"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

08 September 2010

Conflicting Joneses

I miss the days when searching 'Terry Jones' on Google first brought up the brilliant, hilarious Python historian, not some authentic wacko that gives anyone who reads a bible or owns a gun a bad name.
Now, I'm not going to get on a political or religious pedestal here, because I do that so rarely in general (at least out loud), but I will get on an English major high horse about book burning in general.
As a lover and great respecter of literature, I do what most intelligent, self-respecting (and self-deprecating) people do with the things they love: I get very animated when I come across a piece of the cross-section of whatever that infuriates me. So I occasionally make jokes about wanting to wipe every copy of certain books off the face of the planet, burning included. However, I do this with the hope that those who share in that love understand I'm making an exaggeration and that while there are scenes of sweet revenge in Jane Bites Back against the Bronte sisters that I say I would love to perpetuate myself, I would never actually engage in the burning of books OR their authors.
That being said, there's a massive difference between ranting amongst colleagues and friends and making a public display of being a first-class douchebag who actually believes that certain books, ANY books, should be burned as an affirmation of their inherent damaging effects on society.
For my geek self, whenever I hear of mind-blocked nut jobs and their sheep engaging in activities like that of Mr. 'Pastor' Ass-hat Jones, the voice of Sean Connery enters my head, stating with perfect clarity in regards to fascist attitudes and actions: It tells me that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try reading books instead of burning them.
The problem with this Jones' argument is that sometimes the goose-stepping morons have read the books they intend to burn, but have done so without thought to context or symbolism... especially when it comes to religious texts. Yes, the argument could be made that indoctrinated literature at its root spurs people to act violently against those who do not believe as they do, but that's a very narrow-minded view of religious texts AND as stated previously, I'm not getting into a socio-religious discussion here... primarily because those tend to reek so heavily of snobbery, which I generally abhor. The point is: when some people read they still don't comprehend, for a number of reasons. Yet their stupidity and intolerance will always be supported by another person who lacks the ability to either draw their own conclusions, or has arrived at the same misguided conclusions as their fellow ranter. Get enough of these people together and suddenly there's a mob of goose-stepping morons burning books... or gun-toting Bible-thumpers... or some other radical hoard of brainwashed fanatics clinging to the idea that their narrow-minded, bigoted view of the world is how everyone should see it -- or burn.

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