Saturday, March 01, 2008

Go Ask JanetLee

There seems to be another tempest in a teapot raging in the Lowcountry. Once again, it seems common sense is just trampled to death in the rush to appear to be doing something about this most important issue facing our youth today. (Sarcasm off.)

Go Ask Alice, the book, pretty powerful stuff. So is the song, man how jealous I've been of Grace Slick's vocal range over the years.

I understand the mother who made the initial complaint. I don't think students should be reading the more mature portions of this book aloud in class. It's hard enough just getting out of bed in the morning when you are thirteen, much less reading "embarrassing" stuff in front of boys and the girls who are going to verbally trash you later.

But I don't think banning this book is the answer. Now, my mother would probably be, by today's standards, considered a "bad" mother because she let me read anything I had an interest in reading, regardless of content.

And I read Go Ask Alice as an impressionable twelve year old. And it scared the shit out me. Seriously. I may have smoked some pot in my day, but I was always too terrified to ever try any other kind of drug. Never did, never will. Because of this book. Not anything anyone may have told me about drugs. All because of reading this book.

Fear is not a bad thing. It provides powerful motivation. Have a grown up tell you not to use drugs because it is wrong. Ho-hum. Watch as a young teen falls lower and lower into humiliation and debasement all the while knowing that she was just like you except she experimented with drugs. That is powerful stuff.

This is your cat:

This is your cat on drugs:

This is your cat after listening to Grace Slick sing Go Ask Alice ten times in a row:

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