Friday, June 15, 2012

Never Seconds, and the time Sunflower's article was banned in school

Let me tell you a little story about a school paper called The Beacon. I was on that paper, in high school, for two years. I wrote several articles in it, as well as copyediting bits and pieces as needed. Our advisor was very fond of reminding us not to plagiarize.

One day, our advisor told me that he wanted me to research and write an article about censorship--particularly of school papers. So I wrote the article--I can't remember a word of it and I'm pretty sure it was awful to begin with. It wasn't incendiary in the least.

I thought.

Because our principal banned us from giving out the paper.

It became our most popular issue.


I know I go on and on about the weirdness factor and crafting and genre and research and revision and drafting and characters and setting that is part and parcel of writing fiction.

But the other side to writing and showing it to the world is that it be powerful, thought-provoking. It can cause change. It can lay out an argument, show a different perspective, and investigate, in addition to the more twee desires of a fiction writer to "move" and "touch."

I started following a blog written by a 9-year-old Scottish girl called Veg. The blog is called Never Seconds. In it, the girl chronicles her school lunches. I'm not sure if I've ever shared that I'm a big fan of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, but I am. I think nutrition is important, particularly in an age of obesity, gluten allergies, diabetes, and other health problems caused by food. And it's particularly important when that food is fed to growing children.

Plus, you know, I'm always up for a good protest. I would have made an excellent demonstrator in the 60s.

Having been raised on a variety of food, to go along with my diverse ethnic background, it scares me when I see kids who won't eat anything but fast food.

Well, Veg's local council is censoring her by banning her from taking pictures of her lunches.

Please check out her blog. See how this 9-year-old managed to scare a council into censoring her blog, which has gone viral and has over 2 million views.

What are they afraid of?

Remember y'all, the pen (or blog) is mightier.

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