Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, June 19, 2006

You Have Got to be Kidding Me!?

Late in the afternoon this past Friday, I received an email from a nice gal who was inquiring as to when I met Julia "Butterfly" Hill and what town we lived in. The emailer had come across my Gallery of Infamous Arkansans post after doing a search for "Julia Hill."

Just so we are all on the same page, back in the late 90s, Julia Hill gained regional attention here in Southern California for sitting in a tree for over a year. You read that right: This stringy-haired, misguided little girl gave up personal hygiene, the use of proper sanitation, and living life as a sane human being to sit in the top of a tree doomed for the lumber yard. This was her fifteen minutes of fame.

I thought the emailer's requests were odd, but I wrote her back and told her how I knew Julia when I was in college at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR. Her family attended Central Baptist Church for a period of time and I knew her older brother from the college department fellowship group. I then left a "for the record" comment explaining I totally disagree with her environmental activism.

A few minutes later, the emailer wrote me back thanking me for the information and assured me she had no personal interest in Julia's environmental activism. She only had been assigned to write a 4th grade children's book about her life and needed some hard to find information.

A children's book!? About Julia "Butterhead" Hill!? Are you kidding me!?

Why is her life even relevant that it would justify writing a children's book about her? A biographical children's book should be reserved for individuals who have done something remarkable and important for humanity and society. People like Jane Austin, or William Wilberforce, or Lewis and Clark, or Jonas Salk, or Margaret Thatcher. Julia Hill is known for anthropomorphizing a redwood tree and sitting in it for more than year. This is the behavior of someone who is emotionally trouble; a person disturbed and out of touch with reality. This is not someone who has done something meaningful for mankind. The individual needs counseling, not further delusionment by being immortalized in a children's book.

This certainly stinks of an agenda. I guess this is just another sign of our postmodern times. Political activists are turned into saints and heroes and role models for the next generation. That way, all the children can learn to be little "free thinking" leftist secularists. In a manner of speaking, it is the way political activists "evangelize" for their religion.

I can only imagine there will be forth coming children's books highlighting the lives of Cindy Sheehan or Matthew Shepherd. Strike this up to another good reason to homeschool your children.

I am curious if Al-Zarqawi will get a children's book? Just wondering out loud.



Blogger The Buried Editor said...

Subjects for biographies (whether they are for children or adults) are based on public interest. If the company believes they can sell a book on this person I've never even heard of, then they must have found a market. A fourth grade biograpgy would most likely be a 32 page picture book or around a 96 page novel style book. Most likely they will do a 3000 print run, so they must think they can sell to 3000 libraries or schools. Bios rarely are sold to the bookstore market. They are geared to schools. I can't imagine buying a bio of someone no one has heard of -- especially when her 15 minutes of fame wasn't even that recent. Still, that's the beauty of our system. You can print whatever you want, and then the public votes with their dollars. If they have no interest, this book will never get out of its publisher's warehouse.

8:28 PM, June 19, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Hey B.E.
Thanks for the blog, by the way, I will have to stop by a check it out. I have a fascination with publishing information.

I couldn't imagine a book about Julia Hill being popular outside of Northern California, Oregon and Washington where the environmental movement is in ultra full swing. Of all the people to have a children's book written on them, I just thought that was bizarre. But, as you point out, if publishers think they can make some money on it, then they will print it up. The fact that bio books are generally geared toward schools disturbs me if it is going to be about her. I couldn't think of any more inane subject than a crackpot sitting in a tree.


4:46 AM, June 20, 2006  

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