Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poison for Your Brain: On the futility of censorship

Wow. I'm gonna need a second for this one.

OK, so I was listening to Chariots of Iron before work this morning, and I just heard this story from June (local news, ALA follow-up). Short version: some douchebags claim that being "exposed" to a book in the library has harmed them in a way that only a hundred and twenty grand can cure. These folks also want to be able to burn the library's copy of the book (because that will totally accomplish anything at all) and reorganize the library's classification system specifically to restrict access to young adult books by young adult readers.

That's right: when you're going through puberty and feel awkward and isolated and need to hear a sympathetic voice the most in your life, the very parents who won't explain all this stuff to you want to make sure that you can't even read about it, either.

This is so stupid, it hurts my brain. Really, I'm having brain pain thinking about what these yahoos have to be going through. Look, it's like this: even if the ideas they wanted to censor are "bad," censorship won't fix it. You know why? Because bad ideas are easy to come up with. You can't kill an idea. Even ideas like censorship and book-burning (you know, actually bad ideas) can't be killed because some cock-pouch with shit for brains will always be able to come up with these leotarded ideas all on his own. It ain't hard.

The only way you can fight against bad ideas is with better ideas. Period. But these people have no better ideas - more to the point, their ideas about censorship and book-burning are the bad ones - so the only thing they can think to do is to shut up the "source" of those ideas. Well, sorry, the source of homosexuality is the world, not the goddamned Devil. The source of sex is the world, not the goddamned Devil. The source of racism is the world, not the goddamned Devil. As a matter of fact, the source of all the people, events, and ideas from which these insular fuckwits want to "protect" their children is the world. So in effect, what these people want to do is shut up the world, shut out reality, and live in a...

...right. They want to live in a pretend fantasy world. Y'know, with angels and Jesus and fluffy-clouded Heaven. Duh. I forgot all about that part.

Fuckin' leotards.


Naumadd said...

Censoring bad ideas isn't an argument against bad ideas but rather coating one bad idea with another. As you say, the best response or reaction to a bad idea is a good idea. Combat bad thinking with good thinking.

Censorship merely adds puss to an already festering wound - irrationality.

D said...

Hi! Welcome to the party, and thanks for the comment! It's always good to see I'm not rambling away into a vacuum.

cl said...

Hey there. Took a break off DA for a few. I do intend to get back to that last argument we were having. All in due time.

"The only way you can fight against bad ideas is with better ideas."

I like that. R. Buckminster Fuller said the same, that we best replace inefficient paradigms not by tearing them down but building anew.

D said...

Yay Bucky! And welcome back!

Can't wait to talk to you about... well... all that stuff! If you actually wanna do the hard work of getting down to brass tacks and figuring out where exactly we disagree, I am all over that.