Cens***d: Parental Advisory, Explicit Lyrics

Cens***d

As I’m sure you’re all aware, this is the week of the Banned Books. I believe books get the bigger spotlight because it’s been a lengthy and uphill battle. Even today. Video game censorship and its effect on players is still being hotly and publicly waged. So what does that leave? Music.

I think it’s interesting that while movies and television shows face light criticism on their content, books and music still face strong critique. They are both primarily non-visual mediums but they get hit the hardest. Parents want books removed because of ‘violence’ yet will take their impressionable youngsters to the newest Justice League or Avengers movie. Radio stations will refuse to play certain songs because of a variety of reasons. Most of them ridiculous. From their political content to suggestive lyrics the ‘reasons’ run a gamut of ridiculousness.

One thing I will say for music censorship – it transcends race, religion and genre. It’s been spread far and wide up and down the spectrum. Country, gangsta rap, Elvis…it’s all in there.

One of the first recorded instances of music censorship was back in the 1700’s and was essentially a protest song against the King at the time (England, not Elvis). Turns out he was not amused. However, and this is especially impressive considering that the Constitution wasn’t even a gleam in anyone’s brain at the time, it was considered ‘the truth’ as it was written in a newspaper. Thus, it was considered a fact.

In 1934 the FCC was formed. It was supposed to be an oversight commission but they just couldn’t wait to jump in the fun pool of censorship themselves.

Since then songs and singers have been censored for lewdness, suggestiveness, Satanism and violence. A few famous instances were on the Ed Sullivan Show. When Elvis appeared on the show he was filmed only from the waist up to prevent the famous Elvis Pelvis from corrupting the ardent female fans. Bob Dylan chose not to perform when asked to replace his song ‘Talkin’ John Birch Society Blues’ with another song less political in nature. The Rolling Stones were asked to perform after changing a line in ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’. They complied, changing the line in question from “Let’s spend the night together” to “Let’s spend some time together”. They complied but to this day Mick Jagger declares that he “mm-mmm’ed” the line. Despite clear evidence to the contrary. One of the biggies was The Doors’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. They had agreed to play ‘Light My Fire’ with the line “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” amended to something not quite so stoned sounding. The Doors played the actual line and were never invited back. Oddly enough, the only group to receive fallout after the show was The Doors. They were refused bookings. The police would show up at venues with blank warrants “just in case”. It didn’t seem to hurt their popularity with their fans, however.

Record burning, just like book burning, seems to be a popular method of showing displeasure with a band. Although it would probably stink a lot more than books. Iron Maiden wrote their song ‘Holy Smoke’ as a slightly tongue in cheek jab at self-righteous, hypocritical church groups and televangelists that seems to take pleasure in a good vinyl bonfire. Bruce Dickinson had the best response to this ever (as quoted from Classic Albums): “They have to buy the records to burn them.” Usually the very public outcries are met with “I have got to read/watch/listen to/play that!!”

In 1985 the Parental Advisory: Explicit Content label was created. Some fought against it, seeing it as a form of censorship as some stores would refuse to stock albums and CD’s with this sticker. There are also usually ‘clean’ versions available. I actually have no problem with it as to me it’s a warning and you have the choice to purchase whichever version you wish. Back in the day it was a bit harder but record stores would generally order the requested version. I don’t see it as censored material as it provides options for listeners to choose to listen to music enjoy with less profanity or sexual terms. Listeners aren’t restricted to one form over another. In fact it gives a bit more leeway than movies, television, video games and movies as there are no alternate versions available for them.

Most of the censorship that bands have faced was decreased radio play, cancelled bookings, protests by church groups and lawsuits. Just a warning, it gets a little dark in the next three paragraphs. I’ll be referencing suicide, rape, murder, and necrophilia but not in detail. If this will bother you feel free to skip down to the fourth paragraph. I honestly wouldn’t mention it if I didn’t think it was necessary to make my point.

In 1986 Ozzy Osbourne was sued by parents after their son committed suicide after allegedly listening to the song ‘Suicide Solution’, claiming that the song led to their son’s death. The case was thrown out before it reached trial with the plaintiffs being unable to prove that the song contributed to their son’s death.

