The Unpolishable Turd
A Review of Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed!
My review of the children’s book Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed!, in a sound bite the intended audience of this book might understand, is: You can’t polish a turd.
The turd is the fundamental delusion that “liberals” in America are responsible for high taxes and the oppression of the right’s free practice of religion. The polish is the woeful spin the author Katharine DeBrecht attempts to mask the reality of the situation: In recent decades is has been the so-called conservatives in this country who are spending like drunken sailors and are attempting to force religion into our everyday lives everywhere from our public schools’ science classes to the courtrooms.
I bought this book, a blatant rip-off of books dating back to at least 1989 (the year the children’s book Heather Has Two Mommies was published), with the intent of writing a review based on both its creative merits and on factual accuracy. However, after reading it, I was simply flabbergasted at how this ever got published. It’s just that bad.
I won’t say it’s great literature, but Heather Has Two Mommies is a heartfelt attempt to help a small segment of our children who are being raised by two moms (or two dads) come to grip with a hostile society. But once again the extreme right-wingers of this country show that when they try to imitate “liberals” in the creative realm, they fail spectacularly.
Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed! is unimaginative, and is clumsily written in a heavy-handed style. I’d give it a few points for the character sketches/lampoons of Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, except for the problem that they look like they were lifted right out of the editorial cartoon pages. And come on, how hard is it to make Ted Kennedy look funny, anyway? Really, only someone who thinks Ziggy or The Family Circus is cutting-edge humor would get a laugh out of this.
This might have something to do with the fact that under the GOP-driven “Contract With America”, America has been slashing art classes in schools for decades. Or, it might be that under Ronald Reagan ketchup became an acceptable substitute for vegetables in school lunches, and now enough of our brains have rotted to primordial sludge that there’s a market for this sad excuse for a satirical political commentary.
The book description at Amazon.com states:
This full-color illustrated book is a fun way for parents to teach young children the valuable lessons of conservatism. Written in simple text, readers can follow along with Tommy and Lou as they open a lemonade stand to earn money for a swing set. But when liberals start demanding that Tommy and Lou pay half their money in taxes, take down their picture of Jesus, and serve broccoli with every glass of lemonade, the young brothers experience the downside to living in Liberaland.
The book delivers what Amazon.com promises, I’ll give it that—it is in full color (wow!), and it’s written for simpletons, all right. The book in fact offers nothing in addition to what’s said in the blurb above, that’s really the whole book. By the way, what is with this hatred of broccoli? Since when did broccoli become liberal?
If people in America ever want to see their taxes go down without the country simply continuing to run a giant deficit, they should slash our out-of-control military budget, not increase it while whining about taxes.
Much more entertaining than the book itself were some of the slobbering reviews by the book’s defenders on Amazon.com. Many of these people apparently looked up the book because that master of morality and critical thinking Rush Limbaugh hyped it on his radio show. I guess they haven’t sent him up the river yet for manipulating his illegal immigrant household help to score him prodigious amounts of prescription drugs.
There are loads of them that are entertaining, but I leave you with this one in particular, as it illustrates the hypocrisy of the modern right-wing American better than I ever can, from a self-described “American” in Milwaukee:
The Liberals are in your schools and pocketbooks too, and they control the mainstream media. They’re not just under your bed!
A must read for the loving parent. If you love your children you will read this to them. Open their young eyes early to the evil of Liberalism.
I say we give this author an NEA grant so she can write the sequel.
Give this author a grant? A grant?!! You mean those bastions of irresponsible, liberal big government spending?
Funny how quickly so-called fiscal conservatives jump on the big government bandwagon when it’s for something they approve of!
Copyright 2006, Carter O'Brien
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