You Can’t Read That!

You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post about censorship and banned books.

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You can’t say that on the internet! Well then, why don’t we build an internet where we can say what we please? Until then, we’ll have to rely on Auden’s points of light, flashing out wherever the Just exchange their messages.

I think we all understand why states refuse to issue certain personalized license plates, even though it’s a form of censorship. That might be about to change.

Michigan college censors “fuck censorship” posters. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with forcing offensive language on people in public places.

Nobel-winning Chinese author Mo Yan defends censorship. Now before you refer me to my previous paragraph and accuse me of calling the kettle black, Mo Yan isn’t talking about dirty words on T-shirts … he’s talking about state censorship of political speech. And that’s disappointing.

If you can’t allow schoolchildren to read a book about gay penguins, you damn well can’t let them see a play about gay penguins either!

One South Carolina librarian takes it upon herself to remove a graphic novel from the library rather than comply with her own rule … you know, the one that says you can’t let children check out books from the “adults only” section.

Book-banning activist parents are popping up all over: in Pennsylvania, in Washington, in Colorado, in Ohio. I smell Christian right rats at work.

Here’s a related attack on books and learning, this time in North Carolina:

  • SafeLibraries hypes what appears to be a Christian right petition to “stop schools from requiring explicit reading material.” The petitioners, many of whom are not parents, aren’t after Fanny Hill or Fifty Shades of Grey. They’re targeting Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale.
  • One of the petitioners comes right out and says it: she wants schools to ban books that “misrepresent Christianity or have an anti-Christian bias.” She throws in some verbiage about pornography, too, but the ram-my-religion-down-your-throat force is strong with this one.

One thought on “You Can’t Read That!

  • The Christian right censors are a bad as their counterparts on the extreme left. Some are just better at publicity than others. (Remember the Berkley peaceniks trying to kick the USMC recruiting office off campus a couple years back?)

    Zealots, regardless their affiliation, bear constant watching lest they, in their zealotry, do their best to make the rest of the world in their image of perfection.

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