01 December 2004

Aeneas, et al., approach. Command?

Once again, Alabama looks like the pinnacle of Americana. State Rep. Gerald Allen wants to rid all public libraries of texts that contain non-heterosexual protagonists, that deviate from heterosexual norms, or that somehow promote the “gay agenda.” Dave Friedman has already noted some of the literary implications of Allen’s bill; he also observes that certain kinds of textbooks (especially psychology and biology) will also be banned.

Friedman and his sources (here and here) seem primarily concerned with works written in English. But the ban will—thank goodness!—free Alabama from the threat of Plato, Homer, Ovid, Vergil, and their ilk. I, for one, think it’s about time that we ended their corrosive influence on our cultural values.

I suppose they’ll need to get rid of the Bible while we’re at it. It had an early, insidious affect on English culture, one that has perpetuated itself almost beyond repair! The Anglo-Saxons, for example, appeared to take great pleasure in the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters (Gen. 19.30-38):

Wer sæt æt wine mid his wifum twam
ond his twegen suno ond his twa dohtor,
swase gesweostor, ond hyra suno twegen,
freolico frumbearn; fæder was þær inne
þara æþelinga æghwæðres mid,
eam ond nefa. Ealra wæron fife
eorla ond idesa insittendra.

A man sat at wine with his two wives and his two sons and his two daughters—beloved sisters—and their two sons, noble first-born men; the father was there with the uncle and the nephew of each of the princes. All told, there were five lords and women sitting within.

OK, I included that last bit just to show off my mad Old English skills. My goodness, though: Alabama will need to get rid of everything under the sun!