Want to know what's wrong with American Letters?

Read Silliman's blog and his complaints about the School of Quietude. Read anything critical John Hollander or Robert Pinsky have ever written. Read Dana Gioia's infamous essay "Can Poetry Matter?" and the various responses to it. Hell, read the complaints of my co-editor Eric Rosenfield about the decline of readerly culture in North America. Read any number of complaints on various blogs and in various book arts pages of the nation's newspapers, liberal or conservative. One thing they all agree on is that something is wrong with American Literature. They all have their various candidates, be it conservative forces within academia or the encroaching politically correct daintiness of the academic left, the decline of free verse or the exclusion of the post-avant poets from mainstream publication. I would like to take the next 60 seconds of your life to present my candidate: the fact that idiots are in complete control of public education.

The policy states that acceptable books should provide a "Fair balanced socially appropriate portrayal of people with regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex and disability."[sic]

I think that "Fair balanced" clause is the tipper.

I give you their agenda:

Books now cannot depict drinking alcohol, smoking, drugs, sex, including "negative sexuality," implied or explicit nudity, cursing, violent crime or weapons, gambling, foul humor and "dark content."

These people are sour faced bigots who want sanitized, boring, vanilla culture full of productive, mindless worker bees. And if they can't have that, and they can't, then they want to make damn sure that everybody else is as miserable, ignorant, and awful as they are. Toward that end they have hijacked public education while the rest of us were asleep and are now busy bleaching out anything that they consider "naughty" or "unseemly" from the world. American culture is under attack by a group of rabid reactionaries hell bent on a form of cultural cleansing intended not to achieve their disingenously stated aims, but rather to drag us all kicking and screaming back to the nineteenth century world in which these deluded fools believe that everything will be better. These people are the enemy. This is red America.