‘Maus’ is Amazon bestseller after Tennessee faculty ban

“Maus,” the decades-old graphic novel about the effects of the Holocaust on a family, has become an Amazon bestseller as part of a backlash to the news this week that it was banned by a Tennessee school board.

The McMinn County board says it took that step on Jan. 10 because of a handful of curse words and other aspects of “Maus” that it found upsetting, including “its depiction of violence and suicide.”

The board’s decision on the 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Art Spiegelman, which had been a key part of McMinn’s eighth-grade curriculum, was unanimous.

“The Complete Maus” on Friday held the No. 1 spot among Amazon’s bestsellers in the categories of fiction satire, and comics and graphic novels, and the no. 7 spot overall for all books.

“Mouse I,” an earlier published book that is the first part of “The Complete Maus,” was the No. 5 bestselling book on Amazon. The second part of the story, “Mouse II” what the no 1 bestseller in the European history category.

In addition to leading to a flood of demand for the book on Amazon, the McMinn board’s ban spurred other people to make the book more accessible to readers.

One of them, Professor Scott Denham at Davidson College in North Carolina, is offering McMinn County students in the eighth grade and high school an online class on “Mouse.

“I have taught Spiegelman’s books many times in my courses on the Holocaust over many years,” Denham says on his website.

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Richard Davis, owner of the Nirvana Comics bookstore in Knoxville, Tenn., is offering loans of “The Complete Maus” to any student.

Davis, whose store is located within 15 miles of McMinn County, also has set up a GoFundMe campaign to buy more “Maus” copies to be loaned and possibly ultimately donated to students. That effort had raised more than $30,000 by late Friday, more than three times its original $10,000 target.

“We’re getting requests from parents all over the country, even Europe, asking for copies,” said Davis.

He believes the surprisingly strong response reflects the view that “That’s not what we do in America: ‘We don’t ban books.'”

“It triggered a very American response,” he said.

One donor on the page wrote: “Banned books are the without fail among the most important, and ‘Maus,’ especially right now, is very, very important.”

Cartoonist Art Spiegelman attends the French Institute Alliance Francaise’s “After Charlie: What’s Next for Art, Satire and Censorship at Florence Gould Hall on February 19, 2015 in New York City.

Mark Sagliocco | Getty Images

The book’s author told CNBC in an email: “I’m heartened by reader responses, and the local responses you mentioned.”

“The schoolboard could’ve checked with their book-banning predecessor, [Russia President] Vladimir Putin: he made the Russian edition of Maus illegally in 2015 (also with good intentions—banning swastikas) and the small publisher sold out immediately and has had to reprint repeatedly,” Spiegelman wrote.

“The Streisand effect struck again,” he added, referring to the phenomenon — named after superstar singer Barbra Streisand — of an effort to ban something actually causing increased public awareness of that thing.

Spiegelman, 73, also told CNBC that his lecture agent is “trying to coordinate a public/Zoom event for the McMinn area where I will … talk and take questions about Maus with local citizens (hopefully teachers, students, clergy, etc) in the next couple of weeks.”

The school board’s president didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the book’s increased sales or Spiegelman’s comments.

The McMinn ban was not widely known until Wednesday, when a local online news outlet, The Tennessee Holler, publicized it.

The book, which won a Pulitzer in 1992, tells the story of Spiegelman’s parents’ time in Nazi death camps, the mass murder of other Jews, and his mother’s suicide years later.

In “Maus,” groups of people are drawn as different kinds of animals: Jews are mice, Poles are pigs, and Nazi Germans are cats.

Minutes of the McMinn school board meeting that led to the book being banned show that while some parents said they supported the idea of ​​teaching about the Holocaust, they had problems with some profanity in the book. They also had an issue with an image showing a nude woman who is Spiegelman’s mother.

“We can teach them history and we can teach them graphic history,” board member Mike Cochran said, according to minutes of the meeting. “We can tell them exactly what happened, but we don’t need all the nakedness and all the other stuff.”

But the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, challenged that idea in a tweet Wednesday after news broke about the ban, saying: “‘Maus’ has played a vital role in educating about the Holocaust” and that “Teaching about the Holocaust using books like Maus can inspire students to think critically about the past and their own roles and responsibilities today.”

Spiegelman told CNBC on Wednesday that “I’ve met so many young people … who have learned things from my book” about the Holocaust.

