Reading ‘Trash’ – Why I love Banned Books Week
September 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
We’ve all done it. Put a juicy or salacious book inside of another book’s jacket. Read a book with its spine on the table so as not to reveal its scandalous or embarrassing cover. Or maybe when we were 12, we hid under a sheet with a flashlight and read… and read.
But this week I want to celebrate pulling down the proverbial sheet from works, not from those that are just racy or of the humbling self-help ilk, but those that at some point in history you might have found yourself in real trouble for reading. Those works that governments, school officials and libraries have banned.
I am so passionate about the right of individuals to speak and write and read whatever it is that pleases them, I am actually making a pilgrimage up to the home of my heart, San Francisco, this weekend to sit (sin?) in City Lights Books for a few hours, to attend a reading of banned works at the San Francisco Public Library, and to attend the Beat Museum’s event in solidarity with 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
I love thinking about why works were banned, and what it says about us. What are we as a society so afraid of? What is so powerful about the words we ban?
Well, the cat is out of the bag. I was supposed to be alone this weekend exploring these events so that in between I might find some time to write. But nevermind. The spirit of freedom of speech and free creativity, freedom of expression is what ultimately matters! Let’s pass around our banned books in the name of solidarity and community and let solitude be damned.
If you come hang out with me you just might find me HOWLing at Moloch in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.