controversial' books off shelves.

Last night critics of the group said children needed a healthy balance in their reading.

Others said the book burnings were a sinister reminder of similar events in Nazi Germany.

Among the stories on the foundation's blacklist are best-sellers such as A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket and Marcus Pfister's Milo and the Magical Stones.

Works that make the approved list include Raymond

Brigg's The Snowman and Enid Blyton's Famous Five series.

The Snowman appears to have a sad ending because he melts, leaving the boy he has befriended alone. But the foundation claims it ends positively because the boy is contented, having the snowman's scarf to remember him by.

Adrienne Small founded the organisation when her ten-year-old daughter became depressed and withdrawn after reading the first book in the Lemony Snicket series.

She said: "I talked to other mothers and friends and we decided to do something positive with books that were more upbeat.

"I'm not trying to say the world should be viewed with rose-tinted glasses but you have got to do your best to protect your children."

Mrs Small, 47, who is married with two teenage children, founded the organisation in 2000 and there are now 11 groups across the country, including London, Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow.
Clare Hughes, head of the foundation's East of England Cheering Committee, said: "I've seen the way my children respond to real life, whether that be the disappearance of a child, like Madeleine McCann, or bombings, and that gives them enough nightmares.

"Books should let them be assured that the goodies-will come out on top."

But children's charity Kidscape condemned a campaign which would lead to young people 'missing out on the magic of literature'.

Director Michele Elliott said: "There is a distance between you and a book which allows you to experience emotions and think about what's happening - but it's not happening to you. That's incredibly healthy.

"There has to be a balance. I would not feed children a complete diet of morbid books."

Award-winning children's author Kevin Brooks, whose books have a reputation for emotional rollercoasters and disturbing cliffhangers, said the proposed burnings were reminiscent of the Nazi regime.

"Controversy and bad stuff is everywhere," he said. "It is far better to find out about it in books where it is written with some feeling and poetry and power."

Oh my, what a load of old tosh. Are these people for real?
I remeber crying my eyes out over Charlotte in Charlotte's Web and loving the book all the more because it made me think. Mufasa dying while trying to save Simba had my niece in floods of tears, but she loves that film passionately-me too. My teenage years were fraught with Stephen King and James Herbert books where death, periods in showers and giant rats worried the pants off me. But oh how I devoured each new book that came out.
What the bloody hell is wrong with these people? They want to molly coddle kids into believing in a false world where bullies don't exist, sweets grow on trees and dead pets aren't dead at all but sleeping? Oh yeah folks, that will prepare them for the rigours of life. I know let's burn everything, that way we can all go la-la la when the shit hits the fan and these kids discover that the world is not made of candy floss and rainbows.
Burning books, I VERY against that!



Blogger Twenty Major said...

Every day something new adds to my belief that the majority of human beings are stupid idiot cunts.

10:57 a.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

I take it they'll be burning the Bible then, what with the whole hero getting nailed to the cross thing.

That is how it ends, right?

11:23 a.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Well. I couldn't sleep so here I am, catching some fmc in my pyjamas with my hot Robinson's Orange Barley water, spilling it and scalding myself in my utter disbelief at the stupidity of these class A morons.

Worse is that not content to deprive their own poor wee sod spawn (surely these people produce asexually, like mushrooms or something, because evolutionarily speaking they must be whole phylla away from intelligent man - or even dribbling idiot man) they want to deprive everybody else's kids too.

"Books should let them be assured that the goodies-will come out on top."

For the love of Christ.

11:24 a.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I am left now, impotently shaking my fists in the middle of the night with a big red scald mark on my tummy and rage in my heart.

It's the page 5 small items in the newspaper that will kill you, rather than the headlines. Small outrages accumulating and undermining your belief that society in any way works, that's what fries our nerves and cardially infarts us.

11:29 a.m.  
Blogger P1P said...

Another proof of parents too stupid to have children. If they don't want their children to read those books at home, fine. As long as schools still teach literature correctly.

If they want to burn books fine also. Providing they own the books. I am sure the author wont mind them buying up large numbers to burn. It'll fund the next printing.

I hav never understood people who will willingly burn a book. All knowledge has value even crappy fiction. People who are afraid of different ideas or concepts need watching. Preferably from a long way away.

Maybe it's time to make having the vote dependant upon some sort of test. Perhaps knowing something about policies, the environment and not being a fuck pig could be involved somewhere.

How fucked are their kids?

11:56 a.m.  
Blogger Caro said...

Charlotte's Web was the first book I thought of when I read this headline...

*shakes head in disbelief*

12:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Primal Sneeze said...

Well thank the heavens you disagree, FMC. For a minute there I thought you'd be insisting on me burning my copy of Pop goes the hamster and other microwave games.

1:38 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Those giant rats got to me to, FMC.

This sounds like child abuse to me.

2:29 p.m.  
Blogger PI said...

I was only half listening on Jeremy Vine but one of them was saying how wrong it was to upset children with sad stories and happened to let drop that there was no Father Christmas and all hell was let loose. One woman rang in as her three year old child had been listening and now was heart broken. Silly silly b-----s!

2:35 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Those people are fucking morons. I had something wittier to say but exhaustion and beer depletion renders me succinct.

4:05 p.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

I think they should at least carry warnings - all books and all TV shows too. I finally managed to catch up on the latest series of Murphy's Law last night. Where was the happy ending I was expecting? Surely a programme about undercover cops, illegal people trafficking, forced rape and prostitution deserved an ending which had plenty of laughs and a jolly cup of tea for all, with everyone satisfied at a good job done?

4:18 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Quite right Kim,
Those prostitutes should have organised a can-can line and everyone would have had a right good time, drinking beer and swapping stories about the time that client beat the shit out of Charmaine but Dom the bouncher caught him and beat him to a bloody pulp, oh wasn't it funny the way his face made the squishing sound.
Weeee can-can!

4:28 p.m.  
Blogger stupidpeopleshouldn'tbreed said...

My favourite kids books are all by Roman Dirge and Jhonen Vasquez...perhaps they should just burn me as well as the books....
If these people's kids become withdrawn and depressed that easily, perhaps this is natural selection at work, they will clearly become adults unsuited to normal life and perhaps will snap and become postal workers or go on supermarket shooting sprees and such.

10:12 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

If those kids become withdrawn and depressed you can be sure it's because they have idiots for parents. Can you imagine, 'my mother doesn't approve of that book, so instead of not reading it she wants to burn them all.'
Seriously, no wonder the kids are banjaxed.

10:38 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. Protect the Children. Protect their precious little asses right up to the day you die and they're left all alone wondering how the hell they're going to function in a world they've never been exposed to before...absolutely blows my mind...

12:07 a.m.  
Blogger Cathy said...

I had read your post with amzed horror, but today's feeds showed that the Happy Ending Horror was in fact a marketing ploy... for Lemony Snicket books...

5:58 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Really? Would you mind finding me a link for that please? Thanks.

7:01 p.m.  
Blogger Cathy said...

Just did a post on it :) Here are the links:

9:22 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Gadzooks, those tricksy PR crowd. I totally fell for it.

12:46 p.m.  
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