Free Chat Friday, Week 8

Happy Friday, News Viewers, another week, another month, another season winding down, and in the middle of it, we see the war for the control of information getting uglier by the day.

A publishing House, Puffin, decides to change some of the offensive writing in the children’s books. Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the giant Peach, Matilda and others, was a bigot and a bully and it shows, but his books are loved by kids because of the stories, subtexts notwithstanding. So changes are being made.

The character Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is no longer called “fat.” Instead he is described as “enormous,” The Telegraph reports. Instead of being called “small men,” Oompa-Loompas are now “small people,” the article says.

Further, the changes to these books include adding language not originally written by Dahl. In his 1983 book The Witches, he writes that witches are bald beneath their wigs. According to The Telegraph, an added line in new editions says, “There are plenty of other reasons why women might wear wigs and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.”

On the other side of the aisle, school libraries in the US are being told by governors to remove particular books from children’s access, books referring to gender, to sexuality, to race, by authors who are themselves minorities and/or marginalized for race, gender or sexual preference.

And of course, the propaganda, as seen on 24/7 news media, Fox getting First Place for that honor, in conjunction with Congress, in conjunction with fundamentalists of the Old Testament variety. That leaves us here, in sinking sand, trying to find a solid foundation of truth to stabilize us.

Seems this tampering with stories, words, truth, and information is showing us the bigger problem — and we’ve known it all along. Controlling people through violence doesn’t work long term — people revolt. Controlling information though? Manipulating, erasing, adding, creating information, especially information aimed at children, teens and young adults? This is the war we’re fighting. Sounds like a movie I saw back in the day….

This is Friday’s free chat, where it’s an information free-flow, all topics all the time, with civility being the only rule. And why that rule? Because nobody can carry on a conversation, listen to or be heard by an a-hole, hence the “don’t be an asshole” rule.

What’s happening in your world? And so, Truth-Seekers, how’s it going in your own personal search for truth? Have you found it yet?