Rate: Banned Books Week

Yesterday I finished a book by one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami. I finished reading one of his less popular novels, South of the Border West of the Sun. I loved it, but I love everything he touches. Mr. Wonderful is reading Friday Night Lights and we start to discuss whether or not it's effective for writers to focus on such overly-argued topics such as racism in Texas. Not that that's not a huge problem, but it's been written about a lot, and we read a lot. But I argued that if writer's stopped writing about the more obvious cultural issues, then people would eventually forget and turn a blind eye and become ignorant. And he laughs, and jokes "I'm not sure if the high-brow, novel-loving readers are the ones that need to hear it." This really got me thinking. I love books, poetry, journalism, shoot, even social media. But maybe I'm just idealistically naive, is writing really a worthwhile trade anymore?

I still think it is (even if that makes me an idealist).

Today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week! Happy holiday weekend! Surprisingly, a lot of people don't realize how big of an issue freedom of speech still is. Although it's become less of a problem in America (however since 2000 both Harry Potter and Twilight were almost banned, and interestingly enough Friday Night Lights is also on that list), it's still a huge problem in many other countries, especially in China. Novelists, poets and journalists all over the world are censored every day. Maybe it's not as obvious in America, but it's still a lingering threat. So I'm going to celebrate Banned Book Week by writing a provocative short story, reading a once-banned book (I'm thinking The Satanic Verses) and donating a little money to P.E.N. What's your cause?

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