Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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This story has received a good deal of attention. Boyds Mills Press, an American publisher, has expressed interest in licensing a series of illustrated children's books by German author Rotraut Susanne Berner. However, it wanted to change some of the illustrations to suit the American market.

What has caused all the comments I've seen is Boyds Mills' request to elide the nudity in the depiction of an art gallery painting and the almost invisible minuteness of a penis on a sculpture. Shock! Horror! Those absurd, puritanical Americans! No! Rotraut Berner will have no part in this proposed desecration of her vision! America will forever be denied her books!

Now, I agree, this is silly. The photo on the Spiegel site is unobjectionable. Boyds Mills is overreacting. OTOH, Ms. Berner is also overreacting. Is the presence of a 1 mm cartoon penis critical to the artistic integrity of a children's book? Really?

But what is equally interesting—to me, anyway—is the other censorship that Boyds Mills wanted. It's mentioned in only one line of the Spiegel article, and I've seen no comment on it on-line.

Boyds Mills also wanted to delete smokers.

One man's stifling puritanism is another man's just and holy cause. Sexual issues are widely recognized as the puritanism of the American Right. But puritanism runs deep and cold in the American soul, and not just among the Right. There is a puritanism of the Left, too, that encompasses tobacco, food, opulence in general, sometimes fur. The bowdlerization of F.D.R. and Eleanor, and the whitewashing of history:
The memorial has simmered in controversy over whether it had bowed to "political correctness." Animal rights activists were credited with keeping the trademark fox fur off the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt; anti-smoking activists were credited with having FDR's trademark cigarette holder removed.
In the story of the fate of Rotraut Susanne Berner's book, the puritanism of both the American Right and the American Left are on embarrassing display. A pox on both your houses.



meaning: raise, fry

悠揚 == youyo == (noun, adjective that takes な)self-possessed, calm
意気揚揚 == ikiyouyou == (noun, adjective that takes な) triumphant, exultant, in high spirits

Left radical is one of the radical versions of 'hand'. Right radical is a character found only in Chinese which originally meant 'sun rising'. Here is used phonetically to express 'raise'. In Japanese only this character is also used to mean 'fry', apparently a reference to raising a basket out of a fry vat. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Hand raised to rising sun may get fried.'

Info from Taka Kanji Database
List of compounds including this character from Risu Dictionary

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