Outraged moms want to ban 'absolutely disgusting' satirical children's poem

0
19
Some moms are objecting to the dark humor of a poem in Rhett Miller's new book — but other parents say they're overreacting. (Photo: Amazon)Some moms are objecting to the dark humor of a poem in Rhett Miller's new book — but other parents say they're overreacting. (Photo: Amazon)
Some moms are objecting to the dark humor of a poem in Rhett Miller’s new book — but other parents say they’re overreacting. (Photo: Amazon)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A tongue-in-cheek children’s poem which advises a little girl against killing her brother has been blasted as “absolutely disgusting” and “horrifying” by angry&nbsp;moms. They’re demanding that the book in which it appears be pulled from retailers like Costco.” data-reactid=”22″>A tongue-in-cheek children’s poem which advises a little girl against killing her brother has been blasted as “absolutely disgusting” and “horrifying” by angry moms. They’re demanding that the book in which it appears be pulled from retailers like Costco.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The poem “Brotherly Love” is from&nbsp;No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse, which is billed as a Shel Silverstein-inspired, “riotous collection of irreverent poems for modern families” written by musician Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s, with illustrations by Dan Santat.” data-reactid=”23″>The poem “Brotherly Love” is from No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse, which is billed as a Shel Silverstein-inspired, “riotous collection of irreverent poems for modern families” written by musician Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s, with illustrations by Dan Santat.

A screenshot shared by a concerned mom reveals verses referencing different ways — drowning, smothering, etc. — in which the girl might kill her sibling.

“Darling little girl / I know exactly who they’d blame / If you go pouring gasoline / And setting him aflame / You’re much too young to shoulder / Such responsibility / I’m the one they’d car off / To the penitentiary,” reads one verse.

The macabre imagery has caused an uproar. One mom, Kayla Sykes, called on Costco to stop selling the book, which, according to Amazon.com, is targeted at children aged 7 to 10.

“I don’t see how anyone can justify this,” Sykes said in a second post. “Perhaps the author was instructing certain children not to do these things, but he’s also influencing children and teaching children the capabilities of these horrific scenarios. Taking a pillow and smothering someone, setting someone on fire, pushing someone from a window … these are not normal thoughts. These are not things that enter the heads of my children.

“As a teacher, I understand children on a larger spectrum, and perhaps some have been exposed to these things. There is a potential for … relatable humor, maybe. But I also have had students that can be easily influenced and manipulated — and just the simple idea of these dark events could make them act (influenced events) out impulsively.”

Many parents have agreed with her, calling the poem’s dark humor “disturbing” and a “bit graphic.”

“I am in total agreement with you,” wrote a mom. “I feel that it was very thought-provoking. Putting sick thoughts in a child’s mind. Very evil as far as I am concerned. I did not find it funny at all.”

Another tweeted that it “made her sick to my stomach.”

But other parents have accused critics of overreacting.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“We used to watch Looney Tunes and didn’t murder anyone,” one Facebook commenter argued.” data-reactid=”42″>“We used to watch Looney Tunes and didn’t murder anyone,” one Facebook commenter argued.

“The Bible has some violent stories in it as well and I read them to my children,” added a mom. “My children haven’t tried to kill their siblings yet.”

“As a teacher, we need to encourage children to think for themselves,” read another comment.

“OMG y’all need help,” one commenter said of the backlash. “Ever read Dr. Seuss? If you didn’t look it up and understand the concept of the book, that’s your own fault. Don’t blame stores and authors.”

“Oh, I’m buying it ASAP,” a commenter wrote. “Shel Silverstein was my absolute favorite growing up. This is so up that alley. So sad that we live in a culture now that can’t recognize satire in the simplest form. Obviously this is NOT instructions on how to kill your sibling!”

Miller, who wrote the controversial poem, is also citing Silverstein’s influence. He tweeted a verse from the beloved children’s writer’s satirical poem “Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony,” in which a little girl dies because her parents won’t buy her a pony.

He also referenced “getting some vitriol from a humorless few on the internet.”

Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted the book’s publisher, Little, Brown and Company, for comment.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:” data-reactid=”56″>Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.” data-reactid=”61″>Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.