Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Some Things You May Know . . . Or Not

I'm collecting all the banned books from the American Library Association's list of the most frequently banned books (from 1990—2000) in America. Of which I have . . . four. Hey, it's a start. (I could have sworn Cohen's book was the #1 banned book, but maybe that was another list.)

Anyway, in reading Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen, #73, I'm learning a few new things.

Did you know the American presidency has had a twenty year curse since 1840? Every president who has been elected on the twentieth year of the cycle has died in office, either from natural causes or by assassination. I did not know that.

Makes me fear for Obama if he loses this term and wins the next. (Actually I fear for a lot more if McCain wins the next term, but that is an altogether different post, and probably one that does not belong on this blog.) And lest you think I'm off by four years, know that at least two of the presidents killed were elected to their second terms in their turn in the cycle. For example, President McKinley gets into the cycle when he's elected to his second term in 1900.

Also, from pjd's blog, women gained suffrage on August 18, 1920. My birthday is August 18. All my life I've complained nothing happens on my birthday. Found out I share a birthday with Robert Redford when i was 33. And now I find this out.

I tell you, had I known these things earlier, my life might have taken on a different trajectory. (No, I'm not falling back into an existential crisis. Just trying to be funny. And failing, probably.)

I don't get why this book is banned. It's only a short historical account of the basis for belief in certain curses, not a handbook on cursing your enemy. I guess . . . lemme think hard here . . . that the parents who challenged this book didn't read it.


Robin S. said...

These books were banned because many people are stupid. (Sorry. Sometimes I just cut to the chase.)

I like your list- and I like the idea of your collection.

fairyhedgehog said...

I think collecting banned books is brilliant.

Banning books is such a weird idea. It's like banning pop songs - it's the recipe for instant popularity of works that might otherwise be entirely forgettable.

I often wonder what would happen if Shakespeare was given an 18 rating. Would more young teenagers read or watch his plays to see what all the fuss is about?

Lisa Guidarini said...

Such a worthy cause!! I love reading things like this. I'm studying to be a librarian and censorship/intellectual freedom are two of my main causes.

National banned book week is Sept. 27 - Oct. 4 this year. I'll be encouraging the reading of banned books on my blogs during that week.

freddie said...

Robin - Thanks! Lemme know when you're coming to Chicago.

Fairyhedgehog - Thanks! It's rare that I hear the word "brilliant" linked to something I'm doing. Speaking of brilliant, I think you're on to something with the idea of banning Shakespeare. Might be just what we need to save the classics. Tell the kids they CAN'T read them. Instant hits!

Lisa - great! You and I are of like minds. Intellectual freedom is one of my main causes. Thanks for stopping by! I'll be sure to do likewise on your blog (before September!).

ChrisEldin said...

I'm over from PJD's blog where you mentioned some interest in my thong-wear.
First, honey, you need the ass. Do you have the ass to carry it off? Be honest. Then we'll talk.

ChrisEldin said...

Sorry I didn't say anything intelligent about banned books.
I'm drinking wine for the first time in a long time....

freddie said...

Yeah. I've got the cellulite and everything, honey. I'm ready.

freddie said...

Chris, just say something unintelligent. Here at Freddie's Cafe standards are not high.

In fact, you'll have to wash your own wine glass.