It was after 1984 when I read the novel of the same name, hiding under the covers, reading by the dying light of a 50-cent flashlight as Winston and Julia performed more unspeakable acts under their own sheets; Winston apprehensive of Big Brother’s all-seeing eyes, me fearful of mother coming in to ask why I was reading something so vulgar at such a young age. When asked what I thought of the book, it didn’t take a bucket of rats to make me cast Winston aside…instinct alone inspired me to decry the book as “all right, but the sex was pointless and unnecessary.” And life continued as normal, the irony of my betrayal reduced to nothing more than an uncomfortable rattle at the back of my mind that has never left me to this day.
But forbidden fruit and verboten vegetables leave an aftertaste in the back of the throat that can’t be eradicated with mouthwash. My reading habits were soon filled with illicit treasures like Jurassic Park, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and The Shining. I’ve never enjoyed reading as much as I did then, living in constant fear of being caught.
And now you want to tell our children that they can read whatever they want? That no book should be banned or censored? That they are free to make their own decisions?
How dare you? How dare you take away their God-given right to be told what not to do? How dare you rob our children of the unmistakable thrill of reading a book on the not-allowed list? Who gave you the right to tell children that they can choose whatever they want to read, stealing the growth that comes of discovering this for themselves? Who are you to give them no rigid boundaries to challenge, you tolerant, open-minded, wholly-accepting, nonjudging, censorless sons-of-bitches!
We will not be unsilenced any longer! Let the nation hear our cry for censorship!
These are our demands:
We demand walls around ideas and philosophies, so we can see farther when we reach the top.
We demand to be told what not to do, so we can laugh as we do it anyway.
We demand to be downtrodden, because we can’t trip you up unless we’re underfoot.
We demand to be told what to think, so we can learn the value of thinking for ourselves.
We demand that dangerous and questionable books be banned, that they may receive the credibility they deserve.
We demand to be censored, so we know when we’re saying something important.