Even Homer Gets Mobbed

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  1stwarrior  •  one month ago  •  17 comments

Even Homer Gets Mobbed
A Massachusetts school has banned ‘The Odyssey.’

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



A sustained effort is under way to deny children access to literature. Under the slogan #DisruptTexts, critical-theory ideologues, schoolteachers and   Twitter   agitators are purging and propagandizing against classic texts—everything from Homer to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Dr. Seuss.


Their ethos holds that children shouldn’t have to read stories written in anything other than the present-day vernacular—especially those “in which racism, sexism, ableism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hate are the norm,” as young-adult novelist Padma Venkatraman writes in School Library Journal. No author is valuable enough to spare, Ms. Venkatraman instructs: “Absolving Shakespeare of responsibility by mentioning that he lived at a time when hate-ridden sentiments prevailed, risks sending a subliminal message that academic excellence outweighs hateful rhetoric.”

The subtle complexities of literature are being reduced to the crude clanking of “intersectional” power struggles. Thus Seattle English teacher Evin Shinn   tweeted   in 2018 that he’d “rather die” than teach “The Scarlet Letter,” unless Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel is used to “fight against misogyny and slut-shaming.”

Outsiders got a glimpse of the intensity of the #DisruptTexts campaign recently when self-described “antiracist teacher” Lorena Germán complained that many classics were written more than 70 years ago: “Think of US society before then & the values that shaped this nation afterwards. THAT is what is in those books.”

Jessica Cluess, an author of young-adult fiction, shot back: “If you think Hawthorne was on the side of the judgmental Puritans . . . then you are an absolute idiot and should not have the title of educator in your twitter bio.”

An online horde descended, accused Ms. Cluess of racism and “violence,” and demanded that Penguin Random House cancel her contract. The publisher hasn’t complied, perhaps because Ms. Cluess tweeted a ritual self-denunciation: “I take full responsibility for my unprovoked anger toward Lorena Germán. . . . I am committed to learning more about Ms. Germán’s important work with #DisruptTexts. . . . I will strive to do better.” That didn’t stop Ms. Cluess’s literary agent, Brooks Sherman, from denouncing her “racist and unacceptable” opinions and terminating their professional relationship.

The demands for censorship appear to be getting results. “Be like Odysseus and embrace the long haul to liberation (and then take the Odyssey out of your curriculum because it’s trash),” tweeted Shea Martin in June. “Hahaha,” replied Heather Levine, an English teacher at Lawrence (Mass.) High School. “Very proud to say we got the Odyssey removed from the curriculum this year!” When I contacted Ms. Levine to confirm this, she replied that she found the inquiry “invasive.” The English Department chairman of Lawrence Public Schools, Richard Gorham, didn’t respond to emails.

“It’s a tragedy that this anti-intellectual movement of canceling the classics is gaining traction among educators and the mainstream publishing industry,” says science-fiction writer Jon Del Arroz, one of the rare industry voices to defend Ms. Cluess. “Erasing the history of great works only limits the ability of children to become literate.”

He’s right. If there is harm in classic literature, it comes from   not   teaching it. Students excused from reading foundational texts may imagine themselves lucky to get away with YA novels instead—that’s what the #DisruptTexts people want—but compared with their better-educated peers they will suffer a poverty of language and cultural reference. Worse, they won’t even know it.



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1stwarrior
PhD Expert
1  seeder  1stwarrior    one month ago

He’s right. If there is harm in classic literature, it comes from  NOT  teaching it. Students excused from reading foundational texts may imagine themselves lucky to get away with YA novels instead—that’s what the  #DisruptTexts  people want—but compared with their better-educated peers they will suffer a poverty of language and cultural reference. Worse, they won’t even know it.

Wonder why it's called "classic literature"?

Classic literature is an expression of life, truth, and beauty. It must be of high artistic quality, at least for the time in which it was written. Although different styles will come and go, a classic can be appreciated for its construction and literary art. It may not be a bestseller today due to pacing and dated language, but you can learn from it and be inspired by its prose.

Great works of literature touch readers to their very core, partly because they integrate themes that are understood by readers from a wide range of backgrounds and levels of experience. Themes of love, hate, death, life, and faith, for example, touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses. You can read classics from Jane Austen and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and relate to the characters and situations despite the difference in era. In fact, a classic can alter your view of history to see how little has changed in our basic human makeup.

So, in essence, the “antiracist teacher” Lorena Germán (the author's title) believes that we really can't learn anything from historical writings???