In 1996 a fifteen year old girl was raped, murdered and violated after death by two acquaintances who claimed they had killed her as part of a Satanic ritual. Despite the case being similar to other sexually motivated crimes the parents of the girl believed that Slayer songs were to blame for their daughter’s death. The case was thrown out with the judge saying “There’s not a legal position that could be taken that would make Slayer responsible for the girl’s death. Where do you draw the line? You might as well start looking through the library at every book on the shelf.” This didn’t stop the parents who filed a lawsuit alleging that Slayer had “knowingly distributed harmful material to minors”. The judge threw this case out as well.

The most public of the lawsuits and the only one to actually make it to trial was a lawsuit alleging that Judas Priest was directly responsible for two young men (ages nineteen and twenty) who attempted suicide after listening to a Judas Priest song. The first young man was successful but the other survived the attempt with massive facial injuries. He overdosed on methadone before the case went to trial but had written his mother a letter claiming that it felt as though he had been programmed and didn’t want to do it but something was making him. The case gained traction because the plaintiffs claimed that Judas Priest had inserted subliminal messages into their songs urging “do it”. Before the trial began the judge ruled that subliminal messages was not clear and articulate speech and was not covered under the protection of the First Amendment. The judge ruled in favor of Judas Priest.

Why do I bring these up? Because they are clear examples of censorship in a form that is both insidious and frightening. It doesn’t look like censorship but that’s exactly what it is. Hiding behind abnegation of personal and moral responsibility to place blame where it does not belong. Books and movies have also faced this same form of criticism/censorship.

Song lyrics, books, movies and games may deal with extremely dark subjects. Does that mean they shouldn’t be read? Shouldn’t be heard? People who don’t watch, listen to or read horror are usually confused as to why fans like it. I can’t answer for everybody but sometimes you read something and it hits home. That author has taken what you’re feeling and put it into words. And now you know that someone else has gone through what you have. Someone else at least has the imagination and empathy enough to feel what others are feeling. And you know you’re not alone. It’s the same with music. Someone else has felt those feelings and put them to music. Be it love, rage, disillusionment or sadness. It’ there. For the length of a book or a song you are in complete sympathy with them. Why would anyone want to silence that?

Flyby Five: Our Favorite Challenged or Banned Books

Flyby Five Banner

This Flyby Five is just a quick list of our favorite challenged or banned books, along with quotes that illustrate some of why we love them so very much.

Flyby Five, where we abandon all sense of seriousness and do silly lists about whatever pops into our heads. This segment will be posted every Wednesday we feel like posting it. This is not a serious list, nor is it a “Top 5” list. And there is every possible chance that some of these lists or the language in these lists may not be PG-13 friendly. You have been warned. -L&G

Our Favorite Challenged or Banned Books

Book cover for Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Yes, we’re mentioning Fahrenheit 451 again. Yes, we mention it a lot. We do it for a reason.

“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”
― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

“The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”
― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”
― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Yes, you’ve seen Ender’s Game mentioned on this site probably more than you’ve seen Fahrenheit 451 mentioned. Can’t help it. A good book is a good book is a good book.

“Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”
― Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game

“Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.”
― Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game

“I’ve lived too long with pain. I won’t know who I am without it.”
― Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

I, Robot is a science fiction must-read in my opinion. I know not everyone’s a huge fan, but I think there’s comfort to be found in it.

“And his idea of solid comfort was to be left in utter solitude for two or three hours.”
― Isaac AsimovI, Robot

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?”
― Isaac AsimovI, Robot

“You are the only one responsible for your own wants.”
― Isaac AsimovI, Robot

Different Seasons – Stephen King

Different Seasons has four stories in it. All of them are fantastic. I also find it ironic that it’s challenged for a prison rape scene while ‘Orange is the New Black’ is hailed as a masterpiece and most likely watched by parents who think their kids aren’t paying attention. Here’s a hint. They probably are.

