Banning/Burning and exercise in futility
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As for burning books, they have to get the books somewhere, which invariably means the publisher and author get paid anyway, and the book gets bumpeed up on the sales lists. In short, people who ban and burn books must be pretty damn stupid, as these acts end up doing the exact opposite of what the person intends, and yet closed-minded individuals continue to ban and burn books, apparently unable to comprehend the simple fact that their actions are completely ineffective.
I would add that the reason you don't see things like "American Psycho," a truly horrendous book, in my opinion, is because most librarians understand that those types of books have no literary merit and appeal only to the most purient interests.
If you look at the most frequently challenged books, they're largely having to do with sex and/or the occult.
Few of those that feature hideous violence get challenged. The "Left Behind" series is an exception, but I think it's being challenged more because of it's religious orientation than the violence.
On another forum, a teacher was telling us about a woman in her town who was crusading to get Harry Potter books banned from school libraries. When asked if she had read the books, she said that she had to work, and care for her child (the one in the school), and hadn't had time to read any of them. (The 5th book was out then.) How long has the first book been in print?? When you are dealing with adults who can't find time over the course of years to read one book that children blaze through. . . .
I'd imagine that some of the people who start the campaign to ban a book do it to get publicity, and for fund-raising purposes --- they can send a mass mailing to their "base" seeking contributions to fight the latest evil book.
Seems to me that this smacks of the same "reasoning" that book banners use in the first place. Just because you personally didn't like/get/appreciate something doesn't mean it has no merit for other people. And how can you possibly know why it would appeal to others. Prurient indeed.
I am free to develop my own criteria for good literature that involves writing skill, theme and handling of subject matter. That's called THINKING CRITICALLY. I'm sure you are an intelligent person and do this yourself.
My freedom to think critically and judge books for myself does not, of course, extend to denying you the right to read whatever you want and think for yourself.
The more I think about it, the more it strikes me that it ain't futile if you can use it to whip up indignation among your members/supporters, get time on tv or space in the newspapers, and get the contributions flowing in.
No need to have read the book, or to care a hoot about it one way or the other --- it can be used. And the more popular the book, the more publicity your "crusade" against it will garner.
However, I do not assume that anyone who read the book and liked it is a horrid person. If it sounded like I did, I beg your pardon.
Neither did I advocate banning the book.
Neither did I mean to imply that my own critical thinking and aesthetic taste ought to be adopted as a universal standard.
Perhaps you could tell us why you think the book is worthwhile and help me "get" it.
All's I can find is the challenge to the video game version. Read that here: http://www.beliefnet.com/story/206/story_20621_1.html
It's not on the top challenged books over at the American Library Association's Web site.
If anyone set out to ban all poorly-written books, he'd have a full time job. :-)
Both sides of the isle love to try and ban the other. It’s very easy to see reasons why someone you completely abhor should be shut up. There are times when it’s quite easy to think, “I can't believe a human being is allowedto spout such vile stuff.” But one can NEVER go that route. If you believe in free speech, then you believe in the right of ideas you hate to exist and be spoken/broadcast/printed.
I, and most of the people who know me, think of me as a liberal. (Some would say extreme. I wouldn’t.) So take what I say next with that in mind.
What is politically correct speech if not censorship. When liberal folks (back in the eighties) started trying to change the names we used for everything because some of them might have negative connotations, it drove me crazy. At the time I was pretty young and I couldn’t articulate why I hated something that most people who knew me thought I would agree with. As I got further along in my college studies, I began to understand why. At some point I realized that politically correct speech was just as ridiculous as the “double plus good” junk of 1984 and its intention was just as heinous. PC speech wasn’t just about changing the worlds. It was about controlling the way people thought.
Today we are in the midst of debates over hate speech and various other (in my mind ugly) forms of speech. As much as hate speech makes me ill, I would defend to the death a person’s right to think and spew these sorts of ideas. I disagree with laws which try to control it. (Laws will never be able to accomplish that anyway.)
In the end if you believe in free speech, then you believe in the right of your neighbor to say things you despise.
