Tag Archive: notes


Fighting the Ban

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

While preparing for this week’s column, I remembered that it is Banned Books Week.

There are many freedoms we think about on a regular basis, but the freedom to pick and choose what reading material or other mediums of expression we want to consume is something dear to my heart.

Movie Poster Image from IMDb.com

Movie Poster Image from IMDb.com

Every year the American Library Association puts out a list of books that have been challenged and it never ceases to amaze me what is being challenged. Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Huck Finn, The Hunger Games, and Where’s Waldo.

The problem with with the first two is that they use language appropriate to the time period in which they are set that is no longer deemed appropriate in polite or mixed-race company. The Hunger Games is brutally violent in places. But what these three books and the Harry Potter series points out is the wrongs of bullying, racism, and tyrannical governments. They name the wrongs in our societies, display them for all to see and understand.

Sometimes it is hard for us to look at those ugly aspects. But if we are to become better as a society, we must view them and change accordingly.

Knowing what I was going to write about reminded me of stories my mother used to tell from her growing up years in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. The Catholic kids would pay the protestant kids to see the biblical movies of the time because the Catholic Church had forbidden their parishioners from attending. The thought was these movies glamorized the bible stories, sexed them up a bit, and that was not appropriate viewing for anyone.

She talked about seeing Samson and Delilah along with The Ten Commandments. Other flicks from this time include David and Bathsheba, The Robe, Ben Hur, and Solomon & Sheba. In recent times, I have seen protests against The Passion of the Christ and The Last Temptation of Christ.

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

While I understand that some of these movies may not portray the picture of the bible as some people may want, I also understand that much – not all- of what is portrayed is fairly accurate for the time period. I, personally, can never watch The Passion ever again because of the level of violence in it but nor can I deny its ability to tell the story well.

When it comes to reading material or movies that kids in your family want to consume but makes you feel uncertain, I suggest reading or watching the movie/TV show first without them around. Knowing what is in that medium helps you direct the conversation as to why or why not you will allow your child to have that material.

In the end, I do not recommend banning books because you make the undesirable into something irresistible. Especially for people like me who want to know what made a book targeted for banning. When I found out Where’s Waldo was on the list because there was ‘reportedly’ a topless woman in a beach scene, I searched through that first book in the series.

I have yet to find her.

Until next week, see you in the Rental Aisle.

Some people might wonder why I have named this blog the name it has.

Some of you might be saying “We get it. You have a bunch of kids and the house gets rumbly.”

But what you do not know is that I can be a bit of a snobbish Anglophile. I like stuff from England. I wish I had taken advantage of my college’s program to study in England for a year.

English cooking leaves me cold. I cannot stand even the idea of Shepherd’s pie or Steak and Kidney pie. Trifle does get made and eaten in our house. But I love the idea of tea time. I am happy reading English literature. Duran Duran is still one of my favorite bands.

A few years ago when I saw the movie Iris, I started reading the memoir it was based on by John Bayley. Besides the incredible story of love in the face of a horrific disease (Alzheimer’s Disease), one of the things I noticed is that they named their house. Each house that Bayley and Murdock live in had a name.

I liked that idea. I liked the idea of the house having a name. So I came up with one that fit the Winnie-the-Pooh mindset I was in at the time. I told existing family members that they either liked the name or suggest one of their own. No one came up with something so I went with my pick.

We were painting the house that year and my job was the porch. When the door was painted, I found a font that fit what I was looking for and used that as an example for writing on the door frame.

At some point I would like to paint over it and center the lettering better. But this is what it is and we like it.