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Dingus of the Week: Sparkling Content Curation
Who are you calling a “book ban”?!
Across the country, state legislators are taking up bills that would remove books about Black or LGBTQ people from school libraries. This isn’t a particularly new fight. People have been pearl-clutching about what children are allowed to read since our culture decided children should be allowed to read and not spend their short dirty little lives wasting away in a shirtwaist factory.
But it’s a fight that has taken up a renewed enthusiasm, along with a certain logic that thinks maybe it’s okay to let kids live and die in a shirtwaist factory. As long as it’s an American factory.
I know what you are thinking. “Removing books from libraries with specific content that certain religious or political groups might object to? Isn’t that a book ban?”
You absolute dingus. A book ban? Didn’t you know? It’s only a book ban if it comes from the Ban region of France. Otherwise, it’s just sparkling content curation.
If I specifically target a type of person I don’t like and try to erase their existence from the earth beginning with books and ending with bans on drag performances, that’s not homophobia. You silly goose. That’s just called parental rights.
You might not understand this because you, unlike me, haven’t created life. I have created life. TWO WHOLE BEAUTIFUL LIVES. I am basically a god because my uterus performed the Biblically ordained function of heterosexual reproduction, which means: I had disappointing sex with a man who can’t even spell clitoris much less find one. Just as Jesus wants. So, I’m channeling that disappointment into controlling everyone and everything around me. And what I need to control are my children. You might say they are humans and allowed to determine their own course of life. But that’s because you’d be a horrible parent. My dream for my child is to play volleyball at a lightly accredited Christian college and then become a stay-at-home mom living in Chanhassen, Minnesota. There, she will drink a little too much and be a #WineMom and puts her kids on Instagram with uncomfortable captions like #BoyMom. And then, she will later lose thousands of dollars in a multi-level marketing scheme.
And my son? I want him to grow into the kind of man who doesn’t notice the counters are sticky. And when you say to him, “these counters are sticky” he will reply, “Don’t nag me.” I want him to be the kind of man who represses all emotion and then makes his partner do all the emotional labor. Also, he works in finance.
What I am saying is that neither of them needs to know what a labia is. Even though one possesses a labia and the other might have to deal with the presence of one. I don’t care. In fact, if my kid so much as knows that a labia exists, it will violate my god-given parental right to lock that kid into a mental cage until they are so miserable, they flee from home at age 18 and only return once a year to get really drunk on Josh Cellars wine at Thanksgiving.
It’s only a book ban if it comes from the Ban region of France. Otherwise, it’s just sparkling content curation.
Just because a group of individuals, politicians, and organizations wants to remove books from libraries, school reading lists, or bookstore shelves because they object to their content, ideas, or themes. Just because that is the very definition of a book ban, doesn’t mean that’s a book ban. It’s just a reduction in the amount of weight we put on shelves. That’s all. And sure, does it just so happen those specific books are about Black or LGBTQ people? That’s just a coincidence that was specifically legislated into existence.
You say book ban. I say book reductions. After all, shouldn’t kids read a little less? I mean, god forbid they learn about slavery or being gay. They might grow up smart and happy. And we cannot have that, that’s dangerous.
Yes, we do have guns in our home.1 Why do you ask?
Your subscriptions help me support my independent newsletter that publishes journalism and essays written from a red state. This week, I wrote a story that few other outlets in the state wanted to tackle. And I know this because I talked to a lot of journalists about why they weren’t writing about it. And the reasons are not because other outlets are bad, but because I live in a state with a shrinking investment in media and the few journalists we have are overworked and drinking from a fire hose.
While working on that story, I received some vague legal threats about daring to write about a doctor who had previously been on trial for lascivious acts with a minor.
Your subscriptions help me pay to do the work I do.
And Now for Something Good:
A Nebraska cheerleader competes at state alone and gets a lot of love from the crowd. It’s just nice to see people do nice things.
I, for one, welcome my pig overlords. Listen, if these pigs want to hog-boss it up and take over America, they are welcome to try. This is a Democracy.
RIP Medical Debt is an organization raising millions of dollars for medical debt relief and it’s good to see good people out there doing good things.
Look at these adorable penguins in their little huts. Housing is a basic human and avian right.
Speaking of basic human rights.
What I Am Drinking:
This week has been a weird one. And I was parsing out all the reasons why and I think it mostly just comes down to the fact that I *extreme Kid Rock voice* haven’t seen the sun shine in three damn days.
It might also be because a certain Gen Z friend of mine convinced me to watch “The Last of Us” and it’s emotionally terrorizing me.
So, I decided: Food and booze can solve this problem. Listen, I do have a good therapist and friends. I hydrate. I run. I have pets. I have a weird little light that I turn on to make me happy. But sometimes life just calls for ordering a motherfucking boatload of sushi, making a vodka martini, and sitting your ass in front of the TV.
This is my best advice for life. It’s all I have for you. February will be over. But food is here and it is good. And make friends who are Gen Z who will destroy you emotionally. And, make and drink a vodka martini.
Okay. Now, I need you to tell me what food you eat when you are feeling sad and weird and seasonally affected.
This is all a joke. I don’t want my daughter to live in Chanhassen. I want her to live in Edina.