This however has to be balanced with people's right NOT to be forced to listen as well. We don't want hate speach here at LT, any minority should not have to listen to a NeoNazi speach, nor an atheist be forced to listen to a serman etc.
As far as LT speech goes… well this technically is a private residence. So the folks who created/own it can make the rules as they see fit. That’s quite different from the lawn of a state capitol or other public areas. If I went to a hate group's web forum, I would thoroughly expect to hear things I abhor and would expect to get trashed if I tried to speak against those ideas.
If a NeoNazi came here and started writing hate stuff all over the place, I would think that Tim would give him/her the boot just the same as you or I would if that person came to our front door with such talk.
Any thoughts on that "God hates fags" group that pickets funerals? That tactic puts a helluva strain on my "liberal" tendencies.
Stopping someones opinion merely because you don't like it (no matter how much you'd like to give them a baseball bat sandwich), is a dangerous slippery slope (when backed by a government). I'm sure we all say things that will piss off someone else.
Yes. But these characters picket on public property, outside the cemetery gates. And they apply for permits.
#19 - I'm sorry. I know you were in agreement on the whole. Some of the comments you made just made me want to clarify. Once again, sorry. It wasn't intended as a backlash.
Insofar as the picketers at funerals thing goes, I believe that can be mitigated to some degree by proximity regulations. In places where it became a problem, laws were created to keep a physical distance between the funeral party and the picketers.
As I recall, they were bought off with air time on a radio show to keep them from picketing the funeral of the little Amish girls who were murdered. They had signs reading "Your daughters are burning in hell."
They'd apparently win in court if forced back to a point where those attending the funeral wouldn't get the benefit of their free speech. I read a lot about it at the time of the Amish funeral, and it didn't seem that anyone had a solution that would withstand court tests.
Good post. I totally agree. I do get really tired of the whole PC speech. It gets to the point where are you really safe uttering anything or maybe it's best to keep quiet? You never know when someone is going to pounce on you and cry you're being "anti-pc" or hate speech. It's scary.
Anyways, I believe banning or censoring of any kind is wrong. In regards to the OP, I'm not sure what the uproar is about the HP books. I have never read the books (though I've watched every movie.lol) but I don't see the harm that some do (the occult or witchcraft). If parents have a problem with the books, they shouldn't complain to the schools or libraries. They should take parental responsibility for their child and don't let their children read books they don't approve of.
I remember hearing about this one family (I think it was in Texas, I forget now) that had a problem with Farenheit 451 of all books! The father complained to the school. I guess the class was reading the book together and he threw a fit about that book and wanted it off the reading list. Did anyone else hear about that story?
The other thing is just downright funny. In North Carolina in the early sixties some areas were beginning to integrate their schools, which not only meant black children attending white schools, but in some places native Americans were being integrated as well. One of these groups were the Lumbar Indians. In protest the Klan held a large rally in a field outside Lumbarton, North Carolina and the Grand Kloogle, or whatever he was, the top man in the Klan in the state was in attendance and scheduled to speak. Word of this event got back to the Lumbar Indian tribe, so they planned a little surprise for the Klan. They dressed up in war paint and leathers, grabbed their tomahawk's and hid out in the woods next to the scene of the rally. The rally started, a couple of crosses were set ablaze and the Grand Kloogle was introduced to speak, when suddenly, from the woods came such a whoopin' and a hollerin' as hadn't rung out in those woods for two hundred years. The Indians swept down on the klansmen and chased them through the field with bloody murder in their eyes. The next morning the Grand Kloogle was found caught in a barbed wire fence at one side of the field all bloody and scratched up, along with several other klansmen. That put an end to the desegregation problems in Lumbarton.
Don't blame me! That does appear to be the law, yes.
(Though the reasons you give are, of course, not the ones a court would cite. 1st amendment, protection of speech even if we deplore the content, etc. etc. Remember the furor over the Nazi's holding a march through a Jewish neighborhood? Illinois, was it?)
