professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Oddly Oz

Have you missed me? I regret leaving this journal empty for so long. Without going into TMI territory, let's just say that posting was not high on my list of priorities. I hope I will be a more faithful blogger, but I do know that daily blogging is probably not going to happen. But I am back for now.


I have ben obsessed about The Wizard of Oz during my recovery. I watch it nightly; it generally lulls me to sleep right before the final scenes. I love the singing and the plot. I have loved this movie since I was a kid and went to see it in color on a neighbor's TV. I use references to the movie when I discuss fantasy in my lit classes because it is a perfect visual example of how fantasy begins with roots in reality, travels to and through the fantasy, and returns to reality at the end.

As a young viewer of The Wizard of Oz, I feared those flying monkeys. Often, I would turn away for that scene. As an adult, I fear something different: the tornado. What does this mean in terms of books and reading/ I do have a point here. Being afraid of something that is not real is pretty much a waste of time. We should concern ourselves with threats that are real and present. I speak, of course, about selection and censorship. It seems to me that lately there are preemptive strikes against some books. Take a look at the current list of frequently banned books from ALA: Five of the top 10 (actually 11) are banned for references to LBGTQIA content. These, to me, are the flying monkeys. Some people are afraid of these books. They fear the content might corrupt readers, change readers. Like the flying monkeys, this is not reality at all. I often tell PD audiences that if we are what we read, my 20s would have been given over to finding those sulking (and hulky) men of gothic romance. My 30s reading would have resulted in me becoming some sort of otherworldly creature. My 50s would have been spent at Hogwarts, etc. Instead my reading over the last 60+ years has extended my vocabulary, taken me on flights of fantasy, chilled me to the bone in harsh reality, and made me laugh so much I chortled.

The real threats occur when we limit the choices our readers make. We tell them that graphic novels are not worth their reading; here are a few responses to those who believe GNs are for young readers only (and I would suggest sine adult GNs such as Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? (; Who is to say that Captain Underpants and Dogman are books that are just fluff? My oldest granddaughter read those books as an adult because they made her laugh. There is something to be said for having some humor in our lives.

Censorship is the tornado: unpredictable, dangerous, and potentially deadly. It frightens me much more than the flying monkeys ever did.
Tags: censorship, gns, wizard of oz

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