The Maus That Roared

It’s hard to overstate how big a deal the left is making about this. It’s everywhere, and I mean everywhere. They. Are. Going. NUTS!

And it’s easy to see why. Leftists project - they always, only, ever project - and censorship is their biggest agenda item these days. They’ve “canceled” all sorts of literature, history, and commentary, and they’re claiming that it’s not nearly “enough”. They’ve even banned some Dr. Seuss books!

And to be clear, when they ban things, they’re not merely “removed from the mandatory reading list at a public school.” Left-wing bans mean nobody can get the content by any means.

The Left is vulnerable to criticism over its love of censorship, and the Left knows it. So when a school board removed a Holocaust novel from its mandatory curriculum, Lefties were ecstatic. “This - this is the story we can use to flip the script!”

The Left very, very badly needs this notion that the Right is the real censorship threat, because it needs to do a lot of censorship. And it needs cover!

They also need to flip the script regarding their anti-Semitism, so there’s a two-for-one in play here.

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Why can’t they teach a nicer Holocaust?”

-Art Spiegelman

By McMinn’s standards much of history would be “age inappropriate”.

It’s censorship alright, the censoring of dark & difficult history. Some might say coddling has done our youth no favours.

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Terry McAuliffe’s ill-fated comments on public schools and the role which parents play was one of the reasons why he lost the Virginia Governors election- although another reason was because parents were frustrated with mask mandates for kids and recent school closures as well (on the latter issue, some research has shown that childhood development has been stunted by up to 2 standard deviations, although it is impossible to know how much of this damage is permanent).

Anyway, it is not what is on the curriculum which should concern parents, but rather what is in the library. In a recent podcast with Joe Rogan on Spotify, James Lindsay cited postmodern Marxist literature which argued that childhood innocence should be targeted for destruction by the budding activist in education. By introducing sexually explicit non-binary and trans literature into the library, the chances are increased that a teenager will come home claiming to be demiqueer. Any resultant friction can later be used in the Marxist grooming of the child, to help make them reject the society, its mores and the customs of the parent.

It shouldn’t surprise us. Marxism has long abhorred the family.

As usual, my essays are to be found on my Substack, which is free to view and comment:

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Thank You, Thank you------for the truth. But it will fall on deaf ears as the majority of the self-indulgent new cultural elites have an absolute contempt for children and their parents whom they view as an annoyance. They control everything and will fight like rabid animals to ensure that only their portraying of history MUST be pushed down the throats of children with little regard relative to where these kids have been. They insist that children must be subjected to the whims of adults and be forced to accept adult content. They refuse to allow them to be children as to them children are nothing more, then covid super spreaders out to take down Randy G and her union thugs. They will insist that the horrors and reality of the Holocaust cannot be taught effectively unless it is on their terms and with their imagery.

The COVID lockdowns has provided parents a view into what is really being taught in schools and much of what parents see they don’t like. They don’t like sexuality explicit material made available to their children in school libraries detailing sex acts and teachers getting in the way of the relationship between parents and their children specifically with regards to life altering events relative to identity.
Parents deserve transparency around what is taught in the schools they fund and that their children attend. They’re pissed and sick of being treated like second-class citizens by performance artists who pretend men can get pregnant. Spiegelman is a brilliant artist and must not be banned but you rightly point out this is not what’s happening. But he is selfish. His pulitzer is just one more arbitrary and self-indulgent meaningless awards elites give each other to validate whatever garbage they come up with as the only truth.

It is impossible to overstate the costs imposed on children of all ages from the sustained, enduring and severe disruptions to their lives resulting from COVID. These kids are not being coddled as some would suggest by removing this content. Those that would suggest that have little understanding of what children specifically those from lower income communities locked up in apartments had to endure over these last two + years. They are not weak like the pathetic adults that made the decision to shift their anxieties and fantasies onto them in the name of art. The devastating toll of the pandemic on children will take years to evaluate. We should all be ashamed of ourselves for standing by and allowing this despicable atrocity against children. But Spiegelman and his adult defenders need to stand down and stop being so pathetically selfish. While this school board’s decision might not be perfect, at least it had the welfare of children as the primary focus in their decision.