Davis, the owner of Nirvana Comics in Knoxville, agreed.

“‘Maus’ changed my life, ‘Maus’ changed how I see the world,” Davis said in an interview Friday, noting that he has “read it dozens of times, and I sobbed each time.”

He said the book “rises above its original medium. It’s more than a comic book, it’s an important historical document that provides perspective about one of the most horrific events in history.”

But Davis also said that the fact that “Maus” is a graphic novel makes it “probably the most effective book at teaching the Holocaust, especially to schoolchildren.”

“Teenagers today are accustomed to reading comic books,” he said. “‘Maus’ is a very heavy read, but the graphic novel format makes it more approachable.”

“It’s one of those books that everyone should read, and it should be in every school curriculum,” he said.

Davis said the ban’s “end result reflects negatively on Tennessee because it perpetuates the sense that people in the south are backward.”

He said that “unfortunately we live an in era” where one complaint or a handful of complaints can lead to a book such as ‘Maus’ getting banned.

“I’m sure that the [McMinn] parents and the school board were well-intentioned, and thought they were protecting their children,” he said.

“But I think that really these parents, their good intentions, had very negative results. I think they’re harming their children by trying to keep them from books like ‘Maus,'” Davis said. “They’re trying to kid-proof everything.”

Tennessee Isn’t Giving Individuals Cash to Get a COVID Shot, However It Does Pay to Vaccinate Cows – NBC Boston

Tennessee has sent nearly half a million dollars to farmers who have vaccinated their cattle against respiratory and other diseases in the past two years.

But Republican Governor Bill Lee, who grew up on his family’s ranch and describes himself as a rancher on his Twitter profile, was far less enthusiastic about herd immunity incentives in humans.

Despite having some of the lowest vaccination rates in Tennessee, Lee has refused to follow the example of other states in enticing people to receive the potentially life-saving COVID-19 vaccine.

Lee wasn’t always against vaccinations.

Tennessee’s herd health program began in 2019 under Lee, whose family business Triple L Ranch raises Polled Hereford cattle. The state is currently reimbursing participating farmers up to $ 1,500 for vaccinating their herds and has distributed $ 492,561 over the past two fiscal years, according to Tennessee Department of Agriculture documents.

Lee, who has so far avoided pulling a serious major Republican challenge on his 2022 re-election bid, has been accused of complacency in the face of the deadly pandemic. Tennessee’s vaccination rates for COVID-19 are 39% of the total population, up from over 49% nationwide for the fully vaccinated. The state’s COVID hospital admissions have more than tripled in the past three weeks and infections have more than quintupled.

At the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association annual conference on Friday, Lee said he doesn’t think incentives are very effective, WBIR-TV reported. “I don’t think that’s the government’s role,” he added. “The government’s role is to make them available and then encourage people to get a vaccine.”

In an email response to a question about the contrast to incentive vaccination for cattle, spokesman Casey Black wrote, “Tennesseans have every incentive to get the COVID-19 vaccine – it’s free and available in every corner of the state with virtually no waiting. While a veterinarian can weigh up safely raising cattle for consumption, the state will continue to provide information and access to COVID-19 vaccines to the people of Tennessee.

After Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine announced the state’s Vax-a-Million Lottery on May 12, with prizes that included $ 1 million and full college scholarships, many other states across the country followed suit their own incentives. These include custom trucks in West Virginia, annual passes to state parks in New Jersey, and gift certificates for hunting and fishing licenses in Arkansas. Last week, President Joe Biden joined the call for incentives, encouraging state and local governments to use federal funds to pay people $ 100 for vaccination.

But Lee has avoided using any of these tactics and has maintained throughout the pandemic that the decision to vaccinate against COVID-19 is a personal choice.

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said Monday 3 million Americans received their first COVID vaccine in the seven days.

“We encourage people from Tennessee to speak to their doctor, their clergy, their family members, the trusted voices in their lives, so that they can make a personal decision about whether or not to receive the vaccine,” he recently told Reporters, “but we encourage this because it is the tool we can use to most effectively fight this virus.”

Lee was vaccinated against COVID-19 but did not publish it as he did when he got his flu shot.

