Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

To find more books by your favorite author, click on the author's name in the title...

Also, try searching by "historical fiction" if you're looking for novels at a certain time period...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Radioactive Boy Scout by Ken Silverstein

Ever hear of the boy who built a nuclear breeder in a backyard shed?

It’s a true story of an adolescent mad-scientist, captivated by chemistry, who managed to collect most of the elements on the periodic table including many that are virtually unobtainable. Moving on from that challenge, he tried to build a renewable energy source: a nuclear breeder, He succeeded and was finally shut down by a federal government raid that discovered a highly radioactive backyard shed in his quiet suburban neighborhood.

The author details the background, events, and character of this boy and his dangerous experiments. Interestingly enough, although he sketches the problems of his home life: divorced parents who are inattentive, lax in discipline, and who fail to find him guidance or mentorship, (also, in the case of his mother, is suicidal and schizophrenic), he attributes the lion’s share of the reason for the boy's uncontrolled experimentins with… a book and the boy scouts. That’s correct; I’m not kidding: the Boy Scouts. He refers once to David’s father as “long-suffering,” revealing a certain deference that he never accords to the scouts or the Golden Book of Chemistry, a currently unpublished book packed with a smorgashboard of irresponsible scientific experiments.

That’s right. The big culprits in David’s shenanigans are clearly the conservative Boy Scouts and the now-out-of-print book called “The Golden Book of Chemistry.” The conservative bent of the Boy Scouts, where David earned his badge in Science for Eagle Scouts has conservative origins. And conservatives, the author clearly delineates for us, are radiant (pun intended) about all the possibilities inherent in nuclear energy. And the conservative Boy Scouts just helped David right along because, in case you didn’t catch it, they are conservative. And conservatives are big supporters of nuclear energy. For no good reason whatsoever… or if there was a good reason, even a misguided one, you won’t find it here. This is a tendentiously biased account. Which is too bad because I think the author had good reasons to argue against nuclear energy; the argument was just too heavy-handed and emotional over what amounts to politics.

So, you’ll get to know about how the leader of the Boy Scouts was…. a conservative. You’ll get the skinny on how under his leadership, the Boy Scouts tried to stamp out masturbation… ever-after referred to as “self-abuse,” just to be sure you realize how ridiculous such an attempt was. Apparently , the Boy Scout founder tried to align the Boy Scouts with the Hitler Youth...a sorrowful detail I never knew. This idea was soundly rejected by the Boy Scout board. They must not have been conservatives…

It is an interesting story, but weigh my warnings carefully depending on the age of your tween. The other things to watch out for would be his quote from a movie that included the “F” word, and he makes a reference that “most boys David’s age would be looking at Playboy magazine” in school. While this makes sense of his derisive tone toward trying to curb masturbation, it is not a message I’d want sent to my adolescent boy. I plan to send a consistent and true message that he can overcome temptation to lust and have sexual self-control. He’d better because I expect him to treat every woman as some one’s daughter, worthy of utmost dignity, and never an object or pawn for lust whether in a magazine or face-to-face. Self-mastery is always a help in developing virtue.


See Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Offenses against chastity: Lust 2351; Masturbation 2352; Pornography 2354


Post a Comment

regina was here

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008