what should be banned,censored,frowned upon by society,ect.?
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maybe I should rephrase that.
what wouldn't you read under any circumstances.
I won't read Danielle Steel under any circumstances, nor Judith Krantz. I also won't read Michael Crichton, because I think he's a bad (dishonest) scientist, I won't read Ann Coulter because I just don't like her politics, and I wouldn't read, for example, the work of a Holocaust denier because I wouldn't want to give financial support to someone with such beliefs.
What should be banned is a *very* different question from what a person, individually, will refuse to read.
Lord knows I want to be the Benevolent Dictator of the Universe in which "Desperate Housewives," movies starring Warren Beatty, books by Anne LaMott, and the entire Mitford series do not exist.
Highever, I also recognize that if we only let people do, read and watch what is good and improving, they cease to have free will and will not be able to learn or discern anything.
I learned all that in a book--Robert Graves' "Claudius the God." The aged Emperor Claudius realizes that his government is utterly corrupt and decides to simply let the corruption mount up, "let it all hatch out," as he says, because unless it does, people will neither have the knowledge nor the will to overthrow it.
And so I put up with people around the office who keep leaving "Traveling Mercies" on my desk because "I just know you'll click with this author." The only reason I can think of why people associate me with Anne LaMott is because we both use the f-word a lot.
Some day they will be ashamed for thinking I would like such an author. And I will be magnanimous in my forgiveness of their gaffe because they will have learned literary taste.
Edited for grammar
Frown upon what you like, but don't tell me what to frown upon, or not.
What wouldn't I read? Lots of stuff. That doesn't have anything to do with what others may or may not want to read.
What woudl I adamantly refuse to read, period? Romance novels for one, blech. Anne Lamott, as has been said before, for her politics. Any book written by a televangelist, because I disagree strongly with their theological views and find them to be hateful supremacist jerks. There's probably more, but I can't think of anything at the moment.
Critics do it every day. It's called "fair comment" under the law.
I simply can't physically prevent you from following my advice, nor would I support a law that did.
It's a book about a pedophile who becomes infatuated with a 12-year-old girl and pretty much makes her his sex slave, from the pedophile's perspective. It's definitely not the sort of activity that I condone, but to ban books like Lolita would miss the point entirely, because the book was a brilliant character study rather than a sex book, or even a book that condoned or attacked pedophilia. Banning all books "about" certain frowned-on or downright horrible things is far too broad and should never, ever be done.
And double pretty please, don't legislate your "advice". :D
I recommended Lolita to my book club, I'm the only non-retired one in the bunch. I loved the book, they didn't. We also read Reading Lolita in Tehran which they liked quite a bit more, and helps to put a reading in Lolita in context.
There may be reprehensible things in Lolita, but the really reprehensible thing is to deny access to thoughts, ideas, art, discovery, etc.
And I could argue about who makes whom the sex slave. Or how much of what Humbert says is even real.
But the wonderful thing about freedom of expression is that we can argue about this because nobody is standing in our way of reading it. Though why people continue to read it and rave about it (positively) is beyond me.
Anyway. What should be banned? Nothing. And I'll tell you why. If you disagree with someone who's speaking to you, plugging your ears and saying "lalalalalala, I am not listening" is NOT an effective way to refute their arguments. Listening carefully to them (i.e., actually reading the books that disturb you, which so few people who go around trying to ban them do), thinking carefully, and then making reasonable and informed arguments against them is the proper way to refute them. None of this can be done if you ban their books in the first place. People who ban books are cowards. They are afraid of someone's mind being changed--or their own. The epitome of this kind of nonsense is the whole Harry Potter controversy. Anyone who's read the books, especially the most recent, and has a basic understanding of Christian theology will tell you that Harry is a Christ symbol and that Voldemort is an approximation of Satan/the Antichrist. (Of course, to reduce Harry Potter to *only* that would be to do him an injustice, but the religious undercurrents are definitely there.) The point is, a little Christian child reading about Harry learns about Good triumphing over Evil, and the meaning and importance of Love (see: Harry's mother died for him and that protects him from evil. see also: Harry kicks Voldemort out of his mind by feeling *compassion* for him because he will never know love), all those feel-good Christian values and solid morals that the people trying to ban the books value so deeply and are trying to protect. all they see is witchcraft and evil spells and they have this Neanderthal-ian knee-jerk reaction to ban them. argh. x( of all the cases of banning books in recent times, this stands out to me as one of the most ridiculous.
