August 26, 2014
Richard Hannay: How far is Winnipeg from Montreal?
Mr. Memory: A gentleman from Canada. You’re welcome, sir. Winnipeg, the third city of Canada and the capital of Manitoba. Distance from Montreal: 1424 miles.
John Buchan was born on August 26, 1875 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland. 1875 was also the year that Carl Jung, Albert Schweitzer, Maurice Ravel, and D. W. Griffith and were born. Jeanne Calment was also born in 1875 in Arles, France. She claims to have met Vincent van Gogh and died in 1997, which meant that she lived to be 122 years old.
The Thirty-nine Steps was published as a novel in 1915, which was the year that Billie Holiday, Ingrid Bergman, Orson Welles, Edith Piaf, Lorne Greene, Ann Sheridan, Arthur Miller, Barnard Hughes, John Randolph, Frank Sinatra, Curd Jurgens, William Hopper, Zero Mostel, Harry Morgan, Anthony Quinn and
Alfred Hitchcock directed the 1935 movie The Thirty-nine Steps, with Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Peggy Ashcroft, John Laurie and Wylie Watson as Mr. Memory.
I’m opposed to censorship because without free speech we have no way of defending ourselves. On the other hand, the Catholic Church is for censorship.
Joseph In general, censorship of books is a supervision of the press in order to prevent any abuse of it. In this sense, every lawful authority, whose duty it is to protect its subjects from the ravages of a pernicious press, has the right of exercising censorship of books.”
The problem here is that if we can’t read censored authors then we can’t know ‘first-hand’ whether their views are, in fact, ‘pernicious’. Moreover, a vital part of art is to depict ‘perniciousness’ so that we know what it is so we can defend ourselves from pernicious people
As Sarah Polley put it "Any whiff of censorship is chilling for us."
Given that I love Sarah Silverman, I’d like everyone to buy her book "The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee"
Chapter 1: Cursed From the Start
My life Started by exploding out of my Father’s Balls, and You Wonder Why I Work Blue
Like most children, I learned to swear from a parent. But most children learn to swear by mimicking moments when a parent loses self-control. That is typically followed by the parent stressing that such words are bad and shouldn’t be repeated outside the home. When I was three years old, I learned to swear from my father, but he taught me with every intention to do so. It was like he was teaching a “cursing as a second language” course for one.
"Bitch! Bastard! Damn! Shit!" I proclaimed with joy, if not necessarily wit, in the middle of Boys’ Market in Manchester, New Hampshire. Random shoppers stopped in the aisle, and watched me with delight — or at least curiosity — as I regurgitated this mantra. Dad stood by with genuine pride, beaming through the mock surprise on his face.
My guess is that when something is so easy, so greatly rewarded, and bears so few negative consequences, it’s a recipe for addiction. From that moment on, everything I did was in search of that rush. So I guess I’m saying that I’m, in most ways, my father’s fault. He filled my mother’s vagina with the filthy semen that consisted of me, then filled my head with even more filth.
When I was four I sat coloring a piece of typing paper during a dinner party at my Nana and Papa’s house in Concord. It was a white ranch house perched on a hill with long concrete steps leading up to the front door. The living room had bright turquoise carpeting under a long white couch. A blue-and-white candy-filled bowl rested on a thick-glass coffee table. Nana, a fashionable woman in her late fifties, who rocked hot pink lipstick under a swirly mane of salt-and-pepper cotton candy, came out of the kitchen carrying a tray of her famous brownies.
"Sarah, Nana made brownies for you!" she beamed in the third person.
I looked up from my drawing, glanced over to my father, who gave me the nod, then turned to Nana.
"Shove ‘em up your ass," I said.
The tide of the guests’ laughter quickly swept away any anger Nana had toward Dad. She had to smile. Remembering this very early time makes me nostalgic for the days when naked obscenity was enough for a laugh, and didn’t need any kind of crafted punch line to accompany it. It was good to be four.
