did reading a banned book ever corrupt you?

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did reading a banned book ever corrupt you?

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Editado: Out 4, 2007, 11:32am

i remember running away to the river ala Huck Finn only to find out there wasn't a raft. was gonna ride the hudson down to the mississippi, i must have been 13. after searching the river bank for what seemed like hours, i dragged my sorry butt back home, my parents none the wiser.

anyone else ever been corrupted by a banned book?

Out 4, 2007, 11:57am

I’m sure some of the naughty bits in some of those books got me good and horny as a teen… but come to think of it I think that horny was my (and everyone else’s) permanent state as a teen anyway. :’-}

Out 4, 2007, 12:51pm

Depends on your definition of "corrupted", I guess.

I have found much to admire and emulate in many banned books.

So I suppose I'm rotten to the core. :)

Out 4, 2007, 12:55pm

I sure hope those books corrupted me. Something had to.

And the moment you feel a book corrupting you, isn't it grand? Alas, it happens so rarely now.

Out 4, 2007, 12:56pm

Yeah, I don't call it "corrupting", I call it "waking up"! Gotta love that.

Out 4, 2007, 1:19pm

I don't think I've ever been corrupted by a banned book, but Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need, a book I read in first grade and which my parents would not let me take to school to keep it out of the hands of children whose parents might not want them to read it (also probably to keep the teacher from asking why I was reading something with a Jimmy Hoffa joke on the back cover), corrupted me with an irrational fondness for Jimmy Hoffa jokes.

Out 4, 2007, 1:26pm

i love the jimmy hoffa story!

just too cool.

Out 4, 2007, 4:19pm

Ahhahaha! Great question!

Actually, I'm not sure - nothing jumps out of my memory in regards to the actual content of any books corrupting me.

However, Forever by Judy Blume definitely corrupted me in the sense it turned me into an activist and taught me about book banning, intellectual freedoms, etc. I *distinctly* remember it being a whole issue in my Grade School library that they would carry it, but you needed parental permission and it was held in a locked case. I didn't even really *want* to read the book but was outraged that they could do this. My mother had absolutely NO problem with giving me a note (being a political activist herself) and I gained a fair bit of social status at being one of the very, very few allowed to check it out.

To this day, banned books is a priority issue for me and it's all due to that book. Poor conservative fascists... I wouldn't have even *noticed* if they hadn't made such a fuss... :-)

Out 4, 2007, 5:45pm

I think Forever deserves to be kept on the top shelf. That book, as I recall it, was just a lot of unnecessary sex. Does anyone remember the plot? I just remember sex, sex, sex.

And what bothers me about it, is that it seemed to want to draw attention to itself for that reason. Like it was specifically written so that preteen girls would masturbate while reading it. (Now, I'm not going to say I didn't.) I've read adult novels from all eras and genres and have never found anything as explicit, and tastelessly so, as that book. And the fact that it was written for young adults just astounds me.

But. On the original topic:
I think the only book that ever corrupted me was Even Cowgirls Get The Blues. Whether it's been banned or not, I don't know.

Out 4, 2007, 7:46pm

#9 ambushed, I didn't have that experience with Forever. You know, Judy Blume's YA and children's books are good tools for helping kids sort out certain types of experiences and I think Forever falls into that category. I didn't find it titillating (what a word!), but I was a kid when I read it and my take on it now is that it kind of lets you know what's going to happen before it happens and it's less scary. I mean, is your mother going to tell you? For real? Not mine.
Thank god for all those corrupting books! If I had been limited to the information actually given me at home and school.... *grimace*

Out 4, 2007, 9:47pm

For the record, there's also a vibrator joke in the Dave Barry book I mentioned, and it went right over my head for years. Further proof that if something's too mature for a kid, either she won't be interested in it, or if as in this case it's just a small fragment, it won't even register.

