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Penguin Random House Demands Removal Of Maus From Digital Library Because The Book Is Popular Again

from the wow dept

We’ve said it over and over again, if libraries did not exist today, there is no way publishers would allow them to come into existence. We know this, in part, because of their attempts to stop libraries from lending ebooks, and to price ebooks at ridiculous markups to discourage libraries, and their outright claims that libraries are unfair competition. And we won’t even touch on their lawsuit over digital libraries.

Anyway, in other book news, you may have heard recently about how a Tennessee school board banned Art Spiegelman’s classic graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus, from being taught in an eighth-grade English class. Some people called this a ban, while others said the book is still available, so it’s not a “ban.” To me, I think school boards are not the teachers, and the teachers should be able to come up with their own curriculum, as they know best what will educate their students. Also, Maus is a fantastic book, and the claim that it was banned because of “rough, objectionable language” and nudity is utter nonsense.

Either way, Maus is now back atop various best seller lists, as the controversy has driven sales. Spiegelman is giving fun interviews again where he says things like “well, who’s the snowflake now?” And we see op-eds about how the best way get kids not to read books… is to assign it in English class.

But, also, we have publishers getting into the banning business themselves… by trying to capitalize on the sudden new interest in Maus.

Penguin Random House doesn’t want this new interest in Maus to lead to… people taking it out of the library rather than buying a copy. They’re now abusing copyright law to demand the book be removed from the Internet Archive’s lending library, and they flat out admit that they’re doing so for their own bottom line:

A few days ago, Penguin Random House, the publisher of Maus, Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, demanded that the Internet Archive remove the book from our lending library. Why? Because, in their words, “consumer interest in ‘Maus’ has soared” as the result of a Tennessee school board’s decision to ban teaching the book. By its own admission, to maximize profits, a Goliath of the publishing industry is forbidding our non-profit library from lending a banned book to our patrons: a real live digital book-burning.

This is just blatant greed laid bare. As the article notes, whatever problems US copyright law has, it has enshrined the concept of libraries, and the right to lend out books as a key element of the public interest. And the publishers — such as giants like Penguin Random House — would do anything possible to stamp that right out.

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Comments on “Penguin Random House Demands Removal Of Maus From Digital Library Because The Book Is Popular Again”

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James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Maus

Context matters. So, is the book too advanced for 8th graders because it includes pictures of an unclothed mouse as the board claims, or is it not advanced enough for 8th graders because includes pictures of anthropomorphic mice as the article you cite claims? Because if I take your article as evidence this was not a knee-jerk reaction to an ongoing culture war, I’d have to accept either that Maus is appropriate for no ages, or that the school board’s reasoning was a knee jerk reaction to a culture war issue.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

If not being on a curriculum means it is “banned,” then so is every other book not on any school’s curriculum.

The book was part of the curriculum until the school system said “nope fuck that”. The removal likely happened due to pressure from parents who were inspired by other such bans that have been coincidentally happening all over the country within the past year.

It may not have been “banned” from the school in the sense that the school board had the book removed from the school library or barred students from bringing it to school. But the book was removed from the curriculum about the Holocaust, and that seems like enough of a ban to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master — that’s all."

— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: Maus

If members of the school-board in question use the word "ban", is it then wrong to use the word "banned" to describe it’s removal?

The book wasn’t removed because it didn’t fit the curriculum, it was removed because it contained 8 "cuss-words" and one graphic depiction.

The article you linked to compares the removal of Maus with the removal of To Kill a Mockingbird" in a Seattle school as if they where the same which is far from the truth. The latter was removed because it led to bullying of black students*, ie racism. Context matters which that article totally ignores, and it is easy to see why in the opening paragraph – they blame the "left" for all the ills.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Maus

"The latter was removed because it led to bullying of black students*, ie racism"

I’m trying to work out how Mockingbird led to less tolerance of black people. That seems strange.

"Context matters which that article totally ignores, and it is easy to see why in the opening paragraph – they blame the "left" for all the ills."

Oh.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Maus

"Ban" is not the most accurate word. However, action was taken to make the work less available to readers who were previously exposed to it and its themes. Which does happen under other circumstances but seems very problematic today given the themes discussed in the book and the political climate of some discussion.

