Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Time To Get All Literary on You Motherfuckers!!!

Since it's banned books week, kids, according to those bastards at the American Library Association, I thought it might be time for some trenchant and insightful commentary on a few books that made ALA's top 100 most frequently challenged books. I haven't read many of them. But then I tend not to read very many books with titles like "Daddy's Roommate." But that's mostly just because I'm not a 12 year old boy trying to come to terms with my pa's homo-gayness. Nevertheless, I've read a few. Should we burn them? Well here's my opinion.

1. Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
Don't remember much about this one. Fuck it. Let's burn it.

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I don't know what the objection here might be, except for the constant use of the phrase "nigger jim," a word verboten, even on this blog. Should've called him "Nigger Jed" or something. Good story though. A tale about a runaway slave and an illiterate boy's adventures on the mighty Mississippi. Sounds pretty goddamned American to me.

6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The story of a coarse okie and his amiable retarded pal. A couple dead rabbits later, and I don't want to give away the ending, but the retard somehow ends up president. Burn it.

8. Forever by Judy Blume
Read this one in the third grade. Don't remember much, but the bittersweet tale of adolescent love and the characters' wonderous discoveries of the mechanics of their filthy budding bodies was mesmerizing to 8-year-old jedmunds. You don't ever really change.

13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
"Then Holden found Jesus and died while saving some orphans from a fire. The End." That would have been a great ending. But instead in a gesture of karmic justice, it shall be used as kindling to burn down an orphanage. You fucked up, Salinger.

19. Sex by Madonna
I haven't read it, but I've seen the pictures. Let's put this one back on the shelf shall we? We shall.

41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I do recall Jem being insufficiently perturbed by Scout's muddy drawers, but that's no reason to ban a book. It's no Forever by Judy Blume, but I kinda liked this one.

43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Pony boy and Soda Pop did indeed save some orphans from a fire or some shit. I feel like it kind of glorifies gang violence though, but not gratuitously, like Grease did. I'm not saying there's not a place for the gritty realism of a film like Grease, but I would rather burn that than this book.

44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel

You have a weird old man with nothing to lose but his collection of pig figurines. And two awkward teenagers who spend way too much time with him. The formula for success is right there, but I guess Zindel was too much of a pussy to pull the trigger on it. Burn it.

45. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

This book is filled with good jokes about retarded people, then he gets all smart, and though easier to read, becomes much less funny. I think there's an erotic scene though if I recall correctly. And some real perv shit too. All in all, that makes it my kinda book.

51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

You shouldn'ta written that poem about the Nazi pedophile who kills himself with a discarded douchebag, Shel. I know. I know. Who knew it would be so easy to read between the lines of "Moon Catchin' Net," and discover it's hidden dark meaning. But you can't market that shit to kids ya know? Not in this crappy country anyway.

52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Well then what are we going to read when we want something more prescient than Orwell's 1984? Yevgeny Zamyatin's We? Surely you jest.

60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
A little social commentary never hurt anyone, other than all those Irish babies. But hey, we're talking about hookers here. Not babies.

62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Yeah, so I read a couple Judy Blume books as a kid. Fuck you.

69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
It's too bad Vonnegut's such an asshole, cuz this is a good book. Let's burn Timequake, while reading this one aloud, and toasting marshmallows.

70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I should go back and read this book, again. I recall it having some cool-assed themes that, having achieved maturity and erudition, might be worth another wade into.

71. Native Son by Richard Wright
A semi-literate black guy kills a white girl, rapes his girlfriend, beats her till "her face resembles a wad of wet cotton," and thanks to a shoddy faux ransom note is able to briefly shift the blame to a highly educated socialist jew. Helluva book. But we gotta burn it.

Read Lauren, Lindsay, and Amanda of Pandagon for some more takes.