'Imagine if Go the Fuck to Sleep Were Written About Jews'

Finally, someone to suck all the joy out of best-selling satirical children's book Go the Fuck to Sleep. In a column for CNN, Karen Spears Zacharias argues that violent language and implied bigotry mean "Go the Fuck to Sleep is not funny":

Nobody is suggesting that there's a connection between Adam Mansbach's book and child abuse or child neglect. Still, there's no denying the reason "Go the F*** to Sleep" should be kept out of reach of children is because of its violent language and because of the way it demeans children.

"Imagine if this were written about Jews, blacks, Muslims or Latinos," says Dr. David Arredondo.

Noooo, not the "Imagine if you said this about the Jews" trap! This is a false equivalency. Children are not a race or religion, they are just small people with weak bladder control and minimal literacy. Swapping "Jew" into random sentences about children doesn't mean the aforementioned sentence is offensive. It means that one does not speak to a Jewish adult the way one speaks to a child.

It is hard to imagine this kind of humor being tolerated by any of the marginalized groups Arredondo cited. Consider the lines on page 3:

"The eagles who soar thru the sky are at rest
And the creatures who crawl, run and creep.
I know you are not thirsty. That's bulls**t.
Stop lying.
Lie the f*** down, my darling, and sleep."

The irony, says Arredondo, is that the people buying the book are probably good parents.

"I'd like to have my own Jews someday, but I fear I won't be able to control them." See? Sounds terrible. "No Jews are allowed at my wedding." Also terrible. "I'm so sick of cleaning up after the Jews." All so terrible! But does this mean people who ban children from their weddings are Nazis? Well, OK, maybe. This CNN column still borders on self-parody, though. [CNN via ShortFormBlog]