Sep 27, 2009

You Can't Tell Me What to Read!

Excuse me as I get my soapbox into place.

I don't believe in societal censorship. Maybe it comes from being raised in a country where my first right is the freedom of speech. I don't think anyone should be telling me what I can watch, read, listen to, or participate in; though I do have the right to make those decisions on my own through guidance (ie, the MPAA rating system, or religious guidance). But NO one has the right to tell ANY one else what is good and what is bad and to prevent that person from reading, watching, listening to, or doing something. That's just not the way our society works. You know, Hitler banned books and we all know what happened there.

This week is Banned Books Week. The American Library Association (ALA) celebrates this every year by inviting people to read a book that someone somewhere thought was inappropriate. And, you know, there are some banned books that I probably will never read because I think they are inappropriate for me, but I would never tell anyone else not to read them. So, read a banned book this week.

For help in what is banned, here's a short list:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Harry Potter series
A Wrinkle in Time
Bridge to Terabithia
The Giver
The Golden Compass
The Lorax (Dr. Seuss? Really?!)
The Da Vinci Code
Leaves of Grass
The Great Gatsby
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (remember what I said about Hitler . . . um yeah.)
To Kill a Mockingbird
Little Women
and more!

So, if you have time, go out and read a banned book this week--and all the weeks to follow!

Sep 16, 2009


I always feel like I need to explain the things that I write. Maybe eventually I'll try to let them speak for themselves, but now is not that time. I went to a social for a literary magazine called Inscape tonight. I received a free back copy of the magazine, and listened to some the the writer's read their pieces. I guess it got me in the "writing" mood. I put "writing" in quotes because the kind of writing mood I got in was one where I try to write something deep and profound, with metaphors, etc. So this is what I wrote when I got home. The quote at the beginning of the piece isn't from one person, but two. My roommate wrote "life which looms about me" on our fridge with those word magnets, and I thought of the rest a little later on. I'm not quite sure who to give credit to, so for now there isn't any. I'd appreciate it if you left comments about what you think of this, and if you want to read some of my other stuff, just check the archives.


"This is life, which looms about me, as skyscrapers built from experience."

Light interspersed with dark. Black mixing with white. Mottled shapes.

I walk through a maze of metal and glass trees, which hide the sun in the day and the stars at night. This forest is anything but peaceful. It's dizzy activity keeps me going straight; straight past the business men on their cell phones, past the hippies and their songs, past the bullies, the stoners, the queens.

The path was easy to see in the beginning, where the trees were small and barely grown. They didn't hide the golden bulb planted in the sky, but drew on it. Everything was sharp, clear, bright. A color was a color, black was black, white white. Trees build higher.

Trees are built and start to block the sun. The shadows cause confusion, blurring colors. Mixing them without any of the careful accuracy of art.

Lost ways, circles, meanders. Everything added together to build a city-forest. Experience filters the light until there is nothing left but ambiguous shapes on sidewalks. LIght touches a straight path.

The path I'm following. Following past everyone else's maze. Past the looming skyscrapers built over a lifetime.

This is life.

Sep 4, 2009


I made it through the first week of fall semester. Returning employees, new schedule, and starting classes do not a happy Whitney make.