No Library Story Hour, But You Can Have Some Drag Queens Read to Your Kids

 

In my deep, deep, deep blue pocket of the country, Montgomery County, Maryland, we are still trapped in spring 2020 when it comes to COVID. We’re still wearing masks indoors, my kids are the only kids in their outdoor soccer league playing maskless, and many county services and events are still using COVID as the excuse to avoid resuming normal operations. Last week I had a piece in the Washington Post about it, arguing for full reopening of our county; likely a fruitless effort akin to yelling at the wind, but it was worth a college try.

One of my co-authors, Jen Reesman, has been following the issue of the libraries closely. She wrote this paragraph in our op-ed,

Though Montgomery libraries finally reopened after one of the longest closures in the country, they’re still offering limited services. A county library official told us this week that story times and other indoor programs would not resume until vaccines are approved and available for children. Meanwhile, teen programming remains virtual, despite almost every single teen in the county having at least one vaccine dose.

Despite our rock-bottom low numbers, things are still just too dangerous to have someone read books to kids. Well, that is, unless they’re a drag queen, in which case it’s safe. At least, that’s what it seems like given this event that has happened at least twice over the pandemic, most recently last weekend:

We’ve learned a lot about COVID spread over the last year and a half; two-year-olds need to wear masks while we pack into restaurants and bars, which are made safe because people wear their masks from the entrance to their table. Another COVID safety lesson is this: Reading books to children is only safe if you’re a drag queen.

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  1. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    They are never going to let us out, are they?  

    • #1
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Spin (View Comment):

    They are never going to let us out, are they?

    Depends. If you’re a drag queen you can probably be let out. 

    • #2
  3. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Bethany Mandel:We’ve learned a lot about COVID spread over the last year and a half; two-year-olds need to wear masks while we pack into restaurants and bars, which are made safe because people wear their masks from the entrance to their table. Another COVID safety lesson is this: Reading books to children is only safe if you’re a drag queen.

    Yes, just as only Marxist mass public protest events are safe, even essential, according to the “science.” This is all of a piece.

    • #3
  4. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I hope Montgomery County isn’t somehow proud of their teenagers being jabbed.

    • #4
  5. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Here in Blue Minneapolis everything is open, with masks suggested. A few weeks ago in the grocery stores, mask usage was 30 / 70, with most showing their brazen faces. The other day it was about 90 /10. Fully voluntary. They keep them on in the parking lot, as if huge COVID germs are roaming the asphalt like invisible tumbleweeds. 

    In the skyways downtown, now mostly occupied by young professionals, the ratio is 10 / 90, if that. They’re done with it. 

    Drag Queen Story Hour is important, though, as the website points out:

    Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood

    The library states this like it’s an actual fact, as if childhood consists of a merry skipping path between genders before the iron fist of society crams you in a narrow box.

    and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.

    Why, in my day, we had to tune into Hollywood Squares and wait for someone to call on Paul Lynde. Kids today, what with their glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models, they don’t know how good they have it.

    In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions

    Rigid! Man, I remember the bad old days, when Grace Jones and RuPaul were sent to the camps. We all remember the newsreel footage of Hepburn being stoned for wearing pants and acting mannish, and said Never Again. But we didn’t learn. First they came for Lt. Rodriguez, and I said nothing, because I was not a butch Latina with a flame-thrower aboard a Colonial Marine troop [REDACTED] in “Aliens.”

    and imagine a world where people can present as they wish and where dress-up is real.

    All clothing is dress-up. They’re saying that pretending is real. 

    It may seem outre now, but give it a year or two, and Drag will be repositioned as cultural appropriation of transgender people: it’s performative, a costume that can be donned at will. Drag privilege. 

     

    • #5
  6. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    my kids are the only kids in their outdoor soccer league playing maskless

    Wow!  Maybe it’s the soccer…

    What about football, martial arts, skateboarding, BMX cycling, basketball, baseball, hockey…

    Maybe try swimming and diving?

    • #6
  7. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.

    It’s the gender version of blackface. They dress up as garish caricatures and stereotypes of women (no real woman puts on the layers of clown make-up a drag queen does) for entertainment. It’s quite astonishing that demeaning women in this way is not just tolerate on the left, but celebrated. 

    • #7
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Here in Blue Minneapolis everything is open, with masks suggested. A few weeks ago in the grocery stores, mask usage was 30 / 70, with most showing their brazen faces. The other day it was about 90 /10. Fully voluntary. They keep them on in the parking lot, as if huge COVID germs are roaming the asphalt like invisible tumbleweeds.