Why else were the nut cases bribed to stay away from the Amish funeral? No legal way to prevent them.
Well, I don't disagree. (See #17)
Seems to me that the courts might find some privacy rights (which may be explicit in a state constitution) under which they could uphold laws banning picketing of funerals.
As for shock jocks, I don't know of any constitutional right to have your own radio or tv show for which you are paid big bucks. What scares me is that so many people listen to and enjoy shock jocks.
which thinking back is probably a good thing for me...
Censuring for a differance of opinion is what China does.
If you can stop one party from deminstrating because you don't like thier opinions WHO decides which opinions can and cannot be voiced? Your voice might be the next one silenced. Without free speech the civil rights movement would have been greatly hampered. Same with womens lib.
Now I agree the deminstration should not be allowed, BUT it should be using some law that treats it like harassment one way or another, dealing with the situation. Like yelling 'FIRE', you can do that anywhere except a theater etc.
BUT it should be using some law that treats it like harassment one way or another, dealing with the situation.
I think that's what I just said. :-)
I sure would like to be on the jury if some bereaved relative ever suffers from a bit of temporary insanity and takes out one of the uca's.
Speech is what we want freedom of, I believe.
Great story and absolutely hilarious.
Unfortunately, I've also seen where large groups of public can turn on someone who is trying to do their job. I once sat and listened to a high school librarian tell a tale of her first years out of grad school and how a town turned on her. She was trying to buy books she felt were appropriate for her teens and some older folks in the town took it upon themselves to clean up the school library. Soon they had they entire town in a frenzy and the majority of the town was on their side. The librarian and the few cooler heads who tried to stand with her found themselves threatened and nearly ostracized. She mentioned a town meeting where a parent asked (with tears in eyes) how she could do this to their children. She left the town and she noted that she knew of at least one of the families who sided with her that left the town. They left because they couldn't live in that community any longer due to threats and how they were generally treated. The censors won.
Loved your story of the local Indian tribe running off the klan! Showed them as the cowards they are.
The Pacific Northwest is generally a tolerant place, but we have been plagued by the Aryan Nations and other neonazi groups - quite a few in Idaho, but also some in Washington and Oregon. They have applied for parade permits and cannot be denied because of their first amendment rights. In some cases, they have brought large groups from across the country to march in communities that definitely did not welcome their presence. There are almost always large counter-demonstrations by local community members, but fund raisers have been more successful.
The basic premise is this: upon learning of a planned neonazi event, you organize a fund raiser in which locals can pledge donations, which are scaled to the event in some way - number of marchers, duration of the event, or whatever. The donations are given to the NAACP, local synagogues, gay rights groups, or other groups the hate mongers are targeting. This approach has been successful in Coeur d'Alene (Idaho), Olympia (Washington), and other areas where hate groups have been active.
what is a uca or UCA?
#2: If millions of people didn't tune in for jerry springer or howard stern (both of whom basically are thinly-veiled hate-mongers) who would know their names?
in a democracy, we get what we pay for.
this time we got george bush and it is damned near killing us.
You're oh so right about the hate mongering run rampant. Although I'm not so sure I get Jerry Springer as a hate monger. I see him more as the ring master of a freak show, trying to pass his 'guests' off as an accurate cross-section of Americans.
If Jerry's guests are "an accurate cross-section of Americans" then I'm moving! :) I agree with clam's desccription as "the ring master of a freak show." Clam, mind if I use that the next time my son wants to watch that crap...ummm...I mean talk show?
I apologize to the others in this thread for the brief departure from the subject. :)
Remember, tell the horrified and offended would-be censors to ban these books only in their own homes, not mine.
Another book that will kill your appetite, or make you want to do violence, is Bastard Out of Carolina. That one made me sick-at-heart.
And let's not forget the 'Gor' series of fantasy novels where all women are kept as nude sex-slaves and made to practice obscene body poses as a sign of willing submission. This should keep the Feminists busy for some time, and increase sales.
I'm not html adept so if anyone can post the cartoon without going through the link feel free.