Friday, October 06, 2006

No books is good books?

Thanks to alert reader and one of my biggest fans, Jim, I was made aware that last week was the 25th anniversary of "Banned Books Week." I'm not really sure what "Banned Books Week" is. Is that one week of the year where really uptight people get together and ban as many books from their narrow-minded and strict libraries and bookstores as possible in a seven-day period? Or is a one-week celebration of the very ideal of banning books? I dunno. Either one seems plausible to me.

And I have to wonder, what is it about banning books that somebody decided to devote a whole week to it? That's a lot of banning, (probably quite a bit of burning is involved as well, and much boozing.) I don't think I could keep up the enthusiasm to ban books for a whole week.

BOB: Hey Josh, good morning! How ya doin?

ME: Not too good Bob, doing as much book banning as we have for the last four days has really taken it out of me. I'm as tired as George W. Bush's speech therapist! So what's on the schedule for today?

BOB: Book banning.

ME: Shit!

I guess book banners are just more committed to making sure that "questionable subjects" such as "magic," "sex," "evolution," and "baking" never need reach the tender eyes of Americans. And don't think that for a minute I don't appreciate everything book banners do for us. After all, without them how would I know which books were cool enough to read?

This year in honor of "Banned Books Week," (in honor?!) the American Library Association (they've got associations for everything nowadays don't they?) decided to actually get off their lazy asses and do something fun and wacky! So they announced the top ten banned books from 2000 to 2005.

I'm not going to dignify the ALA by reprinting the list here. It gives them too much credit. Suffice it to say that that a few of the regulars are on there, like the Harry Potter series, and I know why the caged bird sings, by Maya Angelou. But also there are a few books I've never heard of, like Forever, by Judy Blume and It's perfectly normal, by Robie H. Harris. If any of you out there have heard of these books please feel free to explain them to me and please include the reasons they could possibly be banned, cause I got no clue.

The problem, as I see it, as that they're banning all the interesting books kids might actually might want to read, and leaving all of the crappy, boring books alone. Thereby sentencing countless generations of students to studying and dissecting pointless and mind-numbingly monotonous novels. So, in honor of "Banned Books Week" I decided to do a little banning of my own. And with your help (not to mention a lack of conscience and plenty of bribing money) we can make a difference!

5. All history books that were made in the middle of last century and consequently end before the civil rights movement.
4. Language books with useless phrases like "La plume de ma tante est sur le table de mon frere" (The feather of my aunt is on the table of my brother.) Or "J'ai faim et j'ai besoin de manger un escargo maintenant!" (I'm hungry and I need to eat a snail right now!")
3. Dictionaries that don't include words like "boobies" and "taint."
2. Math books that don't have the answers in the back.
1. Ethan Frome, by some old dead dude. (This one caused me years of mental scarring, all in the name of an education.)

I would do a top ten list, but, fortunately, I've blocked out the memory of most books I read in school as a child. I'm open for suggestions though, got any?

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