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It's Banned Books Week. Go Read One To Spite Sarah.

AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
bannedbooks.jpg

Yes, folks, it's that time of year that we remember that there are people out there who think to tell us what we can and can't read.

It's especially important this year because one of those people just happens to be running for the Vice Presidency. And it seems that the book she was opposed to was one with a message of tolerance.

This is one of the most important freedoms that we have. The freedom of speech isn't just about the creator being able to speak freely, but also about his audience being able to partake. Those who advocate censorship are those who fear a free marketplace of ideas, because they know their ideas cannot gain traction, and thus must attack the competition to have any hope of succeeding. Those people must be shown that to do so is unacceptable and un-American.

So go read a banned book, and give Sarah the finger.

Edit: For those interested, here are the ten most challenged books (thankfully, thanks to the resolve of librarians, few challenges succeed.)
  1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
    Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
  2. The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
  3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
  4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: Religious Viewpoint
  5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
    Reasons: Racism
  6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
    Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,
  7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
  8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit
  9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
    Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
  10. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

AngelHedgie on
XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
Spoiler:
«1345678

Posts

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    That seemed to be unrelated to the censorship thing. Apparently Palin tried to fire everyone. She probably wanted to replace her with a neighbor or something.

    That's...not better.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I think I must have missed something when reading Of Mice and Men. Why does it get challenged so often?

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    She asked her her stance on censorship and then tried to have the librarian fired for not supporting her administration .
    WASILLA -- Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.

    According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn't fully support her and had to go.

    Emmons had been city librarian for seven years and was well liked. After a wave of public support for her, Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job.

    In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her -- starting before she was sworn in -- about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose.

    Emmons told the Frontiersman she flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship. Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, is on vacation from her current job in Fairbanks and did not return e-mail or telephone messages left for her Wednesday.

    When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there.

    Like many Alaskans, Kilkenny calls the governor by her first name.

    "Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?" Kilkenny said.

    "I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, 'The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'"

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    She asked her her stance on censorship and she said no and that was that.

    So, you interested in a bridge? I can sell it to you cheap.

    Seriously, when you look at the shit she pulled, just saying "no" when asked about censorship isn't enough.
    Just so we're clear: you just know she wanted to ban some books, and the total lack of evidence only makes me naive to your truth.

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Burnage wrote: »
    I think I must have missed something when reading Of Mice and Men. Why does it get challenged so often?

    Support for killing mentally handicapped people?

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    She asked her her stance on censorship and she said no and that was that.

    So, you interested in a bridge? I can sell it to you cheap.

    Seriously, when you look at the shit she pulled, just saying "no" when asked about censorship isn't enough.
    Just so we're clear: you just know she wanted to ban some books, and the total lack of evidence only makes me naive to your truth.

    There isn't really a lack of evidence. Just look for it.

    "The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us."
    Spoiler:
    -Theodore Roosevelt
  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    I think I must have missed something when reading Of Mice and Men. Why does it get challenged so often?

    Support for killing mentally handicapped people?

    Along with the related nugget of euthanasia (of any kind) I believe.

  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    I think I must have missed something when reading Of Mice and Men. Why does it get challenged so often?

    Support for killing mentally handicapped people?

    It's hardly support (er... if I remember correctly, it's been a while since I read it), but point taken.

    Found a page on the ALA here which actually gives reasons for various books getting banned. It's almost depressing that it looks like OMAM gets banned more often for vulgar language than anything else.

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Burnage wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    I think I must have missed something when reading Of Mice and Men. Why does it get challenged so often?

    Support for killing mentally handicapped people?

    It's hardly support (er... if I remember correctly, it's been a while since I read it), but point taken.

    I agree, but certain groups could be more sensitive to the ending than others, and find it offensive from their prospective.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    EDIT: Anyway, to the larger issue at hand, it seems that sexually explicit material available to children is the issue here. Should Playboy be in public schools too?

    There's a wee bit of a difference between public schools and public libraries.

    There's also the issue of who, exactly, gets to define what's "sexually explicit", especially when dealing with YA books.