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Not having ever read or even heard of Maus, I took first to Wikipedia, and then to the free on-line version of ‘Maus: a survivor’s tale…’, which I briefly glanced through to get a gist of it.

As something of a holocaust student, I have seen some really obscene stuff, like Ka-Tzetnik’s, ‘The House of Dolls’, which described the life of Jewess concentration camp prisoners who were drafted into the German prostitution ‘Joy Divisions’ as German sex dolls. Art Spiegelman’s comix adaptation of his own family’s holocaust experience seems positively ‘tame’ by comparison.

Spiegelman’s story seems such a matter-of-fact past and present intertwining and retelling of the terrible story of ordinary Polish Jews, with all the complicated, fraught and diverse relationships that Jews had with each other, their Polish neighbors, then the Germans and finally, the very difficult and equally fraught legacy of migration, traumatic memory and the considerable challenge of moving on from it.

The story is distilled down to a comic format that at once both simplifies and yet nuances all the threads that made the whole sad and brutal episode that was the Nazi occupation of eastern Europe and its post holocaust aftermath. I would have thought it was an ideal and vivid medium to introduce the holocaust narrative and its consequences for subsequent generations, many of whom, even after 10 years of schooling, cannot read well enough to tackle say, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’.

Given the sort of stuff that is getting into children’s internet feeds, Spiegelman’s narrative seems so tamely ‘ordinary’; yet not so ordinary that it is unmemorable and not a potential stimulus to later further research and more mature understanding, as the reader gets older.

I think Spiegelman’s work is a victim of a society that is becoming deeply uncertain about how to mentor and governance its children, in an age of protracted deregulation and privatization of the social system and its reproductive apparatus, whose devastating impacts are now coming home to roost in the form of descuritized, unstable, unformed, poorly educated and dysfunctional social product.

There is a blind existential scramble going on to find and cling onto any piece of cultural detritus that might float in a storm, and the jettisoning of sometimes valuable artifact so that it might not sink under the weight of it. It is like the Warner Bros ‘Coyote moment’, when he knows he has gone over a cliff, and does not dare to look down to break the illusory spell of normality, as a fawn does, who starts to preen itself when ineluctably trapped in the power of a lion.

This act of school censorship (curriculum editing) gives the impression of ‘doing something’ when in fact there is nothing immediate to be done…except perhaps to undertake an enormous and protracted effort across an entire society resolved to grasp the now abandoned basics of what makes life, bringing it into the world and successfully nurturing it to maturity, viable and sustainable in the very long term.

The following is what that could look like in a postmodern devolution to Capitalism Lite and the attenuation of the nation state.

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Wow, this is some conspiratorial claptrap. Lindsay has long ago jumped the shark in his anti-Leftist obsession, and it looks like you decided to follow him. Do you really think school librarians are doctrinaire Marxists who are committed to destroying the family? It seems far more likely to me that they want books addressing trans issues in their libraries for students who are confused about their gender identity.

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James Linsday and Geary Johansen too? Everyone seems to be some kind of conspiratorial extremist these days! How would one know the difference between a mass obsession sweeping the land and a mass eye-opening? To those left behind whose eyes remain closed this must seem quite strange.

I heard the podcast I think Geary is talking about where he reads through an academic paper and outlines how it all adds up to basically usurping the innocence from childhood. Couldn’t find it with a quick search but I came across this:

I would not be surprised one bit if anyone downplaying this stuff by calling it conspiratorial turned out to be a child rapist.

“Addressing” trans issues in an even-handed way, I’m sure. Pushing trangenderism seems far more likely to me. Although I haven’t looked into it, I’d be willing to bet that this literature mostly (if not wholly) ignores the growing trend of detransitioners who regret their decision to transition in favor of a whole lot of rainbow woo. Where would your money be on that, Schope?

