From December 1-December 31, I made 72 cents off my writing on Medium. I know, you’re probably swirling in a tempest of jealousy. What can I say? I’m basically what would have happened if Augusten Burroughs wasn’t gay, got into a DeLorean going 88mph, impregnated a Jewish Jane Austen and had me. Also, if they’d gotten married post-tryst and he’d been an uber-feminist, he might have thought enough about bucking trends to become known as Augusten Austen, which would have been great. I, of course, would have just called him “Dad.”
I was originally going to write this piece solely to challenge myself to bump my January earnings to over a dollar, but, upon making the mistake of reading the news today, I found that I actually had something to say.
Noted American children’s novelist Emma Straub had a pre-scheduled speaking engagement at two Texas schools cancelled because parents complained that she used the *gasp!* “F-word” in some of her social media posts. I think it’s probably more likely that Straub was deemed unfit to speak because of some of her publicly stated views on abortion and firearms; but whether she was sidelined because of her political views or her language, it’s equally, well, fucked up.
I can all but guarantee you that every man, woman, and child at each one of those schools has heard and has used the word “fuck” on innumerable occasions, and I very much doubt that the uttering of said word has sent Satan coursing through the entrails of the offenders and that they will be cascaded, upon their demise, into a ceaseless pit of flaming despair. I kinda doubt Straub was going to stand before the mic at these schools and drop some kind of tribute to the late greats Sam Kinison or Lenny Bruce while yanking up her cardigan so these kids could get both an ear and eyeful.
It’s interesting to me that we can accept Buddy Hackett was the voice of Scuttle the Seagull or as Tennessee Steinmetz in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and “The Love Bug”, respectively, and also as the profane and sexually risque comic at casinos and on the Johnny Carson Show, or Bob Saget as the lovable dork dad on “Full House” as well as the incredibly foul-mouthed stand-up comedian; but we can’t grant a children’s author the same latitude to be, well, a fucking adult who uses language one can hear at any hour of the day or…