    And finally, if you're so worked up about "sexually explicit" books being available to children, why not set up an effective way to restrict access to that material based on age, rather than removing it from the shelves entirely?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    She asked her her stance on censorship and she said no and that was that.

    So, you interested in a bridge? I can sell it to you cheap.

    Seriously, when you look at the shit she pulled, just saying "no" when asked about censorship isn't enough.
    Just so we're clear: you just know she wanted to ban some books, and the total lack of evidence only makes me naive to your truth.

    You don't just ask "How do I ban a book" because you're curious. Then there's her background, most notably that she belongs to a church known for actually having book burnings. And there's the fact that she dismissed said librarian that stood up to her (though to be fair, that may just be part of her not liking anyone who opposes her.)

    Seriously, if you're not seeing the evidence that she would have banned books if she thought she would get away with it, you've got the blinders on tight.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • TavTav Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    We're any of those books actually banned or just challenged?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Tav wrote: »
    We're any of those books actually banned or just challenged?

    The list in the OP is most challenged. The ALA is pretty resolute on opposing bannings, so it takes a LOT to get one through. Most advocates of bannings don't have the hard support needed to make it stick.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The one book perennially on this list that confuses me is Huck Finn. The kind of people that get their panties in a bunch about banning books doesn't seem like it would overlap much with the group of people that are bothered by racism.

  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    The one book on perennially on this list that confuses me is Huck Finn. The kind of people that get their panties in a bunch about banning books doesn't seem like it would overlap much with the group of people that are bothered by racism.

    Truth.

    eokNV.jpg
  • NartwakNartwak Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    People have wanted to ban Huck Finn since it was written. It's hilarious.

    Spoiler:
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    PantsB wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    She asked her her stance on censorship and then tried to have the librarian fired for not supporting her administration .
    WASILLA -- Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.

    According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn't fully support her and had to go.

    Emmons had been city librarian for seven years and was well liked. After a wave of public support for her, Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job.

    In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her -- starting before she was sworn in -- about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose.

    Emmons told the Frontiersman she flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship. Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, is on vacation from her current job in Fairbanks and did not return e-mail or telephone messages left for her Wednesday.

    When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there.

    Like many Alaskans, Kilkenny calls the governor by her first name.

    "Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?" Kilkenny said.

    "I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, 'The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'"
    The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman posted on the internet its original December 18, 1996, coverage September 6 “to accommodate numerous requests for the story from media worldwide and curious individuals,” with a caveat to readers: “Please note that not at any time were any books ever banned from the Wasilla city library.” Bloggers then began asking for a list of books that Palin wanted banned. A bogus list soon surfaced on the internet but it included books not yet published in 1996, and has been discredited at snopes.com and elsewhere.

    Also, she asked a ton of officials to resign. The article makes a dubious link between a phone call and a letter months later.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    A few years ago, the Pennsylvania state chapter of the NAACP tried to get Huck Finn pulled from school curricula because they didn't think that kids should be exposed to so many uses of the n-word.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    A few years ago, the Pennsylvania state chapter of the NAACP tried to get Huck Finn pulled from school curricula because they didn't think that kids should be exposed to so many uses of the n-word.

    I want to say that's just stupid, but that's my reaction to pretty much all attempts to ban books.

  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I particularly love "religious viewpoint." Because seeing things from a different point of view is intolerable.

    Be excellent to each other you stupid cunts.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    A few years ago, the Pennsylvania state chapter of the NAACP tried to get Huck Finn pulled from school curricula because they didn't think that kids should be exposed to so many uses of the n-word.

    I want to say that's just stupid, but that's my reaction to pretty much all attempts to ban books.

    Well, I don't like the conflation of four different acts under the single umbrella of "banning." There's the government banning a book from private citizens, then there's the forced removal of a book from public libraries, then there's the forced removal of a book from public school libraries, and then there's the removal of a book from school curricula. The first two are clearly censorship, the third might be censorship, but the fourth really isn't. Not all books are equally appropriate for kids; I think that statement is uncontroversial (although I think Huck Finn is perfectly fine for middle school and above). The NAACP made the argument that kids don't have the maturity to deal with the way racism is portrayed in Huck Finn and became afraid that if kids were exposed to the n-word in school, by a teacher, they may feel that it's okay to use that word in casual parlance.

