6 Books Banned For Ridiculous Reasons

6 Books Banned For Ridiculous Reasons

From bizarre to offensive, this list will surprise you.
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Banning works of literature is nothing new. Since 1990, the American Library Association (ALA) has been monitoring formal complaints submitted. Given some of the odd ways opposition forms, they surely have their hands full.

A common reason for the effort is under the vague claim of community concerns. This is where geography comes into poetry and book cover art. Varying from state to state, trends can be identified with what might cause dismissal based on culture and voting habits. Specifics can range from profanity to disagreement with the lifestyle of the characters and personalities.

It's an interesting topic in a country quite vocal about the right of expression. These are the most shocking highlights from the sea of books only likely to grow further.

1. "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" (1967)

Funny, but also awkward. The children's book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by the currently deceased author, Bill Martin Jr., actually didn't do anything perceived to be wrong or offensive. It was all a naming mishap that could be avoided with the very popular world wide web or majestic Google.

While Texas State of Education board members were saving the world from scary literature with curse words in it, they targeted the very much alive philosophy professor Bill Martin Jr. at DePaul University. Another Bill Martin's book, "Ethical Marxism," is what got this whole ball rolling. Strong opposition stemmed from its critique of the capitalist structure. "Brown Bear" certainly isn't a political coffee-starter (We don't know if Brown Bear did happen to see Karl Marx off-screen, however).

2. "The Lorax" (1971)

Yup, even Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" couldn't escape bureaucracy. It tells the story of a happy environment where peace gets disrupted upon the appearance of Onceler. He wants to make space for a factory and its customers. Driven only by money, he shows disdain for nature and the inhabitants.

Destroying the breezy flowers and lively forest, "The Lorax" does not shy from discussing pollution and the displacement of creatures. This is a topic that couldn't be more relevant today. However, opponents felt Dr. Seuss was celebrating harrowing anti-logger themes. Determined board members refused to allow the book to go on educating about the planet and warning of unchecked human expansion. This is why we can't have nice things.

3. Literally any Mexican-American book

Usually, bans are isolated to a particular book or criteria, such as foul language. But this is just an all-out barrage. Given the rich and plentiful amount of published ethnic books, to name each target would be quite long. There is a spiritual and collective experience with those pages. Starting with Tucson, the Mexican-American Studies curriculum in Arizona schools caused a stir with politicians. A 2010 power trip via state-wide ban was declared on any ethnic-based learning. Any infrastructure in discordance would lose state funding.

Those behind it claimed it was to make an inclusive environment. However, inclusive learning should include an ethnic and multicultural approach. Blending, not excluding, is one way. Especially given the power dynamic, since these writers are already underrepresented as it is. Given the region's large Mexican-American population, students are eager to understand all of their roots.

It only took one glance for protesters to most definitely pour out with their paper signs galore. Challenges were made questioning its constitutionality. On the grounds of 1st and 14th Amendments, the successful programs were revived. This is on the extreme end and shows just how far some will go to erase an identity. How can anyone imagine colleges without ethnic classes? A liberal arts degree without core general ed classes usually outside your major?

4. "The Diary of a Young Girl" (1947)

This ban is particularly troubling. With a considerable amount of evidence of the Holocaust destroyed, personal accounts are a crucial source to understand what happened within those concentration camps. History has always been this way, from oral stories to scriptures carved in walls. Anne Franke's diary has served as an accurate relic of immense value and is read throughout the world.

One reason for opposition was its direct references to gay people. The Holocaust did not only target and affect Jewish people. Victims were captured and tortured for their sexuality too. Trying to ignore an identity does not cease it from existing. But that has not stopped history, all the way from the Middle Ages to the contemporary chairman, from trying. This plays a role in reaffirming hidden histories the LGBTQIA community already suffer from in the biased, hegemonic, grand narrative of the US.

Others took an indiscriminate route, citing its melancholy nature. History is known for being quite sad, especially when it comes to genocide. Rather than hide or water-down harrowing events and life under Nazi oppression, people should learn exactly what occurred so it truly never happens again. Officials should not cherry pick history or accounts because of sensitivity. Education needs to be honest and inclusive. Anything else and it's unfair to the victims and the public itself.