More recently, Lee’s government has come under fire after the state vaccination chief was fired to appease GOP lawmakers outraged about the spread of COVID-19 vaccinations among minors. At a June hearing, a Republican lawmaker called an ad promoting youth vaccination “objectionable” and some went so far as to suggest withdrawing health department funding.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus was vocal about the political motives for her firing and shared her positive performance reviews with the press. Fiscus also called on the Ministry of Health to stop using all vaccinations for children, not just COVID-19. The department has since resumed contact, but says it is aimed at parents only.

Lee initially remained silent on the controversy. Then, at a recent press conference, Lee said he supported Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey and her decisions, although he said he had no direct say in them.

Dr. Jason Martin, who has been treating COVID-19 patients in Sumner County since the beginning of the pandemic, is so disappointed with the state’s response that he is considering running for governor himself. The Democrat wishes Lee were “excited about motivating Tennessee people to take a safe, effective, and life-saving vaccine,” he said. “It would help us defeat COVID, keep our businesses open and successful, and get our children back to school safely. ”

Black, Lee’s spokesman, wouldn’t answer a question about whether the governor’s family farm received money from the herd health program, but Department of Agriculture records show no one surnamed Lee as a recipient.

Dr. Uché Blackstock, MSNBC medical assistant, says vaccine hesitation could go away if the FDA grants the vaccine full approval instead of its current emergency status. After taking this step, Blackstock is suggesting governments and employers make it less convenient for people to stay unvaccinated – an approach that is already having an impact on hospital workers.

Nichols: Tennessee vs. Texas units desk for Wild West-style showdown in Omaha

OMAHA, Neb. – A lonely tumbleweed blows across the landscape. Wind howls in the distance. Spores clink in the dust.

We knew it could happen sometime in this year’s College World Series, also known as The Greatest Show on Dirt.

And now the showdown is here: Tennessee vs. Texas.

Hand to hand. One UT vs. the other UT. Winner continues, loser goes home.

By then, you’ve heard all the fuss (and probably some more) about today’s matchup.

But the point cannot be overstated: No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Texas is going to be a grudge match. A life and death struggle. A horny afternoon (pun intended) between two of the best teams and most electric fan bases in college baseball.

So before we dive into the analysis, here are a few interesting off-field comparisons and edges that will get you into today’s first pitch (1 p.m. CT, ESPN).

PMS 151 vs. Texas Burnt Orange

Let’s start with the obvious: the orange comparison.

Now let’s get that out of the way: I’ll admit my nursery was burned orange for a while. And i liked it.

Tennessee Orange doesn’t work on four walls. It’s too “out there”, at least for my 8 year old taste.

But in uniforms? This orange pops like nothing else in the country.

That makes Tennessee unique when compared to the longhorns’ interesting mix of red, yellow, and mud brown.

This is what makes the “Vols” script so cute, regardless of whether the script is set in white on a bright orange jersey or emblazoned in orange on what is perhaps the best cream-colored uniform in baseball (sorry, braves).

Overall, Tennessee’s PMS 151 is one of the greatest colors in any sport, and I think Nike’s designers would agree with that.

So it’s this bright orange – at least when combined with the stadium-moving, well-traveled, SEC-tested fans of the Vols – that gave Tony Vitellos Club our first off-field advantage.

Famous alumni

Second, we come to the alumni chapter.

No, not that group of people you meet up with every week to cheer your team on from a random bar in a town you moved to for work.

I’m talking about the part of this column where we look at another notable comparison between these schools: the famous graduates.

And the lists are pretty impressive.

For Tennessee we start with Peyton Manning. Aptly known as “The Sheriff,” Manning is an NFL Hall of Famer, vol-legend, voice communications graduate, and 1997 Heisman winner – for those who are not Charles Woodson.

Manning is also known for saying a lot of “Omaha” – especially when he was with the Broncos – and the GIF was used a lot last Sunday when Tennessee took its place in You-Know-Where.

Manning even made a hilarious appearance on a Tennessee video last week, correcting Tony Vitello on how to correctly pronounce the name of the CWS host city.

But where does it not have to appear? TD Ameritrade Park, especially on Tuesday afternoons – at least if Tennessee wants to win.

In recent years, Manning – while popular across the Volunteer State – has been notoriously associated with the Vols losing when he’s in the stands.

While alumni status is great and Manning has done way more than his fair share for the University of Tennessee, I think fans won’t want him anywhere near Nebraska anytime soon.

Aside from Manning, another famous Tennessee alum is ESPN personality Paul Finebaum.

