April 06, 2005

Eric Schlosser Vs. Parents, By Accident

The Pot Thickens in Library Ruckus

Eric Schlosser, writer of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness, is getting embroiled in a very non-important conflict, primarily because of Reefer Madness. Between talks he's giving for the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series, it's been asked (as it's been asked of every person invited to give this annual speech) to talk to some students. But because he's written a book which points out some of the hypocrisy of the "war on drugs", parents are objecting; they don't want their kids getting "the wrong message".

What's ironic is that Schlosser's book really has less to with drugs per se, but more about how the laws on drugs and pornography came about. Specifically, he points out that the history behind them is one of hysteria, rather than of intelligent thought.

One voice for sanity comes from Dana Parsons in the L.A. Times, who states:

What should be done is to remember that ideas shouldn't scare us. Ideas shouldn't prompt parents or, especially, school officials to be putting even minor heat on public libraries for the speakers they recruit. That notion is 10 times more threatening than anything Schlosser — an accomplished writer whom students ought to be exposed to — might say in an hour with them.

Posted by Ted Stevko at April 6, 2005 10:17 AM | TrackBack