Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Traditional Views of Immigration

Leviticus, Chapter 19, Verses 33 and 34:

And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

The Magna Carta:

(41) All merchants may enter or leave England unharmed and without fear, and may stay or travel within it, by land or water, for purposes of trade, free from all illegal exactions, in accordance with ancient and lawful customs.

The Declaration of Independence:

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Modern Lit

W.H. Auden 1, "The Pristine Words Only Academy" 0:

Jacob Behymer-Smith is a ninth-grader at the Coral Academy of Science, a public charter school in Nevada. He's participating in the Poetry Out Loud contest, which is run by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and in which high school students compete at reciting a great poem that they've memorized. Behymer-Smith chose W.H. Auden's The More Loving One; so far, he's progressed from his school competition to a district-wide competition, in which he placed first. On April 22, he'll be competing in the Nevada statewide competition. You'd think that the Coral Academy's officials would be happy for him, and would be trying to support him.

You'd be mistaken, because -- horror of horrors -- Auden's poem, it turns out, contains unspeakable vulgarities. To be precise, it contains the words "hell" ("Looking up at the stars, I know quite well / That, for all they care, I can go to hell") and "damn" ("Admirer as I think I am / Of stars that do not give a damn"). That, the Dean of Students at the Coral Academy opined, is "inappropriate language," as opposed to the "pristine language" (her words) that she thinks ought to be presented to the school's students.

And because of this, the school insisted on April 7, Jacob couldn't perform his poem.
Since almost all literature published since 1922 (the same date the Copyright Act is currently locked on) is garbage anyway, and since we have more lit than anyone could read in a lifetime available for free, it would be no loss if one read nothing published after 1921.