The question really is – why was the book acceptable before and not now? Were librarians and parents just accepting of the book despite its content or not aware of it? Or, has something changed among those groups that made the content suddenly unacceptable?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

why was the book acceptable before and not now?

The fact that a bunch of similar book bans (or attempted bans) have been happening in schools and public libraries across the country in the past year suggests a coordinated effort. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if “dark money” conservative groups are behind it. The objections to certain kinds of books⁠—specifically books both about and by queer people and people of color⁠—make me believe this is some post-Trump bullshit intended to galvanize his base around local elections.

What becomes acceptable nationally always begins locally. Make a bunch of these bans seem acceptable on a local level and, well, Congressfolk will certainly think about passing some sort of law to prevent certain things from being read/taught/talked about in schools. Look at Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” bill: If that passes down there, I guarantee you’ll see a similar bill filed in Congress when the GOP once again controls at least one chamber.

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Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: not so much "if" as "when"

Look at Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” bill: If that passes down there,

Florida enjoys the efficiencies of a one-party system. The same group controls both houses of the legislature, as well as the executive, and the judicial branches.

That party is generally in favor of a large, controlling government. It particularly favors government control of sex, drugs, literature, the internet, and anything else it can reach.

You should expect the bill to pass, it ticks the right boxes of government censorship, sex hostility, and “think of the children”. How can it not pass?

As to when, well, the legislature is supposed to wrap up in about a month. So, expect the bill to be enacted in less than a month.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Maus

The question really is – why was the book acceptable before and not now?

Because parents weren’t calling it unacceptable and bringing it to the attention of the school board before. The real question is, has something changed with the parents’ standards, or were they just not aware of it until recently? (Given how many different things remote-learning transparency has recently made parents aware have been going on inside their kids’ schools without their knowledge or consent, it’s a question worth asking!)

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The real question is, has something changed with the parents’ standards, or were they just not aware of it until recently?

No, the real question is this: What book do they want in the curriculum instead? Because you can’t teach the Holocaust without offending people in some way. If a few swear words and a picture of a naked tit in a story about the mass murder of millions of people are more offensive to someone than the historical events that story is recounting, said someone has more problems than being offended by the word “goddamn”.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: Maus

The real question is, has something changed with the parents’ standards, or were they just not aware of it until recently?

The book was recently introduced into the curriculum. Considering who protested, I doubt they even knew the book existed because any adult who actually read and grokked Maus wouldn’t complain about their kids reading it since the subject matter is important to remember.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Maus

""Ban" is not the most accurate word."

It really isn’t. But it’s the word the school board used to describe their actions.

And they did ban it from the curriculum which, given the trend of Southern State school boards to ban from what may be taught any literature accurately describing racism and bigotry, a pretty ugly image.

Apparently the idea is that children should be taught an inaccurate world view and then all stand there with surprised pikachu faces when they find their entire upbringing has been based on lies and omissions.

This is the next generation being brought up to resemble those 1 in 3 americans today so deranged they consider math, factual history, empirical science and basic logic dangerous "leftism".

BernardoVerda (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Maus

In the past few weeks, in various forums, I have encountered several people from southern US States ("born and raised", and "educated in") who claimed to remember the Civil Rights/MLK era — and who also believed (often quite evidently sincerely) that Sundown Laws/Sundown-er towns were already a vanished relic of past history by the time of the Civil Rights/MLK era, and furthermore, apparently had no knowledge of the infamous Green Book for black motorists and travelers.

That kind of widespread ignorance isn’t coincidence — and doesn’t happen by accident.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

So, too, is “hiding the realities of racism, homophobia, and the history of slavery”⁠—at least according to the multiple attempts to ban the teaching of Criticial Race Theory outside of universities (where it wasn’t being taught), the numerous bills (such as Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” bill) attempting to silence speech that somehow hurts conservative feelings, and the organized effort to ban books by and about minorities from school and public libraries.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re:

In this instance it was never about "conservative values", it contained 8 "cuss-words" and one graphic depiction which was what some parents and school-board members objected to. They specifically addressed the issue about what other literature they could use to teach about the Holocaust since they felt it was important and they even talked about "whiting out" the offending parts but they didn’t go that route because of the legal quagmire that is called copyright and what counts as fair use.

