That's right, here in the US, those of us who like civil liberties (the ones the Patriot Act left us with) are celebrating the right to read whatever the hell we want. None of you know it, but my laptop, the one I'm blogging on right now, has a sticker that reads "Everything I need to know about life, I've learned by reading banned books."
My last laptop had a sticker with the First Amendment on it. This one would too, if I could find one. Maybe for the next laptop.
So with this in mind, lets have a little meme-thingie. Go to the list of banned books from the American Library Association (it isn't extensive, but it hits the high points), pick your favorite, and discuss in whatever detail you like.
Here I go.
Well, heck, there are a couple in here I really like.
The Great Gatsby is a great book. A run-of-the-mill story line elevated to art by Fitzgerald's lyric writing. Of course it was Charleston that didn't like it. Those people are so uptight they squeak.
The Catcher in the Rye is probably the best stream-of-consciousness book I've ever read (Ulysses is okay but more confusing). There's real skill involved in how the writer gradually reveals WHY the protagonist is having a meltdown, and manages to make him sympathetic even as he's breaking laws and going nuts. Censored all over the place for profanity and all that bullshit. Bet this blog's more profane than that book ever was.
I've got no idea why the Nazis would be burning Call of the Wild, but then the Nazis were nutballs anyway. Loved Call of the Wild. At the time it was insanely original, and it's still pretty darn cool.
Anyone saying Lord of the Rings is Satanic should really read it first. Ditto for Harry Potter, who isn't on the list but has been burned all over the place.
In closing, I include a link to a news article about my new favorite Senator, Al Franken. (Franken was the comedian who ran for the Senate and narrowly won after months of recounts and hearings and bitching.) Last week the senate was having hearings over whether to extend the Patriot Act. Franken got up and read the Fourth Amendment to the guy from the Justice Department who was testifying. (The Fourth Amendment deals with protecting citizens from unlawful arrest and other government harassment, like, say, roving wiretaps.) Basically, Franken told the Justice Department that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional. (Which it is.) Everything stalled for a bit, then they rolled right over Franken and the hearing continued, but the point was made: the Patriot Act is unconstitional, and Franken had the guts to call them on it. Bravo.