Sunday, December 06, 2009

TV Station Can't Bring Itself to Show or Name Book

Every town's got one -- the prudish busybody who can't stand the fact that information about sex is available at the public library.

So when Marti Shigley found a copy of Eric Marlowe Garrison's Mastering Multiple Position Sex in her public library, she did what every censor wants to do: she checked the book out and is refusing to return it. She reportedly said, "When I opened it, I could not believe how graphic it was, and I thought my word if one of those kids had picked this up and looked inside of it they would have been ruined for life."

Shigley is a criminal and a first-class jerk. But what's even worse is that the local TV station, reporting on Shigley's crime, blotted out portions of the book's cover and refused to provide its title.

Now that's crappy journalism!

68 comments:

Miranda said...

So, would you defend education safety czar Jennings in this case?:
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/295495.php

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Sure - what's the problem?

Miranda said...

Just to help me figure out how I might approach the answer, did you click on the link /within/ that link, to see excerpts from the books that Jennings recommends our elementary school children should read?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Yes, of course. What do you think I am: a moron, or a liar?

The people who claim that deleterious effects result by early exposure to sexual topics have the burden of proof on them. There's no reason to believe it is true.

Pseudonym said...

I don't know about "no reason". There are plenty of studies which argue for both sides of the argument. Given that, it seems prudent at least to try to make sex education age-appropriate.

Having said that, most of the "anti" studies that I've seen concentrate on early and high exposure to pornography, not to sexual topics in general. It seems more plausble that early exposure to pornography might be harmful, given that it almost always gives a distorted and inaccurate view of sex. If anything, that seems like a good argument for early exposure to correct information.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I was referring to literature - the topic of Miranda's question - not images. But even for images, I'd doubt early exposure has any deleterious effects. After all, humans have lived in close proximity to other humans having sex for hundreds of thousands of years.

If there are deleterious effects, I'd bet they have more to do with an unhealthy Christian-soaked society that hates sex and feels ashamed by many aspects of it.

Joshua said...

Hmm, they've blurred out the word "multiple" but not the word "sex." I think the real issue is that they don't like math.

I'm trying to think of some way to make a bad pun related to ideals and the fact that the multiples of an integer form an ideal in Z but I can't quite get one to work.

Pseudonym said...

Yes, I agree with you about literature. But my comment wasn't about images, but inaccurate information about sex, which is what most pornography is.

I'm not sure what you meant by your last paragraph or what evidence you have to back it up. The attitude towards sex in majority-Christian countries has been cyclical since before the Renaissance (compare Cromwell with Charles II), and even then, this has only applied to the middle classes or higher. Only 100 years ago, most working class children slept in the same room as adults having sex.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I'm talking only about the US, and the unhealthy attitude towards sex by groups like Southern Baptists, etc.

Pseudonym said...

Ah, fair enough. The Southern Baptist attitude to sex is, indeed, quite unhealthy.

Robert O'Brien said...

Professor Shallit waxes choleric over this story because he had planned on borrowing that book through ILL.

Miranda said...

Mr. Shallit, do you have any problems with the agenda of NAMBLA?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Professor Shallit waxes choleric over this story because he had planned on borrowing that book through ILL.

So witty! I wonder how long it took you to think that one up. All day?

You're really living up to your trophy.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Mr. Shallit, do you have any problems with the agenda of NAMBLA?

I refuse to get sidetracked this badly, sorry. You already derailed the conversation by talking about Jennings, and now you're doing it further. Stay on topic or stay out.

Miranda said...

Well, since NAMBLA was on the exact same track as Jennings, and you've already given the impression that you have no problem with Jennings, you might want to clear up for your readers whether or not you have any problems with NAMBLA.
For your sake, not mine.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

New policy: I don't respond to concern trolls.

"For your sake", indeed.

Blake Stacey said...

"[...] and I thought my word if one of those kids had picked this up and looked inside of it they would have been ruined for life."

Or, more likely, the child in question would have said, "Grown-ups do that? Because they love each other? Ewwwww!" And then gone to play dodgeball.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Or, more likely, the child in question would have said, "Grown-ups do that? Because they love each other? Ewwwww!" And then gone to play dodgeball.

Exactly.

Miranda said...

A child seeing porno on accident is one thing. Grownups going out of their way to present it to children is quite another.

I really don't think you get that, Mr. Shallit.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Grownups going out of their way to present it to children is quite another.


And exactly what in my blog post has anything to do with that?

Miranda said...

I admit, it's not in your blog post; it's in your 3:58 PM post.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

Taking a passage or two out of a long work, and then acting shocked about how terrible it is, is a staple of the Religious Right. You could do the same thing with the Bible, but I don't see you or anyone else acting shocked! shocked! about the Bible being available to children.

My 13-year-old recently read Snow Falling on Cedars for his English class. It has some sections that talk rather explicitly about sex. It is also a very moving, challenging, and worthwhile book that I would recommend to other kids his age.

You, and other people who are shocked! by Jennings, need to give public school teachers some credit. Classroom books, by and large, are chosen by sensible teachers who understand what kids are and aren't capable of understanding. Frankly, my life was changed a lot more by All Quiet on the Western Front than Lady Chatterley's Lover, even though I read both in my teens.

Miranda said...

I guess I'm just not desensitized like you are.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

And I guess I'm not a religious prude like you are.

See how easy it is to throw insults around without addressing the issue?

If there are any studies showing kids have been harmed by reading the books mentioned, present it.

Miranda said...

What can I say to a guy who equates morality with 'lack of harm'?

I feel like asking, rhetorically, "If there are any studies showing kids have been harmed by reading I.D. books, present it." That would get us off topic, but I'm just trying to show that your challenge is without merit.

Oh, and if you don't share with your children "Mastering Multiple Position Sex," you're a prude, too.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

Thanks for admitting that you have no evidence for your position.

As for ID books, why do you assume I want to ban them? I don't. I have a good collection of them, and I discuss them with my children.

I don't think ID should be taught in science class, but that's an entirely different issue and has nothing to do with "harm" and everything to do with the separation of church and state and intelligent use of classroom time.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

By the way, if not "harm", what criteria would you advocate for deciding what to censor?

Miranda said...

"As for ID books, why do you assume I want to ban them?"

Never said it, nor thought it.

"Thanks for admitting that you have no evidence for your position."

And thank you for admitting that you're a prude just like me. Hey, you didn't deny it, did you?

"I don't think ID should be taught in science class, but that's an entirely different issue and has nothing to do with "harm" and everything to do with the separation of church and state and intelligent use of classroom time."

Plus, I imagine, that it would *harm* the standing of American kids in science compared to many other countries.


I think it was wrong of the library to accept the books in the first place. Removing them once they're there is a trickier case. (I never addressed this because I'm not sure how to, at least not at the moment.) If they can't figure out clear cases (I stress *clear*, as in "clear to probably more than 90% of the population") as to what is perverted and sick, especially when kids can easily get their hands on them, then /they/ are perverted and sick.

Miranda said...

If I may just sneak in one last diversion, just to show the kind of person Obama's choice of safe school czar I believe to be, kindly click here:
http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/08/fistgate-ii-high-school-students-given-fisting-kits-at-kevin-jennings-2001-glsen-conference/

I'm sure we'll disagree how to describe the people who present kids with these programs.
Nothing wrong at all? Tacticly unwise? Inappropriate? Youth corrupter? Pervert?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

Congrats on being a thoughtless cog in the right-wing outrage machine.

A student asked a question and was given an answer. What would you have the person say? "I'm not going to tell you the answer, you'll have to look it up on the Internet?"

If my kids asked me that question, I'd answer it honestly.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

If you have some evidence of harm, present it, or admit you can't. That's called "being intellectually honest". It is, perhaps, a concept foreign to you.

Miranda said...

If you can argue that presenting fisting kits to 14 year olds is anything but perverted thinking, present it.

"A student asked a question and was given an answer. What would you have the person say?"

Why, give out fisting kits to the whole room, of course. Sheesh.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

If you can argue that presenting fisting kits to 14 year olds is anything but perverted thinking, present it.

No offense, but you really need a course in basic logic.

You're the one making the claim, so the burden of proof is on you. What is "perverted"? Define it. And what, precisely, do you think is wrong with answering the question that was asked?

Please, no throwing up you hands and saying something like, "If I have to explain it to you, there's no point." I really want to know - what precisely do you find wrong with it?

Miranda said...

"And what, precisely, do you think is wrong with answering the question that was asked? "

Honestly, I can't remember which one you mean. Kindly just paste the time of the post.

You and I have different ideas as to whom the burden of proof devolves upon. I think it falls to the person who is obviously in the minority. At least the minority of parents in the United States.

Ben said...

