Whitey Harwood’s From the Woodshed: Howdy, neighbor, howdy — why no R rated movies in Rowan’s libraries?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 7, 2022

Porter Wagoner sang it in 1964. My “Ole Radio Pal” Tim Fry plays it every Saturday morning on WBRF in Galax, Virginia, for his theme song. My story has nothing to do with sopping your biscuits, playing a banjo or listening to good old country music. It’s about Cabarrus County (Cabco) being a neighbor to Rowan County (Roco) and censorship.

This story “Taking Another Read on Banned Books,” was in the Salisbury Post, May 29, on page 3A.

I want to take another stand. I have sent this question in to Ask Us several times and have had other people to send it in also. As far as I know it has never been printed or answered.

So before I ask it again, let’s go to Cabco. They have R rated movies in their public libraries. Now, here is the question: Why does Roco not have R rated movies in their public libraries?

To help with the question, I came up with a little quiz. But please, if you are a politician or a social worker, or have a PhD, do not attempt to answer these questions. You may want to form a committee first.

Does Cabco have a mall?

Does Cabco have a Target?

Does Cabco have a Home Depot?

Does Cabco have a Publix?

Does Cabco have a Sam’s Club?

Does Cabco have anything special you would drive there for because Roco does not have it?

Does Cabco have R rated movies in their public library?

Part Two

Does Roco have a lot of murders?

Does Roco have a lot of child abuse?

Does Roco have a lot of sex offenders?

Does Roco have a county commissioner that drives drunk?

Does Roco have a lot of trash in the ditches?

Does Roco have “bored people” that accept trophies for something they didn’t do?

Does Roco have R rated movies in their public library?

Here goes another question. Do you know why the Baptists don’t watch R rated movies? They’re scared it’ll lead to dancin’.

Here’s some quotes on censorship.

George Bernard Shaw: “The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”

Henry Louis Gates: “Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.”

Max Gannon: “These censorship people think something is going to promote behavior in people.”

Deeyah Khan: “Censorship in all its forms must be challenged.”

Ben Lindsey: “Pontius Pilate was the first great censor and Jesus Christ the first great victim of censorship.”

Mark Twain: “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.”

Here’s my quote: “I believe there are bigger sins than watching R rated movies. One of ‘em is not watching R rated movies.”

In Roco if you are 18 you can get married, pay taxes, buy a lottery ticket, buy a weapon, join the Army, and die for your country. Why can’t you get an R rated movie at the public library?

Here is the last question. Who is responsible for such a backward and outdated “rule” and who is responsible for changing it?

Once Upon a Time in America lived The Wild Bunch. It was The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and No Country For Old Men. The Goodfellas had a leader. He was The Godfather. If he traveled to Fargo or to the Mystic River, a Taxi Driver drove him, usually in a Gran Torino. The cabbie was a Raging Bull and was very Unforgiven. In this Heat he could be a real Sling Blade. He went Into the Wild one time to a Monster’s Ball and had A Time to Kill, a Pretty Woman, but she was not on Schindler’s List. So, he took off on The Green Mile to Rosewood with Mississippi Burning while One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest with the Silence of the Lambs for the Shawshank Redemption.

Whitey Harwood lives in  Rowan County.