Manga Enforcer // Lackluster Journalism

There’s a new article on Anime News Network about a woman in Florida who wants to ban manga from her town’s public library.

Basically, the mother, Margaret Barbaree, says that her teenaged kid was “negatively affected” after picking up a volume of manga from the library’s shelves. It harmed him so much that her son “lost his mind … now he’s in a home for extensive therapy.”

The mother is also the founder of a group called “Protect Our Children.”

I would LOVE to know what kind of namby-pamby kid she raised. To me, it sounds like she’s an unfit mother, especially if her son “lost his mind” after viewing pages of Gantz or Psychic Academy.

The article goes on to say that Gantz is an 18+ manga, while Psychic Academy is a 13+ title.

If you read the article, there’s this line in it, “According to the Crestview News Bulletin, Barbaree said her son took the manga from the unsupervised stacks and put it in his backpack.” This sentence, to me, says more than it says in its textual appearance.

1. How does the mother know that the kid took the manga and put it in his backpack? This is theft. It shows that the kid was fed up with his mother telling him what he can and can’t do, so he took the manga. Odds are she’s the type of mother who keeps a close eye on what her son checks out at the library.

2. We must also think about this from a different angle, did she see him put it in his bag? Did he tell her he took it? If not (which I’m betting is the case), we must then think “How did she find out?” I’m thinking that her son probably does have a problem, manga may or may not be the cause of it. She’s just blaming the manga.

The woman collected signatures against the public access of “anime” even though her petition was directed towards manga, though some signatories were told they were signing a petition against pornography.

I hate people like that woman. I’m sorry for her kid and all, but really. Her kid probably launched himself into a catatonia as the only way to get away from his overbearing mother.

Enough of that rant, onto the next.

I read a very sad article in Folio Weekly (a local alterna-news paper) the other day. War Dogs, a local shop that sells D&D, Magic: The Gathering, and other similar things, closed for good. While I’ve not been to WD (too far away), I do feel bad for the place. The other thing that irked me about the article was the way the reporter reported on it.

One of the things the article mentions is that on the last Fridays they were open, they had a huge “Magic Card” tourney. I’ve never heard of Magic Cards, have you? I’ve heard of Magic: The Gathering, a playing card game. Routinely on Fridays there’s a thing at many shops, of which War Dogs was one, called “Friday Night Magic” (FNM). FNM is an official weekly tournament at many places that sell MTG cards.

The article goes on to say that the audience for this place is mostly male and that “socially inept” people frequent the place.

Don’t get me wrong, the article is good, it tackles the economics of the situation rather well, it’s just not written by someone who understands the kinds of things that are sold or took place in that shop.

If I wrote this article and did not know of the fandom, I would have tried to learn as much as I could about it to create a proper article that did not malign it.

New book reviews and other entries are coming soon.

ANN article.

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