In Which We Take The Other Side

December 13th, 2004 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

It is rare that we come to the defense of Wal-Mart, but there you have it. Setting aside the fact that it’s a rare child who reaches the age of 13 without hearing swearing, it is impossible to know the contents of each and every album and book in a store (and we know that Wal-Mart gives it a valiant effort). If parents don’t want their kids hearing objectionable stuff, they need to do the right parenting thing and vet the stuff before unleashing it on innocent minds. It is not up to government nor the retailers to do the work of parenting.

And, yeah, this is right up there with a parent suing a school district for, uh, assigning a book she finds objectionable…objectionable based on her online research, not from her careful reading of the text. For writers, this is disturbing. You don’t know what people will find offensive. You really can’t guess. We at Booksquare find mustaches offensive, but we’ve never taken action on a global scale as we know others enjoy them (why, we cannot guess). People swear. They also have sex. They kill. They do all sorts of things. It is part of the human experience. And we think it’s easier to vote with our wallet than to allow an individual to determine what is right for everyone (with the exception noted in the first paragraph about parents and children — yes, life is unfair. It’s better to know this now.

We’re hitting the road now. Our quick skim of the headlines shows lots of cool stuff to talk about — hopefully we’ll get to it later today (or tomorrow or…well, soon).

  • Wal-Mart is sued over rude lyrics: The swear word is on Evanescence’s Anywhere But Home album. The parents of a 13-year-old girl are suing US supermarket giant Wal-Mart over a CD by rock group Evanescence that contains swear words.

File Under: Square Pegs

2 responses so far ↓

  • Susan Gable // Dec 13, 2004 at 2:03 pm

    Okay, this is just nuts. I’m with you, Booksquare. I don’t like when WalMart has so much power over books that they can sort of decide how books get edited, but this is ridiculous. WalMart happens to be the one place where you can buy “cleaned up” CD’s for your preteens. I know. My kid has taste for some of the bands that do more swearing than is necessary – and WalMart offers cleaned up versions of their stuff – and I happen to appreciate that as a parent. So this mother is a nutcase. Give me a break. Just because WalMart SOLD IT doesn’t mean she had to buy it.

    I sure hope this doesn’t lead to even stronger censuring by WalMart, because this is NOT their fault at all.

    Some people (in fact, our society as a whole) are just lawsuit happy. These kinds of stupid, frivilous lawsuits need to be just tossed out of court.

  • booksquare // Dec 13, 2004 at 10:52 pm

    Back in the day, when Tipper Gore was upset about her daughters hearing racy songs on a Prince album, I wondered, how could she not know what Prince is about? It wasn’t like he was Mr. Family Friendly. I realize it’s impossible to police every input into your kid’s brain, but there’s no excuse for not doing your homework. At least Tipper had the excuse of not having the Internet (yes, because her husband hadn’t invented it yet…).

    I’ve been reading books with strong language longer than the mother realizes. I like to think I turned out okay. Weird, but okay. Personally, I think it would be cool if the parent had a frank talk with the kid about the language being used and why. This may be why I have cats…they pretend to be interested in everything I say!