Happy Banned Books Week!
I love Banned Books Week for so many reasons. I don't believe in the institutionalized censorship of diverse voices and ideas, I don't believe there should be any censorship but self-censorship, and I don't think it's such a terrible idea to expose yourself to multiple arguments and perspectives about any subject.
So in honor of Banned Books Week, I'm going to be sharing my favorite banned books--one banned book a day with an anecdote about why I love that book. Enjoy!
Okay, so a handful of mentally ill dudes used Catcher in the Rye as an excuse to murder, so people started demanding for the book to be banned because they believed it turned its readers into depraved degenerates.
Well, I've got news for those book banners. The Bible has been used to start entire wars that have killed millions of people over the past two millenniums and you don't see people getting worked up over it, now do you?
My point is that if someone is going to commit a crime or do any bad deed, they're going to do it because that's what they've made up their mind to do. I find it hard to believe that anyone intent on murder would be swayed one way or the other by reading a work of fiction that has absolutely nothing to do with murder or any other questionable activities. Furthermore, there have been plenty of other murders since Catcher in the Rye has been published where the killer didn't use the book as an excuse. I fail to see what the murderers' mental illnesses have to do with the book. And banning Catcher in the Rye isn't going to lessen the number of cases of psychosis in the world. As we learned in psychology 101, correlation is not causation.