This week, Sept 27 - Oct 4, is the American Library Associations' Banned Books Week, where all freedom-loving patriots in this country should reaffirm their staunch support of intellectual and literary freedom. Banned Book Week has been celebrated since 1982, and serves to fundamentally remind us that, though every book may not be for everyone, we have the personal choice to right to access any written material we may want. You can access a list of the most frequently challenged books right here.
Note something about that list. The old standbys are there, of course: Slaughterhouse Five (for portraying war and murder in an unpatriotic light), Huckleberry Finn (for racism, which just goes to show you don't have to understand and idea to hate it), and everything Toni Morrison ever wrote, including grocery lists and post-it notes. Having these books on the list is no surprise, but what may come as a shock is the large number of Kids Books on the list, particularly those that seek to advance a view point of tolerance and acceptance of those different from ourselves. I wonder if it is the topic these folks find offensive, or is it the acceptance that is so verboten?
As scientists, science-enthusiasts, or just your basic good-hearted sorts, we can all appreciate the importance of fostering a diverse assemblage of worldviews in a publicly accepting and understanding intellectual environment. As such, we can all appreciate the importance of observing banned book week in principle. However, this year's Banned Book Week coincides rather nicely with something of equal, and not unrelated, importance.
That's right; on Thurs, 2 Oct, the VP debate is slated to begin. And Sarah Palin, the barely literate, fundie-wackjob of the season is going to get a public forum to spew her particularly noxious brand of conservatism. As part of her proud, neo-con CV, Palin tried to fire librarians and get some books banned in her home state of Alaska.
You know who else likes to ban books, Sarah Palin? Terrorists. And Nazis. And Fascists of all stripes. So, as a generalization, I think we can all agree that people who like to ban books are Assholes.
Sarah Palin is an Asshole.
So I encourage everyone to support the Banned Books Week in any way they can, most importantly by taking some time out to read a banned book. Because every time you read a banned book and exercise your rights as a citizen, Sarah Palin cries.
AND, if you need more proof (presented in a hilarious format) that Sarah Palin is batshit crazy evil, take a gander at the clip below (warning: there is some blue language):