Sunday, May 8, 2011

Should Writers Be Told They Can ONLY Write Certain Types Of Material? Parental Meddling In A Small Town Seems To Push This Idea

Democratic Underground brings us news of a teacher who has led an exemplary career of twenty five years, and now faces possible administrative action because she writes adult themed novels as a side career. Judy Buranich writes under the pen name of Judy Mays. At this time, there are no accusations that Judy has acted inappropriately with any student over her career, no allegations that she has been promoting or sharing her books in school or otherwise directing her work towards an anyone who is underage.

Wendy Apple is a parent of a child at Judy's school, and says she fears for what her son may be thinking when he is in her class, based on the presumption that she (Judy) may be having some sort of inappropriate thoughts about her son.

Wendy has appointed herself a leader of local parents who have been notorious for being the community's "Moral Police", and poking around the private lives of local citizens who have not been arrested nor accused of a major crime which would pose a community safety concern. According to a private source, this group of parents has a thirst for attention and they have been on television before with another one of their modern day witch hunts.

These parents used a really sordid tactic by throwing one of their ADULT daughters on TV to say that she thought Judy's books crossed the line.

The discussion at Democratic Underground gives a link to the news coverage.

What these self appointed moral cops have done is to beg the question, "Can a teacher write about adult themes under a pen name and is there a limit about what can be written about?" Do writers now have to watch where their creative process takes them in the production of their material for fear of being publicly judged to be a bad character based on a work of fiction?

Carrington Corner now asks the following questions:

1. What about Judy's First Amendment rights? Where and when does her Federal protection kick in?

2. Does Judy's material really appeal to the prurient interests when taken as a whole in the face of modern contemporary community standards?

3. Does her work under her pen name actually violate any morals or teacher contract provisions based on moral conduct or interference to daily school operations?

4. If a teacher in small town U.S.A. can be given this sort of treatment, what about others in positions of responsibility? What about those in the sales, aviation, law enforcement, fire, EMS, Healthcare, business administration, property management / property sales, government, broadcast, and entertainment professions? Doesn't this hold them to the same unfair levels of scrutiny in their private lives also?

5. Where do we start minding our own business and respecting the rights of others around us to be anonymous if they haven't knowingly & forcibly hurt anyone or made an attempt to do such a thing?

6. Should writers be told they can only write certain types of material? If we demand this, then we have to lay the same uniform rules for everyone since every position in life has some sort of responsibility attached to it. Do we really want to destroy the rights of free speech and free association to make a few people happy?

7. Do we decide that only certain groups in America have rights while others do not, based on their professional position in life? What a slippery slope!

The fundamental assertion of the fact that there is no such thing as a thought crime, the fundamental right of a person to write whatever their creative process inspires and to hold their creative process as either a hobby or profession has been attacked since the early days of humanity. Just when we thought we have grown past such vile behavior, a few idiots rise from out of nowhere. Let's all be reminded that the fight for our First Amendment right to free expression and to be free from fear of reprisal for our protected expression will likely never end.

Carrington Corner asks that authors, even if hobbyists, support their local First Amendment Advocacy groups, and urges ADULTS 21 or older to buy Judy's books to show her support if her genre is your taste.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Congradulations To Our U.S. Armed Forces!

You have done well! Your mission was accomplished with excellence! The world is proud of our heroes tonight and we will never forget you! The death of Osama Bin Laden means that the world can breathe easier. Tonight is the night that families who suffered losses on 9-11-01, and the families who lost their loved ones in the line of duty can see some closure and know that justice has been carried out. 

Seasons Of Our Lives - Living & Dying: A Writer's Perspective

Recently, this author has had occasion to come across a book called "The Fall Of Freddie The Leaf" written by Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D.

This book has a copyright date of 1982. At first glance, "The Fall of Freddie The Leaf" appears to be a work for a younger audience. As it turns out, Leo was targeting all ages with this story. When taken altogether, this book tells the story of what life is, what it means to live, and how to deal with the various stages of life in a way that is fresh without any judgements about morals, faith, politics, race, ethnicity, social status, or financial class.

Leo uses his artistry in this story to give the reader a perspective on the process of dying as Freddie The Leaf falls from the tree, closes his eyes, and becomes just a memory of what he once was. In the book, Freddie did not know the snow would melt and he would break down to become part of the ground to nourish the tree he once was a living part of.

Each one of us in this big world gets to look at ourselves from the angles of reflection, introspection, and hindsight. As we stumble through our time on earth, we make decisions that are good, and we also make costly foibles we cannot help but regret. Living is much more than waking up each day only to repeat the mundane routines that make up the reality of our individual lives. Our time here is temporary.

As the trees and plants around us experience life cycles with each change of season, so are we also subject to changing seasons in our on lives that are more significant than the four seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall. We are dying from the time we are born in the most literal sense. As our lives mature, we can know the joy of being emotionally & spiritually alive. We can also know the process of emotional & spiritual death.

In the inside cover of the particular copy of this book I ran across was a handwritten dedication dating back to exactly November 1st, 1984 that said this:

Dear Judy,

May this book bring you new insights into the mysteries of life and help you better understand life's "formulas". The book will make a good companion and compassionate friend any year you read or re-read it.

Here's to better understanding, greater hope and dreams fulfilled.

Love Forever,

Judy's mother sounds like a beautiful person who saw the wisdom in this book. I cannot say for sure if Judy's mother was preparing to leave us or preparing to say a temporary good-bye while passing on wise words of love to Judy. Maybe Judy was a young lady who was growing up and preparing to live her adult life among us where ever she may be.

It isn't everyday a person randomly runs across a treasure given to somebody from a person who is  as important as a parent, and it isn't everyday a parent writes something so touching, profound, encouraging, and wise to their child. Leo put his heart into "The Fall Of Freddie The Leaf", and Judy's mother gave this book to her along with her heart and the warm memories that are obviously attached to it.

Judy may have willingly passed this book on to be treasured by someone else as she herself once treasured it, or it may have been lost and made its way through the hands of many. Whatever the circumstance, we can be sure of this: Leo's work and the special communication between a mother and her beloved daughter have touched the lives of people, one of whom thought it so highly that it just had to be written about and shared with the world.