The last week of September is Read Banned Books Week. Of course, you don't have to wait for an official week or reason to read books that some people would like to censor Some of us are always game for committing anarchistic acts like, I dunno, thinking. Exploring new ideas. Learning about different cultures. Dangerous stuff like that.
If you're new to the game and wondering what kind of evil is promoted in these books and why they must be pulled from school libraries, public libraries, and even bookstores, here is a partial list.
• To Kill A Mockingbird - this favorite of book burners contains examples of offensive language and racism. No doubt the censors want to protect the innocent from words they've never heard before and from the concept that racism is a bad thing.
• 1984 - a book about a world in which free thought is ungood. Indeed, independent thought leads to creative and uncontrollable change that threatens the status quo and society as a whole. Better to keep the herd shielded from such notions.
• Farenheit 451 - a book about burning books. You can see their point in banning this one, right? Because the characters in the novel found a way around the censorship and we wouldn't want readers to follow suit.
There are so many books banned in so many cities, states, and countries, that someone finally went directly to the source and banned American Heritage Dictionary (banned from a library in Eldon, MO in 1978 because it contained 'objectionable words') and Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary (banned from a school in Menifee, CA because it contains the term 'oral sex')
Why do people want to ban books? Lots of silly reasons, and as Sarah Begley explains in her article “What the List of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society's Fears,” the reasons change along with our perception of what is right, wrong, or scary.
Every year new books are added to the American Library Association's list of most frequently challenged books. The list for 2016 includes titles like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and The Glass Castle.
Fellow rebels and double-plus ungood trouble-makers! Rail against the machine! Read something other than pablum this week, and leave a comment here about which subversive book you chose. I'm going with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Don't worry, Big Brother. It's just a story with no value for children, and only a little negativism that won't get my brain cells excited.