Plunging Into the River

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The random thoughts of a confused and bewildered blogger on a confusing and bewildering issue

“And it isn’t banned as much as suspended – there is a difference.” (David Farrar)

Oh, right, so it’s like when a rule-breaking student is suspended from school for two weeks. Great. So when does this suspension end? What’s that you say? You don’t know? It might not be lifted? Or it might be only partially lifted? Maybe next month, but maybe not?

So it’s not a ban, even though I can’t buy the book in New Zealand and don’t know when or if I ever will be able to.

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I just had an alarming thought. If reading material that features inappropriate or dangerous sexual behaviour tends to normalise that behaviour in the mind of the reader, then I had better cancel my New Zealand Herald subscription forthwith. Yet again.

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Can anyone help me come up with some reading alternatives for kids disappointed at the banning (sorry David, I mean suspension) of this book? I’m sure Bob McCoskrie would love all children to be reading the Bible, but there’s no way I’m letting my kids anywhere near that depraved piece of filth. For starters, it’s filled with all sorts of disgusting sex. Sodomy and incest, and just about every form of begetting known to man. And the violence is horrific. Women and children are murdered, and there’s even a bit where this guy gets nailed to a cross and dies a horrible lingering death.

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I heard someone remark on the fact that, while this book is banned (sorry David, I keep using that word), 50 Shades of Grey remains available without any age restriction. But I’m not sure John Roughan’s biography of John Key would be of much interest to young people.

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Call me old-fashioned, but when you really want to stop someone reading a book, shouldn’t you just throw it in the fire? This book ban suspension just seems so tame. There was a time when religious groups weren’t afraid to throw a pile of forbidden texts on the fire, together with their authors. We seem to have lost sight of our traditional Christian values of intolerance, pig-headedness and ignorance. That’s another thing I blame the Enlightenment for.

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If sex is out, does that mean it would be okay for a children’s book to feature a contest where kids stuffed cucumbers into each others’ mouths?

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The ban suspension will probably result in book sales taking off outside New Zealand, thereby ensuring that even more children read this depraved piece of filth. Which bodes well for the forthcoming release of my debut novel Easy Intermediate Girls.

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The entire book-ban suspension farce has now been reported on extensively by overseas media. But isn’t it nice that New Zealand is providing so much comic relief to a world struggling to cope with so many problems?

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