Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Happy Banned Books Week! September 30 to October 6, 2012

September 30−October 6, 2012 is Banned Books Week. The American Library Association is celebrating 30 years of protecting our books from the worst of us.

Read a banned book to expand your exposure to deviant ideas.

But deviant is bad!

No. Deviant is just not being like everyone else.

For example, George Washington was extremely deviant. He was so deviant that he was elected the first President of the US with no opposition and no political party affiliation.

Who else is deviant?

Anyone in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Who else is deviant?

Anyone who excels.

Excellence is deviant.

What is not deviant?

Participation prizes.

Even among the banned books, there are some that have exceptional opposition.

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Banned . . . by the Fourth Province of the Knights of the Ku Klux KIan . . . (1980);[1]

That should be on the cover.

This book has been banned by the Ku Klux Klan –

the people who make the Westboro Baptist Church seem nice.

There are several books banned (and burned) by the NAZIs – people who make the Ku Klux Klan seem like underachievers.

Some books are just banned by functional illiterates –


1984, by George Orwell

Challenged in the Jackson County, FL (1981) because Orwell’s novel is “pro-communist . . . .”[1]

Banning books because of ignorance is a major theme, but this is a great example. 1984 is anti-communist.

This is similar to the way EMS is run in too many places – we cater to the least common denominator.

Should the least literate people be deciding what is appropriate for all students to read?

Should the least competent paramedics be determining what treatment is appropriate for all patients to receive?

Rather than cater to the ignorant, we should educate them. If they cannot learn, then we should ridicule them when they try to spread their ignorance.

See also –

Read A Banned Book To Celebrate Banned Books Week – 2009

What if I Read Something that Changes My Mind – Banned Books Week 2011


[1] Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century
American Library Association
Banned Books Week
Web page

The ALA site has links to a variety of lists of banned books.