I may be a bad man – or, TANSTAAFL.

4 November, 2010 | | No Comment

So, tonight, the newly minted 12-yr-old is curling up in bed with her first Heinlein. I walked her through a short lesson:

BUMD: Who colonized Australia?
HTR: Um, the Brits.
BUMD: Why?
HTR: I think they sent all their prisoners there.
BUMD: Right. So now, imagine that the provincial world powers get their collective heads out of their butts and arm the UN, handing over most of the nukes to a central government.
HTR: Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaay…..
BUMD: And then, some genius gets the idea that we need another penal colony, like the Brits had with Australia. We have a world government. Where do we put the criminals?
HTR: I dunno, I guess the moon.

Right in one. She’s reading Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which was one of my all time favorites. So, the world – even the world of fiction writers – was long divided about Heinlein’s place in polite society. I’m either a wonderful father, continuing my child’s educational journey, or I’m materially contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

SOBUMD had the best response to the question: “I think it’s been too late for that one for a few years now. You could hand her anything from Catcher in the Rye to Lady Chatterly’s Lover, it’s not going to make a damn bit of difference.”

Ah well. Everything I’ve learned that turned out to be worth knowing, I learned from reading books that someone else had banned. Eff ’em.

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