Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Mom Takes Ban on Bunny Suicides into her Own Hands
An Oregon mom is so upset over a copy of The Bunny Suicides that her 13-year-old son checked out from the local public library, she has vowed to keep the book at home so that no other child will be able to check it out from the library and be exposed to it. If the library replaces the book, she says she will have a friend check out that copy and keep it for her. Basically, she has made it her mission to rid her hometown library of The Bunny Suicides.
Now, The Bunny Suicides are morbid humor. They depict, in comic-book form, bunnies trying to kill themselves in different creative ways. I happen to think the book is funny because I tend to like dark humor, and it's pretty witty. But it's not everyone's cup of tea. I wouldn't fault anyone for not liking it. But to try to rid the library of something because you don't think it's funny and you find it offensive ... that's just plain censorship. It's self-righteous, and it's ridiculous.
The library's only recourse at this point is to charge the mom $13 for the cost of the book and possibly ban her son from ever checking out books at the library again. So, the town is out one book—yeah I know it's not Faulkner, but it is still censorship—and her son, who is checking out books at the library even though he's a 13-year-old boy—a minor miracle—might not be able to do that anymore. Seems like everyone loses.
I know it relates to death, and death can be a big, scary taboo ... but some people find this book funny regardless. Maybe if she doesn't like it, she could just leave the book alone and walk away from it. Or parent her child and tell him he can't read it, instead of trying to parent the whole town. Sigh.