October 7

Outrage is Everywhere

I think we can all agree that the world can be a little nuts at times. Or maybe very nuts most of the time. Depends on your perspective.

As a fiction writer, I find it interesting to watch as people get outraged about things and cause a commotion, hoping that they can ‘take down’ whatever it is that’s offending their sensibilities. Just look at the fuss that was made over the Harry Potter books, the Captain Underpants books, and so many classic novels like To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye.

The reason I bring this up is because last week was Banned Books Week here in the US. It’s sponsored by the American Library Association, along with dozens of other literary and literacy organizations. I feel awful that it slipped by me this year without me noticing. In my defense, I’ve been distracted by a lot of other things going on in the world at the moment.

I’ve written about censorship in the past, and even recorded a podcast episode about it, but Banned Books Week always reminds me that there are people in this country, and maybe in other parts of the world, who feel that just because something offends them then everyone should be offended.

It doesn’t work that way.

In fact, I make a point of reading books that get banned. It’s my small act of rebellion against censorship and to support the author. If you’re interested in learning which books are the most targeted, check out this list:

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10

It breaks them down by year, which is sort of fascinating to see how the tastes of the censors change annually. Books that are near the top of the list one year are absent on later lists. Weird, isn’t it? I think it just goes to show that some people look to be outraged by something. It’s not about the actual quality or content of the books, it’s just chasing whatever hits their radar at the time.

Oh, well. Some people just can’t be reached. But you and I can still support authors, buy books, write reviews and provide ratings, and even tell our friends about them. In my opinion, the more outrage there is over a work of fiction, the more likely I am to buy a copy.

RB



Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

Posted 2020-10-07 by RB in category "Books", "Creativity", "Poetry", "Publishing", "Writing

5 COMMENTS :

  1. By Michelle on

    Great post! I think some of the things that people are offended by are outrageous. Not only that, but some people are so full of themselves that they get offended on behalf of other people. Anyway …

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

    Reply
    1. By RB (Post author) on

      Unfortunately, it’s not isolated to any one part of the world. We just have to hope that common sense prevails.

      Thanks for the comment!

      RB

      Reply
  2. By Silk Cords on

    I’m outraged that non-redheads think THEY can be outraged. >_<

    Seriously, great post. This is yet another side effect of the death of common sense and wisdom. The banned (or at least hated) classics are written to remind us that things should NOT be that way and not to go back that way. With Mark Twain's use of the N word, it's more subtle. To Kill A Mockingbird though… FFS, the whole theme of the book is the guy was only accused because he was Black and how morally bankrupt that and the town were. It's so blatantly anti-racism that only a cretin couldn't see it.

    Reply
    1. By RB (Post author) on

      Absolutely agree with you. I don’t understand why people get themselves so worked up over art and literature. Remember when the US Attorney General had a sheet draped over the statue of justice at the Dept of Justice because one of her breasts was exposed?

      But maybe it’s a badge of honor for writers and artists to be targeted by censors. They must be doing something right to get that kind of attention!

      And just because you’re a ginger doesn’t give you carte-blanche on the outrage… 🙂

      Cheers!
      RB

      Reply

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