Derp Roundup: Idaho Parents Call Cops To Protect Children From Banned Book

Welcome to Derp Roundup, the weekly feature where we give our browser tabs a Silkwood shower and serve up the runoff to you, the reader. Add whatever reality-dilution agents you think may be necessary.

  • Our Lead Derp this week comes from the Boise suburb of Meridian, Idaho, where the school board removed an award-winning Young Adult novel by an Idaho author from the curriculum after some parents complained about bad words and references to -- we hope you are sitting down -- masturbation. Said one grumpy parent, the book includes language "we do not speak in our home.” (Then again, so does Lord of the Rings, with all that Elvish.) Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian hasn't been removed from school libraries, but teachers will no longer be allowed to assign or discuss it in classes, so let's just go ahead and call it banned, shall we? Seriously, a few locals have said that since the book hadn't been removed altogether, it was not "banned," and so talk of book banning was filthy liberal demagoguery. Then, as so often happens, a heroic local bookstore, in this case Boise's Rediscovered Books, stepped forward and, with help from donations and from the publisher, got over 700 copies of the novel to give away to students. Yay! And one plucky student volunteer, Brady Kissel, even distributed copies at a park Wednesday, as part of a book fair event, at least until a Concerned Parent called the cops.

    Happily, the police were just as confused as Ms. Kissel about what the parents wanted them to do. The police

    said they had been called out by someone concerned about teenagers picking up a copy of the book without having a parent's permission

    Police asked Kissel about passing out the book. They said they found nothing wrong with what was going on in the park.

    And so, happily, the banning of a book has increased teens' interest in the book. And the police are doing nothing to stop this outbreak of reading. As Sherman Alexie and illustrator Ellen Forney know all too well, such interest can be dangerously sexxay:

    Also, you should all read Absolutely True Diary. It's funny as all fuck, and like so many banned books, sweet and humane and even kind of inspiring. But it also includes the line, "If God hadn't wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn't have given us thumbs," so maybe you should just burn it instead.

  • In another story of kiddos being far smarter than their elders, we're happy to bring you this story about a young woman speaking Truth to Derp: 12-year-old Madison Kimrey has written a pretty awesome open letter in response to the most recent time that Phyllis Schlafly said women shouldn't worry about equal pay, because who will they marry then? Madison knows stupid when she sees it, and wrote to Schlafly:

    Dear Ms. Schlafly,

    I’m a teenage girl who has been reading about you quite a bit in the news lately. It seems to me that you have absolutely no idea what women of my generation are all about. I can understand that because I often deal with older people who think that their generation is superior and my generation is the worst thing ever just because we’re different. Really though, I think since you want to be all up in the public eye, it would really do you a lot of good to understand things from the perspective of one of the young women who will be taking over this country soon.

    I’ve been thinking about how I can explain what feminism means to my generation in a way you might not have thought of before. I wanted to try to work from something we have in common, and it’s been kind of hard to find something I have in common with you. Then, it came to me. I bet you wear a bra.

    Kinney went on to say that not all bras fit all women's shapes or tastes, and that

    making choices in our lives as young women is kind of like finding that favorite bra. Not all of us are going to fit into the same kind and not all of us are going to find the same style attractive ... Choosing a bra is a very personal choice and is none of anyone else’s business.

    We would like to report that Ms. Kimrey closed by telling Schlafly to stop looking down other women's shirts and to "calm her tits," but no, the kid had to go and be tasteful.

    Correction/Update:When we initially posted this story, we got Madison Kimrey's name wrong -- it genuinely looked like "Kinney" to Yr Doktor Zoom, who is going to make an appointment to update his glasses prescription at Magoo Optometry ASAP.

  • A rightwing talk radio host (seriously, are there any wingnuts who don't have a radio show?), Lisa Benson, warned last week that Somalis have taken over all the taxi services at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, thanks to an "exclusive contract" between the airport and the Somali community. Because that makes sense and is even possible, and we're certain that she will show that contract any day now. And this scares her, because of course Somalis are all terrorist Jew-rapers:

    There is an exclusive contract with the Somali community both for janitorial services and for taxi driving ... the refugee community has unrestricted access at my airport to baggage, to planes, to many, many things.

    Getting out of the plane last weekend I went to a taxi stand and quietly asked the attendant to put me in a cab, preferably not a Somali cab -- that was my first mistake as I was trying to protect myself. I had every right to be concerned, having just reported on the Kansas City attack, and being alerted to the Ukraine crisis for the Jewish community. You see, I wear a jewish star all the time; it's very clear I am Jewish-American.

    What ensued was a ride in a taxicab with a northern Sudanese cab driver* who'd got wind that I didn't want a Somali cab driver. He turned to me while driving 70 miles per hour, with the back doors of my cab locked...

    And you know what he did? He said he'd sue her for being a bigot!!! An anti-Semitic attack!!! And then he said he was going to drive to the police, which we presume was code for, "I am going to leave your headless body in the desert." But she bravely replied, "Buddy, this is America. I can get into any cab I want!"

    She somehow survived the ordeal, although the YouTube recording ends there, and darned if a brief web search could turn up any more information on the alleged incident, which we are certain happened exactly as Benson reported it, because why would she just make shit up?

    *who presumably can't have existed, considering that "exclusive contract" with Somalis...

  • The National Review has decided that calling for limits on greenhouse gases is tantamount to wanting to "kill about 5.7 billion people." You see, the industrial revolution, driven by coal and petroleum, made population growth and economic development possible:

    A person in an expansive mood might even say exploitation of fossil fuels is a miracle, enabling transnational markets for food, widespread travel and education, heavier-than-air flight, full-time employment for left-wing commentators, and even the abolition of slavery.

    And so, given that the vast majority of current energy is provided by fossil fuels, eliminating them all at once (which of course is exactly what all "warmists" advocate) would "condemn billions of people to their deaths." Stupid liberals want to kill everyone. This, by the way, is all Chris Hayes's fault, because he made a comparison between the importance of slavery to the American economy in the mid 19th century and today's reliance on fossil fuels -- his point was that making a change that is against the economic interests of the leadership class is difficult, not that climate change = slavery, or that immediate "abolition" of fossil fuels is called for. But yeah, tl;dr: Chris Hayes wants to kill most of the people on Earth. What a pity.

  • The Koch Brothers' group Americans For Prosperity, fresh off its epic victory over buses in Nashville, is now taking on another group of tax moochers: The Columbus, Ohio, zoo. AFP is quietly working to fight a local ballot measure that would provide funding for the city's zoo and aquarium. And while this particular case is really stupid, The Wire also notes that it's just one more example of AFP's campaign to get involved in every level of politics, which probably is something we should be really worried about:

    Koch brothers oppose local zoo animals is a fun, quirky headline. Koch brothers build national alternative to Republican party might be more accurate. Either way, a 500-pound gorilla joke is in order.

    Well thanks one hell of a lot. We weren't planning to sleep especially well anyway.

  • The former CEO of the Virginia branch of Girl Scouts of America, Linda Carne, has pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $23,000 from the group between April 2010 and December 2011, mostly by using a Girl Scouts credit card for personal purchases, including vacations, pricey household items, and entertainment, none of which had anything to do with official business. We mostly just wanted to include this story because she faces up to 20 years in jail for her fraud, which means we can call her Linda "Con" Carne.
  • [Idaho Statesman / KBOI / Daily Dot / HuffPo / Liberals Unite / RightWingWatch / NRO / The Nation / The Wire / The Wire again / Richmond Times-Dispatch]

    Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He's going to go buy something at Rediscovered Books, tell you what.

    Doktor Zoom

    Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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