To all, I say nothing or else everything.
I say perhaps all writing and music should be banned for one year to give us a rest as a world, and then reinstated. Perhaps we would all appreciate these creative and analytic gifts more afterward!
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I guess we can get back to talking about banning books, no?
Ban nothing in art, music, or literature. I'll even suffer through Rap and Hip Hop.
Didn't Marie Antoinette have militant issues with cake? ;-)
Poor Marie, she's been so maligned. Blame her mother.
Personally, I won't touch those gooey, sappy "I survived (Insert horrible thing) and you can too!" books. As a cancer survivor, I'll work on hotlines, talk in chatrooms, volunteer at hospices, but I will NOT read THOSE books.
But, hey, if people want that mush, go for it. I won't even wince if I see you reading one, much less try to ban them.
No, in fact she endorsed it! ;-)
On the issue of this thread: frown all you like, but don't limit other people's possibilities to read anything they want.
You are beginning to sound like a Heretic and Enemy of God to me! Beware the Wrath of God! There are those who Plot against God and his Works. But God is also Plotting, and God is the Best of Plotters. The Faithful are always ready to do the Will of God, and We are confident that he has given us True Guidance.
Blade of the Most Merciful, His Chosen Children
In response to your question, no I don't think all things written should be given equal value. I have no qualms about removing statements that amount to "You disagree with me, and I'm out of good arguments, so you are clearly stupid, so there!" from a blog or site via the reporting tool as I don't feel that is banning as much as trimming the cruft.
I don't recall banning anyone on LT yet though....
Now, just because something is written on a website that I don't like, I don't consider that an abuse necessarily.
The Censorship in China is definitely a form of banning. They block any site they know of that suggests alternates to the governments way of thinking.
Hate writings (longer ramblings of an individual that hates something e.g. Mein Kampf) are hard to tolerate, but should be refuted in kind, rather than banned.
"Hate writings (longer ramblings of an individual that hates something e.g. Mein Kampf) are hard to tolerate, but should be refuted in kind, rather than banned."
Hey, hang on a minute - surely you're not saying we actually have to read stuff before we 're allowed to condemn it? Prejudice, rumour and innuendo were good enough for my ole granpappy, and they're sure as hellfire good enough for me.
If you owned the only copy of this work, what would you do with it?
"Do you not know that you are Eve? The judgment of God upon this sex lives on in this age; therefore, necessarily the guilt should live on also. You are the gateway of the devil; you are the one who unseals the curse of that tree, and you are the first one to turn your back on the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the devil was not capable of corrupting; you easily destroyed the image of God, Adam. Because of what you deserve, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die.”
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus 'De Cultu Feminarum,' section I.I, part 2 (trans. C.W. Marx)
I found this quotation while looking for information on "Ass Worship Among North African Christians". It's no wonder that this man's church could boast of sending the majority of female martyrs into the Roman arenas, while he made jokes about the popular preception that Africa's first Christians worshiped "an ithophallic ass with a biblos (book) in his hand". Someone should ask if those virgin girls, whose donkey rapes seemed so laugh-out-loud funny to him that he wrote about it twice, weren't being sacrificed to Seth's church instead of Jesus'.
The real question is of Access, to whom, where and when.
I was amused years ago when I learned that new students at one college were required to read and review a book from from a list of Banned Books which had been banned by various organizations, before showing up for their first class. This was a stroke of Genius in the English Department, since what else could better capture the attention than the prospect of erotic titillation, and the pleasure of getting away with something that others would like to prohibit?
Someone once said that "The World is divided into the Righteous and the Non-Righteous, and it's the Righteous who do the Dividing". It seems to me that this whole question is fomented by over-protective Holier-Than-Thou mothers who wish to keep their children, including adolescents, ignorant of all the vices and foolishness of wicked people. This despite the widespread vice and abuse of Everything by a great many people who never read Anything!
