Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Do you love to read? We do! In celebration of Banned Books Week, we are offering for free a very good reading list below.
One of the books on that list is not a book but a series. Here's the hero, Captain Underpants.
We suppose you can gather from his image that Captain Underpants is featured in books for beginning readers, grades 2 through 4. It happened that he made his debut in literature when my youngest daughter, The Spare, was in third grade.
Together we devoured the entire canon of "Captain Underpants" books. They are uniformly hysterical. They celebrate the antics of two bad boys who are always getting in trouble, most notably by turning their ugly, mean school principal into a superhero named ... uhhh ... Captain Underpants.
Who the hell added "Captain Underpants" to the list of banned books? You give those books to a boy who'd rather study the moles on his stomach than read, and he's going to turn into a polymath. Talking toilets, lunch ladies from outer space, Professor Poopypants. For the love of cave crickets! We at "The Gods Are Bored" speak for ourselves and our resident faeries in declaring Dav Pilkey a genius of top order.
(And let's not forget his other classics, "Dogzilla" and "Kat Kong.")
We at "The Gods Are Bored" abhor the concept of banned books. If you're moron enough to want to read Protocols of the Elders of Zion you ought to be able to get it from a library. (They could file it in a special section called the Moron Shelf.) Granted, you might not want to give a Bret Easton Ellis tome to second graders, but hey. They've got Captain Underpants! Let 'em work up to Ellis and that perennial banned masterpiece, Huckleberry Finn, unquestionably the best novel written by an American.
With no further ado, we attach the American Library Association's list of books that have been banned the most from public and school libraries.
The American Library Association keeps an accounting of objectionable reads. We curled up with a good computer to check which forbidden pages still beckon readers and searchers.
"Harry Potter" (Series) (J.K. Rowling)
"To Kill a Mockingbird" (Harper Lee)
"The Color Purple" (Alice Walker)
"The Outsiders" (S.E. Hinton)
"Lord of the Flies" (William Golding)
"Of Mice and Men" (John Steinbeck)
"Goosebumps" (Series) (R.L. Stine)
"How to Eat Fried Worms" (Thomas Rockwell)
"The Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger)
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Mark Twain)
"The Giver" (Lois Lowry)
"Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley)
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Mark Twain)
"Captain Underpants" (Dav Pilkey)
"The Anarchist Cookbook" (William Powell)
"Carrie" (Stephen King)
"Flowers for Algernon" (Daniel Keyes)
"The Dead Zone" (Stephen King)
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (Maya Angelou)
"Go Ask Alice" (anonymous)
"American Psycho" (Bret Easton Ellis)
"The Chocolate War" (Robert Cormier)
"James and the Giant Peach" (Roald Dahl)
"The Pigman" (Paul Zindel)
"A Wrinkle in Time" (Madeleine L'Engle)
We at "The Gods Are Bored" haven't read all of these books. We hear the Ellis offering is particularly loathsome. But who are we to say no one else can read it? If they aren't gonna ban Ann Coulter, they shouldn't ban one damned thing.
An addendum to yesterday's post: My Democratic Congressman was one of only 34 Dems who voted for Bush's detainee bill. He heard from me this morning, the bum. I may run against him in 2008. Send your campaign contributions to "The Gods Are Bored."
Captain Underpants Forever!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS