Friday, June 24, 2005

"Here, kid, read 'The Story of O' while you're at it"

A librarian in Italy was found not guilty last week of giving obscene material to a minor. The fracas apparently all started when the librarian lent the Virginie Despentes novel Baise-Moi out to a 14-year-old in the neighborhood; since the book was on a government-written list of recommended novels, apparently she didn't really think that much about it.

Now, I've never read the novel Baise-Moi myself, but I did see the movie when it came out five years ago, and can definitively state that it might be the most inappropriate story for kids I've ever come across in my life; the entire plot basically consists of two female sexual-molestation victims who just lose it one day and decide to go on a cross-country sex and killing spree, participating in orgies and then slaughtering all the guys afterwards, with absolutely no justification given besides that they're men and that all men deserve to be slaughtered like the rutting animals they are. I mean, it's a great movie, don't get me wrong, and it's a shame I think that it showed in so few theatres in the US (I think the grand total was something like five or six in the whole country); but still, I'll be the first to admit that I wouldn't hand that story over to a 14-year-old if my life depended on it. I mean, jeez, even the title itself is French for either "rape me" or "f**k me," depending on how you translate it.

So the question in my mind, I guess, is not whether it was fair or not to sue the librarian for lending the book, but rather: Why the hell is the Italian government recommending this book to teens in the first place? Just what's going on over there in that crazy ol' EU, anyway? Coming next year: state-sponsored Polish orgies! (Thanks as always to Bookslut for pointing this out.)