    I don't agree with the argument, as I don't see Huck Finn as being particularly complex, but I don't think the argument is beyond the pale, and I don't think it's fair to refer to an attempt to remove a book from school curricula as "banning."

    Now, if my memory is off and the NAACP tried to get it removed from a public library, well fuck them right in the ass. I just think that the criteria for having a book in a library is and should be different from the criteria for teaching a book at any given grade level of school.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • MatrijsMatrijs Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    Should Playboy be in public schools too?

    Schools? No. Libraries? It should be considered on its merits, ignoring the supposedly objectionable content. So if other periodicals with similar readership are in, then yes.

    I don't see why this would even be that big of a deal. Playboy is sold out of sidewalk newspaper stands and in airport terminals across the United States.

  • DoxaDoxa Registered User
    edited September 2008
    god, there are so many stupid theories about Huck Finn it is ridiculous. And Perks of Being a Wallflower under attack? I read that and it was hilarious to me (with some sad scenes otherwise).

    I am so tired of Sarah Palin. Now the main reason why I don't want the (R)s elected is because I don't want all this stupid shit in the media for 4 years. Also the whole entire world laughing at us.

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    But kids might see breasts, BREASTS!

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Matrijs wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    Should Playboy be in public schools too?

    Schools? No. Libraries? It should be considered on its merits, ignoring the supposedly objectionable content. So if other periodicals with similar readership are in, then yes.

    Playboy is actually a good example.

    Playboy in particular is a major journalistic publication in addition to the soft-core nakedness. I know it's a cliche to say "I read it for the articles," but Playboy does have substantial articles. Their interviews with celebrities and politicians can be an important source for all kinds of research. I occasionally cited Playboy in college when I'd write a paper tracking one social trend or another.

    Losing that historical record because a child might see a woman's bare pelvis is the height of insanity. It might not belong in schools, but it definitely belongs in libraries.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    She asked her her stance on censorship and then tried to have the librarian fired for not supporting her administration .
    WASILLA -- Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.

    According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn't fully support her and had to go.

    Emmons had been city librarian for seven years and was well liked. After a wave of public support for her, Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job.

    In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her -- starting before she was sworn in -- about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose.

    Emmons told the Frontiersman she flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship. Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, is on vacation from her current job in Fairbanks and did not return e-mail or telephone messages left for her Wednesday.

    When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there.

    Like many Alaskans, Kilkenny calls the governor by her first name.

    "Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?" Kilkenny said.

    "I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, 'The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'"
    The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman posted on the internet its original December 18, 1996, coverage September 6 “to accommodate numerous requests for the story from media worldwide and curious individuals,” with a caveat to readers: “Please note that not at any time were any books ever banned from the Wasilla city library.” Bloggers then began asking for a list of books that Palin wanted banned. A bogus list soon surfaced on the internet but it included books not yet published in 1996, and has been discredited at snopes.com and elsewhere.

    Also, she asked a ton of officials to resign. The article makes a dubious link between a phone call and a letter months later.
    The question regarded wanting to ban books not successfully banning books and you must have missed the three times above

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    werehippy wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    A few years ago, the Pennsylvania state chapter of the NAACP tried to get Huck Finn pulled from school curricula because they didn't think that kids should be exposed to so many uses of the n-word.

    I want to say that's just stupid, but that's my reaction to pretty much all attempts to ban books.

    Well, I don't like the conflation of four different acts under the single umbrella of "banning." There's the government banning a book from private citizens, then there's the forced removal of a book from public libraries, then there's the forced removal of a book from public school libraries, and then there's the removal of a book from school curricula. The first two are clearly censorship, the third might be censorship, but the fourth really isn't.

    <supporting details>

    Hence my use of the waffle "pretty much." I think baring pretty gross mismatches in age/material attempts to somehow shield children are on the face of it idiotic, though I'll allow there's certainly more room for debate there than with other types of book banning.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    The one book on perennially on this list that confuses me is Huck Finn. The kind of people that get their panties in a bunch about banning books doesn't seem like it would overlap much with the group of people that are bothered by racism.

