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Track season is almost over but I still have quite a bit left to do with a final writing portfolio for English. I've been trying to lurk here as much as possible, obviously not posting much recently. I haven't broken into Q&A or Miscellany yet, which each have about 1000 new posts for me. Oh boy!

Anyway . . .
the School Board banning books--which contributed to my sense that the suburbs where sterile

I tend to think that schools now embrace the once banned books because they are applicable history lessons.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/Web/People/spok/most-banned.html - This site lists books that were most frequently banned between 1990 and 1992. I just looked this up and I find it hard to believe because many of the books on this list have been used as part of the curriculum in my English classes. I don't think I know of any books that my school has banned. Maybe our school board is more accepting than others, but I don't know that any other schools in the area have banned books either. We even had to read parts of the Bible because of the innumerable allusions to it in literature. Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn were all used heavily in past classes.


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JazzO, thanks for that link. Now:

[rant]
That list of banned books is probably one of the worst examples of ultra-conservativism I have seen in a long time. It's hard to believe that a modern state bans books at all, and there is something seriously wrong when a bunch of bureaucrats and ill-educated parents (which I assume school boards are made up of) even has the power to ban books. How very fascist of the most "advanced democracy" in the world.

Two of the books on the list (Of Mice and Men and Lord of the Flies) were required reading when I was at school.

I could go on, but I suspect that the members of this Forum would agree with me anyway. [/rant]



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I could go on, but I suspect that the members of this Forum would agree with me anyway.

And you'd be right.

When I was in high school (OK, in the early 70s, if you must know! ), we read an "expurgated" version of Romeo & Juliet (with all the maidenhead stuff deleted - not that we'd have known what that meant, anyway). My mom made sure I read the original at home.

Cap'nK continues: Two of the books on the list (Of Mice and Men and Lord of the Flies) were required reading when I was at school.

Moi, aussi.

It saddens me that books are still being nominally, if not officially, banned. Around here Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn is "left off" reading lists. In my day, it was sex and swear words. Today, apparently, it's anything not PC.


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Two of the books on the list (Of Mice and Men and Lord of the Flies) were required reading when I was at school.

They were required reading for me as well, Lord of the Flies this year and Of Mice and Men last year and that's why I don't totally understand how those books were banned so frequently only 10 years ago. (And I live in one of the most conservative areas in the country.)


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How very fascist of the most "advanced democracy" in the world.

It is clearly time we had a new word to describe what this "democracy" has advanced into, for it is rarely democratic anymore!

...members of this Forum would agree with me anyway. [/rant]

I do!



#3497 05/14/01 05:08 AM
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I've read almost half those books, without even trying. Just when I thought I was making progress at becoming a good person.
I've always been curious about banned books, not just which books but why? Why are some of those books on the list? I blithely read those books without knowing they should be banned. We should be warned. I know! What we need is ratings on books, like movies and music. The Lorax is rated PG-13 for violence. Romeo and Juliet is Obviously NC-17, violence, AND sex in the same story.


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Why are some of those books on the list?

Because the narrow-minded so-and-so's who get themselves elected or appointed to positions of power over these things can't deal with concepts which don't gel with their idea of the way the universe is - or, at least, ought to be - in their not-so-humble opinions.

"Of Mice and Men" doesn't cast a very good light on life in the US at that time, and "Lord of the Flies" dares to suggest that a bunch of boys marooned on an island won't all turn into good little boy scouts, choose a leader and live happily ever after.

Reason enough, for moronic hicks of that ilk!



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#3499 05/15/01 10:15 PM
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A number of books are banned because of the portrayal of racism. (Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird) The problem with this logic is that both of these books are anti-racism.

Many are banned because they contain the abuse or harassment of children. (James and the Giant Peach, How to Eat Fried Worms) Hmmm . . . David Copperfield isn't on the list though.

Grendel (#40) at least the part I read, was hilarious. And if they ban this then they have to equally ban all of Beowulf.

These reasons are obviously silly, un-enlightened reasons to ban books. It's absurd and obviously hypocritical for a republic such as this (were not a democracy and you know the difference) to deprive a child of the edification given by many of these books. How can a person learn about history and correct the mistakes of the past if he never learns about them? History is the weakest subject in American schools (I read that only 13% of people can correctly identify Andrew Jackson as the man on the $20 bill) and the banning of books is most likely partially to blame.

This is evoking images of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. I wonder if those were ever banned.


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This is evoking images of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. I wonder if those were ever banned.

I don't know about those books, but I do know that "Animal Farm" was banned in the Soviet Union (and presumably, by extension, throughout the Warsaw Pact countries). And probably in the US, that well-known bastion of personal liberty (provided you can afford to pay for it)!



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#3501 05/16/01 12:45 PM
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we were shown a cartoon version of "Animal Farm" at school, and to my surprise the ending was different from the book. the donkey (Benjamin?) came back and defeated the pigs.
i felt this was quite a different message from Orwell's, and seem to remember that it was an american production.


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