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Thread: kids, old literature, & political correctness

  1. #11
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    I think I'd just explain it. I read a lot of stuff when I was younger that wasn't that PC and I don't think it affected me. I don't think I ever really connected the worlds I read in books to the real world.

    Also, Little House on the Prairie? I totally don't remember that! I'm positive I read the originals though. My parents never bought me edited or abridged books.

  2. #12
    Grey Warden Rowanwood's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    I have to agree with the bedtime vs. rest of the time too. My babyshark is just going to be 3, so trying to explain anything, especially to a tired kid is pointless at best...but during the day I would be more willing to explore difficult content...though at the moment, I'd have to sit on her for anything other than a short tale.

    Right now with stick to I'll Love You Forever, and I just cry a little while I read it....

  3. #13
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    What about writing down any questions/concerns that you come across or the kiddos don't seem to get right away to discuss in the morning or some time the next day? Or just choosing less charged books for at night.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

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  4. #14
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    Also, Little House on the Prairie? I totally don't remember that! I'm positive I read the originals though. My parents never bought me edited or abridged books.
    Oh, yeah...go back and read the part about "Injuns" Mine didn't either...but, I checked plenty of books I didn't own out from the library.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowanwood View Post
    I have to agree with the bedtime vs. rest of the time too. My babyshark is just going to be 3, so trying to explain anything, especially to a tired kid is pointless at best...but during the day I would be more willing to explore difficult content...though at the moment, I'd have to sit on her for anything other than a short tale.

    Right now with stick to I'll Love You Forever, and I just cry a little while I read it....
    Lol...the problem is that bedtime is really the only time (at least during the week) we have that isn't hectic, so its perfect for reading.
    Last edited by thalassa; 29 Jan 2014 at 12:19.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  5. #15
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    First off...thanks guys. I was mostly looking for other perspectives to see if others have thought about this stuff, and what they thought. I find it sort of interesting an interesting quandry from a more intellectual standpoint, not just a personal parenting one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahaku View Post
    What about writing down any questions/concerns that you come across or the kiddos don't seem to get right away to discuss in the morning or some time the next day?
    This would probably work. Its something we do anyhow, like in the car or at the store, when they think of things they want to look up.

    When I was a kid, I had a huge set of Encyclopedia Britannica books (the really nice, leather bound and gold leafed ones) at home that my parents sent me to look stuff up in...my kids call it "The Google List"...

    Or just choosing less charged books for at night.
    So, here's the thing...usually its one scene or two (and generally not essential to the book overall) or a word or three, or a sentence or five. I'm not reading The Color Purple to them, lol!!

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    I used to think maybe you could skip parts or change it but then I though about the author who actually wrote the work. Most carefully choose the words they select because of any number of reasons and what it conveyed to their audience. Granted some things have not withstood the passage of time and seem wrong by today's standards. Yet if we respect the purpose of the book and the story that is being told I think we have to keep the old words. It's like Edgar Rice Burroughs used many despariging words for blacks in his works yet to try and remove them really does a dis-service to his story and his times. Yet I also ponder as a writer do I want the works I do today to be torn apart and changed because the ethics and morality of society will change in the future? My words, the current and energy of my writing will reflect the energy of my times, whether it be good or bad which is what those earlier writers have passed to us.
    This is sort of my qualm too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    But for my two cents, don't over think it. Kids are smart, they know a story is just a story.
    This is very true too... And I'll admit, sometimes I struggle between being laid back and over thinking it as a parent!
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  6. #16
    Banned! Larix's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    If I have the original story then that is what I would read without changing anything. I personally think it wrong to correct things to make them politically correct today when those ethics, morality, and word usage didn't apply to the time frame the things were written. We encourage critical thinking but then remove the items through pc police which I think removes the notion of critical thinking regardless of age.

    Sad part is its not just stories that are changed. I've seen historical speeches changed because modern society doesn't like what is omitted or implied. Yet the speech then becomes not the historical speech that changed a period of time. One recently I saw was Patrick Henry's speech about "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their (Party) country!" that was changed to make it all good people. When I retired there was another Chief who retired and our Executive Officer changed his plaque as the speech he wanted read didn't meet her ethics so she changed a historical speech to make it politically correct. I know it pissed him off because the speech meant a lot to him and for her to change it because she didn't like it was wrong. She didn't like it because it was a Kennedy speech that referred to men only and she though that wrong for the then current military.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As an added though would you stop a classic movie or play your watching because it has politically incorrect things? Consider Shakespeare for instance, there is a lot that is politically incorrect today. The Wizard of Oz has a lot of non-pc stuff today but would you change the classic or forbid your children from watching or hearing it?
    All this reminds me of Orwell's "1984"

    You know, when history got changed all the time according to the whim of those dictators.

    Political correctnes has become a simular dictatorship.

  7. #17
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    One large problem with "non pc" story line,that at times gets a book banned,is these attitudes did exist when a lot of older books were written. One big problem is that banning a book for its reflection of the times is,we take away a collective memory of how things used to be,and try to whitewash our past to fit our present. I think we need to remember these things,no matter how painful they might seem,or for many shameful...
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  8. #18
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    Quote Originally Posted by Larix View Post
    All this reminds me of Orwell's "1984"

    You know, when history got changed all the time according to the whim of those dictators.

    Political correctnes has become a simular dictatorship.

    All history is changed according to the perspective of those that write it.




    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    One large problem with "non pc" story line,that at times gets a book banned,is these attitudes did exist when a lot of older books were written. One big problem is that banning a book for its reflection of the times is,we take away a collective memory of how things used to be,and try to whitewash our past to fit our present. I think we need to remember these things,no matter how painful they might seem,or for many shameful...

    Actually, a number of books on the ALA's Banned Book List have been banned or challenged from schools because they ARE politically correct, in that they value diversity and plurality over WASPy monoculture. I can't even tell you how many books get nixed because of the sexuality or religion or whatnot of a carachter these days...when I was a kid, there was a school in Oregon that banned The Lorax (by Dr Seuss) because the school was located in a logging town where most of the people worked for the logging industry.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  9. #19
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    I'm working on a list of books (or maybe I'll stick with my mom's parenting technique of requiring my kids to read a book a week off the ALA Banned Book List every summer) to buy for the kids to read, and I came across this fabulous WSJ piece by author Sherman Alexie (written in resonse to this bozo):


    Almost every day, my mailbox is filled with handwritten letters from students–teens and pre-teens–who have read my YA book and loved it. I have yet to receive a letter from a child somehow debilitated by the domestic violence, drug abuse, racism, poverty, sexuality, and murder contained in my book. To the contrary, kids as young as ten have sent me autobiographical letters written in crayon, complete with drawings inspired by my book, that are just as dark, terrifying, and redemptive as anything I’ve ever read.
    And, often, kids have told me that my YA novel is the only book they’ve ever read in its entirety.

    (snip)

    Teenagers read millions of books every year. They read for entertainment and for education. They read because of school assignments and pop culture fads.
    And there are millions of teens who read because they are sad and lonely and enraged. They read because they live in an often-terrible world. They read because they believe, despite the callow protestations of certain adults, that books-especially the dark and dangerous ones-will save them.
    As a child, I read because books–violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not–were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life.
    And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.

    the rest of it: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/...tten-in-blood/
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  10. #20
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: kids, old literature, & political correctness

    Thalassa, you are an outstanding parent. I want to meet your kids in 20 years, and see what they have become - it will be something marvelous, I bet...

    G.K Chesterton, maybe, expressed this idea best:

    Tremendous Trifles (1909)

    The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
    Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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