Judy Blume, I never liked. Not because I think that they are inappropriate as young adult books, just because I, as a teenager, did not need to read a novel about puberty. I knew the biological facts, and I had no desire to encounter any of them any sooner than I had to, so my attitude toward fictional characters who didn't think they were getting to it fast enough was basically "Get over it." I think I read Are You There God? It's me, Margaret and never touched another one. But as with any genre, whatever floats the reader's boat.

Out 4, 2007, 11:31pm

did reading a banned book ever corrupt you?

No, but there's still time.... and hope....

Out 5, 2007, 8:51am

Estelle: I never read any Judy Blume books, because someone told me Are You There... was about a girl who wanted to start her period. As I had (warning for guys: TMI ahead) already started mine pretty young, I just couldn't take that sort of thing seriously!

Out 5, 2007, 9:47am

I guess maybe I'm too hard on Forever. But here's the thing. I had a high reading level as a kid. I saw Judy Blume and thought, "Cool! She wrote books for older kids!" Figuring they'd be as good as Superfudge or whatever.

So figure I'm maybe ten years old, reading that book. And the one line I remember, all these years later, is when the girl says, after sex, "I came! I actually came!"

I think the only "older kids" book I liked by Judy Blume was Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. It's also the only one I remember as not having much to do with sex.

Out 5, 2007, 10:06am

No, but I don't feel so pure after reading this thread.

Editado: Out 6, 2007, 11:35am

My experience with corruption was - "the more the merrier". And now that I'm an official senior citizen I am so glad I had as much fun as I could when younger. Both reading and living. I am still having fun, although less likely to look for corrupting books.

My experience with Bloom type literature: if I was too young to be reading something, I just didn't get it, and moved right along. If I was the right age, I was glad to get information I was not getting from my live companions and family. (-;

I really believe life is meant to be lived!

Out 5, 2007, 10:13am


"...and hope..."

Out 5, 2007, 10:25am

I read One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich when I was around 9 years old, and it instilled in me a fundamental distrust of government. It's really quite subversive. I'm sure it made school a lot harder than it could have been, since I immediately recognized the combination of forced attendance, compulsory tasks, bad food, and arbitrary restrictions. Unfortunately, I did not absorb Ivan's calm acceptance of what life brought him.

To this day, I simply cannot believe that any government rule-maker means well. I can reluctantly concede that some of them probably think they mean well, but that's as far as I'll go.

So, now you see what damage one book can do.

Out 5, 2007, 11:20am

You need to be realistic about this, Amtep. The book didn't damage you. Metaphorically speaking, it was the nerve ending that told your brain that, oh... the stove's too hot to touch.

When you understand that they really are out to get you, that whole paranoia thing becomes moot, don't you think?

And while that all sounds very conspiracy-theory-crazy, it's really not. Governments are not "of, by and for" the people any more. They pander to the dominant religions and major corporations, and the benefit and welfare of the people is a mere bone to appease the masses.

When was the last time you saw a law passed that didn't write in some way for corporations to rob you blind?

Look at car insurance. I've got a vehicle that I pay insurance on every month. It's covered for liability, property damage, and personal injury -- the 3 biggies -- plus collisioin and comprehensive~something~or~other. So, if I get hit by another insured driver, great (well, you know what I mean). We're both insured, we exchange info, it all gets taken care of, and the insurance companies sort out whose rate get to skyrocket as a result. Now, if I get hit by an UNinsured driver, I'm okay as long as I've paid an extra 30% for that situation. Why should I have had to pay that 30% to begin with? My vehicle was already covered for collision. It's because someone who ~we~ elected into a position of power felt he 'owed' more to the corporate donors that the people who voted for him.

Out 5, 2007, 12:00pm

I read 1984 in 1984, when I was 10-ish. I don't know if it was ever banned, but it did have a lasting effect. It was probably then that I learned to look at government with a critical eye, which extended to wariness of institutions in general. I'm very glad for it. I've got to be thankful for whatever gets someone's critical thinking started. I look around and am very disheartened by the dearth of critical thinking. (I don't mean you guys.)