One motivation for banning the book was based on the premise that we need to protect the children at all costs. I can guarantee that almost all 8th graders are aware of the "cuss-words" in Maus and it’s a learning institution’s responsibility to also teach uncomfortable things to their students and put them into context so students can understand them, even graphic depictions in art. Either you prepare your students for the realties of life or you leave them handicapped to deal with it later.

This particular school also have a policy against students swearing and the objectionable words in Maus is on their list of things a student can’t say which can lead some interesting consequences if for example students discuss the content of Maus outside the classroom.

In the end, it was just easier for them to ban the book than deal with irate parents, copyright + fair use and the possibility of students talking about the book outside the classroom. Make no mistake, it was a ban because all other things considered it’s an excellent book for the subject matter they where teaching and they had no substitute literature readily available for it.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

they had no substitute literature readily available for it

They likely never will, since they apparently wanted a less offensive book than Maus for the Holocaust portion of the curriculum. The problem with that notion is that you can’t teach the Holocaust without talking about some pretty goddamned offensive things⁠—like the motivations of Hitler, how the Jews were treated in the death camps, how queer people were treated both before and after the liberation of those camps, and how Hitler took inspiration from both racist laws and the eugenics movement within the United States.

Any attempt to water down the teaching of the Holocaust only dilutes the impact of said teaching. People should be offended by the Holocaust. Anyone who isn’t has bigger problems than a kid seeing a non-sexualized bare breast in a comic book about the Holocaust.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:

They likely never will, since they apparently wanted a less offensive book than Maus for the Holocaust portion of the curriculum.

The only objections to the book was the profanities and one graphic depiction, nothing more. They explicitly said that it’s important to teach students about the Holocaust and its atrocities, Anne Franks Diary was suggested as a substitute but that book is used in 4th/5th grade curriculums and was deemed to basic for 8th grade. In the end, as always, what they did was just a variant of the old excuse Think of the children. There where some handwringing from some of the board members about how exposing swear-words to the students was bad and how they had been taught as kids how bad that was.

You should really go and read the notes from the meeting before jumping to conclusions. You can find them here: https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/1818370/Called_Meeting_Minutes_1-10-22.pdf

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

The only objections to the book was the profanities and one graphic depiction, nothing more.

That’s my whole fucking point: They wanted a “less offensive” book to use when teaching about the Holocaust. Also, if people think eight swear words and a non-sexualized drawing of the bare breast of a suicide victim lying in a bathtub are more offensive than the depictions of the mass murder of Jewish people, something is fucked up, and it isn’t the comic book.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

They wanted a “less offensive” book to use when teaching about the Holocaust.

You can teach about the Holocaust without using one "swear-word" or are you really suggesting that not using swear-words dilutes horrific stories about the Holocaust somehow?

Also, if people think eight swear words and a non-sexualized drawing of the bare breast of a suicide victim lying in a bathtub are more offensive than the depictions of the mass murder of Jewish people, something is fucked up, and it isn’t the comic book.

What’s more important, teaching kids about the Holocaust or teaching kids about the Holocaust with swear-words? In the reality that is the US school-system expect that they will always choose the first option which is far better than not teaching about the Holocaust at all.

You can call it fucked up all day and I happen to agree with you, but that’s the current reality. But you also have to realize that school-board members aren’t omnipotent beings (even though some of them think so) and when parents complain they will try to please them. The internet is littered with stories how schools try to appease irate parents by doing stupid things.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

You can teach about the Holocaust without using one "swear-word" or are you really suggesting that not using swear-words dilutes horrific stories about the Holocaust somehow?

I’m saying that censoring swear words out of books that use them (which is what the school board suggested be done with Maus) is, at a bare minimum, watering down the words of people writing about horrific tragedies. That isn’t exactly the same as diluting those stories themselves, but it isn’t much better than doing so.

What’s more important, teaching kids about the Holocaust or teaching kids about the Holocaust with swear-words?

