|Mom, where is the correction sheet?|
Should a person like that be teaching kids? Hell fucking yeah!
|Maybe Sexy Muffet would've been acceptable|
This brings me to my second point about content.
I took a course in classic lit in my junior year. It was backtracking, and having already had the classics in another Honors College survery course, I had read most everything we were covering. You know, Homer, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Virgil, Aeschylus, etc. As I hoped, I cruised through, which was great since I had two of my hardest math classes yet.
We also studied The Bible as literature, something that doesn't generally go over too well in the bible belt. I asked our teacher -- a scared shitless graduate student only two years older than me -- if we would be studying any of the books not in the canon, to which he answered no, and I said, "Well, damn."
The girl next to me says, "What are you talking about?"
Me: "Books that were written but not included in the Bible, like The Book of Mary about Mary Magdalene and her life as an apostle."
Girl: "She wasn't an apostle. Women can't be preachers. It says so in the Bible."
|But I had long hair then|
Me: "Have you read the Bible?"
Girl (now glaring at me): "Yes."
Me: "Then you know about Priscilla and Aquila -- the married couple that BOTH preached?"
Girl (looks around the room and at the teacher): ...
Guy from my computer science class laughs.
Me: "What do you think Mary did while she traveled around with Jesus? Do you think she just hung out and cooked dinner?"
Girl (now looking worried): ...
The teacher looked worried too.
Me: "Many books were written but not all of them made it into the Bible. It'd be too big to carry, but mainly, King James, or rather the members of the church who wanted to control what people thought and did, had a lot to do with what stayed and what went."
Girl: "No, God is perfect and the Bible is His Word and if He wanted it in the Bible, He would've made sure it was in there."
Me: "Uh, haven't you heard of free will?"
Guy from CS quotes Hamlet, calling the girl Horatio. The girl looks at me like she can't decide whether to scream at me or cry. Finally, the teacher grows a pair and reclaims the classroom. The girl never sat next to me again.
|Take it back! Evolution is only a THEORY!|
For fear-driven reasons, things get left out, important things, things that would add richness and dimension to the story and the characters or people involved. Damn it, I believe that by including such things -- hard things, scary things, bad things, rip-out-your-heart-and-stomp-on-it things -- the stories and history are made real and better. Trouble of any flavor evokes a response, for better or worse. Without it, fiction is meaningless fluff, and non-fiction is mind-numbing fact reporting.
If you write, even if you write fantasy like I generally do, write something real. Write what you are moved to write, and fuck the censors. If you don't write, but you read, then read things that make you feel, that elicit something powerful from you, that meaningfully change the way you see the world or Mankind. Censoring yourself, whether as an artist or a reader, cheapens your experience.
Oh, and my mother would ask, "Do you have to use so many expletives?"
And I would say, "Yes. Yes, I do."