Archive for April 23rd, 2009

Censorship has always been fractious and very often random, with one person’s yikes being another’s yipee.

Any look at lists of banned books will provoke a prolonged head scratch in thinking people … like the 1931 ban of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for its “…portrayal of anthropomorphized animals acting on the same level as humans”, that has to prompt questions on just what sort of drugs were popular in China at the time.

Lest anyone think that the world of wars over words has grown brighter lately, this recent offering about the American Library Association’s list for this year’s “Banned Book Week” might spell out that this is not the case.

Have folks not learned that wagging the naughty finger at art has the same effect on the market that a toreador’s cute butt in tight pants has on a bull? Or as Sherman Alexi, author of the oft-challenged “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” put it:

… the amazing thing is these banners never understand they are turning this book into a sacred treasure. We don’t write to try and be banned, but it is widely known in the [young adult] world, we love this shit.

You’ll excuse me, then, for the trill of thrill I sensed yesterday when a facebook friend and PP reader informed me that my post on pret a porte condoms in India got me banned in China.

Yep. Apparently the mention of the word “penis” … or maybe it was “schlong”, or possibly “survey” — who knows? … set up a chain reaction that caused clicking on a link to my blog to be a practice in finger futility.

How cool is THAT?

Here’s the ALA’s Top Ten most frequently challenged books of 2008:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

2. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, violence

3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R series by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

4. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, violence

5. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, violence

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group

7. Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality, unsuited to age group

9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

10. Flashcards of My Life by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

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