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Scapegoats 2, Republicans 0


The political death wish of the Republican Party is mind-boggling. Why do they go on fighting battles that they’ve already lost and that accelerate their slide toward permanent minority status and the contempt of history? — at least, in civilized places as opposed to places such as Florida, Texas, and Tennessee.

Banning books, and threatening librarians with prison sentences, can only backfire, given time. According to the Washington Post, at least seven states have passed laws that impose criminal penalties for books that Republicans deem obscene. Arkansas threatens librarians with prison sentences of six years, Oklahoma ten.

Don’t Republicans know about the internet? Young people have always found ways of finding out about things that adults don’t want them to know. Because of the internet it’s easier today than ever. Schoolchildren in Florida no doubt know that there are some subjects that their teachers aren’t allowed to talk about. The kids will work twice as hard to educate themselves on such subjects. They’ll also learn another lesson — that Republicans are hateful and contemptible. Florida’s law originally applied only to grades K-3, but earlier this year the state board of education expanded the ban to include grades 4-12.

One of the frequently banned books is Casey McCuiston’s Red, White, and Royal Blue. The book was a New York Times Bestseller. According to Wikipedia, translations have been published in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Spain, Israel, and Uruguay.

Republicans might as well stand in front of a speeding train and wave a crucifix. Publishers must love it when a book is banned. For many books, a ban creates a sharp increase in sales.

A movie version of Red, White, and Royal Blue was released this weekend by Amazon Prime Video. The film is more serious than it appears to be in the trailers. There is an immigrant element (Mexico) as well as the gay element. Texas gets the middle finger. Only just now did I realize that “Royal Blue” is a double entendre, as one of the characters sets out to make Texas not just a blue state, but a royal blue state.

The cast includes Stephen Fry and Uma Thurman. Thurman was born in Boston, but she does a pretty good Texas accent.

The sound track is clearly meant for people younger than I am. That’s as it should be. But upon hearing a few lines of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “If I Loved You,” (1945), sung by a voice and in a style that just doesn’t work for someone my age, I had to pause the video and go listen to a proper performance. I’ve included a link to a video below, from Royal Albert Hall.

Young people have another internet hit to stream right now, the second season of “Heartstoppers,” on Netflix.

One Comment

  1. James Michael Gregg wrote:

    These are the stories we need to keep telling in order to ensure that future generations have what was beyond the reach of older people. I am raising a glass of champagne to the queer youth of today and wishing them success in their pursuit of love and happiness.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2023 at 1:14 am | Permalink

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