I think that this thread has illustrated the essence of the difference between liberalism and the authoritarian Right. Dr. Shallit enunciated the standard by which liberals (of both right and left wing variety) determine the moral badness of an action: causing harm. Since the invention of this philosophy in the Enlightenment, liberals have asserted that people should be free to do as they please, and whomever seeks to restrict that freedom bears the burden of proving that such action brings harm to others. Until the rise of the authoritarian Right, most conservatives were "classical liberals" who viewed government regulations of the economy as infringements of that freedom. Left-liberals (today just liberals) would assert that such regulations are needed to keep powerful entities (such as big business) from causing harm to the common man.

This dynamic has shifted to a great degree with the rise of the authoritarian Right. Notice that Miranda seemed completely stupefied at the notion that Dr. Shallit would use the causation of harm as the standard by which to judge the appropriateness of legal sanction. This is because she has a different standard: namely, obedience to authority. She, like all authoritarians, views the essence of moral badness as deviating from the commands of a legitimate authority, that of God in the case of Miranda. Notice that from such a perspective, actions can be deemed evil in spite of having no adverse impact on anyone in the world, while actions conforming to authority are deemed good regardless of the consequences. This pre-modern perspective is what makes it possible for people to approve of such bizarre doctrines as forbidding condom use in AIDS-ridden Africa.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

You and I have different ideas as to whom the burden of proof devolves upon. I think it falls to the person who is obviously in the minority. At least the minority of parents in the United States.

Well, it's a fascinating bit of illogic, I admit. Next time you're on trial, and the jury all thinks you're guilty to start with, I'm sure you'll be happy to take the burden of proof and prove you're innocent.

The burden of proof has nothing to do with how many people support the proposition. Go read http://tinyurl.com/dzjs9d and come back when you understand it.

Miranda said...

I'm surprised you and Ben haven't campaigned for public nudity. After all, nobody is harmed.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Don't come to Ontario, Miranda. Topless women are legal there. Oddly enough, it doesn't seem to have resulted in any changes to the society.

Miranda said...

Ben, you make big, and wrong assumptions about me when you write: "She, like all authoritarians, views the essence of moral badness as deviating from the commands of a legitimate authority, that of God in the case of Miranda." My inner gut (do you want to call my gut 'authoritarian'?) tells me what moral badness is.

You also wrote, "Notice that Miranda seemed completely stupefied at the notion that Dr. Shallit would use the causation of harm as the standard by which to judge the appropriateness of legal sanction."

Wrong again. I believe that in MOST cases, that's the way to go. I believe in exceptions, though. And sick, perverted literature aimed at children is one of these exceptions. Funny how Shallit asks me to define 'perverted' when he threw out any definition long ago. It can't be accurately defined, just like 'beauty' can't be.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Funny how Shallit asks me to define 'perverted' when he threw out any definition long ago.

Actually, I haven't done what you claim. I asked you for what your definition is. Thanks for admitting you don't have one.

It can't be accurately defined, just like 'beauty' can't be.

But surely you see a difference here. We don't put people in jail for violating your standard of beauty. But you would have us ban books and take away the freedom of anyone who is "perverted", based on nothing more than your inchoate feeling about what is "perverted".

That's no way to make public policy.

Miranda said...

" I asked you for what your definition (of perverted) is. Thanks for admitting you don't have one."

You never defined "harm" or "deleterious effects" either.

Ben said...

Miranda, I concur that I painted with too broad a brush in making certain assumptions about you. However, I intended to describe a movement which I have been following in America for quite some time, and in that regard I do not back down from my previous description. The reason I put you in that camp is that I've read this and several other threads on this blog, and every post I've seen from you has been in defense of aspects of this movement. I apologize to the extent that my assumptions were inaccurate.

As for harm, notice that I left it intentionally vague. I did not limit myself to physical harm. I did not deny that society, as opposed to just individuals, can be harmed. And finally, I did not dispute the legitimacy of preventing self-inflicted harm. I'm largely a straight-laced guy who will do what is required of me. I simply insist that there is a rational basis for such requirements.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

You never defined "harm" or "deleterious effects" either.

Ah, the "tu quoque" fallacy. Nice try.

Miranda said...

I'm thinking of sending the following booklet to your kids:

http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/09/fistgate-iii-obamas-safe-schools-czars-black-book-for-kids-included-tips-on-fisting-and-piing-on-your-partner/

You can't accuse me of doing anything perverted; you've already shown that there's nothing perverted with handing out this stuff to kids.

I feel obligated to tell you that I'm joking about sending this stuff to your kids.

PS: Just say "tit for tat" instead of "tu quoque." It's less pretentious.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Thanks, Miranda, I'll look forward to it.