Out 5, 2007, 12:04pm

Psst... Psst.... WholeHouseLibrary? They aren't here right now are they?

Out 5, 2007, 12:20pm

AHA! Found you again!!

Out 5, 2007, 12:22pm


MerryMary, You scared the daylights out of me!

Out 5, 2007, 12:23pm

Hee Hee. Gotcha. Now go back into hiding, and I'll be good.

Editado: Out 5, 2007, 12:28pm

> #21

That depends... I just typed in "inkdrinker" and hit (on Google), and got at lest 10 pages of refferentials. I selected one of them, and it referenced 147 more. I just did my own name -- virtually everything I've writen here (except for messages marked 'private', it seems) is out there for everyone to see.

My first job with computers (almost 30 years ago) was with NYSE and AMEX. The background check was done by the FBI. They interviewed people that my wife and I met along the way while we were doing a bicycle trip. I never mentioned any of them, or the route we took -- only the destination and time period. So, to answer your question... Hell, YEAH!!!!

Out 5, 2007, 1:41pm

just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

the truth is, we shouldn't trust our leaders. Vote them in in a blaze of glory, but keep them to their promises. From the white house on down. That you got the gist of that at 9 years old, you should pride yourself on being that intuitive!

I remember in 9th grade i was not allowed to read the school's copy of 1984. Maybe it was the sex scene, who knows, maybe the topic of big brother, but one thing i took from the book, and i'm not even sure if it was implicit in the story, but anyway, what i took from either that or life over the last half of the 60's is there's too many of us for them to nail us for every indiscretion we'll ever chance.

so i've lived my life taking them and yeah, i've had my share, maybe a little more than my share. if i could blame a stack of books for that part of my personality, i'd push to have them added to every school's cirriculum.

read banned books and enjoy, because life is short.

my 2 cents.

Out 5, 2007, 1:53pm

The Quran is technically a banned book, and reading some of that recycled Old Testament stuff seriously messed me up.

28P_S_Patrick Primeira Mensagem
Fev 3, 2008, 8:11pm

I don't think I've ever been corrupted by a banned book, but I haven't read many. I read Huck Finn when I was quite young, and I didn't even have an inkling that there was racism going on, I didn't even know there was such a thing as racism. But my dad told me that some of the words in it weren't used nowadays, and they shouldn't be used, though I had no idea why, I probably had never seen people of other skin colours at the time. I found the Satanic Verses fairly tame too as far as the supposed controversial Muslim things go. The controversy in Ulysses went right over my head as well, I didn't realise that the fireworks were meant to mean something else too, which apparently they do according to wikipedia. I perhaps haven't read any of the really bad ones.

Fev 27, 2008, 11:04am


I read 1984 the first time in 1973. Nixon and Big Brother in the same year. That might have corrupted my opinion of government a bit.

There is one I know influenced me. As a kid I read all the Tazan books of Edgar Rice Burroughs but I was almost thirty when I found out they had been banned in the 1950's. The reason given was that John Clayton and Jane Porter were living together out of wedlock but I did not believe that. The books had been around for 40 years before anybody thought of that? It took some time but I decided that the real reason was that in the 1950's the push for Civil Rights was heating up and here was a bunch of popular books where Lord and Lady Graystoke choose to live with Africans rather than in England or America because they like the people in Africa better.
That thought caused me to rethink a few things.

Mar 18, 2008, 11:36am

1984, in my late teens, gave me a desperate urge to rebel. Not just against the state but against society itself. For that I’m eternally grateful. i must have read the book half a dozen times since then and even though Winston and Julia are beaten by big brother in the end it still irrationally triggers that teenage impulse. It’s easily my favorite book.

