Monday, October 1, 2007

Banned Book Week

This week is Banned Book week with the American Library Association, something I wouldn't have even known about if several of the authors over at Samhain Publishing hadn't mentioned it.

To quote the ALA, "Banned Books Week emphasizes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them."

I looked at the site; being a mom, I'm always worried about what my kids are reading, watching or doing on the internet. What I expected to see was The Anarchist's Cookbook or The Kama Sutra. What I got was:

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

... and the list of books considered classics goes on and on. Authors such as Judy Blume, Alice Walker, George Orwell and Maya Angelou, to name a few, are challenged in schools and in a lot of cases (if only temporarily) banned from being used in those schools and libraries. Usually for "sexual content", "inappropriate language" or "anti-family".

I am of the firm opinion that if you don't like it, don't read it. If you don't want your kids reading it, inform the teacher what your objections are, and perhaps a compromise can be reached. But don't tell me what my kid can and cannot read based on an assumption you've made about the material covered in the book. I don't know how many times I heard "Don't read Harry Potter, it promotes Satanism!" Actually, if you read Harry Potter, the wizards celebrate Christmas! Yet Harry is in the top ten challenged books on the ALA's list.

So, if you see a crazy redhead in Walmart today singing, "All we are saying is give books a chance!" you'll know who it is.

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Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert

"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford