Delenda Est Carthago

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

28.9.06

Top Ten Day: My favorite banned books

It's Banned Books Week, so I thought I would list my favorite banned books. These are not my favorite books to read, mind you, they are my favorites because of why (I presume) they were banned (or challenged, which doesn't mean they were banned). Some I haven't even read! Because I'm sure thousands of books are challenged each year, I checked out the list of the 100 most frequently challenged books and ran with it. Again, I only presume why these books were challenged. If anyone knows differently, feel free to let me know.

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This is challenged by uptight liberals who think it's horrible that Huck calls Jim a "nigger" and challenged by uptight conservatives who think it's horrible that Huck would rather go to hell than turn Jim in. It gets it from both sides! What a crock of shit. If my eight-year-old wanted to read this, I would buy it for her and read it with her. This is one of the greatest books ever written.

2. Any Harry Potter book by J. K. Rowling. I mentioned this to Krys not long ago - it's not as if these wizards and witches are doing things that could conceivably take place in the "real world" - there are witches out there, but they sit around talking about nature and getting henna tattoos because they think it's cool. How any kid could reject Christianity because Harry waves a magic wand at something is beyond me. If I were a hardcore Christian, I'd be more worried about a book that shows kids how witches actually act and all the rituals they go through. Because a kid might actually, you know, try that. If a kid points a branch at something and pretends to levitate it, how in the hell is that a problem?

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Hmmm, a girl and her genius brother try to rescue their father from a malevolent force that robs you of free will and makes you an automaton, and then the girl must rescue the brother by proving to him that she loves him. Of course we must challenge this! How dare we try to teach kids this! Jesus. Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit are referred to as "witches," I believe, but do they really do anything that could be considered "Satanic"? Stupid parents.

4. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I haven't read this (Krys has, so I know the gist), but it seems to me that any book that features an oppressive patriarchal society that treats women as breeding stock SHOULD be banned. How dare those women get ideas!

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I ought to read this, oughtn't I? Another horribly anti-American tale, as a young girl learns that (the horror!) black people aren't necessarily evil. We gots to get the racism into them when they're young!

6. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. I can't even begin to fathom why this is challenged or banned. Somebody must explain!

7. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. Isn't this challenged because a young teenaged girl gets her period? Yeah, we certainly wouldn't want to teach young teenaged girls that there's nothing wrong with her monthly cycle. How will she learn THE SHAME?!?!?!?

8. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman. As usual, we must teach the children that if Heather is in a stable family environment with two parents who love her, it's still evil! I think that kids should have a female and male presence in their lives, but that's just me. I find it ridiculous that people would challenge a book that tries to show that lesbians are people too. I mean, we've already admitted that black people aren't monkeys - how tolerant do they expect us to be?????

9. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. God forbid kids read the word "fuck," because they never hear it anywhere! I have never read this because I have no interest, but it seems to me a book that lets disaffected kids know that they're not unique and it is possible to overcome it isn't really such a bad thing. I'm crazy that way.

10. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I suppose these are challenged because they might get kids to consider mentally challenged people as human beings, as well. Those retards - you gotta lock them away so's they don't upset the regular folk! I haven't read either of these, but I can't imagine what's objectionable about them. Don't both main characters kill someone? Is that enough to ban them?

A lot of the books deal with, unsurprisingly, sex. Now, I'm not entirely sure what a librarian is doing ordering copies of Sex by Madonna, but if you're going to have that in the library, you might as well have copies of Playboy too. I certainly don't think all books are appropriate for children, but I really hate people who try to ban books. If my kids bring home inappropriate material and I find it, we will talk to them rather than blaming the library and trying to ban the book. I don't care what your reasons are (the ALA web site says it's often because of the best of intentions, which of course paves the road to hell), banning books is so un-American I can't believe people who grew up here even contemplate it. I actually look forward to the days when the kids are in junior or senior high school and some "concerned" parent wants to ban a book. I'll be like Amy Madigan in Field of Dreams, man!

So there's the list of my favorite banned books. If anyone knows the specific reasons why they were challenged, chime on in. What are your favorite banned books?

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5 Comments:

Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

Check here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banned_books

BTW, I've only read 4 and 6 on your list. (Did I read 5? I don't know, though I saw the movie again within the last 3 months.)

29/9/06 6:38 AM  
Blogger Disintegrating Clone said...

I'd find a place for The Satanic Verses. Not only is it banned in dozens of countries, but it's a great book.

2/10/06 2:01 AM  
Blogger john sweet said...

#1, #3, #5, & #9 on Greg's list. In total, 43 titles from the Wikipedia link.

I just laugh at some of them. We MUST protect our children from evil books, but all the "reality" television, 90210s, and Melrose Places are just fine and dandy. (shows how dated I am... I guess it is the OC and Laguna Beach these days)

UncleMonster

2/10/06 4:10 AM  
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