Teaching kids about the Holocaust without trying to make it more “palatable” for children, that’s what is more fucking important. If a book can get across the teaching of the Holocaust without swear words, great, fine. But if a book about the Holocaust uses swear words and it didn’t go “unpunished” for that until recently, maybe the issue isn’t the book.

You’re acting like the issue is the swears when I can all but guarantee that plenty of schools⁠—likely including schools that this school board oversees⁠—stock the unabridged and uncensored version of To Kill a Mockingbird. Is the N-word, in any context, more or less offensive than “goddamn”? Schools stock the Bible⁠—are the verses talking about rape and sexual emissions and such more or less offensive than a drawn image of the bare tit of a suicide victim lying in a bathtub?

The internet is littered with stories how schools try to appease irate parents by doing stupid things.

Appeasement is accomodation, and one parent (or a small group of parents) trying to control what all students can learn in school is accomodation for fascists. Fuck all of that.

I’m not saying a school board is wrong to look at potentially offensive materials and go “yes, this isn’t something we need to let our students read on our time and dime”. That’s both their right and a generally good idea. And parents absolutely should have a say in what their kids are reading; opt-in permission slips can help with that, as can good ol’ fashioned parental guidance. But when the real reason for taking a book out of a curriculum is “we gotta shut these whiny fucks up”, that’s a show of cowardice. Banning Maus isn’t really about the swear words or the crude cartoon picture of a bare tit⁠—it’s about a small group of parents wanting to ban content that they’re uncomfortable with because it doesn’t “protect” children.

A parent who doesn’t want their child to read Maus isn’t a problem. A parent who doesn’t want everyone else’s children to read Maus is a censor-happy asshole. If you think⁠—for even a microsecond⁠—that my issue here is with the first parent instead of the second, you’re objectively wrong.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

What’s more important, teaching kids about the Holocaust or teaching kids about the Holocaust with swear-words?

The question is, what’s more important, teaching kids about the Holocaust, or not exposing eighth graders to swear words and a boob? Eighth graders are exposed to swear words daily, and can get pictures of boobs more or less at will, so I’d go with the teaching, personally.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The question is, what’s more important, teaching kids about the Holocaust, or not exposing eighth graders to swear words and a boob? Eighth graders are exposed to swear words daily, and can get pictures of boobs more or less at will, so I’d go with the teaching, personally.

Just because one piece of Holocaust-literature isn’t used that doesn’t mean that they stop teaching the kids about the Holocaust with other literature. This is what I find fascinating, you and others somehow think it’s a binary choice which it definitely isn’t because there are a lot of literature available about the Holocaust.

You are of course free to prove me wrong by providing the evidence that they stopped teaching kids about the Holocaust which is what your argument boils down to.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

According to meeting records, the curriculum centers around Maus, using supplementary material to further teach on the Holocaust. Due to the book’s importance for instruction, Maus could not be replaced “without redoing this whole module,” Brady said. (Source)

According to Reuters, the McMinn County school board has yet to suggest an alternative text for their Holocaust curriculum. (Source)

If the school has a whole curriculum about the Holocaust that was dependent on this book, and the school board both banned the book from being used and hasn’t replaced it yet, that curriculum likely won’t get taught when the time comes. At the bare minimum, it won’t be taught to the same degree of effectiveness⁠—especially if the school board replaces Maus with a much more “sanitized” look at the Holocaust and its effects on the world in general (and the survivors in particular).

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Stephen, where is the evidence that they stopped teaching the kids at all? They currently don’t have a substitute literature but that isn’t the same as if they stopped teaching – which was what I specifically asked about. I don’t know what they are teaching instead, but neither do you.

I also have a question, who the fuck manages to replace a curriculum in less than a month? For two grades? Do you have any idea how much work that is?

There is no perfect solution, there is no perfect teaching aid for the Holocaust, there is just people trying do the best they can based on their limited experiences while dealing with irate parents. You can say that you are a perfect human that always makes perfect decisions and everyone will laugh with you at your joke, but they will fucking hang you if you make a mistake.