I personally do not believe that reading anything will corrupt anyone, except perhaps works on Communism or militant Islam, but there are always fools who fall for this stuff.
This reminds me of a well educated woman who was habitually promiscuous in her youth (and she of the 'No Hippocrocy' generation) who stated that she didn't want her son to start Dating until he was at least twenty-one years of age. Whatever was she concerned about, AIDS? History always repeats itself. People don't change. "Do as I Say, not as I Do" is the eternal adage. Perhaps the old saying "We can resist anything but Temptation" is the truest statement of all.
In any case, this is essentially a Non-Issue. We are immersed in what would historically would be called a Liberal Culture, unlike Muslim culture which demands a reactionary culture, regardless of circumstances.
Perhaps we need another Protestant denomination, dedicated to hiding thoughts of evil and wickedness from their young. After all, the devout Religious have a tendency to prohibit the reading of everything except religious works. Is this what we want?
I recall many years ago that libraries would not loan books about hypnotism to children because of a few sad tragedies that have occurred in the past. I equate this with with the law requiring discarded refrigerators to have the door removed. This is not censorship but mere conscientious prudence.
When I say that "reading will not corrupt anyone", I am actually speaking about mature adults with a moral sense and a concern for ordinary people. I recall hearing many years ago that someone said that the purpose of a Liberal education is so that after years of struggle and study of enlightened humanity, that "you will know when a man is talking Rot".
Frankly I would expand this to say works on any fanatical cult can be corrupting, including any religion and capitalism. Reading them should be encouraged once people have some powers of analytical thinking and can see how ridicules they are. Please notice the “once people have some powers of analytical thinking”
When someone guides their own child it is parenting, when that person tries to impose their will on my children it is censorship. I think we all agree censorship is wrong but should people be allowed to refuse to have science taught to their children?
I agree with the first sentence. As children, my sibs and I were not prevented from reading anything, except my mother's romance novels, when I was eight. I smuggled a few to my room, anyway, and found them terribly boring, which sent me back to stories of sword-carrying Frenchmen, and Scots.
Regarding your question: I would say that some things should be taught to all children, for they will need this information in their lives. If the parents want to teach another 'science' then they should do so on their own. To do less would mean sending their children into a very competitive world, unarmed with necessary information that is known by their peers.
If you owned the only copy of this work, what would you do with it?
Preserve it. It is a book, after all, and whether or not I agree with it, it still deserves the same consideration as any other book of which only one exists.
My suggestion is that at least the list of those titles be made available for public review in the USA, perhaps by GovDocs librarians or the ALA itself.
As far as I know it's something of an abnormality - the only book that's somewhat actively prohibited in my country. You can legally sell pre-1945 copies, but you can't - legally at least - sell or import modern copies.
Not that, personally, I mind very much - ravings of some maniac. But I do, even in this case, object to banning books.
I guess there should be a reference to Areopagitica by John Milton here, the classic plea for the liberty of unlicensed printing, arguing that "That virtue therefore which is but a youngling in the contemplation of evil, and knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank virtue, not a pure; her whiteness is but an excremental whiteness".
You can force touchstones by also including the worknumber followed by :: followed by your book title in the touchstone brackets. So, in this case: "12865207::Black Athena" makes Black Athena.
The inverse also holds: if a book is banned an intelligent person is naturally led to wonder whether it's worth reading. You don't have to be too paranoid to wonder what is being swept under the carpet, and you most certainly don't have to be antisemitic or anticapitalist to get value from reading 'Mein Kampf'.
Possibly, but I did read some of his speeches and such, and the thought of having to wade through an entire volume of such drivel sickens me - as does the author. Life's too short anyway, and I happen to be more interested in art history and ancient history.
But even for this, I disagree with the partial book ban in my country. Freedom of the press has existed since the 1600's here - at least in practice -, and I think it's a mistake to make exceptions. I understand the c. 1945 knee-jerk reaction that caused it, but people should be allowed and enabled to make up their own minds.
I feel that calling for violence against anyone should fall under the "yelling FIRE in a movie theater" exemption to free speech and that this is not an example of censorship. Any thoughts?