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Rue 89, France

Children’s Book, Anarchist and
Cute, Horrifies the Tea Party


By Lucile Sourdès

Translated By Jessica Eaton

12 December 2012

Edited by Gillian Palmer


France - Rue 89 - Original Article (French)

"A Rule Is to Break" is a book for unconventional children. Written by two Americans, Jana Christy and John Seven, it tells the story of a little girl with blue hair, Wild Child, who learns to be herself and not follow the rules systematically.

According to the advice given by the publication — it bears the subtitle "A Child's Guide to Anarchy":

• Think for yourself.
• Don’t look like everybody else! Be you.
• Give stuff away for free.
• Do what you want! Or do nothing, if you prefer.
• Paint pictures on your TV!
• When someone says, “Work!”, you say why?

The book — published independently in June 2011 then republished in November 2012 by Manic D Press, a publishing house that specializes in anarchist publications — therefore advocates self-determination, difference and resourcefulness. Obviously this does not please the tea party much.

On Liberty News Network, a site affiliated with the ultraconservative movement, Eric Odom, a member of the tea party from the beginning, judges the work as “horrendous” and its publication as “downright shocking.” Worse: The book is extolled by Bill Ayers, an education theorist close to Barack Obama and foremost a former member of the Weather Underground, an organization opposed to the Vietnam War and perpetrators of attacks in the 1960s and 1970s.

Eric Odom wrote: “Bill Ayers, radical terrorist leftist and friend of Obama, not only endorsed it through his Twitter account, his comments in support of the book are listed on the actual Amazon.com book page...If a person can be read by the company he keeps, what does this say about Obama?”

Anti-Moralizing Book

According to Jennifer Joseph, from the Manic D Press publishing house, “The tea party doesn’t like A Rule Is to Break because it’s anti-capitalism.”

The book is more of a counterweight to moralizing works for children than an argument for anarchy. In an interview on the Rocker Magazine site, the illustrator of the book, Jana Christy, explains: “I’d rather have a world filled with kids who question why they need to do something (and are perhaps a little smelly) than with a bunch of kids who unquestionably obey every order that school or parents give out.”

According to the publishing house, sales are already “pretty good” and should be boosted by the involuntary media buzz from conservative Americans.



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