Archive | February 2013

Execute Order 66

Today is an exciting day. And, no, not just for fans of musical theatre and men in kilts. My blog turns six months old today! Yes, six months ago I stopped procrastinating and finally started a banned books blog. If you’ve been reading since the beginning, thank you for your loyalty. If you’ve just stumbled across me, welcome to my little corner of this mad, enchanted forest we call the internet.

This was a good year for banned books, both here and in the theatres. The Hunger Games broke records at the box office, The Perks of Being a Wallflower blossomed into being due to the dedicated lobbying of Emma Watson (who convinced skeptics that this controversial and loaded book was worth the risk), and Les Miserables became the darling of the Academy. I commend them all and look forward to another year of challenged material bursting onto the screen.

There’s plenty to look forward to here as well. And, yes, I will get to The Lovely Bones. My apologies for not yet having that up, but work, health, and personal things (not to mention the ill-timed incapacitation of my beloved laptop, Max) have conspired against me. As always, feedback and book suggestions are more than welcome.

Here’s to six more months, my friends. Cheers.


Oxford Kama

The Kama Sutra, spicing up anthropology since 1883.

The Kama Sutra, spicing up anthropology since 1883.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Readers! Or Happy Lupercalia, if you prefer wolves and whips to flowers and chocolate. Whatever floats your boat. Anyway, this week’s review is of the Kāmasūtra. This text has been altered, notated, and translated many a time and, as with any translation, you are not reading a text: you are reading someone’s interpretation of a text. So, I would like to state for the purposes of academic accuracy, that my review is of the Burton translation, as published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.

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Feared Legacy, Legacy of Fear

“It is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.”

-Maurice Sendak

I love fantasy. I love epics (which, as much some stuffy Classics majors might fight it, are fantasy). Sure, dragons are awesome and who wouldn’t want to be a waterbender or get their Hogwarts letter or smoke some pipeweed after a long day’s work tilling Shire earth? But that’s not why I love fantasy.

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Love Dumps

Hello, readers. I bring good tidings of new ways to procrastinate! My witty and talented friend, Courtney, has started a webcomic called Love Dumps. Read it, follow her on Tumblr, like it on Facebook, go wild. Happy reading, friends.

P.S. Writer’s Brew and A Cat’s Love are pretty much the story of my life.

There’s A Storm Coming, Harry

Greetings from the besieged North. Unfortunately, between the storm and some work things, I will not be posting a review today. The promised review of the Kāmasūtra will be up next week and The Lovely Bones will be up the week after. Sorry for the delay.

I hope any of you in the path of Nemo are safe indoors with a cup of cocoa and a book. May the power company be ever in your favor.

Too Cold Outside for Snowbirds to Fly


“The battle of values that shook a nation.” -GL/GA

As stated in my previous posts, I thought we’d mix it up this week by reviewing something that had to be approved rather than something that was banned. Most books are innocent until proven guilty, however the need for literary content to gain approval before being circulated is far from an abstract concept. Throughout history and under many governments the world over, written works have required approval for various reasons. For an interesting glimpse into this legacy, be it the Catholic Church censoring books or the Nazis burning them, I recommend Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book.

THE DEFENDANT: “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” and “They Say It’ll Kill Me…But They Won’t Say When”, written by Denny O’Neil, artwork by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, DC Comics

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Students reflect on intellectual freedom.

San Antonio Public Library


Hi everyone,

Today has been deemed by the Office for Intellectual Freedom “Sweater Vest Sunday”, a day where the Public Library raises awareness about the reality of censorship of their material (books, magazines, etc) and to increase the number of reported challenges to the censorship rules being published. In honor of this day, the Teen Leadership Council has written a few statements about their opinions on intellectual freedom.

“Intellectual freedom is as vital as freedom of speech. A banned book is one less idea and one less thought shared with the world and it is a travesty when those ideas are some of the greatest intellectuals of our time. I’ve been lucky enough to read books banned by some schools and the thought-provoking plots really help me learn to develop my own opinions about subjects. When freedom to write is suppressed, there is much more than words lost. I know that…

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This article manages to sum up my major, thesis, and pet peeve in one fell swoop.

Self Aware Nerd

This week I had a conversation in which I defended a book I have never read because the primary criticism I heard leveled against it was simply that “it has magic.” My response was, equally simply, “what’s wrong with magic?” The magical and the fantastic has long been seen unfairly, in the minds of some “serious” readers, as fundamentally lesser works or as lacking in basic literary merit. I have to ask, though, what are The Odyssey and The Tempest if not works of fantasy?

I read a lot. I watch a lot of movies and I’ve seen what is probably more than my fair share of television, and I tend to read a decent amount of comics, or graphic novels for those too afraid to admit that they like them. In my countless hours of “study”, I have come to some conclusions about what makes a work valid or consequential. A…

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Black, White, and Read All Over

In the words of an animated Russian conman, that’s what’s wrong with this country: everything’s in red. Perhaps you’ve noticed Bound and Gagged’s new threads? Why the bold new look, you ask? Well, upon becoming Read More…

The Most Dangerous Game

As touched upon in my response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, it seems every time tragedy strikes we find some unrelated scapegoat, be it South Park, Marilyn Manson, Shakespeare (yes, they really did blame Lincoln’s assassination on Shakespeare. I shit you not.), comic books, violent movies, or the ever-maligned medium we cast as a villain every time we need one to blame: video games.

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