It strikes me that, in this story of a little girl telling her loving grandmother to shove baked goods up her ass, I might come across as a monster. But allow me to place this anecdote in a cultural context: It was the 1970s. Countless friends of mine who grew up in that decade tell stories of their parents giving them liquor, or pot, or buying them Playboy magazines, or letting their boyfriends sleep over at very young ages. Or having “key parties” and orgies while they believed their children were upstairs sleeping. Like oversexualized retarded adults, the 1970s had the distinction of being both naive and inappropriate. For a naive and inappropriate girl to be born from it, it’s really not so crazy.
What I said to my grandmother yielded a strange kind of glory, and I basked in it. The reactions were verbally disapproving, but there was an unmistakable encouragement under it all. No meant yes.
He Farts in the Face of Strangers
My father, Donald Silverman, is a black-haired, dark-skinned Jew who walks exactly like Bill Cosby dances. A little bounce with each step, elbows bent with hands dangling at the wrists on either side of his chest. When you see him approach, you might think, “A ridiculous man is walking toward me.” And you’d be right.
My dad is pretty much fearless, which makes him a natural showman and public speaker. He’s always the one asked to make a toast or a speech. But a perceived fearlessness can sometimes be mistaken for what is actually gall. This is clearly exemplified by my father’s willingness to steal all his material. He would lift bits from comedians, songs, sitcoms — anywhere — then tweak them to fit and claim them as his own. He once spoke at the Bar Mitzvah of his friend’s son David.
"Today, David, I find in being Jewish a thing of beauty, a joy, a strength, a cup of gladness, a Jewish kingdom as wonderful as any other. Accept in full the sweetness of your Jewishness. David, be brave. Keep freedom in the family and do what you can to make the world a better place. Now may the Constitution of the United States go with you, the Declaration of Independence stand by you, the Bill of Rights protect you. And may your own dreams be your only boundaries henceforth now and forever. Amen."
Tears. Not a dry eye in the house. People flocked to Dad to tell him how moving and brilliant his words were. Evidently, they had never seen the play Purlie Victorious by Ossie Davis, because that’s where those words were first heard. On Broadway. Other than changing all the instances of “black” to “Jew,” my father stole the passage pretty much word for word.
My dad was born in Boston, Massachusetts, before moving to New Hampshire where his family settled. His Boston accent is as thick as a stack of ten lobsters and he is almost entirely impossible to understand. My sisters and I became adept at translating what he said into English. Caaah was “car,” shaht was “short,” etc. This was a good system, though one that occasionally backfired, causing us to say “parker” or “sofer” in places where he actually was pronouncing something accurately, like, “Get your parka off the sofa.” My father says fuckin’ the way people say, “like” or “totally.” He might say it in anger like the rest of the world, but what makes him special is he evokes it in everyday talk. “I had such a fuckin’ great time.” “I’m such a fuckin’ lucky daddy.” Or, referring to his favorite HBO series, “Is that Ahliss [Arli$$, the HBO classic] fuckin’ wild o’ah what?”
Happily, Dad found a career that perfectly suited his personality. He owned a store called Crazy Sophie’s Factory Outlet. Much like a certain “Eddie” of legend, who perceived the unlikely connection between psychiatric disorder and retail sales volume, Dad did his own radio ads as “Crazy Donald.” They were highly spirited — and like everything else that came from his mouth, unintelligible — pitches which went something like,
"When I see the prices at the mawl I just want to vawmit. Hi. I’m Crazy Donald, Crazy Sophie’s husband."
Dad would list all the brands of jeans he had in his store — brands I’ve never since heard of, like Unicorn. At the end he would say either,
"So, spend you-ah time at the mawl, spend you-ah money at Crazy Sophie’s!"
"So if you cay-ah enough to buy the very best — but yo-uah too CHEAP, come to Crazy Sophie’s!"
In fact, Dad was not Crazy Sophie’s husband. Sophie did not exist. He invented her. He wanted a woman’s name because he was selling women’s clothes. Dad’s mother, my Nana, Rose, yelled at him after he named the store, insisting, “You named the store after my friend Sophie Moskowitz, and she will be very insulted!” Dad insisted, “I did not name the sto-ah aftah Sophie Moskowitz. If I named the sto-ah aftah Sophie Moskowitz, I would have named it Ugly Sophie’s.” Classic.
