Books and more Books

Central library in Brooklyn where I passed the miserable days of my youth

For a long time reading was my entry into the world around me. It may seen a bit off to imagine that a work of fiction can  open one’s eyes to the world around them, especially when often times the people we meet through the course of our day  aren’t as developed as some of the personalities me meet  for example. But for me books don’t mysteriously arise out of a vacuum, or out of some primordial emptiness from which all this are projected from. While they are the brain child and the articulation of an artists creativity, books, stories, etc are a polaroid or a snap-shot albeit somewhat biased of whats going on in society and in turn the word.

Being an introvert reading suited me quite well, as I am very reflective by nature and confortible with their own thoughts, I think and day dream a lot.  When i was younger I used to get very lonely as my parents were out working and I was home watching my sister who being 6 years younger than me wasn’t much in the way of conversation. So I would lose myself in book after book.  For some reason i read everything quite young. I got into trouble though, there was a reading program in my catholic elementary school were we had to read a book a month and do a summary, I had chosen to read a book on the Marquis de Sade. My parents had a heart attack and forced me to  summarize another of the books I read. I think it was Charles Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities. It was then that I came across a unique brand of hypocrisy that I met again this week when I read American Library Association list of top banned books of 2011

Top Banned Books of 2011

Before I get into it let me share with you the books that were banned and why

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle  Offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa 
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie Offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley Insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones Nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar Drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee Offensive language; racism

Hypocrisy and Blatant Stupidity

Every child, if we listen to the commercials, starts off as an angelic beauty penultimately pure and irresponsibly innocent.  Somewhere though kids stop being special somewhere they become worthy of abuse, verbal emotional, and of a strange educational system that seek  to inure them in mediocrity and hypocrisy.

As I reported in a special post called Porn Star Asks: ‘Am I Fit to Be Around School Children?’ – Mr Mary Mutha Fucking Poppins Answers the average age when an american Kid is exposed to porn is 11 years old. Many kids see  the effects of drug abuse, racism, and hear offensive language much earlier than 11. That’s just the reality of things, and yet in a way we try to paint for kids a picture that is completely unreal. But at the same time the TV and Internet is on 24/7 here are some things that kids may come across on TV and the internet.

  1. Talk about Divorce /Domestic Violence
  2. Catholic Priest scandals
  3. Reality stars renting out their orifices to other semi famous people,
  4. Kid being shot armed with ice tea and Skittles,
  5. Protesters being pepper sprayed, excessive Police brutality and violence,
  6. Shows like The Bachelor and trading spouses
  7. Oklahoma shooting, Drug Cartel Shootings, Pirated Movies
  8. Beer, smoking, and drug abuse
  9. Music Videos, Porn, and More porn
And yet for some reason we want to ban books like A Brave New World, and To Kill A Mockingbird both  masterpieces and both perennial fixtures on 100 Book everyone should read. If you ask me it is silly to make effort so that our children don’t read about sex in books that are much more tame than the fuck-fest the unfiltered Google search brought them too.
 

Reality Check

ten at a time for a dime as the saying goes. Sorry to all the non-easy NYU girls of which so far I know of 1

One day near my apartment building  there was a gun fight, possibly drug related, I heard people curse, I’ve seen drug addict and drunks on the street passed out or in various stages of undress, for fuck’s sake someone tried to sell me weed right in front of NYU (Now you know why its the most applied to university, that and the easy fucking girls that’s what NYU was known for in other universities), you can hear people fucking through the thing plaster walls of the apartment, you can grow up hearing stories of the American Occupation of your parents country and the abuses, you can see gays get beat up and harassed, and a kind looking young man with gentle eyes die from AIDS, you can run home so you don’t get jump by local thugs and or gangs  and yet  god forbid if you outperform most students in the country by reading some books above a 3rd grade reading level.

But maybe I am the exception, and that was just my childhood, maybe kids are really that impossibly clueless and clueless.  Or maybe we ourselves don’t want to admit to ourselves how things really  are  because we would have to think about our own mortality, our own vulnerabilities, the sadness we each lock away  in some dank corner of our heart that gets no light. I’m pretty sure that’s no the case it’s probably me because everyone is so happy and enthusiastic about life when I go out.

Here are some amazing books that have been banned one time or Another

  1. Beloved by Nobel prize Winning Toni Morrison
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey
  4. Animal Farm By George Orwell
  5. Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger
  6. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  7. Lady Chatterly’s Lover D. H Lawrence
  8. As I lay Dying by William Faulkner
  9. The GRapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  10. In Cold Blood  by Truman Capote
  11. Lolita By Vladimir Nabakov
  12. Of Mice and Men Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck
  13. The Sun Also rises by Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway
  14. The Invisible man by Ralph Elison
 
A lot of these books are considered literary classic and some were from Nobel prize winning authors. Some of these have been made in movies  which for me reeks of hypocrisy. You can see the rest of them here
 

Side note: I am not advocating exposing your child or other children you know to the grimy reality of life when their are in the crib or at a really early age. There is a time and place for everything and that time and place is to be determined case specifically. I’m merely directing my consternation and anger at the hypocrisy  and naivete I see sometimes.

 

Books Ive read recently & Recommend

My First Seven Years Dario Fo
I and Thou by Martin Buber
Post Office by Charles Bukowski
Journey to the End of the Night Ferdinand Celine
The Wandering Star by JMG LeClezio
Simulation by Jean Baudrillard
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson
Women By Charles Bukowski
Post Office By Charles Bukowski
Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
Factotum by Charles Bukowski
Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski
Sometimes You get so Alone it Makes Sense by Charles Bukowksi
Love is a Dog from Hell  by Charles Bukowski
The Garden of Mystery by Shabistari
The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zin
The Naive and Sentimental Novelist by Orhan Pamuk
In the Shadow of Sirius W.S Merwin

 

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