It doesn't have quite the same ring as "Banned in Boston," but Phoenix New Times could be "Banned in the Chandler Library" if this dip Larry Edwards gets his way. Edwards is reportedly the prig who complained to the Chandler Library about New Times being on the shelves of the city bibliotheque. According to an article on AZCentral.com, Larry's nose turned blue at the stripper ads in the back of the book. Supposedly he also had a problem with the "articles for teenagers." Could he mean Megan Irwin's cover story "Eurotrashed" about the Dobson High School students and their wild and wooly trip to the Continent? Who knows? (I called the Larry Edwards listed in Chandler and left a message, but he hasn't called back yet.) Anyhoo, this one prude griping to the library lady has caused such a commotion that the Chandler Library Board will convene tomorrow night to discuss it. Guess it doesn't take much.
I talked to the library manager Brenda Brown, and she tells me that in her three years of working there, this is the first complaint she's ever received about New Times. Christ, all you have to do is walk down to the frickin' 7-11 to get one. In case you haven't noticed, they're free, folks, just like your mom. Brown says the library actually subscribes to New Times, which means they pay for the postage to have it sent to them. Mr. Edwards (who in my mind's eye looks like the alter kocker who used to do those Pepperidge Farm commercials) may not have noticed, but there's also this newfangled thing called the Internet, where you can read the whole durn thing for gratis.
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Someone from news radio KTAR called me for a quote about it, and I made the point that almost everyone is offended by something, and if you start pulling books and mags off the shelf because one person bitches about it, you won't have much of a library. Brown explained to me that after Thursday night's meeting, someone will study the matter and report back in November, and that's when a decision will be made. My breath ain't exactly bated, bubbee. The Chandler Library only risks making itself into a laughing stock with this thing. New Times is nearly ubiquitous in this part of the world. And if the Chandler book-barn bows to what one local gum-smacker has to say, it's gonna make Chandler look like a town full of fist-class hayseeds.
Supposedly there are some children's books at issue too, like some kids' book about sperm called Where Willy Went. Is that the one about Larry Craig? Or was that Free Willy When I Tap My Foot Twice? All these troublesome books, mags and other reading material. Maybe the library'd be better off without 'em.