I was all ready to take a break from Sunday night blogging. We were having a hot dog party with friends (one of our finer traditions) I was busy, and due to toddler recovering from yet another cold I’m still sleep deprived and can barely put two coherent thoughts together. Plus, I’d given myself permission to switch things up. But then, two things happened. First, it just felt weird not to blog yesterday, like I’d left the iron on or something. Then I read Laurie Halse Anderson’s latest blog post about the attempts to ban her book Speak from a school district in Missouri.
Now, regular readers know that I don’t often delve into serious, sensitive topics. Take politics. Whenever I have written about ANYTHING political, it never ends well, and honestly, I know that’s not what people come here for anyway. You don’t care what I think about the economy: you want to know what I think about Tim Riggins. (Just so you know, the economy worries me. Tim Riggins, I love. So there you go.) But when it comes to censorship, and book banning, I get kind of riled up. ESPECIALLY when the book in question is one like Speak, which I know has helped SO many readers deal with, and find the courage to discuss, sexual assault. Factor in that the person who wants it removed from the school library feels that the rape scenes are “pornography,” and well, I just couldn’t be quiet. Had to say something. And that is this: if you don’t feel a book is appropriate for you or your kid, don’t read it and don’t let them read it. But just because you disagree with the content does not mean you have the right to keep it out of the hands of other readers. That’s just wrong.
My books have been challenged, removed from libraries, reinstated, the whole deal. It is part of being a writer, and writing about the real world. Bad things exist in this world. Girls are raped. Removing stories about such things does not make them stop, it just adds to the shame that the victims feel. I am lucky to know Laurie personally, and so I also know how passionate she is about this story and this issue. She is told again and again by girls that Speak changed their lives. To deny other readers the opportunity to connect and be helped is tragic. I really, really hope it doesn’t happen this time.
Okay, I’ll stop ranting now. *breathes* But if you want to learn more, and see what you can do to hep the cause, click on the link to Laurie’s blog above. Also you can go on Twitter and state your support with the tag #speakloudly. Okay, I’ll really stop now.
In other news, season premieres of SO many of my shows begin this week. House is tonight, Glee is tomorrow night (!) and Modern Family and Cougar Town are Wednesday. I mean, come ON. Thank goodness for my Entertainment Weekly, which has a handy dandy calendar to help me keep track of all these important events. Now all I need is to figure out how to program my new universal remote to manage my life as well as my audio and visual components. No, I’m serious! If the TV or DVR isn’t working right, you just push the HELP button and it starts asking yes or no questions until it figures out the issue. Can you imagine if I had this for my day to day life? Just point the remote at, say, a part of my novel that’s making me nuts, or a person who’s stressing me out, and it just says how to fix it? Sure, it sounds farfetched. But so did wireless internet, once. Or even the internet, for that matter. So you never know….
Have a good rest of the day, everyone!