Friday, September 24, 2010

Censor This

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?


  1. I think it's a shame to censor books. I think it insults our capabilities as rational people to be able to read and interpret information in a meaningful way. I think most sane people understand the difference between fiction and reality. Those people who don't have much bigger problems than censorship.

    With YA books, I think it's my job as a parent to monitor and decide what my child should read. I feel that most topics are fine as long as you are willing to have an open conversation with your children to help them understand the reasoning and approach the author was conveying. I think most parents who promote censorship are unwilling to take the time it involves to help the kids with understanding the literature or feel uncomfortable with having conversations about the topics. Believe me parents, no matter that topic, if you're not talking to your kids, someone else is. Usually their stupid friends, which no one want them learning from.

    Just my opinion.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Danielle La Paglia, Seleste deLaney. Seleste deLaney said: I wrote this when I was tired and ranty, so please bear with me: Censor This [...]

  3. I'm with you 100% and actually, I was thinking of picking up Speak this weekend so I can see what all the fuss is about. I hope it brings her more sales.

  4. I just try to laugh at the nits who do things like ban Harry Potter because it promotes witchcraft or is a homosexual allegory (I've heard that one, honest!) otherwise I either cry or smash things.

    I agree with Katy Perry being off the TV though. That's not 'cos she shows cleavage. It's because her mere presence annoys me. Let alone her 'music'. Get 'er off!

  5. I love Kate Perry's music but I wouldn't want to meet her in person. I think it may get awkward in the room, since I don't care for her personality either. *eye rolls*

    I'm with you Vivi 100%. The problem in this society is we don't encourage our kids to be free thinkers.

    As for Adam Lambert he's GAY?! LOL! Just kidding. However, in-spite of that I'd still 'do' him. Meaning listen to his music *snickers*

    Coutn me in for Banned Book Week. DO we have a list for YA. May pull my resources to see which ones are. Let's see we've got 11-16 year old watching twilight but we wouldn't let them read the book. Movie's give the okay I guess. *shrugs*

  6. Haha well I'd still 'do' Adam Lambert, but *sigh*. I'll just enjoy his music instead LOL.

    After some digging, here's the list of the most challenged books of the last decade.

  7. And here is the top 10 for 2009

    And, Raevyn, I've never heard the homosexual thing with HP, but like most reasons for banning, it's riddikulus :P


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