Read Before You Speak

I read a few articles written this week about some students in North Carolina protesting the books assigned for their college classes. But the funny thing is they had no idea what they were talking about. Students at the University of North Carolina and Duke University refused to read books assigned to their classes for different reasons.

I’ll just tell you the books in question. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, In the Shadow of no Towers by Art Spiegelman, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid.

The first was refused on moral grounds, the others were refused because the students claimed they were “sympathetic towards terrorism”. Now I haven’t read any of the books, but I have read articles from others who definitely have and it would appear the students have it all wrong.

Now you get my take. I have a real issue with what the students have done here. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t object to what’s being assigned, but I do think they should educate themselves (read the work) before making a huge deal about something. How can you criticize something that you’re not even informed about? Like all the people who criticize writers in general, but who have never read any of their work. I’ll say I won’t read this series or that one and maybe I’ll even joke around about the quality of the writing based on what many others have said, but you’ll never hear me reject a book or an author AND reject it on behalf of others if I’ve never read it.

Because I really feel like that’s what happened here. These students wanted to change the books assigned for everyone, even for people who had no objection at all. And that’s why they look stupid now.

What do you think? Are these college kids in the wrong? Or should they be able to object to assigned readings for any reason whatsoever, even if the reason has no real basis?

On this day in 2014 I published Let the Downward Spiral Known as my Blog Continue.


The Reader in Me: Part II

Okay guys, this post was supposed to happen yesterday, but I’ve worked the last four days in a row and y’all don’t understand how sleepy I am as soon as I walk in the door. I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping during my time I should have been writing posts. Eh. Anyway, this will be the second half of the post I wrote on Saturday.

Also, I’m playing around with posting at a new time. I know probably every single one of you posts whenever you feel like, but I don’t. I strictly post between 9:30 in the morning and 12:30. Now I’m going to see about posting at midnight each night instead. Why? Because I think most of you who actually read my stuff will read no matter when I post and perhaps I’m opening my blog up to a greater audience by posting at the later time. Maybe. Okay, now on with the post.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Absolutely. Not! Are you kidding me? No. Just no.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

I don’t travel. And I wouldn’t take my books with me if I did. Another question with no response.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?

Well shit. How old am I supposed to be? I’m barely four years out of high school and I guess eight years out from my freshman year. I haven’t reread anything from high school because you all should know by now that I don’t reread anything. This set of questions is off to a wonderful start.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

Oh come on. This isn’t even fun anymore. What the heck am I supposed to find in a book? A corpse? A Mega Millions winning lottery ticket? Food? I’ve only ever found scraps of paper or notes in books, and I have to think that most people are the same way.

15. Used or brand new?

Definitely new. I have a handful of used books that stick out like a sore thumb on my shelf. At least they do to me.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

Never read him. I bet he’s closer to the genius side.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

There are some truly great literary adaptations. But do not fool yourself, you cannot make a movie better than the book. Why? Because even if you have a nice long 150 minute movie, you still have to leave out huge chunks of the book because you simply don’t have the time needed to adapt every facet of the work. So no, I’ve never seen a movie that I thought was better than the book.

18. Which book should never have been introduced to celluloid?

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. This isn’t a knock on the book, I thought it was pretty good, but the movie did it absolutely no justice whatsoever. The movie looked thrown together at the last minute. And this was with Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross! And what happened after this trainwreck of a movie? They released a sequel made exactly the same way. Ugh. Thankfully no more came after. The more recent Alex Cross adaptation was a bit better, but still not very good.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry?

This is a little weird. No. I will say that I’ve read so long that I’ve finished reading with some weird noises coming from my stomach. Does that count?

20. Who is the person whose book advice you will always take?

I’m trying to figure out what this question means by book advice. Does it mean recommendations? I don’t think it means writing. So I’ll just assume it means suggestions. Okay. I don’t recommend books and I don’t want you suggesting any to me. We both win.

So that’s it! Another batch of questions found in the blogosphere and another batch conquered. Thoughts?