“I don’t have to judge a man by rumours when I can judge him for myself”
– Stephen King, Different Seasons, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption

“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them. It’s hard to make strangers care about the good things in your life.”
– Stephen King, Different Seasons, The Body

“Get busy living, or get busy dying”
– Stephen King, Different Seasons, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Alvin Schwartz

I read the Scary Stories series of books in second grade. I am a fully functioning adult to this day. The only thing I’ll say about it is that it’s more accurate in the writer’s credit. As I grew older I realized that these were actually urban legends and folk tales. Not exactly original material by the author. The horror list may seem scanty but that actually speaks volumes in itself doesn’t it? It strikes me that horror isn’t allowed near enough schools half the time to even be rated on its own merits.

 

Banned Books Week 2017

What are your favorite challenged or banned books?

What do you think about banning books?

Talk to us!


Challenged or Banned artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

Banned Books Week 2017 (September 24th – September 30th)

It’s that time of year again. When we bookworms all gather around to wonder at the sheer stupidity and close-minded ignorance of people who think banning books is a good idea. Banned Books Week has been held the last weekend in September since 1982. But hatred against certain books and bookworms’ puzzlement and indignant reactions have been present for much, much longer.

It goes further than just bookworms, though, and, honestly, we can understand why some books get challenged. Most of the time, it’s complete bollocks, but it’s not bollocks all the time, and therein lines the problem.

Banned Books Week 2017

Books are challenged and sometimes (more than they should be) banned for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, just looking at the reasons they’re banned can give you a pretty good idea of what prejudices, idiocy, and prudish beliefs still have a foothold in society. Like banning a book because it’s got LGBT or transgender characters in it.  That’s just bullsh*t.  On the other hand, banning books that promote racism? Yeah, that’s a good idea. Banning books that spread hatred and bigotry and intolerance is a fantastic idea. However, that means books like various religious texts would get banned too, and religious fanatics just can’t stand to confront the idea that their preciouses might actually not espouse ideas that are, y’know, decent. So, unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen in general. And in the current climate where the Oval Office is currently the litterbox of one of the most repugnant examples of a Walking Compensation Case, well… yeah. Human decency isn’t exactly going to be making great strides for the foreseeable future, is it?

Book challenging and book banning can be a tricksy subject. It’s easy to say “I’m against banning books…except those books. Oh yeah, those should definitely be banned”, but everyone has different ideas of what books should be in that “except those books” category. And so what do we do? Where do we draw a line? Or do we do refuse to draw any at all? It’s one thing to keep an open mind, another to keep a mind so open our brains could fall out. I believe the solution is to teach people that “Just ’cause a book exists doesn’t mean you have to read it.”  Unfortunately, some people are like “but…but…it exists! And therefore I am OFFENDED!!”  So, are we up crap creek without a paddle?

G- I think if we could all get off the “I’m offended” carousel people would enjoy their lives a lot more. Are there things that cause just offense? Yes. But when they get lumped in with virtue signaling then the larger offenses are trivialized. (And, by the way I think it’s a little weird that music and books, which are primarily non-visual media, face far more censorship than movies and television.)

Banned Books Week 2017

 

I found it a little surprising that most books are challenged at the public library level. I honestly thought it would be more from parents not liking what their kids bring home from school to read.

Actually, on one hand, I kind of get it. A book gathers buzz for being naughty, offensive, or whatever, so Mrs. Smith (or Mr. Smith) gets his ire up and marches down to the library to demand a book be pulled from the shelves. That’s actually the only way I can see this happening, because in my visits to the local library to pick up books for the week, I have never came across a book that offended me to the point I considered throwing a hissy-fit to the librarians about. (Well, there was 50 Shades of Gray, but that was more because the book itself sucked, not because of the subject matter.)

Now, regarding schools and parents in fine fiery form, take a look at this Goodreads listopia of Popular High School Reading List Books. Just out of curiousity, I opened a second tab in my browser whilst perusing the list, and started asking if each book had been banned or challenged. I didn’t get all the way through the first page before giving up, because the answer was “yes” to being banned or challenged with every single book. The reasons varied, but ultimately each one of them could be handled by the parents untwisting their knickers and accepting that the teachers are using the books for a reason.