When my father first came home from college, he sat my grandparents down to tell them some very serious news. They followed him quizzically into the living room, and from the bantam couch stared up at their nervous, pacing son.
"I’m gay," he announced.
They sat stunned for a moment, and just as his mother started to cry he said,
"Just kidding. I smoke."
The neighbor’s dog was repeatedly shitting in our yard. For a common problem like that, there’s a sensible solution: to drop by the neighbor’s house and ask, “Would you mind curbing your dog?”
But Dad didn’t say a word to the neighbors. Instead, he got up in the middle of the night, gingerly maneuvered the feces onto a piece of cardboard — careful not to disturb its signature shape — tiptoed to the neighbor’s driveway, and transferred it onto the pavement just below the driver’s-side door of our neighbor’s car. It was worth it to him to be nearer to this canine excrement than one would ever need to be, in exchange for the possibility that our neighbor would step in his own dog’s shit on his way to work.
My parents were enjoying hot fudge sundaes at an ice cream parlor called Rumpelmayer’s in New York City. A man at the adjacent table was smoking. Since my mother was eight months pregnant (with my eldest sister, Susie), my father asked him if he’d put out his cigarette.
"Fuck off," the man suggested.
My father kept his eyes trained on the man as he instructed my mother to go wait by the front door. He then sidled up to him as close as he could, lifted his leg, and twisted as he sang, “Puff on this,” which was followed by the most putrid blast of human gas known to man at that time, and was not exceeded until the late ’80s by the great violinist Yo-Yo Ma.
The reason I am not Completely Retarded
My mother, Beth Ann, is fair-skinned with green-blue eyes, soft brown hair, and a God-given nose most Jews would pay thousands for. She speaks beautifully and with great passion for proper grammar and pronunciation. Books — real books by fancy book writers — are read with pen in hand to correct typos and grammar mishaps — and she finds them. She’s a real-life Diane Chambers. She didn’t care if we said “fuck” or “shit” as long as it was with crisp diction and perfect pronunciation.
When we were kids she marched up to the counter of our local movie theater to complain that the voice on the recording (this is way before Moviefone) was so garbled she couldn’t make out what movies were playing. The guy just shrugged and said, “You wanna do it?” A star was born.
Mom would take me to the tiny room where the popcorn was stored. There were gigantic bags of pre-popped, yellowed, and packaged popcorn, taken out in increments and placed in the popcorn machine out front to simulate freshness (and also be heated by a lightbulb). The popcorn room was where she would tape the recording of the week’s movies, and here, she quietly put her values into practice. Giving such care to each word, her beautiful voice was clear and articulate with just a hint of whisper — like a Connecticut-born Julie Andrews. She expected from herself what she would expect from anyone: perfection. And she did those recordings over and over until she achieved it.
"Thank you for calling Bedford Mall Cinemas 1, 2, 3, and 4, where all bargain matinees are only two dollars Monday through Saturday. Now playing, Ordinary People, directed by Robert Redford! …"
Instead of a cash payment, we were all allowed to go to the movies for free, plus one, anytime we wanted.
In May of 1964, my mother-to-be (at this point she’s borne only my eldest sister, Susie) got on the game show Concentration, with Hugh Downs. She won the first two games, then came back the next day and won two more. When she repeated her success on day three she automatically became a contestant in that fall’s “Challenge of Champions.”
She remembers winning some SCUBA gear and that Hugh Downs asked her smugly if she knew that SCUBA was an acronym and what the letters stood for. She immediately answered, “Self- Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus?” To which, according to my mother, he blanched and said a very small, “Yes.” She said she didn’t even know she knew that information until it came out of her mouth. She was twenty-three.
