Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Book Week: Some Modest Proposals

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's "Banned Books Week," so throw out that lascivious copy of the Bible under your desk and read something that isn't smutty! In this sermon, we at "The Gods Are Bored" will offer you safe and secure suggestions for eliminating banned books from your life. As you know, reading banned books has caused many of the social ills plaguing humankind. We have to do something about it, pronto.

You know what great, safe, and improving literature is regularly overlooked? Instruction manuals! Don't believe me? Go find the manual that came with your IPod or your microwave. Better yet, read that fascinating sheet that came with your Ikea book case. You won't find swear words, sexual situations, or violent content in there. And it just gets better, because instructional manuals fold up so nice and cozy -- you won't need the book case you just bought. Take it back!

I'm a school teacher, so it's very important for me to be aware of all these banned books. Such evil works as To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men can be found all over my school! But worry not, dear reader. I'm tossing that smut and replacing it with helpful and instructional literature. This week I made copies of my Verizon monthly statement for my entire class. Of course I blacked out HBO first, because we all know what kind of filth runs on HBO.

You might think cookbooks are safe. And I agree, so long as they don't have any recipes that are high in fat, salt, or sugar. The trouble is that a smart student, when given a Weight Watchers cookbook, will figure out how to re-introduce the salt, sugar, and fat into an otherwise slimmed-down recipe. So be warned. Cookbooks are not acceptable.

I'll tell you something else that should be banned. Used book sales. There's no oversight in these things! Kids can wander around and just choose whatever they want to read. Chances are that Mom is over looking at the tennis or yoga paperbacks. She won't even notice her susceptible youngster poking a curious eyeball into Leaves of Grass.

The very best way to protect innocent children from banned books is to not teach them to read in the first place. How many times have I had to remind you people that the entire Captain Underpants series is banned, banned, banned! And it's written for third graders. You can't have third graders reading about a character named Professor Pippy P. Poopypants! This will warp them for life. Better not to read at all than to be tempted to read a banned book.

Further banning: the bestseller list. Have you read  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or any of its sequels? Horrific! (I actually mean it. Turned my stomach.) And yet ... and yet ... that book is in my school's library! Heck, let's ban bestsellers and the library. Purity of mind, purity of mind.

I have been trying to decide what core curriculum I should teach my sophomores next, after they're through with the Verizon bill. Aha! Here's my high school yearbook! (*Anne blacks out the ribald comments by her classmates*) What a relief! My students will love this.

This is at least the tenth post I've written about banned books. Lately I've been wondering why I get all riled up about them. I hardly ever see anyone reading a book anymore, unless it's a student who's been told they have to read. So we stop teaching students to read, and then no one will read, and there will be no reason to ban books.

I say, give everyone a Droid and burn all the books. A modest proposal.

3 comments:

Dark Mother said...

Captain Underpants is one of my son's favorite series. For Realz.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I started "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and simply could not plow my way through it. The first 100 pages did me in. Then I found out there's a lot of sexual violence in the series. Okay, another reason to count me out.

alex Pendragon said...

There must be something wrong with me. I just finished thoroughly enjoying "Mrs Perigrine's School for Peculiar Children". No really, I enjoyed the HELL out of it.

And I'm a guy. A Middle aged guy.