I mean, if you’re offended by:

  • Profanity – I guarantee you your precious little high-schooler has heard (and probably said) 99.9 percent of the words that offend you.
  • Sexuality / Sex Education – They’re teenagers, for Cthulhu’s sakes. TEENAGERS. Do I really need to say more? Trust me, those thoughts you afraid of them having? They’re already having them, sweetheart. 
  • Blasephemy and/or Religious Viewpoints– Here’s a clue: Your omnipotent religious figure doesn’t strike people dead for daring to take his name in vain, for God’s sake, so I’m sure your babies will survive hearing / reading it. And, coming from a couple of females that are frequently exposed to religious viewpoints they don’t appreciate, trust me, they will survive coming face to face with a different religion!
  • Too Violent – Er… seriously? When was the last time you even watched cartoons?! And you’re going to grouch about violence in *books*? Here’s an idea! Instead of whinging about your little snookums doesn’t need to be reading about violence in books (because maybe it’ll make them have bad thoughts) you should spend more time teaching your kids that violence isn’t the answer. (Plus, these same high schoolers are probably playing Call of Duty on the weekends, so..-G)
  • Racism – Here’s the thing, you have to ask what and why is it being taught? If it’s being taught to encourage racism, then of course it’s not okay. But, if it’s about racism and helping kids to understand it and have dialogue about why it was/is wrong, then it needs to be discussed. How do you think kids are going to learn if we don’t teach them?
  • LGBTQ characters – Get over it. Intolerance towards others just because they choose to bang the same sex, sometimes like to bang the same sex, don’t wanna bang anyone at all, or feel they were born in the wrong body is just stupid. Maybe if y’all spent a little more time practicing the peace and love parts of your religion, you’d understand this. If it isn’t related to your particular sexual organs, then you don’t have a say! Sweet baby Cthulhu, I wish I had as much time to sit around bitching about people loving each other as some of you seem to. Where do you get all that free time to foster all that hatred?
  • Uneducational – and you wonder why your kid doesn’t like to read? Educational reading is great. It’s fantastic. But it’s not everything. Kids need to read for fun. They need to have their imaginations prodded. They need to experience things outside of the box that they’re living in. And books are a fantastic way to do that. Books make you think. They make your mind work. They don’t hand everything to you on a platter like films and television. If you’re stuck on a problem or project you need creativity to be able to think around it. Lateral thinking, you know? -G

Sometimes there are good reasons to dislike a book. But most of the time? Most of the time it isn’t the book that needs to be changed. It’s you. 

Having an echo chamber that doesn’t challenge your beliefs and ideas is dangerous. -G


www.bannedbooksweek.org

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/bannedbooksweek/rebelreader

 

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

Talk to Me (9/29): Future Banned Books?

future-banned-books

I’ve spent this whole week talking about Banned Books of the Past and Present. But now I want to take some time to think about

Future Banned Books

I would absolutely love to think that at some point we’ll overcome this ridiculous idea that we should challenge or ban books and do away with it all together. But, humans as a whole aren’t the brightest of creatures. So, we know that isn’t going to happen any time soon. So, this post is going to be all about the reasons we might ban books in the future. Credit for this topic goes to Melanie Bernard who gave me the idea when I was banging my head against a wall.

Alternative Lifestyles

Our reasons for challenging or banning books tend to evolve as we evolve, though admittedly some traits stay the same. Social media has blossomed over the last ten years. This gives us a tendency towards ever-increasing transparency and exposure to other lifestyles and types of families.  There is a progression towards acceptance of other lifestyles/races/genders (Ye Olde Trump-et be d*mned). These issues are always going to be talked about in books. Are they going to be perceived differently?

By Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons for Future Banned Books
By Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br], via Wikimedia Commons

Cyborgs/Robots/AI

 

The ever-boundary pushing technological advancements that bring us both closer together and further apart are sure to play a role in future fiction works. Are people one day going to find themselves speaking out against books that talk about humans and people who are partly made of robotic parts getting together?

What about Artificial Intelligence? As we move ever closer to a self-aware Artificial Intelligence being created, it’s going to become an issue that humanity takes sides on. Are we going to see a movement towards banned books in the future that involve AI?

Religion/Lack of

Photocredit: Wikimedia Commons
Photocredit: Wikimedia Commons

What about religion? This has been a hot button for many books being challenged or banned. Are banned future books going to include those with strong religious/anti-religious themes? More and more people are coming forward and openly identifying as atheist and/or agnostic. We’re banding together to create a force for good at the same time. Slowly, surely, people are beginning to wake up to the fact that atheists and agnostics are unique because we’re good because we choose to be good. We don’t kill in the name of some ‘god’. Atheists don’t try to force people to believe that our X is better than their X. Good deeds are done because this life is all we have, and people’s memories of us are our afterlife. We need to make those memories good. We’re decent and helpful towards our fellow humans we want to be. That’s it.

Close-Mindedness

As we’ve seen in recent weeks, there is an increasing trend towards diversity in our literature. Authors are getting bashed and mocked and such because they choose not to include diverse characters in their works.  People who are close minded are finding themselves on the receiving end of the finger-pointing and scorn because of their unwillingness to be open. Could we see a pendulum swing to where books may be banned because they feature characters who are NOT open-minded? Do you think there might ever be a point where heterosexuality, m/f marriages, and being white are looked upon  in books with disdain?

So, why do you think we’ll ban books in the future?

Talk to me!

 

 

T5W: Badly Behaved Books (Naughty Sci-Fi Novels)

This Top 5 Wednesday post is supposed to be all about gateway books into your favorite genre. However, because it’s Banned Books Week, we’re going to do things a little different. The science fiction books on this list are very naughty. So naughty, in fact, that people have either challenged them, or outright succeeded in getting them banned in various places. I guess you could consider them your gateway into being a bookworm rebel.  Are you rebel enough to read some of these badly behaved books?

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly book meme, done by most book bloggers and booktubers. It’s started out by Lainey, but is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts On Tomes. Here’s the Goodreads group if you want to join in!

Badly Behaved Books

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

brave-new-world Badly Behaved Books

Reasons: butts, boobs, racism, questioned/bashed religion, and sexual activities.

hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy

Reasons: Bad language and questioned/bashed religion.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Enders Game 2

Reasons: Nekkid people! NEKKID PEOPLE! (For a further ranting on this, please see this post.)

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

slaughterhouse-five

Reasons: Dirty words. LOTS and lots of dirty words. Because we all know only uneducated heathens that are damned to the pits of hell let loose with a good f bomb every now and then.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

the-giver

Reasons: People doing naughty things, questioning/bashing religion, and obviously too mature for its age range.

So, what have we learned from this Top 5 Wednesday about Badly Behaved Books?

Well, we’ve primarily learned that a good bit of religious people absolutely can’t stand to have religion questioned (not all, though. Some of y’all are actually pretty cool.) That daring to not bow down at the feet of your continent’s primary divine being is a horrible, awful, no good, very bad thing. (Honestly, I don’t have much of a problem with religion itself. I have a problem with religious zealots who do stupid crap like try to get books banned because they don’t toe their particular line.)

We’ve also learned that dirty words are an absolute no-no! It doesn’t matter that little Johnny’s probably heard at least your basic 3 Staples of Cursing by the time he’s ten. Oh, no…  no chance of that. His mind has been untouched by the depravity of such words and it must stay that way!

(For the record: I have the mouth of a sailor, and have never restricted it around my daughter. She refuses to curse (not that I’ve ever tried to make her.) It cracks me up, especially since she knows I have no problem with her cursing as long as it’s used appropriate to her situation. So a stubbed toe that elicits a “D*mmit!” would be perfectly fine for me, but a casual “So this sonuva…” in conversation would not be.)

Have you ever read any of these badly behaved books?

 

 

Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books

TTTBanner

This Top Ten Tuesday topic is supposed to be “Books on my Fall TBR”, but given that this Banned Books Week, I’m doing something different. Interrupting our normally scheduled programming, I bring  you ‘The Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books” Banned or Challenged.  This is only my opinion, of course. The list is populated with books that – if I have not read them, I can at least immediately see the stupidity behind challenging/banning them. I’m sure there are lots more that should be on this list. Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books

  1. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss was banned because forest industry people thought it made logging look bad. Imagine that, people chopping down our tree and ruining our environment concerned about looking bad. Huh. Who’d’a thunk it? This one definitely deserves the number one spot for stupidly banned books.the-lorax

2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Coming in a close 2nd, we have the book about banning books that was banned because (shock and horror!) one of the books banned in it was The Bible. One mustn’t mess with religious texts, you know. They’re sacred. (Coolthulhu henceforth bans the burning of scientific texts because they’re sacred to him.)

