Banned Books Week kicked in on Sept. 25h. Since we all know how I feel about banning books (if you're desperate to hear it, click here or here. I wouldn't fault you. I like my posts.) I'll spare you another rant/diatribe/epic poem on my feelings on the issue. Instead, I'll tell you a story.
(Unfortunately, I'm too far away from any of my old diaries to participate in the Public Humiliation Uncontest, this story can suffice for that moment too. Except I think of it more as fun than humiliating.)
When I was in high school, I was a member of the debate team. (This should not be construed as a representation that my friends and I were any good at it. But we had a lot of fun.) For my first and second years of high school, Debate Club was sort of a Geek Collective. Even the team captain admitted that you had to be something of a geek to want in.
Anyway, if you've ever participated in something called Cross-Examination Debate, like our captain did, then you'll know that Cross-Ex debaters travel with what we called Debate Boxes. They contained the deep knowledge of the universe, and all the information you might need to combat any argument made by the opposing side, ever. That too.
If you're like just about every single other person in the world, you've probably never made a thorough examination of one of these boxes. But it can be a long trip to a meet, and those were some pretty interesting boxes. Now, in one of the boxes, there was something called the Porn is Good file.
Before you scream at me and threaten to call the FCC, Google, The Hidden League of Blog Controllers, or whoever moderates blogs these days, I'm going to remind you that this box contained any argument needed to block any point your opposition could ever make. So, if you tried to shut down an opponent by saying they were destroying free speech, they'd say that the free speech is secretly bad, citing pornography, and thus you needed to defend pornography.
My friends and I spent some time debating the merits of this file and its counter file, the Porn is Bad file. (Oh, Debate Club, I miss you.) This led to some interesting conversations between my friends, me, and the Debate Captain (who once sold me his soul for a water bottle, but that's a different story).
(It should be noted, to protect the innocents, that nothing said during a real or mock debate cannot be assumed to be that person's actual views. You flipped a coin to see who defended what side, so you could easily win a debate saying something you firmly believed to be false. Anything said on the bus, likewise, was an intellectual exercise and shouldn't be held against a person. (Note: unless you're running for office. In that case, everything from debates, press statements, and shoe size will be held against you in the court of public opinion.))
Debate Captain: So, you see, pornography will lead men to think about women in a sexualized way. Therefore, we must ban it.
The Other One: But, don't romance novels cause women to think about men in a sexualized manner? Do we have to ban those too?
Debate Captain: You are absolutely right. **He points to a sticker on the Debate Box that states READ BANNED BOOKS.**
So, in the spirit of my Debate Captain and Banned Books Week, I'd like to urge you to take some time this week and, you guessed it, read a banned book. (If you're looking for suggestions, click here.) Me, I'm working my way through 1984 by George Orwell. So far, plusgood ;).
How are you guys celebrating Banned Books Week? Anyone else participating in a blogfest at the moment? Anyone else a debater in H.S.? Or a member of any other geeky clubs?
Also, while this post might have anything to do with writing or banned books, her advice is both useful and important, so I strongly urge everyone click read Kiertsen White's post on ectopic pregnancy. It could save your life.