Thursday, September 04, 2003

Time for a Little Gander Sauce

I see that last week's dummy spit in the general direction of The Hun's only on-line columnist didn't escape the notice of John Ray, who remarked:

The Tugboat Potemkin has once again emitted a few angry sparks from its aging Leftist chimney in the form of a great huff over the fact that Andrew Bolt mentioned the psychiatric problems of a children’s book author. Frankly, if I had a child that was being given books to read that were written by a mentally disturbed person, I would want to know about it. Impressionable minds and all that. The Tugboat may stand for censorship of relevant information in the name of political correctness but I think the right to know trumps that every time. As a libertarian, I am against ALL censorship.

I'm not sure how one can be against all censorship on libertarian grounds and maintain that parents have a right to screen their children's choice of books on the grounds of "Impressionable minds and all that." It must be one of those distinctions between public policy and private (or familial) conduct that libertarians rely on whenever their beliefs lead to an obvious contradiction between precept and practice.

Still, credit where credit is due; perhaps if the school librarians at my various schools had paid more attention to the disorderly lives many writers lead, the young Gummo Trotsky would not have had his mind twisted by reading books written by an avowed Fabian and freethinker, an openly homosexual Irishman, a declasse English radical of dubious sexual conduct, a sexual pervert with a fondness for a good spanking or an alleged paedophile whose hobbies included taking nude photographs of pre-pubescent girls.

Update: Geoff Honnor takes issue with my description of Oscar Wilde as "openly homosexual" in the comments thread. He's probably right.

Update Too: John Ray has posted a brief retort here. But nothing at his PC Watch site about Bolt's recent bucketing of Finding Nemo for its political agenda. Odd isn't it?

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