Go back and read what you wrote initially in your reply to Toom1275 about "conservative values", and tell me you weren’t fucking prejudiced in your opinion of what had happened – hell let me quote you:

So, too, is “hiding the realities of racism, homophobia, and the history of slavery”⁠—at least according to the multiple attempts to ban the teaching of Criticial Race Theory outside of universities (where it wasn’t being taught), the numerous bills (such as Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” bill) attempting to silence speech that somehow hurts conservative feelings, and the organized effort to ban books by and about minorities from school and public libraries.

That was your take on the banning of Maus, now tell me, could the above in anyway be your prejudice speaking which made you jump to conclusion what happened? Was the book banned because the school board used their "conservative values" that also led to "Don’t Say Gay" or the banning of Critical Race Theory? No, it fucking wasn’t – it was banned because of a bunch prudish parents and school-board members.

You are just practicing a form of othering here, just say "conservative values" hurr durr, then we can criticize without substance all we want and speculate how bad it is while we feel righteous. Grow the fuck up Stephen. The "conservatives" have much to answer for, but they aren’t fucking boogeymen implicit in every decision or action made that you don’t like.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

it was banned because of a bunch prudish parents and school-board members

Which was my fucking point all along: The campaign to ban Maus was possibly (and quite likely) one borne out of the same thinking that led to other similar book bans happening around the country, and those are outcroppings of the concerted and organized efforts (most often led by conservative groups) to ban books and teachings such as Critical Race Theory that “hurt” conservative feelings. Whether the McMinn County School Board itself was part of that campaign or simply gave in to parents who were is largely irrelevant when the end result is exactly what the book banners wanted.

You think this is about one book? You think this is really about eight swear words and a naked tit? No, this is about a campaign to whitewash the teaching of history⁠—American or otherwise⁠—to “protect the children” from things that might make them feel bad. Teaching the truth of slavery? White kids might feel bad about that; gotta clean that up so slaves were happy about their lot in life! Teaching the truth of queer history? Straight kids might think queer people deserve better treatment; that ain’t gonna fly with conservative parents and right-wing religious communities.

And ultimately, these campaigns are about devaluing and tearing down public schools. They’re about tearing down a “socialist” institution in favor of private or religious schools⁠—you know, schools that’ll teach kids “the right things” about America, like performative patriotism and praising God and “there’s no need to talk about race because MLK died to solve all racism”.

It starts with a book. One book. One controversial, transgressive, unflinchingly honest book that doesn’t present the aftermath of the Holocaust as one where the survivors lived happily ever after and the Allies crushed all evil everywhere and the world was redeemed. Ban that book because of swear words and a naked breast, and what else becomes “unpalatable” even without the profanity and nudity? What else becomes “age inappropriate” because it presents some harsh truths or shines a light on the experiences of marginalized people?

This isn’t about a single book being banned. This is about that book being another step towards both a sanitizing of what we teach children and a tearing down of public education. The banning of Maus in this situation, then, is a warning sign⁠—a sign that people need to fight against these bans before we start seeing book burnings held outside public libraries instead of fundamentalist churches.

BernardoVerda (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Allow me to repeat my earlier post from up the thread:

In the past few weeks, in various forums, I have encountered several people from southern US States ("born and raised" and "educated" there) who claimed (apparently quite sincerely) that Sundown Laws/Sundown-er towns were already a long-vanished relic of past history by the time of the Civil Rights/Martin Luther King era, and furthermore, apparently had no knowledge of the infamous Green Book for black motorists and travelers.

That kind of widespread ignorance isn’t coincidence — and doesn’t happen by accident.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"In this instance it was never about "conservative values", it contained 8 "cuss-words" and one graphic depiction which was what some parents and school-board members objected to."

So, one wonders why it was acceptable before that meeting. Do they not vet the content of their library and curriculum beforehand?

"One motivation for banning the book was based on the premise that we need to protect the children at all costs"

Which is always a bad premise. You can’t shield kids forever, and you certainly can’t discuss something like the Holocaust without exposing them to some bad things.

"In the end, it was just easier for them to ban the book than deal with irate parents"

So, they got an irate nation instead. Good job?

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BernardoVerda (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Assuming the objections are actually honest (yes, that’s a bit of a stretch, but for the sake of argument) …

There’s two approaches to protect children from drowning: either try to forbid them from ever coming into contact with open water, or teach them to swim.

