I have a bone to pick with the parents who protested Murakami’s tome being included in the summer reading list: Norwegian Wood is not a “lesbian sex book.” It’s a boring, self-absorbed fictionalized account of the author’s amazingly awesome experiences during the Best Time Ever, the Sexual Revolution that happens to have lesbian sex in it. At least that’s what I came away with when I read it ages ago. I love Murakami, but getting through Wood was like chewing glass. I get it, I get it–the ’60′s were the bestest time ever in the history of the world and you are that much more fabulous for having lived through it. Yay.
“They read the books,” he said. “They didn’t feel it was inappropriate based on the language that’s used, common language used on the street.” The superintendent said students have seen more graphic things on television or in the movies – and noted that only about a dozen people actually complained.
Okay, so let me get this straight: It’s okay to assign books that include graphic depictions of orgies, sexual abuse (what else would you call sex between a 31 year old and a 13 year old?), and the glorification of meth because the teachers think the language has street cred or that kids see worse things on tv? That is pretty faulty logic. Must suck to be that stupid.
So kids are exposed to worse on Glee, so what? The schools have got to pile on and attempt to remain as “relevant” as possible? I had to read james Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Graham Greene and Hamlet over my summer breaks, (well, reread anyway). Murakami and meth memoirs really don’t hold a candle to that, do they?
I first read Eliot in my first semester of senior English. My teacher had a list of “words” we weren’t allowed to use in our essays, (i.e., “alot,” “really,” &etc.). I’d suggest that next year’s reading list include Elizabeth Kantor’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, so all these poor, undereducated kids can catch up. Without having Greene, Shakepeare, Eliot and Swift in your intellectual arsenal, you’re screwed, kids. (A mind uncluttered by the incoherent ramblings of Joyce is a happy one, however.)