I think I'm becoming THE MAN.
I've always hated censorship. I don't believe in book burning, black bars, FCC bleeping, or that annoying sticker that Tipper Gore put on CDs in the 90's that almost kept my mom from buying the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood*Sugar*Sex*Magic CD for me in 8th grade. As an artist, I've always believed that a well-timed swear word can be entirely apropos.
That is, of course, until my daughter asks me what a feckinvegetarian is or my son begs to watch Lady Gaga videos on YouTube and then points at the screen and says, LADY GAGA BOTTOM!
Now, I'm not so sure.
I still believe that art is, by nature, sometimes lurid or obscene. But I also believe that 4 and 2 are way too young to understand that. Thus far, I'm drawing my own lines in the sand: I put a hand over Lady Gaga in her thong, and I either turn down the volume or fake sneeze during the really bad swear words on my music. I'm just never going to be one of those moms who plays the Wiggles in the car.
And it's working, because they love music. I beam with pride when my four-year-old requests Nirvana, Asteroid Galaxy Tour, the Civil Wars, or, my personal favorite, "that lady who sings ska." And when t.rex croons along with Mumford & Sons, my heart nearly bursts with happiness, even if their biggest hit is riddled with the F-bomb.
In any case, I finally understand why some people get so up in arms over censorship. They want to protect their children at all costs, and for some people, a blanket statement is easier than making individual decisions on what is and is not appropriate. But I want to be the one making that choice for my kids-- not the government, not religious groups, and definitely not other parents. And I especially don't agree with banned books.
Which brings up a new thought. One day, the Biscuit is going to ask what my books are about. And one day, when she's MUCH older, she's going to read BLUD, whether I want her to or not. And then she's probably going to want to gouge her eyes out with a grapefruit spoon, just like I did when my mom lent me Jean Auel's Valley of Horses in 7th grade.
I want my kids to grow up loving art and literature and interesting music. I just don't want them to read my paranormal romance books.
But you know what? It's going to make Career Day at school a lot of fun.