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OP/ED: Banned Books and The Loss of Free Thinkers

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posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 06:58 PM
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Will future generations in the U.S. look back on this era with embarrassment or pride? It seems as though a precious few of us are destined to be embarrassed. The American Library Association released its annual update of the top 100 books that have been banned and/or challenged between 1990 and 2000. For me, it's embarrassing to see that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Of Mice and Men remain in the top ten.
 
ALA Banned Books List Startling books on the list: 5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker 41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes 52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (!!!!) 53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice) 69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding 84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain What twisted and deranged world is this where someone, anyone, would attempt to restrict any literary work, much less these enlightening masterpieces of the high-art of social commentary through genius prose? I've read each of these, and consider each one a must-read for anyone that desires to extend their awareness of people, life, and living. And when I see the first two on such a list... I can't help but feel tears of sadness. Literary works of this calibre have always found controversy over the years. However, this year of 2004 (or perhaps the previous few years), is the time in which we see freedoms restricted and attempts at managing the self discovery of new minds. Have segments of our society become so afraid of a free and thinking mind that we resort to attempts to prevent the very foundations of forming such a mind? So much focus is spent on the current political situation and the events about to unfold in New York City, and the ongoing events in Iraq. But if we had not allowed these small literary freedoms to have become eroded in the first place, where might we be now? Perhaps if it was easier for middle school minds to discover these enlightening works of genius, we may have had more people preventing these erosions today. And with more well-rounded minds, you can be certain our current national situation would be very different. If you have not yet, find one of those books, read it, and deny ignorance.




posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 07:02 PM
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And with more well-rounded minds, you can be certain our current national situation would be very different.


Bingo!



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 07:16 PM
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[edit on 10/2/2004 by esther]



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 07:20 PM
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What kind of idiots do we in this country protesting such good books?

On the brighter side when I was younger and was told that I was not allowed to see a movie or read a book because it was banned or whatever it made wanted to see that movie or read that book a million times more, so hopefully we'll have some kids that will see that list and wanna ready whats been "banned"



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 07:28 PM
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I am surprised that I do not find more terrorist-themed books. As part of my academic studies, I had to read "The Turner Diaries". This book is racist and evil, and repulsive with the amounts of hate that is expressed in this book.

Perhaps it is due to the fact that books like these stay underground, and never make it to the libraries to be "banned", that books that are on the list are there. Because they are the worst things out there that make it to our public system. If the public systems were aware of some materials out there, they might know what to be worried about and what to prepare for. (The Turner Diaries was a near blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombings. The FBI should have read it instead of banning it.)



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 08:09 PM
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OH MY GAWD!

22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine LEngle

I will not even tell my daughter of this...
Madeleine L'Engle is her favorite author...



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 08:27 PM
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how are we suppossed to be a land of the free, if we have censorship?

how are we supposed to be unbiased if we can only read from the reading list?

how are we supposed to learn if we only learn one side?

how are we supposed to remeber Washignton, Jefferson and franklin if we can not remeber slavery and rascism? (as in huckleberry Finn and others)

We must not be forced to censorship. it breeds bias. and bias breeds ignorance.



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 08:31 PM
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anne rice's sleeping beauty should be banned from the reading materials of school age children.
has anyone taken a look at the trilogy?



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 08:44 PM
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Originally posted by Vs Vortex has anyone taken a look at the trilogy?
Yes. Keep in mind that this list is mainly of books in public Libraries. The trilogy is indeed erotic fiction... and perhaps on its own not of the stature of the others, but a significant examination of a type of human psyche none the less. However... the topic asks the question which is more "harmful" to a young person, glorifying violence (books that are not challenged) or books dealing with sexual relationships (often challenged and banned)?



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 08:48 PM
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James And The Giant Peach ..... WTF??????



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 08:55 PM
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

One of my favorites


Sanc'.



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 09:12 PM
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I worked in a major metropolitan library for over thirty years. I can tell you if some of those books were bannced, some kids would probably stop reading. I am familiar with a majority of those titles and cannot see the reason for the uproar on many of them. I have read many of them.

A few are self explanatory as many folks in this country are embarrassed by straight sex and appalled by gay sex.
And, some titles must be outrageous because folks have narrow views on religion.
God forbid a time when any of these title are actually banned from public libraries. Certainly our country will be doomed on that day. Librarians need to do what is necessary to keep all books available to all of us. Even the ones I don't agree with.

I figure reading horror stories (ie Stephen King) is better than not reading. And, not everyone shares my tastes.
Some I've read:
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
20. Earths Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

The one title which would bother me:
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
This "wonderful" cookbook has been around since the sixties. Too many scary recipes for most tastes. I'll bet Homeland Security would love to see who checks this one out *smile*

[edit on 28-8-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 10:09 PM
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All the books posted that have been blacklisted are because of PC crap. When will we as a people stop with all this PC crap and understand that not everyone considered bad words such as the big N or others a bad thing when it was written in a book like Huck Finn? Just because the wriiter of the book used an unacceptable word according to the modern world doesn't mean the book should be banned.

We need to start looking beyond all the crap brought upon us and realise that when most of these books were introduced the people that read them were not as educated in the ways of the modern world because the modern world didn't exist at the time.

I think all the books listed are works of art and yes I have read all of them. I think the people that wrote these books were advanced for their time as well.

Let me edit by saying most instead of all the books are works of art.

[edit on 28-8-2004 by TexasConspiracyNut]



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 10:19 PM
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Ha, I was thinking of making a thread on this myself when people were asking why some fundamentalist Christians wanted to burn Winnie the Pooh (it's based on philosophy and Taoism) Ive read all of the top ten myself as well.

Its pretty much he same reason that cannabis is banned. They dont want anything proscribed, however innocuous, thatll make you think outside of the theorem of living were fed. Its a tactic that is thankfully largely failing now due to existing and emerging technologies, but its still a valid tactic.


EDIT: It's got nothing to do with the 'PC' issue. Check out the lists and check out how long some of them have been banned. This has been going on long before 'PC' was even conceived.




[edit on 28-8-2004 by kegs]



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 10:28 PM
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Agreeed, maybe we could call it pre PC?



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 10:29 PM
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Exactly WTF??... James and The Giant Peach... i love that book! Not just because i am too named James, but it's just a lot of fun to read... lol... i was 9 at the time, and human sized talking bugs sounded pretty cool. LOL!
In Australia we don't have that "Freedom of Speech" Amendment in our constitution... so the government does have the right to bann and disallow wat ever they want... i mean for god sake... to ban a book is pretty LAME... i mean it is up to U whether u want to read a book or not... and the schools here don't have reading lists... the teacher basically chooses which book u are going to read (a type of censorship)... i think it is prolly from a list that they are allowed to teach... it was funny to see that "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margret Attwood was challenged in America wen i studied it in Year 12 English... it was one of the most "grown up" (i hadn't really read anything along those lines before... sort of confronting i guess... lol) books i had read to date.


[edit on 28/8/2004 by jameo131i]



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 10:34 PM
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#38: Wheres Waldo?



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 10:39 PM
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Has anyone tried to buy a video of "Porgy & Bess"?? I am deproved of one of the most beautiful musicals ever produced. Thank you NAACP



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 10:41 PM
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James and the giant peach............. Think about the relationship between James and his 'guardians' for starters.



TexasConspiracyNut

You say PC, I say rampant totalitarianism. But hey tomato, tamato right?



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 10:43 PM
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A great piece on censorship, and in no time we learn who's responsible...

The Fundie Christians, The PC liberals and the Blacks.


Do I hear a the Jews did it? Anyone? Anyone?



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