One of these approaches is much more successful than the other, even if it may make some parents a little more nervous.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:

So, one wonders why it was acceptable before that meeting. Do they not vet the content of their library and curriculum beforehand?

The curriculum is set at a state-level, if someone isn’t familiar with the literature recommended they may just think that a Pulitzer Prize book doesn’t need more than a cursory examination. Now imagine the consternation of some types of parents when their children tell them what they are reading in school.

You can go around and expect people to be all knowledgeable and perfect, shit happens.

Which is always a bad premise. You can’t shield kids forever, and you certainly can’t discuss something like the Holocaust without exposing them to some bad things.

The parents and some board members wanted that exposure without the "bad words" which is mostly BS in my opinion. At 8th grade most students have been exposed to far worse things and if a school doesn’t want to teach students to deal with those things we then get adults down the line that have issues dealing with these things and that is again reflected back on their kids.

So, they got an irate nation instead. Good job?

You deal with the devil you know….

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"In this instance it was never about "conservative values", it contained 8 "cuss-words" and one graphic depiction which was what some parents and school-board members objected to."

Context matters.

And the context here is that looking at the list of books banned from classrooms in southern state and Tennessee in particular have a common thread – they are books about the other and the racism and bigotry which has led to said other being discriminated or persecuted.

I’m sure that school board in particular will be fine teaching about the Holocaust – as long as they can find material phrasing it as a minor and irrelevant paragraph in history and doesn’t connect that long dead history to the thriving neo-nazi organizations and general closet anti-semitism prevalent in the US.

This is just the "conservative values" of an american school board wanting the next generation of children to grow up educated by way of lies and omission.

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James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The school board specifically felt a book about horrific racist mass genocide was ‘inappropriate’ for 8th graders because a few moral guardians got upset over mild curse words and the bare tit of a dead anthropomorphic mouse.

Based on the defense that this was in line with conservative values, that implies that the discussion of horrific racist mass genocide with 8th graders is appropriate, unless it acknowledges that dead bodies have breasts, or that a minor number of curse words exist. This is inflamed by discussions of the diary of Anne frank as appropriate but too immature by the school board – despite discussions of menstruation, sex, and sex jokes. Maybe its the fact that my read of The Diary of Anne Frank was more recent than my read of Maus, and both were over a decade ago, but the Diary was the novel that should be considered more mature from my read.

And that plays over to those opposed to Maus, the reason the school board took action, and the pattern highlighted by SDM. The school board took action because parents complained. And this complaint comports with the pattern SDM mentioned – The Diary of Anne Frank, despite being more graphic when discussing sex, is perfectly fine because it can’t engage with the way anti-semitism ran deep in america and continued long after Hitler was a rotting corpse. Maus does.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"which is why I’m wondering why you declared what the school-board intentions and thinking where without even bothering to actually inform yourself of it and within which context they worked."

I didn’t. I reiterate;

"And the context here is that looking at the list of books banned from classrooms in southern state and Tennessee in particular have a common thread – they are books about the other and the racism and bigotry which has led to said other being discriminated or persecuted."

The laundry list of what the Tennessee Banned Book List contains sends a clear message, especially combined with the removal of any topic associated with awareness of bigotry visavi LGBTQ and ethnicity.

I could give the school board intentions the benefit of doubt but it’d have to be, in the wake of the facts at hand, the same sort of doubt I’d assign to the intentions of Mr. Goebbels after his polemic speeches about the shocking language used by the german jewry.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The laundry list of what the Tennessee Banned Book List contains sends a clear message, especially combined with the removal of any topic associated with awareness of bigotry visavi LGBTQ and ethnicity.

Which has fuck all to do with Maus which happens to be on the official curriculum for 8th graders in the state.

I could give the school board intentions the benefit of doubt but it’d have to be, in the wake of the facts at hand, the same sort of doubt I’d assign to the intentions of Mr. Goebbels after his polemic speeches about the shocking language used by the german jewry.

And the facts at hand are what? Be specific!

Also, your whole reasoning is the same as what racists and other assholes use, just lump people together regardless of the individuals so you can look down on them and demean them. Fuck that assholery.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Holocause denial is specifically and officially a "Conservative value."

