Censors Can Kiss My Ass - Repeatedly

Sunday, April 27, 2008
This is today's Austin Cline poster, provided for your daily dose of sarcasm.


This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart, since I was a youngster and read Fahrenheit 451 for the first time.


Censors piss me off.


I mean, they really piss me off.


I can't think of anything more despicable than the idea of telling someone that they're not allowed to read this or that, on the grounds that it's offensive or inappropriate. Really? It's offensive and inappropriate? Well, I'm a self-supporting, intelligent, discerning reader, and I am the only one who's qualified to determine what's inappropriate and offensive in my case. If you think it's inappropriate and offensive, then here's a suggestion - don't read it. If you try and tell me I can't read it, I'll tell you to go piss up a rope.


My stance with kids isn't much more conservative. While I believe there is such a thing as "age appropriate literature," I don't think books should be "banned" from children's libraries. I don't recall that I was ever forbidden from reading a single book in my parents' rather extensive library. My own children were never forbidden from reading anything in mine.


Obviously, there are some books that do require adult supervision if a child is allowed to read them, but really, I'd rather have the conversation about the historical context of Mark Twain's use of a certain offensive racial epithet than to banish these books from my child's library.

Here's just a few books that are considered "inappropriate and offensive:"

Yeah. Whatever. I'm enough of a small "l" libertarian to tell all the busybody censors to kiss my ass. Repeatedly.

11 comments:

vince said...

Here, here! Or is the "hear, hear!"

Anyway, I couldn't agree with you more.

As Heinlein pointed out "A managed democracy is a wonderful thing, Manuel, for the managers... and its greatest strength is a 'free press' when 'free' is defined as 'responsible' and the managers decide what is 'irresponsible'."

He also noted "I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy...censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to it's subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked, contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything---you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."

(Yes, I'm a HUGE Heinlein fan. Smart man, even though I didn't always agree with him.)

Yes, there's a lot of crap printed by people who hate and lie and think everyone should be like them. But the best antidote to their missives is counter-missives.

mom in northern said...

Hmmmm
One of Mom's hot buttons

Glad to see it rubbed off

Made me smile. Do you girls remember that the boys in the neighborhood liked to "visit" the Playboy magazines your Dad kept on the coffee table...along with the National Geo., Road and Track and Business Weeks ?

Janiece Murphy said...

I remember that it happened frequently enough, and that enough of the Playboys went "missing" that he no longer kept them on the coffee table after a while.

And Vince, yeah, RAH was not a small "l" libertarian. He was a LIBERTARIAN.

And he got this one right.

You hear that, Tipper?

Shawn Powers said...

I tend to moderate my kids' exposure to some things, based largely on their personalities and maturity. (Our oldest, for example, has a very difficult time with horror of any kind, and still has nightmares of Edward Scissorhands)

I'm horribly offended by blanket censorship, however. For all the reasons discussed. Ignorance is just so... well... ignorant!

Nathan said...

Janiece,

My apologies but I got tagged and I had to get six other people. You're it.

Janiece Murphy said...

::TONG::

Why, yes, Nathan, that is directed at you.

But I swing the shovel with nothing but love, baby.

Jeri said...

My eldest smart son is doing a paper on censorship - he's having a hard time with narrowing down his focus and figuring out what to say. It was tough for me to get him thinking about the breadth and depth of the subject!

Sometimes I think it's mostly that he wants someone else to write the paper for him and that's just not gonna happen.

And yes, banned books are egregious. I think I'd like to start a banned book club where the goal is to read through the entire top 100 over a couple of years. :D

And dammit, I can't figure out your captcha code either! (Blogger just made them much more distorted.)

Tania said...

For kids if they don't get the reference it will go right over their heads. Woosh! I'm all for suggesting that someone not read a book because they might not like the content, but I'm not going to restrict anything.

holy crap. that captcha is bizzare.

Nathan said...

Janiece,

Please see this morning's post before responding to the tag. :D

Michelle K said...

If you didn't already know about it, here's a link to the ALA's site for Banned Book Week.

It has a list of the top banned and challenged books, which is very interesting to peruse.

And dammit! I've got something ELSE floating around my house that you'll love! :)

Jim Wright said...

still has nightmares of Edward Scissorhands. Hell, I have nightmares about that movie, mostly because it's such a piece of crap - like almost all Tim Burton movies :)


Frankly, I never understood the attraction of Catcher in the Rye. I read it in seventh grade,(and yes, it was banned from my Junior High School, burned actually - very, very Christian Conservative town), but was available from the local public library. Meh. I thought Holden Caulfield was a self involved ass.

As you probably guessed, I feel the same way about censorship as you do. Right now I've got my son reading Lester Del Rey, with Heinlein (Farmer in the Sky) in the queue. And I'd much rather he read ideas here, and discuss them with me (which mostly consists of me saying "What do you think about that?") than learn about them elsewhere. Here's the thing, unless you live inside an FLDS compound like something out of the 18th century, the kids are going to hear about things that you'd rather they didn't, so IMO they probably ought to hear it from you first, or read it in your house, or watch it on your TV - age appropriate, of course.


And I'm with Tania, the capcha is gone completely weird, I'm not even sure those are Roman characters.