Recently I read Naked Lunch and a few days later i was walking home behind some random old lady, and out of the blue the thought that it would be funny to see her neck snapped popped into my head. Luckily my rational mind spotted the anomalous thought before any unpleasantness. But the fact that I thought it means it must have had some influence and god bless Burroughs for that nasty little thought that gave a boring walk home some relevance.

if anyone is really interested there’s a video on youtube with Ballard where he talks about how violence, ect., in books is, he thinks, somehow beneficial to society . I’ll see if I can find a link.


Abr 1, 2008, 12:48pm

What would one consider corruption?

And if I have to ask that, wouldn't that deem me as being corrupted in some circles?

I will say that banned books have influenced me greatly. For one, I think for myself rather than having a preconceived notion of something before I experience it (such as a banned book).

Now, as I toss out a herring of a reddish color, do those that are against books being banned in favor of films being banned?

Abr 1, 2008, 1:20pm

#31 bardsfingertips

Yes, I banned "High School: The Musical" from my home.

Well from the room I am in.

Well, I have to get up and leave, but I banned it.

Abr 1, 2008, 1:40pm


Abr 1, 2008, 3:00pm

An excellent policy. I've banned Ni Hao Kilan from my house (show geared to the PreK set-it tries to be Dora the Explorer with a Chinese girl and fails miserably, plus, the characters are really rude to each other). As for banned books corrupting me...I'll second bards' question about a definition of corruption. Banned books have influenced my reading, though. When I was about 13, the public library started handing out the banned books bookmarks. Ever since then, I've looked at the list as kind of a "To Be Read" list. The only reason I read The Golden Compass was because people kept sending me emails to boycott the movie!

Abr 1, 2008, 3:14pm

#34 kaelirenee

That is my only problem with most lists of banned books, not enough for adults on the list. I don't want to read kiddie books like Walter the Farting Dog (I admit I do like the title)

Abr 1, 2008, 4:41pm

Books do not normally come with warnings like Movies and Television shows do. I think the effort insofar as banning children's books is that there are no warning of the contents contained therein. There are jokes and references regarding masturbation all over television, and these jokes will normally increase the level of warning before that episode is shown. When is comes to the book The Chocolate War (a constantly challenged book), for example, there is no warning and there are no parents to turn the book off (so to speak) and keep their young offsprings from reading it. I think the idea is to nip it in the bud as the idiom goes

This really was really meant as an answer to post #35...just a rambling of thoughts inspired by post #35

Abr 1, 2008, 9:07pm

When is comes to the book The Chocolate War (a constantly challenged book), for example, there is no warning and there are no parents to turn the book off (so to speak) and keep their young offsprings from reading it. I think the idea is to nip it in the bud as the idiom goes

There are reading levels listed on the front inside page as well as back covers of most YA and children's books.

As for content, it's called "parenting." In this era of the Internet, there is no longer any excuse. Google a book before you let your child read it and research whether or not to let your child read it. Even if they do read something "inappropriate," chances are that they won't understand it or be interested in it. There's far worse on "mainstream" radio and TV, in any case.

Abr 2, 2008, 3:51am

My wife (a public elementary school Librarian) had her Spring Scholastic Book Fair last week. In the fall, there was a large controversy over The Golden Compass, as the movie had just been released, and it was reported that part of the plot of the book was to kill God. I haven't read the book, or seen the movie, so I can only comment on what I was told, and the following:

There were over a dozen copies of the book at the Fair in the Fall. Only 2 were sold, and I witnessed parents telling their children that they were not allowed to get that book (because of the reasons above). At the Fair last week, all 6 copies were sold the first day.

I support a parent's right to oversee their child's book selections, but at the Fair last Fall, they were quite vocal about it in a public (more or less) place -- the school library -- and I suspect that their posturing intimidated other parents and children from even going near that particular table.

Abr 2, 2008, 8:16am

A parent has the right to oversee their own child's reading. What I am troubled by is how many people think they have the right to oversee EVERYONE"S children's reading.