    In the skyways downtown, now mostly occupied by young professionals, the ratio is 10 / 90, if that. They’re done with it.

    Drag Queen Story Hour is important, though, as the website points out:

    Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood

    The library states this like it’s an actual fact, as if childhood consists of a merry skipping path between genders before the iron fist of society crams you in a narrow box.

    and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.

    Why, in my day, we had to tune into Hollywood Squares and wait for someone to call on Paul Lynde. Kids today, what with their glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models, they don’t know how good they have it.

    In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions

    Rigid! Man, I remember the bad old days, when Grace Jones and RuPaul were sent to the camps. We all remember the newsreel footage of Hepburn being stoned for wearing pants and acting mannish, and said Never Again. But we didn’t learn. First they came for Lt. Rodriguez, and I said nothing, because I was not a butch Latina with a flame-thrower aboard a Colonial Marine troop [REDACTED] in “Aliens.”

    and imagine a world where people can present as they wish and where dress-up is real.

    All clothing is dress-up. They’re saying that pretending is real.

    It may seem outre now, but give it a year or two, and Drag will be repositioned as cultural appropriation of transgender people: it’s performative, a costume that can be donned at will. Drag privilege.

     

    It’s gender appropriation.

    • #8
  9. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I can’t figure out what character the blue and white outfitted drag queen is supposed to be?  Whoever started this trend is crazy, and so is the library association. Kids are growing up in a bizarre, un-natural world that keeps getting more twisted.  Even childrens’ books are all about climate change, and race and gender issues, instead of being funny and innocent, and devoid of the latest social fret.

    I picked up a very good one at a beach house I manage while waiting for a contractor. “A Bear Sat On My Porch Today” – it’s completely adorable and here it is offered by someone making the book the focal point, not her:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlAZmrIOehc

    • #9
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    One question:

    What kind of stories do these drag queens read?  One Fish, Two Fish, or Heather Has Two Mommies?

    • #10
  11. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Here in Blue Minneapolis everything is open, with masks suggested. A few weeks ago in the grocery stores, mask usage was 30 / 70, with most showing their brazen faces. The other day it was about 90 /10. Fully voluntary. They keep them on in the parking lot, as if huge COVID germs are roaming the asphalt like invisible tumbleweeds.

    In the skyways downtown, now mostly occupied by young professionals, the ratio is 10 / 90, if that. They’re done with it.

    Drag Queen Story Hour is important, though, as the website points out:

    Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood

    The library states this like it’s an actual fact, as if childhood consists of a merry skipping path between genders before the iron fist of society crams you in a narrow box.

    and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.

    Why, in my day, we had to tune into Hollywood Squares and wait for someone to call on Paul Lynde. Kids today, what with their glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models, they don’t know how good they have it.

    In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions

    Rigid! Man, I remember the bad old days, when Grace Jones and RuPaul were sent to the camps. We all remember the newsreel footage of Hepburn being stoned for wearing pants and acting mannish, and said Never Again. But we didn’t learn. First they came for Lt. Rodriguez, and I said nothing, because I was not a butch Latina with a flame-thrower aboard a Colonial Marine troop [REDACTED] in “Aliens.”

    and imagine a world where people can present as they wish and where dress-up is real.

    All clothing is dress-up. They’re saying that pretending is real.

    It may seem outre now, but give it a year or two, and Drag will be repositioned as cultural appropriation of transgender people: it’s performative, a costume that can be donned at will. Drag privilege.

    The Paul Lynde line is laugh-out-loud, snort-your-drink-through-your-nose caliber. Thanks.

     

    • #11
  12. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    I can’t figure out what character the blue and white outfitted drag queen is supposed to be? Whoever started this trend is crazy, and so is the library association. Kids are growing up in a bizarre, un-natural world that keeps getting more twisted. Even childrens’ books are all about climate change, and race and gender issues, instead of being funny and innocent, and devoid of the latest social fret.

    I picked up a very good one at a beach house I manage while waiting for a contractor. “A Bear Sat On My Porch Today” – it’s completely adorable and here it is offered by someone making the book the focal point, not her:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlAZmrIOehc

    Great short essay in the November First Things about books that are being written produced for kids – all LGBTQRSTUV, climate, race, etc. I will put A Bear on my reading list for grandkids. Thanks.

    • #12
  13. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Masks don’t do a damn thing as an aggregate top down policy.

