Since I’m not hanging out in the preschool set anymore, I haven’t met
Buster. A regular on the PBS Arthur series. Buster now has his
own series. He visits different families around the United States. He’s
visited Mormons and Jews, families who live in trailer parks, in cities
and on farms. You get the idea. When he came to Vermont, he went maple
sugaring with two sets of kids whose parents are both women. Yes,
lesbians. (I sort of know one of the women, too).
When the new Education Secretary learned about this episode, she
condemned it. Why? Because this is not showing diversity, but a deviant
lifestyle that we don’t want to promote to our innocent children.
PBS agreed to axe the story.
This pisses me off to no extreme.
First, it bothers me that the secretary of Education interfered, and
that PBS capitulated. This smells like censorship to me. If families
decide that they don’t want their kids to see this episode, they can
turn off the television. Why should her values dictate what other
parents want their kids to learn about?
And I’m ashamed that PBS was coward enough to agree to this censorship.
Why is it OK that Buster visit a Mormon family and not a lesbian
family? I haven’t seen the episode (our local PBS station will be
running it), but my understanding is that these two families come
across as decent, happy, well-balanced, successful, headed by two
parents who love each other. The lifestyle is not being promoted, just
shown. Is a kid going to become lesbian because she sees this? Is she
going to become Mormon when she watches the episode about the Mormon
family? Isn’t one of the basic ideas of education in this country –
excuse me, the whole idea of our country period – to accept differences
in religion and beliefs. We are a diverse country. We can only accept
this diversity if we understand it and learn about it.
In Vermont, when civil unions were first introduced, there was a lot of
opposition to them. What we’ve learned as a state is that the world
hasn’t fallen apart since lesbians and gay couples were united. Polls
have shown that the acceptance of civil unions has grown considerably
since they were first introduced – that people who were against them
are now for them. That’s because we got to see these families close up;
we got our education.
Why shouldn’t the rest of the country get this education as well?
My paper's editorial put it ( this way )
And now, think about those two families and how those kids feel.
Imagine explaining to your children that the government doesn’t want
other kids to be “exposed” to your deviant family.
Second news commentary, another type of censorship.
A major story in Vermont has been the “Crazy about You” Bear, from our
very own Vermont Teddy Bear Co. This bear, available for a limited time
before Valentine’s Day, comes dressed in a straitjacket and with
commitment papers, to show your crazy love for your sweetie. (here is is)
The mental health community is furious. It’s demanded the bear be taken
off the market. The governor of Vermont agrees. The head of Vermont
Teddy bear has refused – and may lose her position on the board of a
local hospital because of her stance.
I really don’t know what to think about this one. The bear is really
really cute. I’m actually thinking about getting one -- it'll probably
be a collector't item. My first reaction was that the company perhaps
went a little overboard here. But the more I look at the bear, the more
I think it’s okay. I don’t know – I guess I can see both sides of the