How do people get to the point where they believe that they have the right to decide that no child should look at Where's Waldo? (#88 on ALA's most challenged list) because one woman is laying on the beach on her stomach with her top untied? Who thinks they have the right to tell YOU that YOUR children can not read Daddy's Roommate (#2) or Heather Has Two Mommies (#11)?

My wife tells me I should not rant so I will shut up now.

Abr 2, 2008, 11:33am

I just finished the Golden Compass... and, well, the only reason I would stop a child from reading it is because it is rather gory in its details of violence and death. But, for me, that's all.

Editado: Abr 2, 2008, 11:51am

When I look at the banned books lists, I tend to select the children's book to read almost exclusively-those are the ones that get challenged more. Plus, I know WHY The Joy of Gay Sex is being challenged; I don't really need to read it, too.

I'm a librarian and a parent of a child in public schools, so I think it's really important for me to know what's happening in the field of book challenges. But it's also the reason I didn't go into school or children's librarianship.

Abr 2, 2008, 12:07pm

I've been a k-12 school librarian for lo, these 35 years, exclusively in small rural Nebraska communities. I have almost never had any trouble with censorship. I'm so glad I did go into this field.

I have the advantage of knowing my students and their families personally, and they have all known me. I think that helps a lot. Patrons and parents have been able to ask me about certain titles in casual non-confrontational settings. We have been able to address fears and concerns on an individual basis most of the time.

I really think book challenges happen more often in bigger schools where things are more impersonal. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I just have a trustworthy face. But over the years my patrons have trusted me, and I've had an enormous amount of "banned books" on my shelves.

Abr 2, 2008, 3:06pm

Hahaha #32 re: "High School Musical." I feel the same way about "Riverdance," which the PBS stations have stopped airing at pledge time. Now if we could only get rid of Danny O'Donnell ...

And I say this as an Irish-American.

#34: I also read "His Dark Materials" because my nephew belonged to a FaceBook group asking me to boycott it. I thought it was a bloody bore (though it had some interesting themes), and I wouldn't ban my kid from reading it because it might make an interesting discussion generator.

Really, the only thing I've pulled the plug on is the TV show "Two and a Half Men." I'm sure there are others I'd find just as loathsome, but we just don't watch that much TV. "Two and etc." just happens to come on right after "The Simpsons," which is the only thing that keeps me sane some days.

Several of my son's friends parents have banned "The Simpsons." I don't think they realize it's a satire.

Abr 2, 2008, 3:56pm

>43 nohrt4me: My parents banned The Simpsons when it was first on tv. Too bad they don't know it has some of the best family and religious values on tv (I put The Gospel According to the Simpsons in my fiance's Christmas stocking, then read it before he could).

Abr 2, 2008, 5:28pm

That is very true, Number Forty-Four!

Abr 2, 2008, 5:48pm

>44 DevourerOfBooks:

I think before they went off the air, Home Improvement was the only other show besides the Simpsons that had what you mentioned.

Editado: Abr 2, 2008, 8:34pm

I've been agitating our priest to show "The Father, Son and Holy Guest Star" to our converts group. (It's the one where Skinner kicks Bart out of school and he has to go to Catholic school and he and Homer decide to convert.)

It is one of THE best parsings of the difference between Catholic and Protestant Americans--and the stereotypes each has--that I've ever seen.

And the ending shames all denominations equally.

The way the show uses Flanders is brilliant. Sometimes he's a butt of fundamentalist excess. Sometimes he's the only voice of reason among idiots.

Abr 4, 2008, 7:12pm

I, too, am wondering what the "corruption" actually is when this word is used by groups wanting to ban books.

I'm not yet a parent, but working in a library and a staunch proponent of intellectual freedom, I honestly can't see myself censoring anything my children would like to read. Like others have pointed out, if it's beyond their understanding they'll lose interest. If they are interested, and I'm prepared to answer questions that arise, why not?

