Wheezy Old Bats
(Tip o' the tinfoil helmet to Teh general.)
Ever heard of the CCLU or the Christian Civil Liberties Union? Well, that's no surprise. Far from being a Christian offshoot of the ACLU, the CCLU is actually the analogue: They advocate book burning and aren't above suing for the right to totter up the handicapped ramp of their local library in West Bend, Wisconsin to grab from the shelf and burn a copy of Baby Be-bop.
Baby Be-bop is a six year-old prequel of sorts to the Weetzie Bat series of novels for young readers 12 and up by Francesca Lia Block. Baby Be-bop is about Dirk, a young closeted gay man who struggles with his sexual identity and attraction to his friend Pup.
In the legal action filed by the CCLU, they asked that the book be removed from the library, summarily burned, $120,000 in "damages" be paid out and for the resignation of the mayor. Sound like an impossible dream for wingnuts? Not necessarily. Four library board members have been dismissed over Baby Be-bop in spite of Mayor Kristine Deiss’s recommendation to renew their contract.
What makes this reaction to a bunch of old prudes wheezing in indignation over a coming-of-age book about closeted homosexuality is that the complaint filed by Jim and Ginny Maziarka of the "West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries" never got to the board level. Plus, according to the American Libraries Association, "A petition with 443 signatures also asked the board to balance its collection with books 'affirming traditional heterosexual perspectives' that are faith-based or written by 'ex-gay' authors..."
So what's the moral of the story, boys and girls? That the Powers That Be will further enable the raving delusions of a bunch of Alzheimer's patients waving a petition with a few hundred signatures thinking that burning one copy of a book will defeat homosexual pornography written for children and will even essentially fire four library board members.
Board member Bob Deters added his own two cents worth when he wrote to Maziarka:
"I find it hypocritical and even bizarre that you would object to people with expertise in this area, just because they came from a different community. Every part-- with no exception -- of your campaign came from internet sources from other localities, usually in the South. You got your idea for challenge from PFOX. And considering your stance on the School Board harassment issue it would be laughable for anyone to believe that you weren't a frequent visitor to PFOX and Americans for Truth About homosexuality long before February of this year.You got your complaint letter that also asked for ex-gay literature from PFOX. It was obvious that you even cut and pasted it because when you added one sentence-- the typeface didn't match. Your book lists and quotes came from Texas Library Patrons and most of your quotes came from "Parents Protecting the Minds of Children" which in turn had copied the quotes from a Fayetteville, Arkansas movement. You even confessed to it by posting links to Texas Library Patrons, myppmc.com (the site that provided the Arkansas info.) You made obvious your hatred for anything to do with the American Library Association by posting a link to "Safe Libraries." The Safe Libraries site treats the ALA as if it were the Great Satan of the ApocalypseSo, there you have it. Everything that was presented by Ginny Maziarka to the public came from internet sources. There was not one thing unique to West Bend. You could have inserted any city into the blank on her complaint letter-- cities like Hartford or Germantown, or Springfield. IL; Dayton, OH; or Wichita Falls, TX. Everybody knows that your movement isn't local-- not one bit. It is 100% internet, so stop being a hypocrite when other people who are experts in their field assist the beleaguered citizens of West Bend. "~Bob Deters
Maziarka's response partly consisted of this:
It actually began, as I have stated publicly, when I learned one of my children had inadvertently brought a sexually explicit book from the library into our home and shared it with us, as she was upset about the content she came across.
So if your sheltered and closeted child brings home a book dealing with teen sexuality that disturbs her, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy that furthers fuels her desire to have the ALA join her by force if necessary to protect children from their emerging sexual identities.
What's truly frightening is that even in their most successful petition drives in which they can scare up only 1100 signatures, which, in a city with a population of 30,320 amounts to just 3.6% of the population, they can actually seem have the weight of popular consensus.
West Bend, Wisconsin has become a laughingstock across the nation because of repressed prudes like Jim and Ginny Maziarka and their allies in the Christian Civil Liberties Union but that's unfair. 96.4% of the city's inhabitants didn't care enough about their pet cause to sign the petition and West Bend is hardly the only town that has seriously proposed book burnings and resignations.
Yet as long we think these puritanical bozos have more power than they do and the more we feed their delusions that they do, we'll never be free of these ankle-biters and we deserve what repressive misery they bring into our lives.