Tuesday, December 6, 2011

“Censorship in any form is the enemy of creativity, since it cuts off the life blood of creativity: ideas.”



The first time I saw this video it was in the corner of my computer screen wearing Maureen Johnson's face. I was immediately intrigued. What could this video be? And like most people on youtube, I ignored the title and clicked it (this is how you get rickrolled, people).

I think this video is incredibly important because it highlights where censorship really comes from and that's fear. It's not about protecting children or the people of the world. It's about catering to the fear of one or more people who get their five minutes to say something.

It happens before the book comes out and even after. It's what gets put into a novel and what gets taken out. It's the small changes too like language and even tone.

Firstly, censorship is ridiculous and secondly, it's heartbreaking and we shouldn't roll over into a fort of blankets and take it. Get me?

And it's kind of hilarious how everyone forgets that Canada, my home, also protects my rights concerning free speech as do many other countries around the world (I'm looking at you Laurie Halse Anderson. Or maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. It just felt heavy handed, okay?).

Some of the books that have been challenged in the last decade are astonishing. Books like the Harry Potter series, Charles Perrault's Fairy Tales, To Kill a Mockingbird , Bridge to Terabithia, The Golden Compass, and even The Giver. Complaints ranged from religious grounds to the use of language to the depiction of violence.

It's important that we speak up against censorship because if we don't, then what will become of our books?



(note: title quote from Allan Jenkins)

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