Among the stuff she won was:
a Triumph Spitfire sports car
a dozen leather handbags (all of them yellow)
a twenty-foot speedboat
a twenty-seven-foot “party barge”
two outboard motors for the boats
a mink stole
100 pounds of coffee
a dozen pairs of men’s pants
20 pairs of men’s shoes
a suite of living room furniture (some of which, forty-five years later, can still be found in the house I grew up in — a bachelor’s chest on my stepfather’s side of the bed, two maple end tables, and a large hassock in the living room)
and a cruise to Bermuda
Other than those pieces of furniture and the fancy cruise, my parents sold the prizes for cash and with it bought their first house, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Since my mother was pregnant with kid number two, they decided to wait until a few months after the baby was born to take the cruise.
The First Time I Bombed
My parents’ second child, Jeffrey Michael Silverman, was born on February 9, 1965. That May, Donald and Beth Ann went to New York City to take their cruise to Bermuda, after which they returned to New York to spend the weekend at the World’s Fair in Flushing, with their friends Ellie and Harry Bluestein before heading home to New Hampshire. Susie, who had just turned two, was staying with my mother’s parents in Connecticut, and the baby, Jeffrey, was in Concord with my father’s parents (Nana and Papa), Rose and Max. When they arrived at their hotel near the fairgrounds in Flushing, my father called his parents to check on Jeffrey.
My mother heard my father say, “Gone? What do you mean, ‘gone’? Where is he?”
She walked over to him, “What’s going on?”
He listened a few moments longer, then collapsed into tears, which curled into wails of despair. Jeffrey was dead.
Donald and Beth Ann arrived at the Concord house, where many friends had gathered around weeping, inconsolable Rose and Max. When Max looked up and saw my parents, he cried out, “How can you forgive me?”
My parents were told that Jeffrey had been crying a lot during the night and that Papa was the one to keep checking on him, since Nana was hard of hearing and couldn’t hear him cry. In the morning Papa got up and went to look in on the baby. He got to the crib and didn’t see him. He called to Nana, saying, “Rose, where’s the baby?” Then they both found him, down in one corner of the port-a-crib. The metal support frame had slipped off its peg, allowing a little narrow space between the mattress and the bottom rail of the crib. My parents were told that he had strangled in that space.
Any concept of closure, if it existed in the ’60s at all, was a notion invented by hippie fruits. My parents’ friends cleaned up any sign of Jeffrey’s existence by the time they got home. He was imagined.
In 1976 I was five and cute as a really hairy button. My eldest sister, Susie, was twelve. She was fair with very long dark brown hair and big brown sad eyes reflecting a heartbreaking need for love — by any means necessary.
When I was three she would babysit me and say, “If I drink this orange juice I’m gonna turn into a monster!”
I’d cry, “Susie no!” But she drank the juice anyway, went into the closet where the washer-dryer was, put a brown suede ski mask on her head, and came back out, monstrafied.
"RAAAAARGH!! The only way I’ll turn back to Susie is if you hug me!!!"
Terrified, I ran in a burst toward the monster, hugging her, eyes clenched.
Susie once pulled a steak knife out of the silverware drawer, turned to me, and mused, “It’s so weird, like, I could kill you right now. Like, I wouldn’t, but I could. I could just take your life …” One way to interpret this is that it foretold her eventual future as a rabbi. At age fourteen, here she was, already pondering the biggest issues of the human condition — life, death, morality, and the choices we must make. An alternate interpretation is that living with me eventually causes one to contemplate murder. But I’m feeling the former explanation is the right one, as it is a scientific certainty that I’m pretty adorable.
Laura was in the middle. She was eleven. A tomboy, she looked just like Mowgli from The Jungle Book.
She had olive skin with bright green almond-shaped eyes, and dimples on either side of her perfect smile. A lot went on inside her, which she mostly kept to herself. She was popular, smart, and could play any instrument she picked up without a single lesson.
We moved from Manchester, the biggest city in New Hampshire, to Bedford, New Hampshire — a small town of about twelve thousand people. We lived on a big lot of land — an old farm with a big barn where we would spend our summer days playing. One afternoon, Susie sat us down and told us the story of our brother, Jeffrey. She spoke with the measure and drama of a campfire ghost story.
