For the sake of the children

By Michael J. Smith on Saturday June 16, 2012 10:22 AM

... it's time to ban Dante Alighieri, apparently. Or maybe not:

Dante's Divine Comedy 'offensive and should be banned'

... Dante's Divine Comedy has been condemned as racist, homophobic, anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic....

The classic work should be removed from school curricula, according to Gherush 92, a human rights organisation which acts as a consultant to UN bodies on racism and discrimination.

Dante's epic is "offensive and discriminatory" and has no place in a modern classroom, said Valentina Sereni, the group's president.

.... Schoolchildren and university students who studied the work lacked "the filters" to appreciate its historical context and were being fed a poisonous diet of anti-Semitism and racism, the group said.

This idea of 'filters' as the child-herder's(*) value-add is delightful, isn't it?

Alas, I suspect this is really some kind of complicated joke on somebody's part. Judging by 'Gherush 92's' Web site, it's a shell -- a one-woman vanity operation; the 'president', Valentina Sereni, is the only name one ever sees in connection with it. The name carries a coy reference to Ferdinand and Isabella's expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492(**), and anti-semitism always seems to head the lengthy list of things Valentina is against. All the news reports on this story say the outfit 'advises the UN' on human rights or some such, but what that seems to boil down to is Valentina attending NGO conferences.

Too bad. It could all so easily *be* true; clearly we want it to be true, judging by the amount of press the thing has received. Everybody loves it when Nanny makes a fool of herself.


(*) Pedagogue, in Greek.

(**)Ignore the 'h' after the 'g'; it's an Italian site, they're trying to be phonetic; gloogle גרוש ספרד 'gerush sefarad' vel sim.

Comments (2)


Colossal inefficiency, just give Winston Smith the tools already.


OT, but a rare surprise at csmonitor.

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