Next week is the ALA's annual Banned Books Week, where we celebrate (or is it mourn) the books that have been deemed a risk to children or society at large. Yep, because books cause ideas, and ideas are dangerous.
Like Animal Farm which might cause people to rise up against the government. Or Lord of the Rings which might, I don't know, make us all crave precious shiny things.
I'm sorry. I tend to get a little irritated by the idea of censorship. It strikes a nerve inside me that screams until my head wants to explode. And Banned Book Week is just the start of it.
Earlier this week, a guest spot with Katy Perry on Sesame Street was pulled because some people thought Katy showed too much cleavage. Yep, too much cleavage on a show watched primarily by children barely out of the breast-feeding stage. I get the concern. What makes it funnier to me is I show that much cleavage on a daily basis (granted, I have much bigger boobs than Katy Perry, but that's not the point). Kids see cleavage all the time, and if Sesame Street really had an issue with her outfit, it should have been dealt with prior to filming. Once it's done, it's done. I've watched the video (you can still see it here), and there's nothing risque about it. They are just boobs, people, get over it.
And then there was the big kerfluffle over Adam Lambert's performance on the AMAs last year.
Okay, was it the best thing to ever go on national TV? Maybe not, but for me, that's mainly because at least in this recording, his voice isn't as good as it normally is. So he kissed a guy. So, there were some simulated sex acts. For the most part, it's been done before. Only this time? It was a gay guy doing it. The horror. The travesty. But, in the aftermath, interviews and performances were cancelled.
Quite frankly, it's sad and pathetic, and pisses me off. Censorship doesn't help anyone. It doesn't protect them.
The only upside to any of it is that challenges tend to drive sales. Hell, I'm debating buying a Katy Perry album over the Sesame Street thing, and my five year old LOVES Adam Lambert's music.
And I am excited beyond belief at the fact that my son is now old enough that I can start handing him challenged books.
My children will be free thinkers and they will not be shackled by the whims of a few people who think they know what's best for us all.
It's banned book week. What are you reading?