Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Free People Read Freely'

Still restricted after
all these years
That's the motto of the ACLU of Texas's thirtieth annual Banned Books Week. On the linked page, click "2012 Report" for a .pdf containing a list of banned books this year and a lot of material about the cultural context of book-banning in America today. Example: in Tucson, AZ, classes in Latin-American Studies, including their entire reading lists, were banned. The good news: the total number of books banned has gone down steadily since GeeDubya left office. The bad: the bastards haven't stopped trying.

One banned book is one banned book too many. Every free individual should be able to read whatever s/he wants, with no exceptions and most certainly no legal restrictions. If parents want to restrict the reading of their minor children, I can't stop them, but a parent who is not a religious nutjob should seriously contemplate the consequences of rearing a child to believe that there are things s/he shouldn't read. Growing up, I was allowed to read literally any book on my parents' shelves, and often enough I read material "not suitable for younger readers" ... with no apparent harm to my eventual functioning as a good citizen. Free people read freely.

Read a banned book this week!

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