An article in today’s Del Marva Now describes Wicomico, Maryland County Councilman Joe Holloway as disturbed by the humorous sexual content in Dragonball Z books available at local school libraries.
“The drawings and story lines are disgusting,” Holloway said of the book.
Official image courtesy of Wicomico County Council.
While on the surface this would appear to be a classic tale – a public official finds something against public morality, and squelches it – looking a little deeper raises questions about the purity of Mr. Holloway’s outrage.
Joe [Holloway] spoke out about frivolous spending projects for a new Civic Center and a new Library when the county is in a cash-poor situation.
What kind of picture does this paint of Mr. Holloway? Is he merely a concerned official, or is this a pretext for him to continue to cut funding for libraries? Plainly, Mr. Holloway was looking to keep very tight purse strings on library spending prior to any such event, but was the manga complaint from an unnamed parent a happy coincidence for him, or did it occur by design?
The timing of events is telling. If Mr. Holloway were outraged, would he not contact the officials immediately to have it removed? And yet he did not; he waited for the best moment to reveal the offending manga for maximum effect. Note the following wording:
Wicomico schools Superintendent John Fredericksen, present at Tuesday’s meeting for an unrelated topic, said his knee-jerk response is to yank the book from schools.
“I’d say it’s coming off the shelves as soon as I can get a phone call back to the office,” Fredericksen said.
The school superintendant was never contacted beforehand. He was never even told to be present at the meeting by Mr. Holloway or related staff. If Mr. Holloway’s primary concern was the exposure of children to these books, surely he could have immediately placed a few phone calls to share his concerns once he had reviewed the material and been offended by it. Instead he not only waited, but avoided contacting Mr. Fredericksen altogether, preferring to schedule his outrage to occur in public.
This isn’t the whole story, either: as detailed in “Joe Holloway Advocates Tax Cut” by the Del Marva Dealings, in January 2008, Holloway urged the government to cut taxes. If he was successful, this would make him partly responsible for the very same budget shortfall which is now his excuse for cutting library funding. Mr. Holloway was aware of the upcoming shortfall: the January 2, 2008 Wicomico County Council minutes included considerable discussion of how education funding was about to be cut and why Wicomico Conty would be hit hard. Mr. Holloway was among the members present.
“The citizens of Wicomico County are the best judges of how their money should be spent,” Mr. Holloway asserted in 2008. Certainly it seems Mr. Holloway is all too willing to listen when he anticipates that judgment will be based entirely on moral panic.