I’m against censorship. Unfortunately many are in favour of censoring books. You may have heard of the outcry over the decision to edit Mark Twain’s classic, Huckleberry Finn, to stop calling the main supporting character, Nigger Jim. What you may not have heard is that schools had stopped teaching Huckleberry Finn because they didn’t want to have to explain the historical and racial undertones and themes of the book. We can’t have a literary book actually studied now, can we! Definitely don’t want to look at Twain’s biting commentary on racism in the south of America, because that would mean discussing racism, and we like to pretend it isn’t still an issue.
It isn’t just the school curricula that are being impacted, it is libraries and book stores as well. The list of frequently challenged books is far too long and the reasons cited are far too ridiculous. For example, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is regularly objected to for being: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit. Seriously? What about the other complaints?
I’m offended by the word ‘sustainable’ as it is ambiguous term that is used politically as a catch-cry to gloss over reality. Does that mean I can complain about books containing that word? And what is sexually explicit? Is it when two characters embrace for a passionate kiss, or when the ball-gag and whips make an appearance? Are parents really concerned about the level of “smut” in the books their kids read or are they trying to have books banned because readers might enjoy them?
I know I have a complaint about the Twilight books. Now, my reasons aren’t like the other complaints (Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence), I just don’t like them because I’ve been dragged to see four terrible films by my wife. Ban the Twilight books so that husbands and boyfriends everywhere aren’t tortured with Kirsten Stewart’s “acting.”
I have five cats, how many of them are planning to murder me in my sleep?
I have five dogs, how many of them want to play fetch at sunrise?
I have five parrots, how many of them are a pretty boy?
I have five donkeys, how many don’t want to talk about their time in Mexico?
I have five horses, how many bottles of glue will they make?
I have five penguins, is that enough to make a dinner suit?
I have five rabbits, how many will I have tomorrow?
I have five ducks, boy do they hope it is rabbit season.
I have five lions, yes, the neighbour’s house looks like a much better place to rob.
I have five Australian native animals, they are all poisonous and want to kill me.
I have five rats, which one is the politician?
I have five lawyers, which one should die first?
After my last post, Avery suggested I give up the trumpet. Actually, since he is a fellow blogger, writer and lover of puns, he wanted me to do a pun post. Well, that sounds like pun for everyone.
Before everyone is up in arms and down in legs, I realise that puns are some of the lamest jokes; they are like hurt animals. I mean, puns are just average, in the joke stakes. They’re like a loan shark at a singles bar.
But a good pun is its own reword. There are some very good comedians in the world and only some use puns. So I present the indomitable Tim Vine.
And a full concert for good measure:
Satire is always fun. There is something so rewarding about taking the piss out of someone, something or society. The problem with satire is either that the target often doesn’t have much of a sense of humour or that the joke is just dragged out too far. One of the greatest works of satire, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, is a great example of how writers can sometimes labour a joke/point too much, whilst being absolute geniuses.
Steve’s satire of the literary industry is right on the money. From the biting examples of literary drivel, to the examples of writers and the claims by industry figures that no-ones knows anything about books, Hely has hit the mark. I’m sure if I actually read much literary fiction I’d even recognise the books and writers who were satirised.
So it pains me to give this book only 3 stars, but I really had to. There were bits I had to skim over, especially in the second half of the book. Some of the literary satire pieces were too close to the truth for me, essentially making for boring reading. And, as I have already alluded, the book relies on one joke. This is still very well done, an enjoyable read, but it does suffer the fate of many pieces of satire, hence only 3 stars from me.
It seems that my work, my hobbies, my break time and even my writing all bear an uncanny resemblance.
I listen to music, usually from iTunes.
I watch TV shows, usually streaming.
I catch up on the news, usually via live streaming.
I read up on the latest science, usually on science blogs.
I play guitar, with the computer backing track and music on the screen.
I catch up with friends, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
I phone family and friends, using Skype.
I work on my latest work in progress; think it is time I started using a typewriter.