5. "Where The Wild Things Are" (1963)

This children's book is about a boy finding peace among gentle creatures, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Classic and beloved, its popularity led to a 2009 film adaptation. Movie directors and producers' hearts were won over, but not everyone's. Strong disapproval stems from a scene where the child Max is sent to bed without eating dinner. Understandably, educators would disapprove of this applied to real life. But their classroom students – those actually reading the book – should not be the ones unable to explore its imagery and Max's adventures when on a full stomach.

6. The "Twilight" Series (2005-2008)

This book series has generated intense emotions (and many films that could've been condensed if box offices weren't so money-hungry). The fans love it and the haters hate it. Some find Stephanie Meyer's fantasy vampire love story to be an enjoying escape. On the direct opposite side, others may very well enjoy knowing this book was banned somewhere, particularly in Australia. That country is normally relaxed when it comes to this topic, whereas Americans are banning books left and right.

What pushed one Australian librarian's buttons too far was the fear that readers wouldn't be able to differentiate it from non-fiction. If people can't do that, "Twilight" surely isn't the reason. The first clue might be that Edward is clearly defined as a vampire doing all kinds of vampire stuff. This is repeated throughout the four books, in case someone happens to miss the first 100 instances.

Cover Image Credit: Dom J / Pexels

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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5 Reasons Why The Saints Are Inbound To Win The Super Bowl

With the Saints rolling this year, there are 5 crucial reasons why they have a great chance to make the Superbowl.

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When you're reading this is February, you're gonna ask yourself, "How did he know?" I'm a wizard; that's why I know the Saints are going to the Superbowl this year. I'm just kidding, but in all seriousness, I can say with confidence that the Saints have one of the better chances in the NFL to make it to the Superbowl. Below are 5 reasons why they'll make the Superbowl in February 2019.

1. Breesus Christ

The Saints have Drew "freaking" Brees. I literally do not need to say more, but I will anyway.

Drew Brees is the best quarterback in the league period. He will break the record for most passing yards in a career this season, and he has the record for highest completion percentage. To all the people that say Tom Brady is better, you're wrong. Tom Brady has always had a defense to rely on when he needed; Drew Brees hasn't.

Whenever the Saints need Brees, he's always there. The Saints rely on him to get them out of big holes and us Saints fans know that he's the best QB in the league and will lead us to another Superbowl this year.

2. Lighting and Thunder

Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram being the best running back duo in the league isn't new news. We saw all of last season that Ingram was a bruiser and Kamara was a shifty back. They form a lighting and thunder duo. This season, Ingram has been suspended for the first four games and the Saints were still able to go 3-1. Just imagine how great the Saints are going to be when Ingram comes back this week. It's going to be SCARY.

How do defenses stop Kamara, Ingram, Brees, and Thomas? Defenses beware because the Saints are marching in.

3. Can't Guard Mike

Michael Thomas has been unstoppable this year. No one can guard him. In my opinion he's the best receiver in the league, and while others disagree, they can't deny the impact Thomas has had for the Saints. With the best QB in the league, Thomas is in a prime position to lead a major push to the Superbowl for the Saints. When the offense is rolling, no one can stop the Saints. Cornerbacks can prepare as hard as they need, but they can't guard Mike.

4. Boonk Gang

The Saints defense made major strides last year and helped propel them to many wins. If not for a freak play that resulted in the Saints losing in the divisional round, I believe the Saints would have moved on to the Superbowl. While the defense has been pretty bad at the beginning of the season, in week three, the Saints defense showed what they are capable of. With Ingram coming back and controlling the pace of the offense, watch for the defense to get much better through the season.

5. "Put me in Coach Payton"

Sean Payton may be the second best coach in the league after Bill Belichick.

Coach Payton has had the Saints offense in the top 10 offenses every single year since he became head coach in 2006. With his offensive creativity and his ability to use players such as backup QB Taysom Hill in positions where no other coach would dare to use them, Coach Payton will be the driving force in leading the Saints to the Superbowl.

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