Of course, Finebaum cut his teeth off at the Tennessee student newspaper The Daily Beacon before graduating with a political science degree in 1978.

He has since skyrocketed to become arguably the most famous SEC soccer personality of all time, as well as the most hated man in the state of Alabama.

For Texas, no name is synonymous with the Longhorns as Mr. “Alright, Alright, Alright” himself, Matthew McConaughey.

As an actor, McConaughey made his first breakthrough in 1993 comedy Dazed and Confused. He followed in a few other supporting roles before starring as Jake Brigance, a small town attorney, in the film adaptation of John Grisham’s A Time to Kill. This book is still one of my favorites, and McConaughey was phenomenal.

He has since starred primarily in romantic comedies and received an Emmy nomination for his role in True Detective.

But McConaughey did a lot more than just acting, as evidenced by his role as “Minister of Culture” on the 40 acres. What does this role include? I’m not totally sure.

However, I’m sure Texas will continue to give the green light – also the name of McConaughey’s insightful 2020 novel, see what I did there? – for every idea sparked by its most electrifying, versatile alumnus.

In addition to McConaughey, Laura Bush and Owen Wilson are two other famous Texas alums.

I really couldn’t decide which one, so I went for both. While it’s probably not a good thing that I have a hard time choosing between a former first lady and a blonde actor whose most famous word is “wow”.

Anyway, let’s get into that.

Bush has a master’s degree in Texas, technically, as she received her bachelor’s degree from SMU before graduating with a library science degree in Austin.

She married former President George W. Bush in 1977 and, as the First Lady of Texas, focused on health, education, and literacy initiatives.

As the First Lady of the United States, Bush did even more. She continued her brand interests of education and literacy by doing the annual National book festival in 2001 to promote global education. She also campaigned for women and represented the United States on disease-related international travel.

She has made several other public appearances since leaving the White House, most recently at the inauguration of President Joe Biden in 2021.

As mentioned, Wilson’s best-known word is monosyllabic. But he’s done a lot more in his illustrious comedic career.

Wilson, an American actor, producer, and screenwriter, received an Oscar nomination for the 2001 film Royal Tanenbaums. He also starred in the 2011 film Midnight in Paris – another good one if you haven’t seen it before – and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Wilson’s more famous comedic roles can be seen in the series Wedding Crashers, You, Me & Dupree (grossly underrated), The Internship and The Night at the Museum.

Wilson was also moved to tears in Marley & Me and became America’s most popular racing car in his role as the voice of Lightning McQueen in the Cars series.

These are also just a few alumni from each school. But just like in his days against Florida, Peyton Manning can’t win here. Texas takes this off-field edge through a landslide.

Remember the Alamo

They needed to know it was coming, even though it and the other two criteria listed above did not affect the end result of today’s game.

If your high school history teachers were as good as me, you know the story. But here we go anyway.

In November 1835, Davy Crockett and 30 other men drove west to Texas. They stopped in Jackson, Tennessee, and moved on to Little Rock before arriving in Lone Star State in early 1836.

On February 8, Crockett arrived at the Alamo Mission. A little over two weeks later, General Antonio López de Santa Anna led soldiers in a siege of the building.

On February 25, over 200 Mexican soldiers posed outside the walls of the Alamo before firing at will. Crockett and Company returned the favor and sent the Mexican soldiers into retreat after a 90-minute battle.

Another battle took place on March 6, in which Crockett died valiantly defending the Alamo when Mexican soldiers took control.

Santa Anna was finally captured during the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836 when Texas forces shouted “Remember the Alamo!” Sam Houston then forced Santa Anna to sign an agreement that would end hostilities.

This agreement also marked the first steps in Texas’ independence from Mexico. Texas officially became the 28th state in the Union in December 1845, though formalities weren’t completed until 1846.

So the Tennessee Volunteers helped save Texas and gave the Vols today’s final off-field advantage.

The essentials: insights into the field

If you’ve come this far, congratulations. You are finally on the important part.

While the above comparisons are all fun, what really matters is what happens between the white lines.

And this is where Tennessee takes advantage of the final advantage in this column.

Yes, Texas (47-16) will be furious if there is a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the state of Mississippi on Monday night. Yes, Texas outlasted one of college baseball’s favorite stories in the USF, beating the Bulls 4-3 and 12-4 in the Austin Super Regional.

