October 04, 2007

There'll always be an England

Is there not something peculiar about an organization called The Happy Endings Foundation advocating book burnings? The highlight of the group's year is the annual Bad Book Bonfire and Fun Fireworks Party on November 5th (not so coincidentally Guy Fawkes Night): "bring along an unhappy book to burn and we'll be judging the Lemony Snicket Guy competition on the night".

A friend in the UK sent me the link to the website of the group, whose motto is "Sad Books are Bad Books". Under the heading "Report a Book" is the cheery suggestion, "Let us know which bad books you'd like to see burnt." Alrighty, then!

THIEF's aims are
* To eradicate sad thoughts from all literature
* To make people smile a little more often
* To encourage authors to write more uplifting books for children
* To highlight the dangers of reading sad books
* To unite parents of a similar thinking and create a force with which to be reckoned
* To protect the next generation of readers.
* And, above all, to ensure the longevity of HAPPY ENDINGS (that means "to make sure happy endings are around for a long time")
The group is the, erm, brainchild of Mrs. Adrienne Small, who "has now left her career as a tax inspector to focus on THEF full-time. She plans to rewrite all 13 Lemony Snicket books to give them happy endings." Sad and bad, indeed, but not the books.

My penpal was aghast to find that THIEF has chapters beavering away in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford, Plymouth, London, and Norwich.

Other group suggestions for bringing sunshine, lollipops, and happiness to the world at large include holding "your very own Tickle-A-Moody-Person Week", and, for Halloween,
We shall still be having a party but instead of going 'trick or treating' we will be going 'fun & greeting'. Children will be encouraged to knock on someone's door and offer a smile as well as reciting wonderful words to uplift the soul. We will be handing out fairy cakes and other homemade sweeties and showing goodwill to all. We will be spreading happy thoughts and feelings across the country in a rebellion against the witchery and horror of Halloween.

We want to take the darkness of the night and fill it with new light
To which Farm School can say only,


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