Dean Clough

August 30, 2023

Portico Darwin: Book Bans and You


<2 Minute Read
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Say hello to hump day.

As we observe the Presidential candidacy of Ron DeSantis, the Republican Governor of Florida, implode, it is useful to consider his pandering on culture war issues in his state.  And some of his worst bootlicking has been providing cover for those who want to ban particular books in public schools.

Apart from child pornography and a very limited number of other awful things, I strongly believe it is a fundamental right to read what one chooses.  And that includes children and especially teenagers, obviously within reason, and with the guidance of parents, teachers, and librarians.

Don't you?

But apart from the mindlessness of targeting things like Toni Morrison's Beloved or Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (here is a complete and sortable list of the books banned in every state), the nonsense in Florida's K-12 system is worse than you think.

That's because only TWO PEOPLE are responsible for more than half of the complaints in the entire state.  

This is from the Numlock newsletter.


A Tampa Bay Times analysis of 1,100 complaints lodged against books across 62 Florida school districts covering 99 percent of public school students in the state found that two people alone were responsible for 600 of the complaints.  The counties of those busybodies made up 3 percent of the state’s total enrollment, but over 700 of the 1,100 complaints.  All told, the 1,100 complaints pertained to 680 books by 480 authors.  

Obviously, the best way to operate an educational facility is to make it so that any crank in your county can jam up a library with a form letter just because they don’t particularly care for gay people that much.

DeSantis and many others don't want so-called "woke" corporations like Disney influencing our thoughts.  But they see that as the government's job, instead?  Yet I thought those who think this way want the government out of our lives?  Isn't the government telling us what our children can read putting them dead-center in the middle of them?  What are parents for?

The logic is difficult to follow.  The government is ruining the country with its meddling and regulation, but banning books is fine?  And when two people are the source of the majority of the complaints?

If there's another side to this, I'll be thrilled to publish it. 

For the record, Florida, has banned 357 books.  Texas has banned 438.


It's always great hearing from the head-over-heels Nicki Vale.  But especially when she agrees with me, as she did on my recent Hotel SOPTOC post.

I for one love these ideas and especially appreciate how you included pets in the breakdown.  I have heard stories of people refusing to go to shelters because they have to give up their pets. 

Although it probably isn't wise to have a pet without the means to care for it, pets sure help make the blackness a bit brighter. 

Well said.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.  
(I kept it wrong grammatically on purpose since the beginning, but I've decided that was dumb.)


Here is Talking Book, by the genius Stevie Wonder.
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This album, and its immediate predecessor Music of My Mind, are generally considered to mark the beginning of Mr. Wonder's "classic" period.  I mention that because, for the upcoming holiday, I have something very large planned, and two other of his albums from that period feature prominently.  Stay tuned.

About Dean Clough