Books & Commentary 24 Sep 2009 09:32 pm

Some books were made for burning

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Here is this week’s column, published Sept. 24 in The Review:

The Review management has booted the allegedly funny and assuredly liberal Chris Schillig for one Thursday to make room for my appreciation of Banned Books Week, Sept. 26-Oct. 3.

Every day, writers foist their skewed morality and potty mouths on this country’s most precious commodity — our children. These writers scribble stories that promote promiscuity, drug use, anti-government freethinking and alternative lifestyles (which is nothing more than a code for homosexuality, which is nothing more than a code for deviance, which is nothing more than a code for sin), books that are freely available to corrupt impressionable young minds in our publicly funded libraries.

Finally, the American Library Association has done something to combat this crime against kids by instituting Banned Books Week. The ALA’s Web site lists books that true-blooded patriots have flagged as being filled with vile, anti-American values — occultism/Satanism, drug use and nudity, offensive language, and racism. Books like “Gossip Girl,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “The Kite Runner” and “Heather Has Two Mommies” can now be easily identified in our bookstores and libraries, carted out and exposed as the leftist-leaning trash they truly are.

Thanks to the ALA, we can root out these cancers in the body politic and irradiate them with cleansing, conservative values before they infect even one more soul. Now I urge this organization of forward-thinking librarians to take the next logical step and organize book-burning parties, the light of which will shine to heaven and reclaim our rightful place as a Christian nation. With the ALA at the vanguard of this movement …

Uh, Mrs. Bluenose? Chris Schillig here. Actually, the ALA’s Banned Books Week is designed to fight censorship, not promote it.

What?

According to the ALA’s Web site, this year’s theme is “Celebrating the Freedom to Read,” and the stated goal is celebrating “the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.”

You mean all those librarians with their bifocals and hair buns are really dangerous subversives who advocate letting anybody read anything?

Well, I wouldn’t stereotype librarians like that, and I’m sure they still support your right to monitor your children’s reading selections. They just don’t believe you have a right to tell other people — or other people’s children — what to think, believe or read.

But these books are total trash! “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has nudity and offensive language. It coarsens the American discourse. The “Scary Stories” series has violence and occultism. Nobody needs to be exposed to that!

Sounds like you have a fairly comprehensive knowledge of this “trash.”

Not firsthand, I assure you. I wouldn’t be caught dead with such tripe. I rely on the good judgment of other like-minded Americans about what books should or should not be in our libraries. Heavens, I wish the FCC would compile similar lists of movies and TV shows and ban them, too. Everywhere I look, it’s filth, filth, filth.

What about that soap opera you watch in the afternoons? The one with all the bed hopping, divorces and loose morals?

That silly thing? Why, it’s harmless fluff. And I really like it.

“She said [smoking] was a mean practice and wasn’t clean, and I must try to not do it any more … and she took snuff, too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself.”

What’s that?

A quote from one of those banned or challenged books that you’ll probably never read: “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Wait, that book’s on the list? But it’s a classic.

Yes, but it’s still firmly in the crosshairs of censors because it supposedly supports racism, even though anybody who reads it knows that, clearly, it doesn’t.

Then why is it on the list?

How about “The Grapes of Wrath,” “The Great Gatsby” and “A Farewell to Arms”? They all irritated somebody, somewhere, for some reason or another.

But those books aren’t in the same league as “Heather Has Two Mommies.”

That’s the problem when you entrust your reading selections to somebody else: You have to live with their choices. Wouldn’t it be better to make it all available, so readers can decide for themselves?

I don’t buy it. This country is going to hell in a hand basket, and liberal organizations like the ALA are symptomatic of the problem, shielding low-brow junk under the same umbrella as acknowledged classics. If they’re going to do that, maybe we should stop reading altogether. It’s too dangerous to try to weed out the good stuff from the bad.

“There’s more than one way to burn a book.”

Another of your precious quotes, I suppose?

Never mind, Mrs. Bluenose. Never mind.

E-mail cschillig@the-review.com. Learn more about Banned Books Week at ala.org.

One Response to “Some books were made for burning”

  1. on 18 Feb 2010 at 1.MERRILL said …

    Hi! Great concept, but can this genuinely operate?

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