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Apparently it’s pornographic. But, er, having read the book multiple times, I can tell you that absolutely nothing pornographic happens. I mean, there is a scene with two boys wrestling naked whilst one is covered in soap, but considering it’s Ender fighting for his life… I don’t really think that can be considered pornographic. Unless maybe the person who was reading it got their rocks off on the idea of idea of someone fighting naked for their life… maybe that’s why they thought it was pornographic? (Coolthulhu says: “Don’t let your fetishes get in the way of my books!”)and-tango-makes-three

4. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson. It’s a fictionalized account of the true story of two male penguins who became partners and raised a penguin chick.  So, excuse me for a second… *drags soapbox over, climbs up on it, shouts “You homophobic ignorant unwaxed, unwashed arsehats!” several times, then climbs back down and pushes the box to the side.*

5. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. God forbid a young girl in a horrible situation take a few minutes to talk about the fact that she’s going through puberty.

6. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. The Dark Arts! Occult! Satanic! Vioooooooolence. What I worry about, honestly, is the kids who live in families where they can look at Harry Potter as an evil/bad thing because of a little wand-waving. I mean, it’s not like it’s a pretty epic story of a young boy going up against great evil or something. Not like it points out to abused young children that they can still find acceptance and friendship. These same people are who are trying to ban it for violence..er..have they ever read the Bible? Like, truly read it? Because, uhm, thats violent. Like, really really really really violent. Harry Potter has a few fights and a few deaths. So…. yeah.

7. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris. Because it’s been proven without a doubt that avoiding talking about puberty, sex, and sexual health is the best way to make sure kids don’t do anything they’re not supposed to do with their ‘private parts’.

I mean, the best thing to do is definitely just to ask them to take a pledge to avoid sex all together. SO effective!! See, look at this example:

According to Columbia University researchers, virginity pledge programs increase pledge-takers’ risk for STIs and pregnancy. The study concluded that 88 percent of pledge-takers initiated sex prior to marriage even though some delayed sex for a while. Rates of STIs among pledge-takers and non-pledgers were similar, even though pledge-takers initiated sex later. Pledge-takers were less likely to seek STI testing and less likely to use contraception when they did have sex. – Advocates for Youth

8. Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel. Now, I’ve read this whole series, and – on the whole – I love it, but I can see where parents might have thought about challenging it for graphic sexual content. ‘Cause wooo…yeah, uhm, it gets a little explicit.  However I still think it’s completely ridiculous because no one picks up these books for the sporadic intercourse contained within. They pick them up, and then get fascinated with them, because it is a richly detailed, wonderful immersion into the pre-written history world. Auel has a talent (and did tons of research) for painting such a vivid picture of not only the plants and animals from that time, but also of society, culture, and the trials and tribulations early man faced.  Challenging or banning these books because of the sex is just stupid.  By the time you get old enough to read and understand these books, trust me you know about tab into slot b and all the things in between.james-and-the-giant-peach

9. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. Are you freaking kidding me? Apparently this book encourages disobedience towards parental figures, and has bad language in it. (Coolthulhu would like to take a minute to note that if the parents who challenged this book want to hear a real example of bad language he’d be happy to oblige.)

10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer apparently got banned or challenged regularly for “religious viewpoint” and “violence”.  Yep, take a badly written high-school drama about sparkly pedo vampires and personality-challenged young girls that you could rant about for ages because of the controlling, emotionally abusive relationship ……and grouch about the fact that it doesn’t conform to your religious beliefs, and that two groups of people beat each other up in. That makes perfect sense. Bravo. (and if you’re one of the people who think Twilight should have been banned for the religious viewpoint, etc, let me just take a moment to make sure you understand that “That makes perfect sense. Bravo” was sarcasm.)

Dealing with the Naughty Books in Your Life

standup250 - Naughty Books

It’s Banned Books Week again. You know, that one week a year where everyone with common sense gathers ’round to celebrate the ridiculousness of banning books. Where we take up bookworm arms, gather the pages unto us, and celebrate the joy of reading those naughty books.