It was chilling and shocking and tragic, but mostly it was exciting, as most ghost stories are. And like only the best ones, it lived in the front of my mind for a long time after.
At this point I was on a tear with the zingers — killing with my parents and sisters, strangers in markets — just being five and saying, “I love tampons!” or any shocking non sequitur was rewarded with “Oh my gods” through frenzied laughter. The approval made me dance uncontrollably like Snoopy. The feeling of pride made my arms itch. It fed this tyrant in me that just wanted more more more push push push. So when Nana picked us up to go to Weeks’ Restaurant for lunch, as she did every Sunday, we got into her big boat, a dark blue Cadillac Seville with a beige leather interior, filled with the odor of stale cigarettes—a smell I loved because it meant “Nana.” As all grandkids are to grandmas, we were her world. Before starting the car she bellowed, “Everyone put their seat belts on!” and without a beat I said …
(… oh this is going to be GREAT …)
"Yeah — put yer seat belts on — you don’t wanna end up like Jeffrey!"
Crickets. No one was even breathing. Susie and Laura looked at me with wide, angry eyes. And after several excruciating seconds, Nana broke the silence with an explosion of sobs.
Four words swam in my head — the most grown-up arrangement so far in my five years: What have I done?
Excerpted from The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman Copyright 2010 by Sarah Silverman. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Click on the image to enlarge
Isaac Newton "Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.”
Sarah Polley “Our best known artists in Canadian film and television — David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Anne Wheeler and others — are known for dark and controversial works. Canada is famous for making these kinds of films. In fact, these kinds of films have built our international reputation in cinema.”
"It is the job of artists to provoke and challenge. Part of the responsibility of being an artist in society is to create work that will inspire dialogue, suggest that people examine their long-held positions and, yes, occasionally offend in order to do so. I believe it is vital that some artists push the envelope, be provocative and, at times, make us feel a little uncomfortable. These moments of questioning our long held beliefs and moral codes are part of how we sort through the experience of being human. It is the fundamental job of the artist.
"Throughout history, changes in societal attitudes took place because artists had the courage to challenge convention and to ask us to look at the world in a different way. We do not know how societal attitudes will change in the coming years. However, artists, with the freedom to create their work without government interference, will be in the vanguard of that change."
August 26, 2014
Censorship is an economic paradox for the obvious and therefore paradoxical reason that works of art, entertainment, philosophy and science are axiomatically the private property of the people who have create them, which means that instead demanding the constitutional right to own things such as books as private property, by virtue of our collective silence, we have been defending the censoring of artists, entertainers, philosophers and scientists based on the whims of politicians and supreme court judges.
University of Virginia Library “Every one of the books in this long list has been censored, most of them repeatedly.”
Terry Gilliam directed John Neville & Sarah Polley in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
John Neville was born on May 2, 1925 in England. He moved to Toronto in 1972 which is where he died November 19, 2011
Michael Coveney ”The son of a lorry driver, Neville was born in Willesden, north-west London, and educated at Chiswick and Willesden county schools.”
Sarah Polley, Actor, Director and Writer, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA): I am Sarah Polley, an actor and a filmmaker. With me today is Wendy Crewson, an actor with a distinguished career both in Canada and the United States, who, like me, has made a conscious decision to live and work in Canada. We are here on behalf of ACTRA, the national union representing more than 21,000 English-language performers who work in film, television, radio, sound recordings and new media productions.
Canadian artists are outraged, shocked and frightened by this blatant attempt to censor our work. It has been decades since any issue has generated such a strong and visceral reaction from ACTRA members across the country. We are unanimous in saying the provisions of Bill C-10, which give power to the Minister of Heritage to deny tax credits retroactively to productions deemed offensive or contrary to public policy, are dangerous and unacceptable.
As you are the chamber of sober second thought, we appeal to you and all senators to strike the relevant provisions from the bill.