    Truth.
    Well, you have the reactionary Left, the PC alarmists; and the reactionary Right, those morons who think their religion (and, by extension, the American Family) is under attack by the evil forces of secularism. My grandpa used to say, if two people go far enough to the left and right, they'll always meet at the back.

  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Harry Potter's not on this list? Pfft.

  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    I read both Palin articles, there is no evidence in them that she intended to or attempted to ban any books. The first article acknowledges that there is no such evidence, the second just seems to indicate that some old guy "knew" she wanted his book banned even though there is no record of anything to that effect.

    EDIT: Anyway, to the larger issue at hand, it seems that sexually explicit material available to children is the issue here. Should Playboy be in public schools too?

    Are you comparing the likes of Kurt Vonnegut to playboy?

    sig.jpg
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    Hence my use of the waffle "pretty much." I think baring pretty gross mismatches in age/material attempts to somehow shield children are on the face of it idiotic, though I'll allow there's certainly more room for debate there than with other types of book banning.

    Yeah. The other thing is that books taught in schools were picked by people who, well, have degrees in education. They generally have a pretty good idea of what's appropriate for what age group. So when concerned parents or clergy or pundits throw a fit, they usually clearly have no clue what the hell they're talking about.

    The Color Purple may have been a bad idea for my sophomore/junior summer reading list, though. A number of students in my class demonstrated that they weren't mature enough to handle it.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I absolutely agree. And I'll even go beyond that. Even without articles, Playboy remains a historically significant document. I know a number of major libraries maintain a pornography collection. The kinds of pornography available are a great way to investigate the culture of the time, and it would be stupid to remove historical records because some people found them objectionable.

    edit: Damn, that teaches me to refresh before posting. I was referring to Feral's post about Playboy.

    Be excellent to each other you stupid cunts.
  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Look not banning books doesn't equal putting hardcore pornography in the lesson plan of kindergartners Yar...just don't try that slippery slope please.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    Look not banning books doesn't equal putting hardcore pornography in the lesson plan of kindergartners Yar...just don't try that slippery slope please.

    That's the kind of thinking that led to the outbreak of public dog fucking in aught nine - future old cout

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    Look not banning books doesn't equal putting hardcore pornography in the lesson plan of kindergartners Yar...just don't try that slippery slope please.

    That's the kind of thinking that led to the outbreak of public dog fucking in aught nine - future old cout

    '09?

    Hell, you should have been on Folsom St. in San Francisco yesterday.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    An interesting read about book banning. Really now - context is everything, and most books that are banned...if not all, really don't fall under what I would consider "pornography."
    My novel Slaughterhouse-Five was actually burned in a furnace by a school janitor in Drake, North Dakota, on instructions form the school committee there, and the school board made public statements about the unwholesomness of the book. Even by the standards of Queen Victoria, the only offensive line in the entire novel is this: "Get out of the road, you dumb motherfucker." This is spoken by an American antitank gunner to an unarmed American Chaplain's assistant during the Battle of the Bulge in Europe in December 1944, the largest single defeat of American arms (the confederacy excluded) in history. The chaplain's assistant had attracted enemy fire.

    So on november 16, 1973, I wrote as follows to Charles McCarthy of Drake, North Dakota:

    Dear Mr. McCarthy:
    I am writing to you in your capacity as chairman of the Drake School Board. I am among those American writters whose books have been destroyed in the now famous furnace of your school.
    Certain members of your community have suggested that my work is evil. This is extroadinarly insulting to me. The news from Drake indicates to me that books and writers are very unreal to you people. I am writingthis letter to let you know how real I am.

    I want you to know, too, that my publisher and I have done absolutely nothing to exploit the disgusting news from Drake. We are not clapping each other on the back, crowing about all the books we will sell because of the news. We have declined to go on television, have written no fiery letters to editorial pages, have granted no lengthy interviews. We are angered and sickened and saddened. And no copies of this letter have been sent to anybody else. You now hold the only copy in your hands. It is a strictly private letter from me to the people of Drake, who have done so much to damage my reputation in the eyes of their children and then in the eyes of the world. Do you have the courage and ordinary decency to show this letter to the people, or will it, too, be consigned to the fires of your furnace?

    I gather from what I read in the papers and hear on television that you imagine me, and some other writters, too, as being sort of ratlike people who enjoy making money from poisoning the minds of young people. I am in fact a large, strong person, fifty-one years old, who did a lot of farm work as a boy, who is good with tools. I have raised six children, three my own and three adopted. They have all turned out well. Two of them are farmers. I am a combat infantry veteran from World War II, and hold a purple heart. I have earned whatever I own by hard work. I have never been arrested or sued for anything. I am so much trusted with young people and by young people that I have served on the faculties of the University of Iowa, Harvard, and the City College of New York. Every year I receive at least a dozen invitations to be commencement speaker at colleges and high schools. My books are probably more widely used in schools than those of any other living American fiction writer.

    If you were to bother to read my books,, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. that is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that. And we all know, too, that those words really don't damage children much. They didn't damage us when we were young. It was evil deeds and lying that hurt us.

    After I have said all this, I am sure you are still ready to respond, in effect, "Yes, yes- but it still remains our right and responsibility to decide what books our children are going to be made to read in our community." This is surely so. But it is also true that if you excercise that right and fulfill that responsibility in an ignorant, harsh, un-American manner, then people are entitled to call you bad citizens and fools. Even your own children are entitled to call you that.

    I read in the newspaper that your community is mystified by the outcry from all over the country about what you have done. Well, you have discovered that Drake is a part of American civilization, and your fellow Americans can't stand it that you have behaved in such an uncivilized way. Perhaps you will learn from this that books are sacred to freemen for very good reasons, and that wars have been fought against nations which hate books and burn them. If you are an American, you must allow all ideas ti curculate freely in your community, not merely your own.

    If you and your board are now determined to show that you in fact have wisdom and maturitywhen you exercise your powers over the education of your young, then you should acknowledge that it was a rotten lesson you taught these young poeple in a free society when you denounced and then burned books - books you hadn't even read. You should also resolve to expose your children to all sorts of opinions and information, in order that they will be better equipped to make decisions and to survive
    Again: you have insulted me, and I am a good citizen, and I am very real.

    If you guys want - he talks about how book banning is essentially against the first amendment and how the freedom of information should be available to anyone so that we may appropriately process and learn how to debate against or for points that authors make. http://webpages.charter.net/sn9/literature/1st_ammendment.html

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  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Nartwak wrote: »
    People have wanted to ban Huck Finn since it was written. It's hilarious.

    It's precisely this reason award shows have life time achievement awards.

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    The one book on perennially on this list that confuses me is Huck Finn. The kind of people that get their panties in a bunch about banning books doesn't seem like it would overlap much with the group of people that are bothered by racism.

    Truth.
    Good thing we're not on a series of forums that does something like that...[/humblegrumblegrumble] (Yes I know we're not supposed to talk about this but it's a good point to raise in a banned books thread, imo)

    Also, Tim, obviously you have never met a crazy hardcore California liberal.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Rent wrote: »
    werehippy wrote: »
    The one book on perennially on this list that confuses me is Huck Finn. The kind of people that get their panties in a bunch about banning books doesn't seem like it would overlap much with the group of people that are bothered by racism.

    Truth.
    Good thing we're not on a series of forums that does something like that...[/humblegrumblegrumble] (Yes I know we're not supposed to talk about this but it's a good point to raise in a banned books thread, imo)

    Man.
    What.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Rent wrote: »
    werehippy wrote: »
    The one book on perennially on this list that confuses me is Huck Finn. The kind of people that get their panties in a bunch about banning books doesn't seem like it would overlap much with the group of people that are bothered by racism.

    Truth.
    Good thing we're not on a series of forums that does something like that...[/humblegrumblegrumble] (Yes I know we're not supposed to talk about this but it's a good point to raise in a banned books thread, imo)

    Also, Tim, obviously you have never met a crazy hardcore California liberal.

    Are you referring to the censorship of the n word? Because if you can't see the difference between how it is used in Huck Finn vs. how it would be used on these forums, well...You need to think a little bit harder.

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