Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Farces Of Evil Trash The Naked Truth

When I read the email post Monday afternoon from publisher Bob Banner, I just had to click and read what the heck the brou-ha-ha was about. Censorship! Here in River City!

Seems the SLO Library director wanted to "protect" children from the latest cover and sex-themed issue of Bob's HopeDance magazine. Brian Reynolds ordered the county’s 15 branches to "recycle it."

By that time I was ready to hear Bob's interview that afternoon with Dave Congalton on 920 KVEC. (Here's how Dave previewed the interview on his station blog.)

Surely a city's chief librarian should be able to withstand the farces of evil and resist book/magazine trashing. "Protecting children" is a good reason, but doesn't hold water when you understand The Tribune printed the magazine's art on its own front page coverage of the story. There are many art and photo books in the library stacks that are much more "graphic" than the cover of this HopeDance.

Or is it about HopeDance's thoughtful, adult goal to inform the public with "radical solutions inspiring hope?" Are there really people here in River City against the idea of...hope?

Side note: Nationally for decades, Utne Magazine digests thousands of news items from a variety of sources. Their feature called "From the Stacks," highlights "the independent and alternative media," throwing the spotlight on:

HopeDance - In an attempt to confront, and seemingly disestablish, the "very limited monoculturalist view of sex" that's brewing in the United States, the July/August edition of HopeDance throws the doors of sexuality wide open. No subject is too risqué for these pages: sacred prostitutes, a farmer's land buzzing with reproductive frenzy, a woman who's had enough with public masturbators. Also included are editorials on pornography, later-in-life intimacy, and much more. By and large, pieces avoid mining for shock value, focusing instead on presenting information and stories frankly, showcasing examples of how they'd like to see sexual discussion evolve.

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