Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Banned Books

September 25 through October 1, 2016 is Banned Books Week.

Banned books on display at the LeClaire Community Library
We’ve all read banned or challenged books. You would be surprised by some of the titles that people/organizations have tried to have banned - many of them are very well known and loved books. Also, the list of banned and challenged books is llllooooonnnnnggg! Your favorite books might be on the list. Mine is.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees our right to read and write whatever we want (it’s called freedom of the press.) The first Amendment also guarantees the right to protest against something you find disagreeable (it’s called freedom of speech.)

Ironic, isn’t it? The First Amendments supports both sides of this argument. It says, “Go ahead, and complain. It’s your right.”  But it also says, “Tough luck, Chuck. Our citizens can read or write whatever they want!”

Libraries across the United States of America are displaying some of the books that have previously been banned. They’re reminding us of our rights as Americans—something we can never take for granted. They’re inviting us to expand our minds, and challenge our own thoughts and ideas. That’s important. Keeping it real, folks.

"If all books were banned and you could
save only one, what would it be?
One of my all-time favorite books, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, published in 1967, has been banned and challenged because of gang activity (the rich kids verses the poor kids), underage smoking and drinking, and family dysfunction. Seriously. What teenager could possibly relate to that? (Sarcasm Alert! Sarcasm Alert!)

Maybe we could have learned about real life from the late 1960’s family sitcoms.  My Three Sons, perhaps? No. That family was a blended family. For shame! The Andy Griffith Show? No. That show had a town drunk and Opie didn’t have a mom.

How about music? Well, Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel was big in 1968. Seduction of a younger man by an older woman was the theme of that song. That won’t do at all. How about Lady Madonna by the Beatles? It’s about a woman on welfare who has one night stands with all her kids in the house. Riigghhtt!  I’m sure all those TV shows and songs had no effect on society. Certainly no mirror of society.

Yep. This one is on the banned list too.
You can see my indignation is for real.

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself,

P.S. If it weren’t for the First Amendment, there would be no place for Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, etc.

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