One of the IBC writers came across an article today on CNN: “Go the F*** to Sleep” not funny.
The article asserts that the book is not funny essentially because of the unfortunate truth that violence against kids does exist. Karen Spears Zacharias writes:
Joan Demarest is an attorney in Corvallis, Oregon, and the mother of three young boys. Demarest told me that initially she thought the book was funny. That was before she read it. “Now I find it unsettling. I don’t like violent language in association with children.”
She has good reason to be concerned about the message behind such a parody. Demarest was the prosecuting attorney in one of Oregon’s most high-profile child murder cases. She understands the fear that far too many children endure because the lines of what’s appropriate parenting have become blurred.
The article also discusses the societal issue that bedtime rituals like reading have disappeared – which, although a disturbing point – has nothing to do with whether or not this book is funny. And I don’t mean funny for kids. Funny for parents. Normal, exasperated parents. Because that is who the book is for.
The article closes back on the point about child abuse and neglect:
The violent language of “Go the F*** to Sleep” is not the least bit funny, when one considers how many neglected children fall asleep each night praying for a parent who’d care enough to hold them, nurture them and read to them.
You know, like all those parents depicted in all those beautifully illustrated storybooks.
I am by no means making light of child abuse and neglect. It is a horrifying problem that makes me shudder more now that I have children of my own.
But this book? Not the problem. Nor do I think it’s a contributor. At what point is it not okay to make light of our day-to-day frustrations? Laughter is what eases stress. If we’re not allowed to find humor in topics that may veer on the sensitive side, a lot of late night talk show hosts are going to be out of jobs.
What do you think? Am I a parent gone astray? Do you find this book funny or crass? Weigh in!