Books are banned for various reasons. Some of them make sense, and most of them don’t. Here’s the thing, though, even for the ones that maybe make sense to not have around… you can’t do that. Because once you ban one book, then it makes it easier to think about banning another, and another… and you see where I’m going with this. Instead, what I’d like to suggest is that we all institute this little thing called COMMON SENSE.

See, I’ve created some step-by-step guides below to help you deal with the three most common scenarios when dealing with books with objectionable material in them.

Dealing with Naughty Books

Scenario 1: You are reading a book, and discover that you don’t like the material contained within for some reason or another.

  • Step 1. Close the book.
  • Step 2. Donate the book to your local library, bookstore, etc.
  • Step 3. Try another book.

See how EASY that was?!

Scenario 2: You have read a book and don’t think your daughter/son should be reading it. Because it might make them have bad thoughts.

  • Step 1A. Exercising common sense, you may tell your child that you do not believe they are in the appropriate age range for the book (if that is true). For example, a seven year old should probably not be reading Twilight.
  • Step 2A. Take them to the library, and let them pick out another book. See? Much easier than trying to get the book banned, yeah?

However, if your child is in the appropriate age range for the book:

  • Step 1B. Slap yourself upside the head. Because if your child is in the appropriate age range for the book, you trying to ban it because you don’t want them reading it is just blatantly STUPID.  ‘Cause, wow, “If we ban it/make it illegal, they won’t do it!” has worked for us as a country so many times in the past. Yes, I’m rolling my eyes here.
  • Step 2B. After you’ve smacked some sense back into yourself, discuss the book with your child as they read it. Ask them questions about the things you find troubling. See what they think. Talk about how the ideas contained within may have been a product of their time but are no longer applicable. If it’s a really naughty book that, you know, might contain talk of S-E-X, then use it as a springboard to talk to your child about safe intercourse, and making sure they’re waiting for the right person.
  • Step 3B. Congratulate yourself on being an adult instead of being a  knee-jerk reactionary douche. Good adult!

Scenario 3: Your child’s class is reading a book you find objectionable, and you don’t them to.

  • Step 1. Grow up. Consider what your child sees in movies and on TV on probably a daily or at least weekly basis. Now, compare that to the ‘horrible’ book they’re reading in class.
  • Step 2. Suck it up. Teachers have kids read books for a reason and its generally not to convert your child to the dark arts.
  • Step 3. Reference Step 2B above for further instructions.

Simple fact, folks, the more fuss you make over something, the more people get interested in it, and want to see what’s so inflammatory. So every time you get on your high horse with a Mount St. Helen sized chip on your shoulder, the better it is for a book’s sales.  So, I guess, really, keep doing what you’re doing. Because it guarantees those books are going to get read, instead of fading into obscurity like some of them need to do.

By the way: Whenever you’re thinking about challenging a book, make sure you stop to ask yourself why you’re doing it. Here’s a small check-list for you to run through.

  1. Am I reacting to something without considering it?
  2. Am I on a power trip fueled by ignorance?
  3. Is there a legitimate reason why this book should be banned?
  4. Instead of trying to fight this book, is there something more effective I could do instead?
  5. Am I being a bigot/snob/toe-rag?

 

More information can be found at: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/

Reblogged – Banned Books Week – What, Who and Why?

Banned Books Week is coming to a close, and I know I’ve re-blogged y’all to death, but… well, its not over yet!

Another excellent post about Banned Books. Go read!

Source: Banned Books Week – What, Who and Why?

Reblogged: Banned Books Week Giveaway

Lookit what I found! Another Giveaway. This time for a banned book.

She’s a great blogger, and its a chance to get a free book, so click on the pic to go check it out!!

Source: Banned Books Week Giveaway

Reblogged: Truth Seeking in Banned Books

This is a very well-written article presented from someone with strong religious views. As I tend to think of ‘book banners’ hand in hand with ‘strong religious views’, I was very surprised (and happy!) to see this blog post today.

Go check it out! She gets you thinking, and asks the right questions!

(click the pic to be taken to the original post.)

Source: Truth Seeking in Banned Books