I can recall only one instance in which my parents took away something I was reading. We'd gone to a garage sale and I'd picked up a book of adult comics, sort of Gary Larson-looking, but lots of naked people and I don't remember what else. They allowed me to purchase it without realizing what it was, but it wasn't long before it quietly "disappeared" from my bookshelf. I'm pretty sure it had the word 'porcupine' in the title, but to this day I still wonder what it was.

Abr 4, 2008, 7:46pm

I do own a book that can apply to the original question of this thread. However, I do not believe any sort of media (books, film, art, etc) will actually cause that corruption; it is that person's determination and choice of how that information will be used that will cause that so-called corruption.

I own a book called Improvised Munitions Black Book Vol. 1. If I were to follow the instructions step-by-step, I will have the potential (key word here) to do dangerous actions all entirely based on the contents of that book. Should such a book be banned from public enterprises such as libraries?

Now, I am conflicted because if such information was sought and easily obtainable by someone who wanted to inflict harm, they just have to read this book and follow directions.

I bought it for research I was doing on something I was going to write at the time. Now it just sits on a shelf and collects dust. I also bought it pre-9/11. But, I have never been "corrupted" to use the book in a manner that it will cause harm even after reading it. When I bought it from Amazon, does anyone here feel Amazon should have screened me as to whether or not such information contained therein would be safe with me?

If such a book was to be found in a High School library, what would the reaction be? And would that reaction be supported by those who do not want to censor or ban books?

Abr 4, 2008, 7:48pm

What is a "Banned" book ?
Coming from the Netherlands,we have only 1 banned book (Mein Kampf).
Now, there were books I was not old enough to appreciate or understand completely, but I was more corrupted by books on knights and chivalry then on sex and violence.
But perhaps I was corrupted to become a left-wing union member instead of a right-wing entrepeneur and I wouldn't want to know it.

Abr 4, 2008, 8:38pm

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues certainly kept me horny the entire time I was reading it as a teenager. But I'm sure I didn't really understand it. I don't think one book can change years of parental teaching--especially if you are open about discussing ideas found in books, on tv, etc.

It's often easier to talk about something in the context of a story than as a personal issue.

And I really object to other people telling me or my kids what they can and can't read!!

Abr 4, 2008, 10:04pm

I have a very liberal-minded friend who took the Anarchist's Cookbook away from one of his 15 year old male students who happened to appear a bit unstable. He normally feels that a kid should be allowed to read anything, but in this particular case he concluded the potential consequences outweighed his personal objection to censorship. He genuinely believed this kid might try to cook something up. The ethics of how to handle that situation is something we still debate.

Abr 4, 2008, 10:42pm

I think this is a bit too obscure to be a widely banned book, but I got The Farewell Kid by Barbara Wersba from the library when I was maybe 11 or 12 because it had a "Pets" sticker on the spine. In this book, a 17-year old girl moves out of her mom's house and rents a barbershop to start her own pet adoption business. In the course of the book she loses her virginity to this weird boy she starts dating and then sends a telegram to her best friend about how perfect it was (her friend had sent her a telegram after her first time saying how blah it was).

I don't think this corrupted me. I recently reread the book, and in retropect, I was probably too young to be reading it (or my parents would have thought so for sure). But I really am grateful that this book introduced me to the concept of real-life sexuality, previously a poorly-understood playgroud rumor, in a way I could muse about it privately. It made me wish I had read Deenie before I was 19 for that reason.

I think that books are a great way for kids to learn about sexuality. Your parents/sex ed class will give you some good information, but books take it out of the abstract and help young people understand the context of sex a little better.

Abr 5, 2008, 5:02am

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was the first book I read in a long line of books that have influenced (corrupted) me into thinking Anarchy (properly done) might be a good idea. ;-)

Abr 5, 2008, 9:18am

A lot of the recipes in "The Anarchists Cookbook" don't work, and I'm guessing more people who've tried the recipes have hurt themselves more times than they've been able to tear down the system.

