Saturday, September 25, 2010

kids in america

HAPPY BANNED BOOKS WEEK! (Sept 25- Oct 2, 2010)

I know this is a music blog, but as you may have noticed I sort of delve into film, art and literature whenever it seems to fit. This is one of my favorite subjects to rant about however, so it gets a big fat mention.

There is a great bumper sticker quote: "Everything I need to know I learned in banned books". That holds pretty true for me. There are a lot of things I learned about teen & adult life, geography, culture, art, science, relationships, philosophy, history, from BOOKS that no one ever told me about. When I was in high school I was geeky enough to read all 100 of the books on the college entrance reading list. It helped out taking those pesky entrance exams and made up for my less than impressive math skills. Of course, between the years I spent in high school and college I also managed to rack up a good pile of the banned books list, just for spite.

Not to list them all but some of the highlights were:
  1. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  2. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (although not a Steinbeck fan)
  3. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  4. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous (that was an eye opener- the best anti-drug tactic i ever encountered, scared the pants off me.)
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  8. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  9. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  10. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (of course you must ban/burn the book that tells young people that banning/burning books is wrong)
Since I graduated from college dozens more books, new and old, have been added to the lists: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, the classic In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (my kids love that naked boy falling into the jar of milk), Draw Me A Star by Eric Carle, and the ridiculous list goes on. I'm sure The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson are soon to be added for scaring kids with ancient, heretical legends.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Kids in America" - Kim Wilde

HIGHLIGHTED COVER: "Kids in America" - The Muffs (for the record: although I think this is a great cover, I HATE the video)


"Kids in America" - The Bouncing Souls

"Kids in America" - Bloodhound Gang

"Kids in America" - Fourth Grade Nothing

The Wynona Riders also cover this on their album J.D. Salinger.
(Lookout records)

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