Column: Joe Morinville

joe13Sunday is the start of what they call Freedom to Read Week. That’s freedom to read, not free to read. They’ll kick you out of the convenience store if you stand there reading the Edmonton Sun too long without buying it. Anyway, Freedom to Read Week is when we’re all supposed to be thankful we live in a great country where you can read what you want…so long as someone’s not trying to ban the book you’re trying to read for free or be free to read. Got me thinking of the books what they’ve banned or tried to ban and some of the books that ought to be banned for good.

1/ They’ve tried to ban those Twilight books because it’s got vampires and werewolves and supernatural stuff in them. I think they ought to be banned because they’re stupid. Vampires are not supposed to sparkle, not even when you drive a stake made of glitter through their un-dead vampire hearts.

2/ They once tried to ban Little Red Riding Hood because the cover of the book showed a bottle of wine in her basket. You know what else was in the basket? A whole lot of book-banning stupid was in the basket. Any little girl that would take a bottle of wine to her grandmother is a fine granddaughter who ought to be praised and not banned. And wolves certainly should not eat her.

3/ Fahrenheit 451 was a novel by Ray Bradbury. He’s dead now but he finished it before he croaked. Anyway the book is set in a future where books are banned. The book got banned when it came out in the ‘50s. Strange, eh?

4/ They ought to ban all those self-help books. I’m not talking cook books or books on how to overhaul the carburetor on your lawn mower. Those are great self-help books. I’m talking about all that airy-fairy nonsense that promises to make magic happen with little effort from the reader. You know who those self-help books help? The publisher and the author – that’s who they help.

5/ Can we stop writing biographies on celebrities that are not old enough to vote? Used to be someone had to live a full life and be dead before they’d get a biography written about them. Now they do biographies on young pop stars that aren’t old enough to drive down to the bookstore to buy a copy for themselves. What kind of bio can you write on a 16-year-old singer? Bet that chapter on the potty training years is riveting.

Note to my readers: If this week’s list is less than my normal 10 items, then it is because the editor has once again censored me. Maybe there is something to this Freedom to Read business after all. I think the guy that runs this paper ought to be banned.

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  1. Could include in list that the first book in the Harry Potter series was not allowed to be sold in USA until its title was changed from “The Sorcerer’s Stone” to “The Philosopher’s Stone”.

  2. You’ve got it backward. It was called “The Philosopher’s Stone” originally. It was changed to “The Sorcerer’s Stone” in the U.S. not because of any threat to ban it, but because the publisher didn’t think Americans would understand the term “Philosopher’s Stone”.

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