In any case, I think anarchists sometimes get confused with nihilists.

Anarchists are generally not violent; they simply don't participate in the system--don't vote, don't pay their taxes, don't rely on government to solve problems in their communities, believe in the individual's responsibility to cooperate in mutually beneficial endeavors with others and blah blah.

Dorothy Day was an anarchist. I recommend "The Long Loneliness" as good, corrupting book for budding nonviolent anarchists.

She was also a Catholic and is up for canonization, but that's beside the point.

Abr 5, 2008, 9:32am

>50 Papiervisje:: Papier, when we talk about Banned Books, we're talking about books that are frequently challenged by parents and community members who want to remove them from library or bookstore shelves. There are a number of groups that exist in the US (I'm sorry, I can't speak for other countries) that exist to "protect" our children from the influences of what they consider sexual, subversive, against their religion, promoting an "alternative lifestyle," or with vulgarity. Generally, it's right-wing groups that do this, though on occassion, liberal groups will try, too. The America Library ASsociation keeps track of these books on their webpage (ala.org), and as a way of supporting the public's right to access these books, they have a National Banned Books week every September. Librarians love it (OK, I and every other librarian I know loves it-there may be a few who hate it) and we always have big parties in our libraries.

>52 varielle:: Varielle, the steps your friend took sound fine to me. Though, I have a feeling if I were to read it as a kid, my mom would make me do a book report on it and wear safety goggles if I tried the "recipes." But, as I said, I was a goodygoody in school, and this was before Comlumbine (though it was right after the OKC federal building bombing, so maybe she wouldn't). I strongly support a parent's right to say "My child is not going to read this book," and not allow it in his home. I say that about Eminem-I don't want to hear that. But it is naive of parents to think that flat out banning it won't make their kids wanting it more and trying to find it elsewhere. But, what a parent should do for their child is not the same as what I should have access to. I want my son to be able to check out a book on abortion or homosexuality or heroin from the library, especially if he has big questions he (for some reason) doesn't want to ask me or his father. And if I want to read the Joy of Gay Sex, I don't want to find out that some right-wing group has said I can't. Parent your kids, not me.

OK, too much of a soap box and I know I'm preaching to the choir. Sorry.

Abr 5, 2008, 10:09pm

Gotta confess, I got a giggle out of "Anarchy (properly done)." Anarchists believe (I think) that there is no Proper Way.

Absolutely agree with other posters. I have complied happily with parents' requests to keep their child from checking out certain books, but I will bring down the rafters if any of them try to get me to keep those books from children not their own.

Abr 5, 2008, 11:01pm

I can remember when "Banned in Boston" was a sure thing to increase sales of books and batteries for flashlights--the latter so you could read under the covers! I have and do read whatever I want regardless of its status. I'm still waiting to be ruined.

Abr 7, 2008, 12:36pm

Thank you, MerryMary ;-)

Abr 10, 2008, 7:39am

dosen't the word anarchy, in the political sense, just mean "without leaders"?

Abr 10, 2008, 9:07am

The belief is that everyone should co-operate to the equal benefit of all, there should be no bosses. At least after reading about the International Workers of the World (Wobbles) I think that is the idea. Of course that theory is wrong but I guess they are entitled to their opinion. The Wobbles did not require a company to sign a contract with the workers after winning concessions during a strike. Is it a surprise that the concessions did not stay in place longer than it took the company to fire the Union activists?

Editado: Ago 19, 2009, 1:33am

9> Exactly what is 'Unnecessary Sex'? Is this the opposite of 'Necessary Sex'. Sex is it's own reward. Sex is beautiful; Sex is delightful; Sex is always necessary.
But then I'm one of those people who delays physical intimacy until the woman has had a chance to experience true sexual frustration for a long time, just like men do. This builds up the 'Tension' and makes the satisfaction even greater.
The saddest thing about being corrupted by a book is that most people LIKE being Corrupt. It seems to me that those people who start killing people to 'defend God' are the most corrupt of all.

