So here’s the direct quote as to why Mr. Scroggins wanted “Slaughterhouse Five” banned from the Republic Schools District in Missouri. Please keep in mind that only ONE of the school board members had actually read “Slaughterhouse Five” before they unanimously decided to ban it from this year’s required reading list.
“In English, children are also required to read a book called “Slaughterhouse Five.” This is a book that contains so much profane language, it would make a sailor blush with shame. The “f word” is plastered on almost every other page. The content ranges from naked men and women in cages together so that others can watch them having sex to God telling people that they better not mess with his loser, bum of a son, named Jesus Christ.” http://www.news-leader.com/article/20100918/OPINIONS02/112020001/Filthy-books-demeaning-Republic-education
Let’s break this apart shall we…”This is a book that contains so much profane language, it would make a sailor blush with shame. The “f word” is plastered on almost every other page. ” Now I’ve just read “Slaughterhouse Five” and I believe I encountered my first “fuck” at about page 27. I also counted the number of times “fuck” appears in the book, it appears SIXTEEN times in the entire book, SIXTEEN. I hardly think that is every other page as Mr. Scroggins asserts, the entire book is 135 pages. Children are bombarded daily with curse words especially in music and more specifically hip-hop & movies.
example 1: DJ Khaled “I’m on One” lyrics
“Hate the rumours, hate your bullshit
Hate these fucking allegations, I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking
Watch me take it!
[Drake – Chorus]
All I care about is money and the city that I’m from
I’ma sip until I feel it, I’ma smoke it till it’s done
And I don’t really give a f-ck, and my excuse is that I’m young
And I’m only getting older so somebody shoulda told ya
I’m on one
Yeah, f-ck it, I’m on one”
I believe there are several fucks & one bullshit in that quote.
Here’s one by Lil’ Wayne “Mille”
“Sister, Brother, Son, Daughter, Father motha fuck a copper,
Got da maserati dancin on the bridge pussy poppin,..”
Here we get a fuck AND a pussy, which for the record I think is a vile word. That’s just two examples of a quick Google search for hip-hop lyrics.
From Wiki we get the definition for a PG-13 movie:
“PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. These films may contain sex references, up to four uses of explicit language, drug innuendo, strong crude/suggestive humor, mature/political themes, moderately long horror moments and/or moderate action violence. There are usually no restrictions on non-sexual nudity.”
I found that the use of fuck in “Slaughterhouse Five”, one was minimal and two it was used in the context of soldiers to talking to one another. In other words, not gratuitous. For example:
” ‘It’s the sweetest thing there is” said Lazaro. “People fuck with me”, he said “and Jesus Christ are they ever fucking sorry. I laugh like hell. I don’t care if if it’s a guy or a dame.” (Vonnegut,Pg 86)
As to Mr. Scroggins second point of “The content ranges from naked men and women in cages together so that others can watch them having sex …”. All I can say is read it again Mr. Scroggins then go watch the some of the “reality” TV shows out there on at prime time and tell how this: ” He was mated there with a former Earthling movie star named Montana Wildhack”, (Vonnegut,Pg 22) really compares to all the prime time TV out there. Now can you honestly tell me that this typical sex scene in “Slaughterhouse-Five” is worse than “The Bachelor/Bachelorette”, “Jersey Shore” or any of those ridiculous “Real Housewives of…”
His Final point about god, and christ is so misunderstood that it’s almost laughable. “The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel.” “The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn’t look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe.” “In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels. ” “God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum that has no connections.” (Vonnegut,Pgs 71,72) I think today’s so called christians call learn a lot from this interpretation and it’s very much in line with christ’s teachings of taking care of the least among us. Society finds it so easy to demonize the “bums” among us that we forget that christ was nothing more than a wanderer and “Slaughterhouse Five” reminds us of that fact. We must care of those that need our assistance.
Overall, I have to admit that “Slaughterhouse Five ” is not in my usual genre, I am not a Sci-Fi fan but I did enjoy reading it. But I think Mr. Scroggins & the Republic School board in Missouri got it wrong. Vonnegut’s classic is a cautionary war tale as he intended it to be.
“Well, I know, She said. You’ll pretend you’ were men instead of babies, and you’ll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those glamorous, war-loving dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we’ll have a lot more of them. And they’ll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs.””She didn’t want her babies or anybody else’s babies killed in wars.” (Vonnegut,Pgs 15,16)
Finally I want to commend the Vonnegut Memorial Library, “Up to 150 students at a Missouri high school that ordered “Slaughterhouse-Five” pulled from its shelves can get a free copy of the novel, courtesy of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, library officials said on Thursday. “ http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44036337/ns/today-books/
Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut 1969, 1997, 2007 Random House, Trade Paperbacks