Well, she is from the Salem Witch trials state.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Senior Quiet
1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  1stwarrior @1    4 weeks ago

For some strange reason, the words "terminal stupidity" comes to mind here regarding said MA school and others following that line of inane reasoning.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2  Split Personality    one month ago
No author is valuable enough to spare, Ms. Venkatraman instructs: “Absolving Shakespeare of responsibility by mentioning that he lived at a time when hate-ridden sentiments prevailed, risks sending a subliminal message that academic excellence outweighs hateful rhetoric.”

Do these people not listen to the news, it is filled with hateful rhetoric and the source is not the Odyssey or the Fisherman and the Sea.

If it sounds like malarkey and people are offended by calling them out or asking them about it

they most likely have their heads up their own arses

 
 
 
1stwarrior
PhD Expert
3  seeder  1stwarrior    one month ago

Before it was a "classic", "The Catcher in the Rye" was the most popular book in and out of school - as was the movie "Peyton Place".  Time marches on and we, in the present, can and should learn from what has occurred/was written in/of the past.  So damn much to learn.  Why hamper an adolescent's mind with the hateful rhetoric of today? 

IMHO, by reading the "classics", one's mind has a tendency of expanding with the new knowledge gained.

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
4  Freewill    one month ago

Sounds like the modern day version of a good book burning.  Funny that the old axiom, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it", applies doubly in this situation. 

History is history and even the bad parts, or those parts written in less than perfect times, can offer crucial lessons in modern times.  Why are we suddenly so insistent on erasing history that some feel is not consistent with modern society or sentiment?  Why must history be viewed or edited only through a modern-day lens? 

Seems to me more constructive to understand history and how/why today we may think differently about things than people did in those times.  Learning about our past failings, how we have grown, how far we have come, and how far we still need to go seems like an invaluable component of a well-rounded education to me.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Senior Participates
5  Greg Jones    one month ago

Themes of love, hate, death, life, and faith, for example, touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses. You can read classics from Jane Austen and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and relate to the characters and situations despite the difference in era. In fact, a classic can alter your view of history to see how little has changed in our basic human makeup.

In other words, these stories show that reality, common sense, and human nature don't change much over the\ ages.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
PhD Expert
5.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Greg Jones @5    one month ago

Pretty much.  How's this as an example - they have just found a "food vendor" court in Pompei.  Shouldn't be new news 'cause the Egyptians and Sumarians and Hittites had them also.  Hell, McDonald's ain't a new thing even though its only 65 years old - but its concept is from the past - by a couple thousand years.  They wanna get rid of that also??

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
6  igknorantzrulz    one month ago

Odd to see, well not really, just another touchy feely, attack on make believe boogey men, while the real threats scream and Lie every damn day via social diseased medias, all forms of print and that which is not fit, for u or i , as decided by shallow thoughts from people whom can't touch the deep end, of a gene pool they want chlorinated due to eyes that have yet red, [Deleted]

 
 
 
1stwarrior
PhD Expert
6.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  igknorantzrulz @6    one month ago

[Deleted.  The off-topic portion of the comment was deleted.  No need for further comment.]

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
6.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  1stwarrior @6.1    one month ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
1stwarrior
PhD Expert
6.1.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  igknorantzrulz @6.1.1    4 weeks ago

Trump is NOT the topic - as you well know.

Off topic.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
7  Tacos!    one month ago
“Very proud to say we got the Odyssey removed from the curriculum this year!” When I contacted Ms. Levine to confirm this, she replied that she found the inquiry “invasive.” 

This should alarm everyone. And these people are teachers! Here's a family photo from their ideological family album:

16792630_401.jpg

Don't hide the past. Learn from it.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
PhD Expert
8  seeder  1stwarrior    one month ago

Wonder if they're gonna go after the Bible next - you know - all the killing, raping, adultery, incest, lying, stealing, false prophesies, etc..?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
9  Perrie Halpern R.A.    one month ago

This is very distressing. Part of good teaching is learning from these books, the good and the bad of the period. As a teacher, I can't condone what they are pushing for. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
PhD Principal
10  Vic Eldred    4 weeks ago

"Ignorance is Strength" -- George Orwell

 
 
 
Kathleen
Masters Principal
11  Kathleen    4 weeks ago

Everyone should have the right to read what they want to read and learn about. Nothing worse then someone stopping you from getting a full education.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Guide
11.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Kathleen @11    4 weeks ago
Everyone should have the right to read what they want to read and learn about. Nothing worse then someone stopping you from getting a full education.

It's almost as though, this is true when it comes to present day "education".

256

 
 
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