Ago 19, 2009, 2:37am

As far as I know, here in The Netherlands we have no banned books. The only book that is hard to get is Mein Kampf but strictly speaking, that is not due to banning, but due to the fact that our government owns the rights to the translation and just doesn't permit anyone to publish that translation. I am not interested in that book anyway.

What I do remember is that when I was little, about 11 or 12, I was a pretty advanced reader, and so was my best friend. We had pretty much read all we wanted to read from the children's section, and at home we had started reading fantasy books our parents owned (Lord of the Rings and Songs of earth and power I remember). But when we wanted to borrow them from our library, the cranky ladies behind the desk wouldn't let us, until one of our parents came with their card to borrow them for us.
Now, I understand that in the adult section there are a lot of books that children might not need to read just yet. But, even after we had permission from our parents, they never let us pick books ourselves. And, what I found worse, is that they were never honest to us children about why we weren't allowed up there. They said it would be too difficult, that we would be too noisy, etc. etc. I was always raised by parents who always explained why we weren't allowed to do something, and who listened to our reasoning....

The only way this corrupted me was a healthy distrust of grumpy librarians, a dislike for libraries as a source for reading material (I much rather buy buy buy my books), and a resolve to let my kid (if I ever have one) read on any level that he/she feels he can handle. Of course I will look at the content of a book, but I also believe, as was said here before, that most things fly over kids heads if they are too young to understand it....

Ago 19, 2009, 8:50am

63: divinenanny, I did not know about the situation in the Netherlands.

Here is what the WikiPedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mein_Kampf says today: 'In the Netherlands, selling the book, even in the case of an old copy, may be illegal as "promoting hatred," but possession and lending is not. The matter is generally handled as a matter of copyright infringement against the Dutch government, who owns the translation, though it refuses to allow any publishing. In 1997, the government explained to the parliament that selling a scientifically annotated version might escape prosecution. In 2015, the government's copyright on the Dutch translation becomes void.'

Do you think that is accurate? Do you see anybody in the Netherlands eager to read Mein Kampf because of the restrictions?

Anyway, getting back to the theme of this thread, were readers of Mein Kampf corrupted by reading it? Were they already corrupt and the book made them worse by focussing their already existing hatreds? Does inducing somebody to go further down a path they are already on constitute corruption?

I suspect that banning books is almost never justified, but I am not sure in this particular case.

Ago 19, 2009, 8:59am

The description of the situation on Wikipedia seems accurate, as selling anything Nazi related is very sensitive in Holland still. I know of a collector's fair where there is always one seller who sells army uniforms, including Nazi ones, and he is always asked to cover up the swastika's so the elderly visitors won't be confronted with it on a nice day out.
The issue of Mein Kampf sometimes comes up, mostly when extreme right groups want it. I don't know of anyone in my vicinity who ever wanted to read it. I don't think the restrictions on it make the book more desirable as might be the case with some other banned books, but I also think that is due to the whole history attached to it.

I do remember visiting a book store in the US with a German friend where they had Mein Kampf, just sitting there on the shelve. We were both shocked, as we had never seen one for sale anywhere. Of course we knew that it was not forbidden in the US, we were just surprised as we weren't used to it. The seller was very adamant that in the US, no book is ever forbidden.....

Set 2, 2009, 11:01am

Even with Mein Kampf I do feel it is wrong to ban books, and if a book is banned using a legal technicality then it indicates to me that the authority banning it simply has unresolved issues that it should be addressing. We should not be banning books because we don't like the author, however much we don't like him or her!

From what I have seen of the book - we have one in the house, although it's not listed in my collections because it's not mine - it's a very thought-provoking book, and I believe the provoking of thought is good even if the thinker comes to conclusions different from mine.