We are concerned about this attempt to censor for a number of reasons. First, as you have heard, it will cause a chill on production from the financing side. With this uncertainty, banks will be reluctant to provide financing to cover tax credits. Bankers will shy from any controversial or daring work if there is any risk to a key part of the overall financing structure.
I have heard it suggested many times in response to our attacks on this bill that we are free to make whatever film we want but with private money. That suggestion, unfortunately, has absolutely no basis in reality. Every Canadian television program and film that I and any of us have ever been involved in has involved some public financing. When you tell artists to use private money, essentially you are telling us to leave the country should we want to make any work that could be deemed controversial in the end.
Wendy Crewson, Actor, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA): We think that the core of this issue is freedom of expression. Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes these words: “Everyone has the right to freedom … of expression… .” This right includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart ideas through any media.
Canada’s own Status of the Artist Act states that Canada’s policy on the professional status of the artist is based on several rights including “the right of artists and producers to freedom of association and expression.”
I am sure this committee is familiar with the powerful words of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin:
Among the most fundamental rights possessed by Canadians is freedom of expression. It makes possible our liberty, our creativity and our democracy. It does this by protecting not only “good” and popular expression, but also unpopular or even offensive expression. The right to freedom of expression rests on the conviction that the best route to truth, individual flourishing and peaceful coexistence in a heterogeneous society in which people hold divergent and conflicting beliefs lies in the free flow of ideas and images. If we do not like an idea or an image, we are free to argue against it or simply turn away. But, absent some constitutionally adequate justification, we cannot forbid a person from expressing it.
Canadians are tolerant. We celebrate our differences; we do not demand conformity or uniformity. Artists firmly believe that any measure that limits our freedom of expression, as Bill C-10 does, is both undemocratic and profoundly un-Canadian.
We submit that the current laws and regulations are adequate. Projects funded through the tax credit program must conform to codes administered by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council as well as to various sections of the Criminal Code pertaining to obscenity, child pornography and hate speech.
The heritage minister has promised to consult on the guidelines, but that is no comfort to artists. The powers will be the minister’s, and no matter what she promises to do or not do, subjective powers will rest with her, with the next minister and the minister after that.
Ms. Polley: Our best known artists in Canadian film and television — David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Anne Wheeler and others — are known for dark and controversial works. Canada is famous for making these kinds of films. In fact, these kinds of films have built our international reputation in cinema.
It is the job of artists to provoke and challenge. Part of the responsibility of being an artist in society is to create work that will inspire dialogue, suggest that people examine their long-held positions and, yes, occasionally offend in order to do so. I believe it is vital that some artists push the envelope, be provocative and, at times, make us feel a little uncomfortable. These moments of questioning our long held beliefs and moral codes are part of how we sort through the experience of being human. It is the fundamental job of the artist.
Throughout history, changes in societal attitudes took place because artists had the courage to challenge convention and to ask us to look at the world in a different way. We do not know how societal attitudes will change in the coming years. However, artists, with the freedom to create their work without government interference, will be in the vanguard of that change.
Ms. Crewson: Frankly, the creative community in this country is fragile. We fight to have our voices heard over the roar of American pop culture on our screens large and small, in our bookstores, on our stages and on our radios.
Yearly, our funding and protection slip away. The artists of Canada — our writers, directors, actors, dancers, musicians, painters and poets — are not the rich and famous. The artists of Canada are among the working poor. However, we know what we do is important, we do it with passion and conviction, and we are empowered by our freedom of expression. We ask you to please help us by fixing this bill.
CBC “Canadian filmmaker Sarah Polley was among the winners at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards Monday night, where an outspoken critic sparked controversy by heckling filmmaker Steve McQueen.”
• In 1976 a high school principal in Peterborough, Ont. pushed to have Munro’s 1971 book Lives of Girls and Women removed from the Grade 13 reading list because of “the explicit language and description of sex scenes,” according to the Globe and Mail. The book was also banned in Alberta schools in the 1970s.
• The three other books targeted as blasphemous or too explicit in Huron County in 1978 were John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners. In August 1978 the school board voted that it would ban only The Diviners from the five high schools in the county.
• According to Pearce J. Carefoot’s book Forbidden Fruit: Banned, Censored and Challenged Books from Dante to Harry Potter, the incident in Huron County inspired the Book and Periodical Council of Canada to launch Freedom to Read Week, an annual celebration of freedom of expression. • Munro wrote the screenplay for an episode of the 1978 CBC-TV production The Newcomers, a seven-part miniseries about the experiences of immigrants to Canada. Munro’s segment told the stories of the Irish who arrived in 1847 after escaping the potato famine. • For more on censorship of books in Canadian schools, see the following CBC Digital Archives clips:
Ontario, Saint John ban classic books
High school ‘cleanses library’
Laurence’s books banned
August 24, 2014
When Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on February 12, 1809, students who attended Western schools and universities were pawns in language games played by their white, Christian teachers and male professors and on February 12, 1938 when Judy Blume was born, not only were students who attended public schools and universities in Tennessee still pawns in language games they could not win without humiliating their teachers and professors but, because of the Butler Act, which was passed by white, Christian male politicians in 1925, it was illegal for them to practice their inalienable constitutional right to free speech and read On the Origin of Species so that they argue with teachers and professors that Eve was not created from Adam’s rib.
In other words, Western education has always been a deck that has been stacked against students being able to win arguments based on empirical evidence and their natural right to free speech for their Christian teachers and professors winning arguments based on Christian theology and censorship for the obvious and therefore paradoxical reason that the Catholic Church began the Western university system to teach young Catholic men to be priests so they can manipulate the minds of average Catholics who were largely illiterate, and, therefore, persuade them to accept the divine right of the Catholic monarchs to govern them
"My grandson was bewildered when I tried to explain why some adults don’t want their children reading about Harry Potter."
2001 was the year that Douglas Adams died
The Book: It’s an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem.
Ron: Do you think it’s true? Do you think there really is a Chamber of Secrets?
Hermione: Yes. Couldn’t you tell? McGonagall’s worried. All the teachers are.
Stephen Fry was born August 24, 1957 in Hampstead, London, England and Rupert Grint on August 24, 1988 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England
"Creationists frequently stress the fact that evolution is "only a theory," giving the impression that a theory is an idle guess. A scientist, one gathers, arising one morning with nothing particular to do, decided that perhaps the moon is made of Roquefort cheese and instantly advances the Roquefort-cheese theory."
Lady Ottoline Morrell was born June 16, 1873, Royal Tunbridge Wells
Derek Jarman was born on January 31, 1942 in London, England.
Tilda Swinton was born November 5, 1960, in London, England.
James Legge “Catholic Church confirms atheists still go to hell, after Pope Francis suggests they might go to heaven”
Don Batten “Wearing Question evolution! clothing will clearly show your opposition to evolutionary dogma. Christian students can wear these shirts or caps at their high schools, colleges/universities, or when ‘hanging out’ with friends.”
David Hume (1711-1776)
Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) “The scientific evidence for the age of the earth and for the evolutionary development of life seems overwhelming to scientists. How can anyone question it? What are the arguments the creationists use?”
August 20, 2014
CBC Archives "In 1976 a high school principal in Peterborough, Ont. pushed to have Munro’s 1971 book Lives of Girls and Women removed from the Grade 13 reading list because of “the explicit language and description of sex scenes,” according to the Globe and Mail. The book was also banned in Alberta schools in the 1970s.”
August 20, 2014
Suanne Kelman “For most of the 20th century, Canadian school children learned early that literature, like life, was elsewhere, nestling among Wordsworth’s daffodils or in Tennyson’s Camelot. Anne of Green Gables was the first Canadian book most of us read, and it made our own country magical. The poignancy of Anne’s loneliness and eventual triumph has a universal appeal—witness the book’s hold on the Japanese imagination—but for Canadians, its added fillip is its assurance that one of our own pious, smug, puritanical communities can yield such rich stories, such varied eccentricity.”
Margaret Atwood “All comparisons are odious and lists are by nature comparisons.”