Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Big Bad Bibliophobes

You've got to hand it to conservatives, just when you think they most hate women's rights and any sense that human sexuality isn't something that must be endured so we can create lots of fetuses and snowflakes and maybe even spermcicles someday, they go and remind you that they're still fighting the Cold War (perhaps that explains their affinity for snowflakes).

Human Events, which modestly bills itself "the National Conservative Weekly," has compiled a list of the "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries," with 20 runner-ups ready to fulfill the duties of the dastardly top ten if the conservative panel of judges can get enough copies of any title banned or burned. Number one with a bullet is The Communist Manifesto, for as the compilers put it, "The Evil Empire of the Soviet Union put the Manifesto into practice." This sentence means the compliers, while knowing their Ronald Reagan quotes, haven't either read the manifesto itself or studied the Soviet Union very well, but when panning books, these are niggling details. It's also telling they chose the sickle and hammer cover of the Signet edition of the book, and not the the Penguin Classics version, which doesn't let you damn the Evil Empire Handbook by its cover.

Hitler's number 2. You know you're pretty nasty when you can out harmful Hitler. Good job, Marx and Engels.

Number 3 is Mao, to show that they hate ALL Communism.

But things get interesting with Number 4--Alfred Kinsey. He made us admit we had sex! And liked it! Even suggested there was something besides the missionary position! Of course, the joke is his book is "dangerous" because writing about it caused Americans to have sex, like it, etc. That makes just as much sense as saying giving kids condoms will make them screw around. Oh, wait, the conservatives say that, too.

There's no point in going through these one-by-one as they all simply reinforce their own world view that unfettered capitalism cures all ills (note Ralph Nader and Rachel Carson on the runners-up list: Damn them for making people demand safe products and a clean environment!), and the best cure for feminism is a personal attack (note they say nothing about Betty Friedan's arguments, just make her sound like someone Joe McCarthy should have investigated).

The kicker, of course, is that without Marx, Freud, Darwin, Mead, Foucault, Dewey, etc., there really would not have been a 19th and 20th century, at least an intellectual one.

So really their goal is to freeze time just before the French Revolution, when the poor could eat cake and people just knew their place, didn't bother with "thinking skills," and didn't get so uppity all the time.

By the way, Human Interest folks, when you trash Keynesian economics and conclude that blurb, "FDR adopted the idea as U.S. policy, and the U.S. government now has a $2.6-trillion annual budget and an $8-trillion dollar debt," you might want to ask GWB exactly how the recent debt happened--or simply check with the people who fund you, and ask them about their tax breaks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

they forgot the bible, the torah, and the koran.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow your blog came up in a desperate search for lyrics to "Diary of an Insecure Girl" by the Posies. I'm not sure if you're a fan or something. Are you? And if so you don't happen to have the song or the lyrics? If not then sorry for bothering you. If so please email/im. Thanks.


im/aim - mozetta21

1:08 PM  

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