I’d bet the literature blames ‘cisnormative’ societal attitudes for the prevalence of suicide within the “trans community” while dodging the idea that the inherent futility of trying to change one’s sex can result in reget, depression and suicide. Would you take that bet?

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Lots of rhetorical hand-waving, no response to my actual point: please provide evidence that school librarians are Marxists who are advancing an anti-family agenda. It’s an absurd claim.

You may be right, and I share your concerns about trans ideology. But the issue I’m addressing (and you’re avoiding) is that barmy claim that librarians are actively intending to destroy the family.

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This really makes no difference. Some of them are conscious of it. Marxists speak of both the long march through the institutions, and disrupting the “necesssity” for the nuclear family, but savvy people know how to read between the lines–they’re clearly talking about lowering the prevalence of the nuclear family. Strong families make it harder for them to get their lonely and disaffected recruits.

it takes one push, and gravity does its thing. The librarians are a part of that gravity. Some might know what they’re doing. Most prob don’t.

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Personally I suspect that the books in the school library mean far more to parents and activists than they do to actual students. Students interested in transgenderism will research it on their phones, or on the tablets in their bag, or the computers at home or in the library.

Very few will go to the library to collect research material.

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I think that part alone makes “Maus” unsuitable for a high-school curriculum.

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It was removed only from middle school curriculum. High schoolers can still be assigned the book. This outcry about “censorship” is really much ado about nothing. It’s projection and misdirection as usual.

Maus is a great and informative read. I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to a teenager to read.

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In a substantial number of instances, sure. In the UK the British Library recently made efforts to decolonise its catalogue- shifting classic literature by dead white men into storage, whilst simultaneously promoting activist Black and woke authors dealing with content specifically related to oppression / oppressor narratives and other DEI themes. Although you do have a point- often the questionable literature comes from School Boards, bureaucracies, activist teachers and other sources- rather than the librarians themselves.

A graphic novel that contains a scene in which a nonbinary female encourages another underage nonbinary female to let her fellate her wearing a strap-on. Where do you think many of the roots of Queer Theory comes from? George Lukacz. Lukacz, and later postmodern Critical Theorists, hate the idea of childhood innocence. They see this as part of a mechanism of repressive capitalist society to repress children’s sexuality in order to redirect it towards capitalist work. If you here the phrase raising critical consciousness, specifically in relation to encouraging it in children, then there is fair chance the motive is to expose children to sexually mature content. Besides which, they should be teaching children how to think, not what to think.

@gamma247

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Evidence, please! If its absence, I’ll apply Hitchens Razor.

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https://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/librarynews/2020/10/27/decolonising-the-library-the-work-so-far/

So- no first edition Sir Arthur Conan Doyle then.

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I’m noticing a trend among my interlocutors in different threads: a rather conspicuous gap between the claim being made and the evidence provided to support it.

Your claim: a significant number of middle-school teachers (presumably, since that was the focus of the original article) are Marxists who are intentionally trying to destroy the family.

Your evidence: a podcast from university librarians about “decolonizing” the library and an interview with the chief librarian at the British Library in which she expresses Woke views on race.

If you had expressed concern that some librarians in some schools are acquiring books written by Woke authors while neglecting books that present counternarratives, I would share your worry (assuming it was backed by evidence). Instead you make it sound as if school librarians are part of a fifth column attempting to destroy Western civilization from the inside. Color me unconvinced.

I had the same thought. I wonder whether it even makes sense for school libraries to spend much of their budget on books. I think intensive media literacy programs would be far more valuable.

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More deranged conspiratorial misinformation……
McMinn removed it from all their schools.

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Misinformation, it seems. I’ll grant you that much. I was going by what this Quillette article said.

Deranged and conspiratorial though? Aren’t you people concerned about dulling what are apparently the only weapons you have through overuse?

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