But the Horns have also lost three times in a row this season, while the Vols (50-17) are 15-1 after 16 of those losses.

Three of the above 15 wins came in an SEC baseball tournament that began with the Vols losing to a controversial call to Alabama. In addition, Tennessee has six winning streaks of at least five games after one defeat.

The only consecutive declines were against the state of Indiana in late February.

Four months later, the stakes are much higher. Win or go home.

But the Vols have often had their backs to the wall. Just check out these examples from Hoover, or check out Evan Russell’s Grand Slam versus Vanderbilt, Max Ferguson’s Walk-Off versus Arkansas, or Drew Gilbert’s Walk-Off Grand Slam versus Wright State.

So, yes, Vitello was right when he said on Sunday that the Vols are “built for this”.

But the Tennessee manager added that his team “has a brand name to rejuvenate”.

This type of imprinting usually works well on cattle – especially after adding Jason Russell’s fiery statement to WBIR.

“He’s got something burning inside,” said Russell. “I can promise you, the state of Tennessee, that you will do your best in this area.”

See you at TD Ameritrade.

A “tidal wave” of an issue | New cash for lease help helps comprise tense housing state of affairs in East Tennessee

Legal Aid of East TN helps connect people with aid. Lawyers say it eases tension between landlords and tenants. Here is how they can help you.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. – During the pandemic, millions of people in the US were late on rent or utility bills, straining tenant-landlord relationships.

New federal funds, some of which are provided by the American rescue plan that came into force in March, as well as expanded evacuation protection, help tenants and owners to experience a little less stress. For some people, it comes just in time.

“It’s barely in there right now,” said Holly Fuller of East Tennessee’s Legal Aid, a nonprofit law firm that helps low-income clients. “We have had the feeling for some time that this time of year is likely to be very difficult.”

The American rescue plan denotes approximately $ 40 billion for total housing allowance. More than $ 20 billion of this will go to state and local governments to meet rental and utility costs owed for low-income households.

The city of Knoxville and Knox County announced the new one Knox Housing Assistance Program that does exactly that.

CONNECTED: Knoxville officials announce the Knox Housing Assistance program

Both the renter and landlord must file an application for funding, but officials say the money can be used to pay rent or utilities up to 12 months overdue, and in some cases even future rent payments.

If you do not live in Knox County, there is a similar application process on the state housing website. Legal Aid of East Tennessee said if this money is approved it will go straight to the landlord.

If you do not have access to a computer or if you have a language barrier, you can call (844) 500-1112.

With this new aid and a year into the pandemic, Fuller said the number of people coming to aid at Legal Aid in East Tennessee has increased, especially because tenants know that eviction protection will expire in late June.

Currently, in addition to in-house attorneys, the organization is using grants to hire private attorneys to help with case loading.

“Tensions may have eased a little. Resources have started flowing, which gives some people a little breath. However, if nothing changes by the end of this month, the term we have used in our organization from the start will be a tidal wave. Said Fuller.

Fuller said the goal is to help clients come to an agreement that will benefit both the renter and the landlord – whether it be to get financial assistance or to work out an agreement to keep an eviction out of the renter’s records. In addition, she said her lawyers will guide people through the process if their landlord has already started the eviction process in court.

“Landlords are also in a tough spot and need some relief too. That is why it is so important to use the resources so we can solve the problem at both ends to try to accommodate our vulnerable people,” she said.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee can also help people move into safer, different living conditions or connect them to other community resources.

Fuller said her biggest advice was not to wait to get help.

“Call us as soon as you get a notice that something is going to happen,” she said. “It is so traumatic to think that you may be homeless. One stress response is to simply ignore it. Do not do that. We can help your stress, we can talk you through. “

Fuller said she has seen cases of tenants losing their homes because they didn’t apply for help on time or didn’t know how to get the money. She also said that in some cases, tenants are being represented late.

“Call us, call us quickly. We are here, we are here for you. The sooner we can start our relationship, the better, ”said Fuller.

To get in touch with Legal Aid from East Tennessee, you can call one of the offices at the end of their website.

Different scholarships allow them to serve people who fall into different categories.

In Knoxville, they are located at 607 West Summit Hill Drive SW or by calling (865) 637-0484.

Read more articles in our “Pay or Vacation: The Rent Crisis” series: