When your dad is The Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh, odds are your school career is not going to go off without at least one or two standout moments. Assuming this was his first, son Milo managed to make it all the way to 8th grade before going viral. But then poor Milo’s book club sent him home with a permission slip which required dear old dad’s signature in order to read Fahrenheit 451. You know the dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury about book burning and censorship? Cue Alanis Morissette’s poignant lyrics about irony and free rides and good advice and wedding day showers and all that.
Because trying to censor children from the ability to read a book about censorship leaves the door WIDE open for satire.
Radosh, sensing the ironic nature of the request as well, sent back his own note underlining the ludicrousness of such a request, which said:
“I love this letter! What a wonderful way to introduce students to the theme of Fahrenheit 451 that books are so dangerous that the institutions of society — schools and parents — might be willing to team up against children to prevent them from reading one. It’s easy enough to read the book and say, ‘This is crazy. It could never really happen,’ but pretending to present students at the start with what seems like a totally reasonable ‘first step’ is a really immersive way to teach them how insidious censorship can be. I’m sure that when the book club is over and the students realize the true intent of this letter they’ll be shocked at how many of them accepted it as an actual permission slip. In addition, Milo’s concern that allowing me to add this note will make him stand out as a troublemaker really brings home why most of the characters find it easier to accept the world they live in rather than challenge it. I assured him that his teacher would have his back.”
Understandably there is some adult content and, according to Milo a “large amount of cursing,” but I can’t imagine he is being exposed to content any racier than what is played on the radio or, say, being said in the 2016 election.
Radosh posted his son’s permission slip on Twitter, which read in part, “tfw your kid’s school makes you sign a permission slip so he can read Fahrenheit 4.”
Twitter appropriately responded with an onset of praise for Radosh’s response.
@danielradosh you should have burned it
— natebuckwell (@natebuckwell) October 24, 2016
A+ for irony 10/10 would shop for irony here again https://t.co/AUKtQOH1RJ
— Amy Laurens (@InkyLaurens) October 24, 2016
@danielradosh you are a gift and wish you could father us all
— Erica Dasher (@Erica_Dasher) October 26, 2016
— Get Bullish (@GetBullish) October 24, 2016
Thank you, Mr. Radosh. Because sometimes it feels good to shake your head at the absurdity of it all.