…said no official conservative ever in the history of ever. That’s actually a heck of a claim to make less than two weeks after a well-known liberal talk show host got caught spreading Holocaust misinformation! (Not to mention Congressional progressives routinely spewing anti-Semitic hate and conspiracy theories.)

Democrat Rule #1: any bad thing they accuse conservatives of doing, or of wanting to do, they are already doing that thing themselves.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

a well-known liberal talk show host got caught spreading Holocaust misinformation

Whoopi Goldberg said that she didn’t believe the Holocaust was rooted in racism. Her opinion, foolish as it was to both believe in and express, wasn’t trying to deny the objective fact that the Nazis systematically mass murdered millions of Jewish people.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: About that...

You should tell texas republicans that, they’re probably going to be rather surprised that none of them are in fact conservatives just because they voted against amendments to their content moderation bill that would have exempted(and therefore would have allowed moderation of) vaccine misinformation, pro-terrorism content and holocaust denial and no conservative has ever done that.

To avoid tripping the spam filter I won’t include the link but if you just copy/paste Texas Legislature Says You Can’t Teach About Racism In Schools, But Social Media Sites Must Host Holocaust Denialism into the search bar at the upper right of the page the relevant article will be the first result.

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Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re: conservative value

> Holocaust denial is specifically and officially a "Conservative value."

…said no official conservative ever in the history of ever

Well, actually, a majority of the Texas legislature said that social media companies should be required to host holocaust denial speech.

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Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 conservative value

ie. actual primary sources and not just some left-wing rag taking some fact that looks remotely somewhat similar to that if you squint at it right and twisting it into a Gordian knot to fit an agenda

As if it weren’t already obvious this AC troll was a marinated-in-right-wing-kool-aid moron.

One of the more striking features of the contemporary conservative movement is the extent to which it has been moving toward epistemic closure. Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. (How do you know they’re liberal? Well, they disagree with the conservative media!) This epistemic closure can be a source of solidarity and energy, but it also renders the conservative media ecosystem fragile."

But anyway, here’s the incontrovertible inconvenient-to-your-narrative facts and unassailable primary sources:

No twisting needed here. Anyone who, unlike you, possesses capacity for rational independent thought can see the direct connection between explicitly (and now officially) defending hate and ignorance and the "Conservative Values" umbrella.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 conservative value

Only one explanation really, some dastardly left-wing agent right clicked on the pages to ‘hack’ them and changed up the numbers to make people think that the republicans overwhelmingly shot down amendments that would have allowed moderation of anti-vaccine, pro-terrorism and holocaust denial content in the ‘we must protect conservative values‘ bill.

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cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Criticizing the government of Israel does not equal antisemitism. And while there are vile stereotypes about greed and money associated with Jewish people, it doesnt mean that greedy or corrupt financial ties can never be pointed out.
Abomination is the strongest word I can think of to describe the Holocaust, and it’s not strong enough. But the tragedy the Jewish, and other minority groups, suffered does not excuse the apartied conditions the Israeli government is forcing on occupied Palestine.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"But the tragedy the Jewish, and other minority groups, suffered does not excuse the apartied conditions the Israeli government is forcing on occupied Palestine."

Although that is true it’s also true that Israel has painted itself into a very bad corner with no real options on the table. Some of which could have been solved by compromise as Rabin attempted to do. His assassination, by an israeli zealot, tore the idea of a united israel apart and by now I’m thinking that country has come to rely on the pressure of an enemy abroad to keep the irreconcilable sides on the same room.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"That’s actually a heck of a claim to make less than two weeks after a well-known liberal talk show host got caught spreading Holocaust misinformation!"

For which Whoopi got a time-out the show and told to read up on her nonsense…and came back apologizing.

"Democrat Rule #1: any bad thing they accuse conservatives of doing, or of wanting to do, they are already doing that thing themselves."

Good on you to find one of the exceptions where a liberal proves stupidity is a thing across political boundaries.

Meanwhile accusing the other side of what your own side does and plans to do is the standard conservative default. As demonstrated so very well by you right there.

Get it straight; No one believes your rhetoric any longer. You don’t get the benefit of doubt. We know you guys by your actions and judge you accordingly. So you can just fsck right back to stormfront and preach your false equivalences to the choire there.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Then demonstrate it. Name twenty instances of it happening exactly as your rule lays out. Be specific and cite credible sources. And to help you better focus your search, you can only name examples that happened after the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

I’ll wait.

Anonymous Coward says:

Penguin Random House doesn’t want this new interest in Maus to lead to… people taking it out of the library rather than buying a copy. They’re now abusing copyright law to demand the book be removed from the Internet Archive’s lending library,

I wonder… does Random House or Art Spiegelman own the copyright on Maus? Is there something particular in the publishing contract that allows Random House to override any objections Mr Spiegelman may have to this copyright enforcement attempt?

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A publishing contract provides some control of the copyright to the publisher. That’s what a publishing contract is, an agreement to publish (ie copy and distribute) a work, with the contract establishing the right to do so. it technically could simply be a non-exclusive license to copy and distribute depriving random house of the ability to enforce a copyright. but major publishing houses, like record companies, historically demand exclusivity at a minimum, and more often demanded you to sell the the copyright. This allows Random house to enforce its exclusive right to publish. for a book as old as Maus, Random house absolutely has control for at least the duration of a contract, if not the permanent ownership.

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Rico R. (profile) says:

From the linked ZDNet article:

It turns out you can burn a digital book.

But at what temperature? Approximately 451ºF is enough to cause paper to self-combust. But at what temperature can a series of 1’s and 0’s self-combust? These are the hard-hitting science facts we need to know!!

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Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

A Satiric Conservative Guide to Identification of a Book Ban

It can be very difficult for today’s thoughtful conservative to be sure whether or not a particular action taken against a book does, in fact, constitute a ban. This is because book bans are often initiated by veiled language.

For example, when banning a book, a state official might say,

We do not want our students reading filthy liberal books, so we are going to take the book out for a cleansing with gasoline, after which it will be dried off with a match. When that is completed, the book will be in perfect condition for student use.

So how is a conservative to tell if a book is being banned? It is actually quite easy, most of the time. If a book is (1) removed from (2) availability to one or more groups of people for (3) political purposes, that is a ban.

(Note for the expert: For all practical purposes, students are people.)

So, remember: One, two, three–it’s a ban!

Anonymous Coward says:

Abusing copyright or simply using copyright?

"They’re now abusing copyright law to demand the book be removed from the Internet Archive’s lending library, and they flat out admit that they’re doing so for their own bottom line."

Copyright law is about the corporate bottom line. It’s about greed! What’s news? The law rightly or wrongly is designed to serve the corporate interests over the public interests so how is this is a case of copyright law being "abused"? What you think Congress intent was with all this overly restrictive copyright legislation passed over many years? To protect the corporate bottom line and increase it, isnt it so? This company is using the law in this spirit so how can you call it abuse?

This company is saying this is their intellectual property and they have the exclusive right to make copies digital or otherwise. That’s what meant by copyright, and that’s what they are asserting. This is called copyright protection. so how is this "abusing" copyright law? They want to do this to make more money, so what? It’s the goal of copyright law! Its about denying others so that copyright holders can make money and all that for to promote more production of price-inflated copyrighted goods, isn’t that supposed to work in practice?

Maus is a copyrighted work therefore is a corporate good not a public good. In copyright law, corporate interest trumps public interest, when it comes to corporate goods. It’s designed this way. Why do you think that "fair use" is just a defense instead of a right? They have rights, come free for them, you have defenses which you pay for in court. The law is for them, you are the exceptions in the law. To properly call "abusing copyright law", it would be any attempts like librarians for example to misuse the exceptions in the law to unjustifiably diminish copyright protection (aka the bottom line). That what the copyright maxiumists will tell you, anyways. Are you sure your framing is not backwards?

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Federico (profile) says:

Re: Abusing copyright or simply using copyright?

In copyright law, corporate interest trumps public interest

Although that’s the fact of copyright law, it’s worth remembering that the theory under which said laws are passed is that they serve the public interest. Congress would not have power to pass said laws if it didn’t pretend so:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress_Clause

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