First let me say, it's good to be back at CURIOSITIES
after taking the summer off!
Second - I thought a good kick-off for the new season would be...
My Annual Rant on Censorship.
“I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases.”— Kurt Vonnegut
This September, instead of listing the most challenged books of the previous year (although I'll provide a link), I'm going to focus on why certain religious, conservative, and parent/school board groups of all backgrounds want to infringe on our 1st Amendment rights.
In recent years, To Kill A Mockingbird, was pulled from the reading
curriculum of schools in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina
and in 2019, Duluth, MN. The reason?
It makes people (code for parents & adults) uncomfortable.
I'm not talking about personal preference. That's different. Dinosaur Erotica
is a sub-genre in romance. I'll take a hard pass on those books.
Not because it makes me uncomfortable, because it's silly and
ridiculous and I'd probably giggle all way through.
Where does one go to have sex with a dinosaur? Jurassic Park?
BUT here's thing thing - I'd never tell anyone they couldn't read it. Or insist Amazon take it down from their Kindle selections.
I've always said parents have the right to monitor what their children
read, not what someone's else child reads.
Or what other ADULTS read.
(This makes me completely bonkers)
That's right, I'm talking to you folks who fight like hell to get books removed
from public libraries and college/university libraries.
Judging from the list of challenged books, most are shunned because of sex, alcohol, drugs, more sex, LGBTQ sex, transgender stories, race,
religion, and witchcraft. Oh, and did I mention sex?
Why do (some) humans shut down when something makes them uncomfortable?
What makes people squirm in their seat about certain books/topics?
Remember Jack Nicholson's line from A FEW GOOD MEN -
"You can't handle the truth?"
I think we can, but we don't want to.
What would happen if they took a long, deep peek inside themselves?
Would they find something there they don't want to admit?
That they didn't like?
Just a thought.
Are they uneasy because they aren't familiar with the characters? The topic?
Maybe it frightens them a little?
Don't worry, it's nothing a little exposure can't cure.
And here's an easy way to face your discomfort.
Even better, read a banned book!
That's the great thing about books - we learn from them. Every single one of them. Pick up a memoir, a biography, or autobiography of someone so different from you they are a complete mystery, and get to know them.
Historical fiction is a great way to learn about a past era, present controversies, social and civil reforms.
Read for fun!
Go on an adventure to somewhere
you've never been. Travel into someone's imagination and visit
a strange world.
The possibilities are endless.
When you censor books, you censor knowledge.
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
As promised, click here to see the list of the most challenged modern books.
If you're an avid reader, I bet you discover a favorite of yours on the list.
HAPPY, HAPPY READING!!!