Miranda said...

I'm sending it to your kids, not you. I'll have my friend Harry Hay meet them in one of the bars that are advertised in the pamphlets.

(Again, I have to say I'm kidding.)

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

You're a bore. Go away.

Jeff Orchard said...

Returning to the topic of the original blog post, I can't say I blame Marti for hanging on to that book. It looks great... hopefully Marti's learned a few things from it.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Religion and sex don't mix well together. For millennia, religion has been trying to micromanage people's sexual behavior. It is one of the most ridiculous things in human history. In many cases, it originates from the fact that those who establish (or hold positions of power in) a particular religion have sexual problems themselves and wish to see others suffer too.

But now, Christians can rejoice. A new book (obviously not perverted, like Eric Marlowe Garrison's) has been published: The A Tastefully Illustrated Sexual Positions Guide for Christian Couples.

If you didn't know what sex for Christians is then you may find an answer therein. I suppose.

This, of course, raises the natural question: Are there different position for Jews? For Hindus? (Well, yes, we know this.) For Zoroastrians? I'll let theologians decide and debate on this.

Miranda said...

"In many cases, it originates from the fact that those who establish (or hold positions of power in) a particular religion have sexual problems themselves and wish to see others suffer too."

While they have issue of sticking things up people's asses, you have an issue with pulling theories out of yours.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

What I wrote is based on facts we read daily in newspapers.

I refer, specifically, to those religions and religious leaders (bishops, etc) who, owing to their religious dogmas, must remain celibate. Of course, they fail to do so. They cannot! The resulting sexual practices are of the most disgusting type, as we have seen, again and again and again. To be more specific, I refer to priests (ministers, I don't know what the exact terminology is) of various Catholic churches and bishops of various Orthodox churches. A large fraction of them has such huge sexual problems that they engage in various kinds of paraphilias.

I don't know what part of the world you are at, but I'm not referring to your experience with churches in your neighborhood (which could very well be free of sex abuses), but about all kinds of christian churches and branches around the world. And there are many (thousands of) types. (In fact, the religion called christianity is a collection of religions.)

You need to search a bit and find all the information you want. You have no idea how disgusting priests and the likes can be...

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda, does the name Ted Haggard mean anything to you? Or Jimmy Swaggart? Or the study of misconduct of Christian ministers?

Seems like the truth is more on Takis's side, and you're a nasty and bitter denialist.

Miranda said...

I agree with everything that you and Taki write in the last two comments concerning the priesthood.

Surprised?

It's the words, "wish to see others suffer too" that bugged me.

There's no proof for that -- even when we're talking about the reprobates Swaggart and Haggard.

When a thief robs a store, he wants the money, but does he "wish to see the store owner suffer"?

Miranda said...

It's funny that you'll point to Haggard and Swaggart (referring to their sexual misconduct), yet you'll defend Obama's safe-school czar Kevin Jennings and GLSEN's promotion of the same thing to children.

(One of the books Jennings recommends for kids:
http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/22/fistgate-xi-kevin-jennings-suggested-reading-for-kids-included-sick-book-that-promoted-sm-to-children-media-silent/#more-50770 )

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It's funny that you'll point to Haggard and Swaggart (referring to their sexual misconduct), yet you'll defend Obama's safe-school czar Kevin Jennings and GLSEN's promotion of the same thing to children.

You misunderstand completely. I don't care at all what Haggard and Swaggart did in their free time, as long as they didn't hurt or coerce anyone.

What I object to is their hypocrisy. To compare this to Jennings who is not a hypocrite and only wants to educate people, is utterly grotesque -- but typical for you.

Miranda said...

Sure, change direction without telling anyone. This hypocrisy angle is new.

It's easy for people without a claimed moral system to avoid being hypocritical.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

There are two problems with religious people:

1) Their hypocrisy about matters sexual.

2) Their sex crimes.

Since yesterday I spoke without references, let me provide some today:

Roman Catholic sex abuse cases by country here
.

Dublin Catholic Child abuse report here.

Sex scandals in Orthodox church of Greece: here and here. (Sex, drugs, violence, etc.)

Child sexual abuses by a priest of the Orthodox Church of Dallas: here.

Pedophilia cases in Greek church (in 2005-2007) here (sorry, only in Greek).

Very recent pedophilia and paraphilia cases here (sorry, only in Greek, but I point out some: 65-year old priest rapes boys; mother received money from priest to have sex with her 13 year old daughter; 82-year old priest rapes and abuses girls; priest prostitutes himself over the Internet.)

A 7-part article (sorry, only in Greek) on "holy pederasty in christian church through the centuries) here.

These are only few examples of the ones that are happening day after day, for centuries, by religious "leaders" of all kinds of religions. While I have focused mainly on two kinds of religion, the Orthodox Christian religion (because I know how corrupt they are) and the Catholic Christian religion (because we all know about the instutionalized child abuses), I'm sure that all religions have similar sex (and not only) practices, despite the fact that they claim to be "sex free". In other words, hypocrisy.

Miranda said...

Takis, would you feel better knowing that your efforts are wasted, since I already knew about all these scandals?

Your line, "I'm sure that all religions have similar sex (and not only) practices, despite the fact that they claim to be "sex free"." is useless since you used the word "all", making it untrue. Change it to "many" and I'll leave you alone.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Good. I'm glad you agree. This is why every time I hear morality being associated to religion I feel disgusted. Although, certainly, I do not know what happens with all religions, I have read quite a bit about the catastrophic effects of beliefs to unsubstantiated dogmas to be able to extrapolate the deleterious effects that a religion can have to people's minds. This is why I claim that most religions are associated with this kind of hypocrisy and scandals. I know well that not all religious people are immoral (in fact I can argue that the majority of them are not perverts or anything). I wrote "most religions" leaving out the remote possibility that there is a minority that has not entered into the realms of perversion. I would be happy to substitute "most" by "many" if I knew which religions are not prone to hypocrisy. Can you help with this?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It's easy for people without a claimed moral system to avoid being hypocritical.

Well, we can add "Jeff's moral system" to the ever-lengthening list of things Miranda knows nothing about.

Miranda said...

Takis wrote:

"This is why I claim that most religions are associated with this kind of hypocrisy and scandals. ... I wrote "most religions" leaving out the remote possibility that there is a minority that has not entered into the realms of perversion."

As Colonel Potter would say, "horse hockey!" You wrote "all religions." It's not so hard to scan this page, y'know.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Miranda:

I am aware of what I wrote:


This is why I claim that most religions are associated with this kind of hypocrisy and scandals. I know well that not all religious people are immoral (in fact I can argue that the majority of them are not perverts or anything). I wrote "most religions" leaving out the remote possibility that there is a minority that has not entered into the realms of perversion. I would be happy to substitute "most" by "many" if I knew which religions are not prone to hypocrisy. Can you help with this?


I know I had written "all" initially. Realizing that this may be wrong (although I doubt it), I substituted it by "most", and offered an explanation.

"As Colonel Potter would say, "horse hockey!""

I am sorry, but I don't know who Colonel Potter or what horse hockey means.

But I asked you a question, in case you know... Is there a religion that is not hypocritical and dangerous?

Miranda said...

Again, you keep changing, Takis. Here you write: "Is there a religion that is not hypocritical and dangerous?" but before you wrote "which religions are not prone to hypocrisy."

Maybe while you're googling on "horse hockey" (you've heard of google, right??), you can google on "hypocrisy." I don't think you're operating under an accurate definition.

Every belief system, including lack-of-belief systems, has its dangers.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Miranda:

You sound like a patronizing granny. (Maybe you are one?)

No I don't care to waste my time googling any arbitrary set of words you come up with.

Either you respond directly or you don't. In any case, I did not start an argument with you. You are trying to do so with me however. All I said was that religion is disgusting, moronic, dangerous... (Or maybe I didn't use these words. But you like my postings, so read them again to correct me.)

Grandma Miranda said...

"No I don't care to waste my time googling any arbitrary set of words you come up with. "

It would've been faster than typing "I am sorry, but I don't know who Colonel Potter or what horse hockey means." Plus, you could've avoided the embarrassment of being chastised for not Googling.

What was the topic of this post again, anyway? (smirk)

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

"What was the topic of this post again, anyway?"

Scroll up to see it. Or get treated for your presbyopia if you can't.

Miranda said...

Learn what "smirk" means, Takis.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Miranda:

It seems the only purpose of your commenting here is to appear to be agreeing but eventually disagreeing and starting an unprovoked series of stupid comments. If you, at your old age, feel like patronizing, then do so to your grandchildren.

The topic of the conversation is the deep perversity of most religions, most likely all of them. Religion is evil as you seem to have agreed with earlier. Unfortunately, many people cannot get rid of bad habits and continue to torture themselves and others because of their religious stupid beliefs.