Monday, October 09, 2006

BOOKS: Irony's Revenge

Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving, and I've only just managed to claw my way out of a tryptophan coma. Seriously, someone ought to put that shit in pill or juice form. Holy cow.

In case you're wondering, here in Canada we like to give thanks for the same things as everyone else: family, friends, food, freedom, and... er... more food. And speaking of being thankful, I'd also like to give thanks to
Kat for sending me this link after I posted recently about the parents (who hadn't read the book, of course) who are trying to have Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 pulled from the curriculum and libraries of all the schools in their district.

Here's the best part:
The school has appointed a committee to review Verm's objections. But students are now circulating a petition in support of the book. They plan to wear t-shirts on Friday voicing their opinions.
"This was probably one of the greatest eye openers that we've had in our school curriculum," said student rally organizer Darrell Lee. "A lot of the people who did sign said that of all the books they had to read, this was the one they enjoyed. It really makes you think about the situation."
Okay. Now here's where I have to confess that, while I've been meaning to for years, I've never gotten around to reading Fahrenheit 451. But all this kerfuffle has got me hankering to get my mitts on a copy and hustle it to the top of my to-be-read pile. So I went to Amazon to see what kinds of editions are available.

And wouldn't you know it? The mass market paperback of Fahrenheit 451's sales have shot up in the past week. Last time I checked, it was ranked at #338.


When are the book banners going to learn that we book lovers are contrarians by nature? Hopefully the answer is "never," so that we can continue to enjoy a few laughs at their expense.


Corey said...

Exactly what I thought.

"Verm lists "downgrading Christians" and "talking about our firemen" as reasons the book should be banned."

Talking about our firemen. I'll have to discuss this with my brother (a fireman). Maybe there's some legal requirement that we not talk about firemen that we don't know about.

Now, if the book actually promoted the burning of bibles, Verm might have a point. But the point is lost on such people.

But thank god for the children! From the mouths of babes, and all that. Leave it to a bunch of 15-year-olds to grasp the point of the book. Ray Bradbury must be laughing his ass off.

Read the book, Doppleganger. I'm not saying your life will change because of it (although mine did), but now, you owe it to the children.

Anonymous said...

I still think that the height of irony in this entire situation is the girl being offended that they burned the bible. Doesn't she get that that's the whole point? That the reason the book still touches a nerve all of these years later is that we should be repulsed at the thought of any book being burned?

JoanneMarie Faust said...

You must read Fahrenheit. It is wonderful. I think the point of irony overload for me was that Verm's complaints included that they burn the bible in the book. I fear that his single brain cell must get very lonely.

Anonymous said...

Being from Australia I could be missing something here, but just what exactly does "Verm" stand for? I know it's awful, but seriously the only words I can come up with are "vermin" and "vermouth". Or is it that his parents also refused to read books that might have provided something resembling an education and instead misspelt "Vern"?

Wouldn't that be ironic?

Paul said...

I know your post was several days ago but I also wanted to say you should read Fahrenheit 451. I re-read it this year, and was blown away by it.

I wrote about it at:

Thanks for also inspiring me to take the 50 book challenge...It has made reading more meaningful to me - I plan what I am going to read more carefully and think about the books in a more careful and thoughtful way than I might have in the past.

Nancy (Washington State)

Quillhill said...

I ought to start a campaign to get my book banned.