Greenhill School, Dallas' liberal yet no-less-elitist private academy, has taken a step to preserve its academic purity by banning from campus the Goosebumps series of children's books because its "graphic" content "doesn't leave much to the imagination."
Goosebumps, a sort of kiddie pulp fiction featuring ghouls, ghosts, and grotesqueries, is the hottest thing in children's-book publishing, with recent television spin-offs. But the series just doesn't meet Greenhill's lofty standards.
"They can read Goosebumps at home or anywhere else. At school we want kids to read something else," says Gail Maura, headmistress of the lower school. "We make choices at Greenhill--what textbooks they read--and we have the right to make choices about what books they bring to school."
So to what literary classics will these affluent yard apes be restricted? A Bridge to Terabithia? Wind in the Willows? Ulysses? Not exactly.
"There are a lot of good books out there that stir the imagination," Maura says. "Nancy Drew, for example, is a book that doesn't spell everything out, and the kids get to use their imagination."
In any case, summer vacation must seem a million years away at Greenhill.
Maybe Bill inhaled
Imagine Buzz's surprise to see an Observer story cited in right-wing windbag William F. Buckley's National Review. In a pithy roundup of national news capsules, the April 8 Review lauded Wise County (Texas) Attorney Stephen Hale for his decision not to prosecute cases of misdemeanor pot possession. The magazine lifted a quote from Hale included in an Observer news story ("Prosecutor under fire," February 1) that detailed the Democrat's battle against his Republican opponent and the local newspaper. Happy with the national recognition, Hale says, "If the National Review likes a Democrat, I must be doing something right."
But Buzz was vexed that the magazine gave the Observer no credit for the original item. Hmmm. Buckley's minions must be taking lessons from that other conservative bastion, The Dallas Morning News.
Look out, Belo!
In the Michael Irvin hidden-camera debacle, no one's coming out smelling like a rose--assuming one can smell anything with all that coke. The exception may be Dallas Morning News sports columnist Randy Galloway's words--words he uses on the radio, that is.
Galloway, who's often tougher behind the mic at WBAP-AM (820) during his 6-8 p.m. weekday show than behind the pen at his Morning News desk, has of late been critical not only of KXAS and Marty Griffin for their "sleazy" tactics, but also WFAA's coverage of KXAS' coverage. Last week--on the radio, of course--Galloway referred to Channel 8's half-sneering and half-leering follow-ups as "cheesy" and "holier-than-thou." And good for him--Galloway and Channel 8 share the same employer in the Belo Corporation, which doesn't like to be criticized by outsiders--much less by those in the family.