     

     

     

     

    • #13
  14. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Drag queen story hour is an odd thing.  I have seen local libraries ban all sort of stuff as inappropriate but this gets a pass.  But the part that throws me is the parents that drag their kids to it. The current and next generation is going to be so screwed up.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    I can’t figure out what character the blue and white outfitted drag queen is supposed to be? Whoever started this trend is crazy, and so is the library association. Kids are growing up in a bizarre, un-natural world that keeps getting more twisted. Even childrens’ books are all about climate change, and race and gender issues, instead of being funny and innocent, and devoid of the latest social fret.

    I picked up a very good one at a beach house I manage while waiting for a contractor. “A Bear Sat On My Porch Today” – it’s completely adorable and here it is offered by someone making the book the focal point, not her:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlAZmrIOehc

    Maybe the libraries couldn’t find anyone but drag queens who didn’t have a job or something else they had to be doing during library hours?

    • #15
  16. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Mask use on the DC Metro is higher than ever although the silly social distance fetish appears to be fading.  Retail places and restaurants go through the motions.

    It is as if we continue with the masks to admit that COVID and the malignantly stupid policies in response have broken us and we deserve to be Bidened.  The more obvious that none of the crap had the slightest benefit, the more that blue-state quislings cling to their mandates. It is hard to tell whether these people fear COVID more than the prospect of being forced to admit that the libertarian-conservative dissidents were right.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Mask use on the DC Metro is higher than ever although the silly social distance fetish appears to be fading. Retail places and restaurants go through the motions.

    “Social distancing” on subways/trains/buses/etc was always a pipe dream.

     

    It is as if we continue with the masks to admit that COVID and the malignantly stupid policies in response have broken us and we deserve to be Bidened. The more obvious that none of the crap had the slightest benefit, the more that blue-state quislings cling to their mandates. It is hard to tell whether these people fear COVID more than the prospect of being forced to admit that the libertarian-conservative dissidents were right.

    A lot of people do deserve to be Bidened, but not me.

    • #17
  18. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Mask use on the DC Metro is higher than ever although the silly social distance fetish appears to be fading. Retail places and restaurants go through the motions.

    It is as if we continue with the masks to admit that COVID and the malignantly stupid policies in response have broken us and we deserve to be Bidened. The more obvious that none of the crap had the slightest benefit, the more that blue-state quislings cling to their mandates. It is hard to tell whether these people fear COVID more than the prospect of being forced to admit that the libertarian-conservative dissidents were right.

    To be fair, isn’t mask use on the DC Metro useful for filtering the smoke from the frequent fires?

     

    • #18
  19. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Mask use on the DC Metro is higher than ever although the silly social distance fetish appears to be fading. Retail places and restaurants go through the motions.

    It is as if we continue with the masks to admit that COVID and the malignantly stupid policies in response have broken us and we deserve to be Bidened. The more obvious that none of the crap had the slightest benefit, the more that blue-state quislings cling to their mandates. It is hard to tell whether these people fear COVID more than the prospect of being forced to admit that the libertarian-conservative dissidents were right.

    To be fair, isn’t mask use on the DC Metro useful for filtering the smoke from the frequent fires?

     

    Actually the air circulation is fantastic. I sat five feet from a redolent homeless loon and could barely detect the issue. He lit an incense stick and a cigarette and the fumes did nor reach me. Impressive. He did some unmedicated martial arts with thrusting motions with an Orange-handled pumpkin carver that caused some to move down the car.  Not me. I was fascinated. But I was glad to arrive at my stop as he broke out some tissues and a body part for an autoerogenous finale.

    Anyway, COVID has an uphill battle to spread on those Metro cars.

    • #19
  20. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Mask use on the DC Metro is higher than ever although the silly social distance fetish appears to be fading. Retail places and restaurants go through the motions.

    It is as if we continue with the masks to admit that COVID and the malignantly stupid policies in response have broken us and we deserve to be Bidened. The more obvious that none of the crap had the slightest benefit, the more that blue-state quislings cling to their mandates. It is hard to tell whether these people fear COVID more than the prospect of being forced to admit that the libertarian-conservative dissidents were right.

    To be fair, isn’t mask use on the DC Metro useful for filtering the smoke from the frequent fires?

     

    Actually the air circulation is fantastic. I sat five feet from a redolent homeless loon and could barely detect the issue. He lit an incense stick and a cigarette and the fumes did nor reach me. Impressive. He did some unmedicated martial arts with thrusting motions with an Orange-handled pumpkin carver that caused some to move down the car. Not me. I was fascinated. But I was glad to arrive at my stop as he broke out some tissues and a body part for an autoerogenous finale.

    Anyway, COVID has an uphill battle to spread on those Metro cars.

    Indeed, the competition from other virii must be fierce.  And some of them really know how to kick virus butt!

    • #20