We Cannot Stand By

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

W.B. Yeats

We stand on a precipice. Below us stretches a yawning chasm. We think that one individual cannot change the world but we forget that a waterfall starts with but one drop of water. Tonight I rewatched the film version of the Bryce Courtney novel The Power of One. It was the first film I truly loved and it ends with a message. The message that the fight for equal rights is not over and it can only be ended when all individuals come together to form the power of one.

Yes, this is still about the school board member Victoria Manning attempting to ban books in Virginia Beach schools. I looked high and low for that Gender Queer graphic novel she called pornography and I found it right under my nose. The Virginia Beach library had it online on the Hoopla app. I downloaded it and read it this afternoon, all 241 pages. What can I say it was an engaging story, but I do have to say I was disappointed with one aspect. I was promised an X rating and it was PG-13 at best. It might even qualify as TV-Y.

There was no graphic or lewd material. There were two panels out of 241 pages of 1-5 panels so at least 800 and probably closer to 900 total panels, and two showed a mild sex act. What was this mild sex act. I think we’re heading into spoiler territory so stop now if you’d like to read this excellent graphic novel for yourself. What was depicted was a young, college age, person’s search for self. You see the author, the book is a memoir, was working on fan fiction at the time, and had never made out with anyone, had never been on a date, and so signed up for tinder. The author met someone liked them and stated dating them. Then the author wanted to try and have sex with the author’s lover so the author bought a strap on and had their lover perform mock oral sex.

It didn’t work. This was the moment the author completely realized that the author was asexual. An asexual person has no interest in sex. None what so ever. There is a strange irony in Victoria Manning calling a graphic novel written by and about an asexual person pornography. Asexual porn is a rainy day, a good book, and a hot cup of tea. After writing that I might consider myself to be on the asexual spectrum. My wife probably laughed reading that.

So here is a graphic novel whose movie version would be shown on The Hallmark Channel and one of our school board members thinks it isn’t fit for Cinemax after dark. There is another message from The Power of One that describes these fools and it is the son P.K. writes for Doc to perform in prison about the Nazi guards, “They are confused, they are afraid, they are cowards.” That certainly fits all these screaming demons showing up to school board meetings whining and crying over mask and vaccines and calling mild sexual content pornography.

Pornography is a lewd act of sex absent any artistic value. Two panels out of an 800-900 panel comic doesn’t fit that definition in any way shape or form, and anyone that says it is has another agenda in mind. The same people that whine and cry that their kids could possibly maybe see a book like Gender Queer threw a big fit when The Dr. Seuss foundation decided to stop publishing a handful of his less popular books. Well, Dr. Seuss has a quote that goes, “A person’s a person no matter how small,” and while no person no matter their skin color, gender, sexual orientation, or anything else should be made small or make themselves small for the benefit of others a person is a person no matter how small.

What people like Victoria Manning and her hillbilly buddies are counting on is for the best to lack all conviction. For people like me to stand ideally by while they sneak their agenda of ignorance and hate under out noses. Well, I noticed, and I will not stand by.

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