Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Banned Book Week

In case you didn't know, this is banned book week. This is the week where you can find out all about books that have been banned for questionable content. Just for funsies, let me list a few of them . . .
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • Anee Franbk: The Diary of a Young Girl
  • Blubber by Judy Blume
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle (OMG, this is one of my absolute favorites)
  • The Little House on the Prarie Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder (say what???)

You can find this list here on Amazon with the explanations as to why the books were banned.

Now, for my personal opinion: ignorance is the sole reason for banning the books.

My second opinion: I guarantee you that many people on the band wagon to ban these books, and many others, have never, ever, picked up the book and read a single word. Instead, these people, these pitchfork and torch carrying book banning people (hey, perhaps Dr. Seuss could have done a book about them - oh, wait, they would have banned it!) are basing their decision on the words of other, allegedly enlightened individuals.

Now, let's travel back in time to the release of the second book in the Harry Potter series. Oh, the media frenzy about this horrible book that was promoting magic. Parents be warned, do not let your children read this book. Well, of course, being the rebel I am, I absolutely had to read this horrible book that would corrupt children! Dang, was I disappointed. I mean, the Harry Potter books dealt with the reality of life - bullies, indecision, first love, friendship, overcoming obstacles, the right to choose, and so many other things. Where in heck was the corrupting influence that all these allegedly intelligent people were talking about? Where's the drama that had people protesting this book?

There wasn't any!

I repeat - there wasn't any!




Yes, I know, it's all subjective. If people couldn't carry their pitchforks and torches, they wouldn't have anything else to do! I mean, why actually read a book and decide for yourself when you can rely on the expert testimony of an allegedly intelligent individual!

In the end, we all have the power of choice. If there's a television program that I don't want to watch, then I don't watch it. It's that simple.

I am, contrary to what some people might say, an intelligent individual capable of deciding for myself, without outside influence, whether a television program is good or bad, or whether a book is worth reading. I have discovered, in my few decades of life, that, more often than not, the protesters really have no clue what they're talking about.

So, be a rebel, and go out and read a banned book this week. I dare ya!!!



Robyn Campbell said...

GAH! No email. I'm back to the primitive living conditions of my ancestors. :)

The Adventures of Huck is one of my ALL TIME favorite books. And I agree with you. The folks who are responsible for the banning never read the books. What is with these folks? The Higher Power of Lucky was banned by some Librarians who thought a certain word used on about the first page was just too naughty. And it WASN'T. Why can't these folks mind their own business. They're only HURTING, not helping. The Little House series banned? GAH! The entire world has gone MAD I tell you.

I'm feelin' rebellious today. Uhhuh! Iza gonna go and git me one of them banned books to read.:)

Marybeth Poppins said...

I think I've actually read most of those...I'm such a Rebel!!!

Davin Malasarn said...

I tend to admire books that have been banned. It means that they have managed to influence people somehow, someway, and I'm glad that they can be celebrate in our time!

Rebecca Knight said...

Amen, Davin!

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all time favorites :). Great post, Scott!

Scott said...

Robyn - some people have an innate need to irritate other people Book Banners fall into that category. : )

Marybeth - yes, you're such the rebel, as am I. In fact, if I feel really rebellious this weekend, I may go to the library and request a banned book . . . just to stir things up a little and get all outraged when they tell me it's banned. Ha!

Davin - I think society is geared to read something that is banned or causes controversy. I sometimes think that movie studies hire people to protest some allegedly controversial movies, just to get more people in the door. It's a theory! I just think, in this day and age, we shouldn't be banning books, but rather discussing them in an open forum without denying anybody the joy of deciding for themselves whether they want to read a book or not.

Rebecca - I've read quite a few books on the list. I believe one of my all time favorite books - To Kill A Mockingbird - has been on the list a time or two. I know when The Golden Compass movie came out a co-worker sent out an email telling everybody not to go see the movie because of some controversial aspects. I asked her if she was basing her decision on having read the book or just on somebody else's opinion. She got very quiet. I think a lot of people base their decisions on the opinions of others, which is very sad. Now, I'm going to find the Dr. Seuss book and read it!

Tess said...

Right On! (man that phrase takes me back... I think it was even pre my era and back to my mom's) in any case, I concur.

Ignorance is often the cause of these issues. Sad and insidious stuff, that is.