Although it’s almost over already, I thought I should point out that this week is Banned Books Week.
Things like this require our attention from time to time. Browsing the challenged books and authors lists, I was a bit surprised to find the Harry Potter books and J.K. Rowling listed. Some folks have too much time on their hands if they can’t find better targets (though I consider the entire notion of banning books or authors antithetical to a free society).
One of the questions I regularly field from my students is “Why do I need to know/study this?” It occurs to me that without a robust body of knowledge at one’s disposal, it becomes difficult to understand why fending off the recently House-approved bill to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects is such a necessary action. Sooner or later, though, leaders of our increasingly fascist government are going to realize that they no longer need to restrict our free speech by taking aim at provocative or noncanonical ideas. We’ve already decided we don’t care enough to pay attention to their trespasses on our rights, and in our ignorance, we mostly don’t have anything to say anyway.