I consider myself a free-thinking human. In my half-plus century I have lived enough, experienced enough, to draw my own conclusions from the knowledge at hand. I also know my rights as an American citizen. Unlike so many exponents bandying the little blue book in front of media, I understand both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As a woman of opinion, I must say it irks me how quickly people rise to defend a single Amendment or Constitutional passage at the same time they completely discard the rest. Today I choose liberty. Here’s a bit of dictionary definition:
freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
It is with this in mind that I mention this week is Banned Book Week. Since 1990, the Office for Intellectual Freedom reports more than 18,000 attempts to remove materials in schools and libraries because people consider their content inappropriate, controversial or dangerous. Given the books on this ever-growing list, I have to say mine is a nation of imbeciles.
A well-known story taken from French folklore sometime in the 1600s can’t make it in California of today. I know you’re stunned reading that. Why is this book banned? Because Red visits grandma and brings her wine and cake. At the end of the tale, grandma has a glass of wine and cleans up her cottage. The story I’m referring to is Little Red Riding Hood. (Banned for inappropriate substance)
A litter of piglets is born on a farm. Experience tells the farmer the small runt will suffer and fail to thrive. He grabs his axe to do the humane thing as any farmer would in the early middle of the last century. His daughter asked her mother, “where is papa going with that axe?” The story I’m referring to is Charlotte’s Web. (Banned for intended violence and parental treachery)
Two Victorian children born into a family of means share a nursery as children did back then. The brother mentions to his sister that he misses their nanny tucking him in. She does it for him and says, “You have it for tonight, darling.” To the sexually repressed imbeciles I mention above, this innocent exchange is suspect. Why ever would a sister call her brother “darling” if their relationship didn’t have seedy undertones? And why don’t they have their own separate bedrooms? The story I’m referring to is Mary Poppins. (Banned for sexual undertone)
Two southern boys and their adventures along the Mississippi River two years before the Civil War began. True to the time it was written about, the n_ word is in there. The story I am referring to is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. (Banned for racial insensitivity)
An orphan boy has a chance to live the life his parents meant him to live. A classic hero’s quest where good triumphs over evil. The only problem is, his is a world of witchcraft and wizardry. The story I am referring to is Harry Potter. And it was banned for the same reason the Wizard of Oz and A Wrinkle in Time were banned — witches. (Banned for religious views)
A girl of mixed Christian and Jewish faith is dealing with issues of interfaith and going through puberty at the same time. Seeing other young women fully fleshed out all around her, she asks God to give her breasts. The story is Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. (Banned for amoral content)
Two books of poems and whimsical sketches. The books I am referring to are The Cat in the Hat and A Light in the Attic. (Banned because they encourage messiness and disobedience)
The Diary of Anne Frank (Banned for homosexual undertones)
The Old Man and the Sea (Banned for being an affront to Christian values)
Fahrenheit 451 (Banned as obscene)
Bridge to Terabithia (Banned for its death theme)
Moby Dick (Banned as obscene and sacrilegious)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Banned for profanity and adult themes)
The Grapes of Wrath (Banned as socialist propaganda)
I could add more, many more. The list of banned and challenged books this year is huge. Unfortunately.
“We all know that books burn, yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny of every kind.”
~President Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Virtual Read-Out. Hear passages from the banned books list.
Exercise your liberty. You have the right to read what you want to read. Learn more here.
We’re I an author of greater consequence, I too would be banned (sacrilegious, sexual undertones, profanity, adult themes, and obscenity, with a touch of all of the rest of the above thrown in for good measure) My fiction brings harm to none. Haters would do better looking in the mirror and assessing there, for behind those eyes lurks the true affront to the Great Mystery.
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 32 entries to come.
Here’s a cliché for today:
Knowledge is power
Today is guest Author Em Petrova
Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ Watch for our upcoming October contest. http://www.romancebooks4us.com
My recent projects~
Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing
In paperback and ebook. The e-version of our cookbook is sold everywhere for 99⊄. See My Other Projects page above for links to various formats.
I’m also participating in Fall Into Romance — a month-long event hosted by The Romance Reviews. Hundreds of authors and industry people are participating and that means hundreds of prizes. Find my bit on my satellite blog:
<– This is not a lag. It’s a statement. The internet was created to be a free system with access to knowledge and level opportunity for all. Right now several large telecommunications corporations want to make you pay them for the privilege you’ve had for free since the internet began. Learn how you can help stop the pending internet takeover by these heavy-hitting, well-funded Washington lobbyists. The FCC is taking comments now and wants to know what YOU think.
Learn what’s at stake and how you can give your opinion to the FCC.