Because only those fascists on the *other* side ban and censor. Real radicals read and watch what they damn well want.
Banning and censoring: It’s not just an obsession of the right anymore!
When I was in college, the Rise of Reagan led to immediate carte blanche for conservatism’s fear-driven pet pathologies, arising like a purse-mouthed cobra flicking its tongue and swaying over the country, daring liberals to step out of line. The Hippie Era was over, pinkos. The Moral Majority were your new strict, strait-laced mommies and daddies.
And boy, did they love censorship! Emboldened Christian fundamentalists attacked books, movies, record albums, and video games. While I wasn’t much into Pac-Man, or the record albums they disliked (I preferred Pat Benatar, the Go-Gos and Loverboy to ‘Satanic’ heavy metal), I did love books, and like any young person I strongly disliked so-called grownups telling me what I could or could not read.
I read classic novels without a class requirement: Whatever the Religious Reich banned around the country. A Separate Peace. Lord of the Flies. 1984. The Diary of Anne Frank. Slaughterhouse-5. Lolita. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Catcher in the Rye.
I worked briefly with the nuclear freeze movement and watched the newer anti-nuclear war movies the right disdained: Threads, The Day After, War Games. Special Bulletin, a TV-movie about American terrorists holding the government hostage with a homemade nuclear bomb they threaten to detonate if the government doesn’t disable its weapons, was treated as a live broadcast like other breaking events.
Never tell me I can’t read, see, hear, or watch something.
If the right has customarily embraced censorship, bans, and shutting down free speech, it would be dishonest to say the left never has, and it’s certainly getting comfy-cozy with it now. Scattered examples of the left’s new-found love for old-school censorship are rooted in the not-so-distant past: Angry college students attempting to ‘de-platform’ (not yet a word) scientist E.O. Wilson in the 1970s, invading classrooms to shout him down and putting up posters denouncing him as the ‘Right-Wing Prophet of Patriarchy.’ According to Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, students brought noisemakers to Wilson’s lectures, and at a 1978 scientific conference protesters stormed the stage chanting anti-racist slogans, one grabbed his microphone and another attacked him with a pitcher of water.
This was all over Wilson’s book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, in which he argued that animal and human behavior is driven by heredity, environment, and past experiences, refuting the left’s belief (still common today) that we are born with a ‘blank slate’ brain, and that all we are is due to nurture, rather than nature. Claiming ‘free will’ is an illusion, as Wilson did, was perhaps a bit hyperbolic, and today scientists accept that the question isn’t nature vs nurture, but now much of each.
Let’s not forget the left’s ‘cancellation’ (also not yet a word) of sportscaster and prognosticator Jimmy the Greek in 1988, who made some idiotic, racist pseudo-scientific remarks about black athletes and consequently got fired in the uproar (back then, as now, the left offered no forgiveness for an apology. ‘Redemption’ was for right-wing Christian whackos, like Jesus).
Today, it’s even-steven, with the left and right running neck-and-neck in the race to ban, censor, and prohibit content they don’t like.
So I say, let’s find it and read, listen to or watch it!
And don’t forget to strap on your protective mask, as the classic ‘80s countercultural comic Bloom County warned us, in case the fishes tear-gas you!
Books the right doesn’t want you to read
The 50 most banned books in America, 2021-2022 - And Tango Makes Three, based on two male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo who were trying to hatch a rock like an egg, so zookeepers put a real egg in their cage and they hatched it. Neurotic and massively anthropomorphizing parents didn’t like its ‘homosexual overtones’. And also Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Ibram X. Kendi. Even if you don’t like Kendi’s anti-white tone, Ted Cruz can’t stand it and used it to figuratively beat Supreme Court Justice nominee Ketanji Jackson over the head with it. So you should read it just to annoy him.
The right’s book-banning campaign reaches a new level - A Kansas school district’s conservatives pulled, among many other books, The Handmaid’s Tale from libraries because, I don’t know, maybe they didn’t want girls to see their game plan. And ban-ny state Texas went after 850 books they were afraid might make students feel ‘uneasy’, including Amnesty International’s We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures, along with books that explained puberty and reproduction, and An African American and Latinx History of the United States, which tries to correct inaccuracies in American history and add a dash of nuance, sorely needed in our black-hats-vs-white-hats world.
Maus, an eighth-grade graphic novel banned in Tennessee for depicting what the Holocaust was really like (conservatives wanted a kinder, gentler Holocaust, I guess)
To Kill A Mockingbird - Censors’ long-time favorite, this time banned in California because it contains racism. (Boy, wait’ll they read Ibram Kendi!)
The Twilight series - Well, the occult is always right out for Christian fundamentalists so falling in love with a vampire is verboten. Oddly, the series also met with conservative disfavor because it explores ideas about death and sexual desire, despite Bella and Edward, the two protagonists, not sleeping together until they get married, in accordance with the Mormon author’s religious beliefs.
Fifty Shades of Grey - No surprise here that a book full of weird kinks including a ‘Red Room of Pain’ met with disapproval by conservatives who’ve probably never stuck ben-wa balls up their hoochy-cooch after sucking on them even once, although others have argued the books should have been banned for bad writing.
Desire pools dark and deadly in my groin.
His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something.
He's my very own Christian Grey popsicle. [You mean we can buy these at Stop ‘n’ Shop?]
Banned by Amazon - Books the left doesn’t want you to read
Pretty much anything critical of the transgender movement can count on bans and boycotts by the blue-pink-and-white set, if only in angry blog articles. The right hates anything pro-LGBTQ and the left hates anything critical of it.
The ACLU and their transgender lawyer attempted to get Abigail Schrier’s controversial book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters removed from Amazon. It was successfully removed from Target stores until Twitter stepped in to shame them away from censorship (demonstrating there’s at least some genuine social justice still hanging in there).
When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment also met with far-left disapproval.
Parler, a right-wing social media app, was removed from the Apple and Google stores and also Amazon Web Services. A fair chunk of the planning for the Jan. 6 attack occurred there and also on Gab, a fellow right-wing Twitter and Facebook alternative, but the planning also went down in plain sight on Twitter and the government didn’t shut that down. (Only Donald Trump, the Proud Boys, and some other right-wing groups implicated in the attack).
Too rich and powerful to be banned by the left
The ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ Disappears and Reappears - The controversial podcaster’s phenomenally successful series disappeared from Spotify in 2022 in response to criticism and a Twitter campaign against him about presenting COVID-19 misinformation and ‘racial slurs’. Love him or hate him, he made too much money for Spotify to ‘cancel’ as hippie rocker Neil Young and others had urged on Twitter. Supposedly Rogan himself removed over 100 episodes with the demon N-word in them. The Joe Rogan Experience remains available today. Spotify stood by their $200 million hypermasculine golden goose.
Kanye West, a/k/a Ye - He’s down but not out after threatening to go ‘Defcon 3’ on the Jews and other anti-Semitic comments last year. Fans did not noticeably stop buying his albums in 2018 when he told Donald Trump slavery was a ‘choice’. He’s a conspiracy theorist and an occasional white supremacist, and his anti-Semitism cost him several lucrative business and partnership deals. Today he makes a paltry $3.7 million from Spotify, which is a drop in the bucket for a guy who’s now worth only about $400 million. But it’s still a lot of money for anyone as Spotify pays less than a half-cent a stream. Considering he’s been lauded as a ‘genius’ and was extreme even before he went super-right-wing-Trumpy, he might win back a few fans if he tones down the hostile rhetoric and produces another great album. Whether he’s got it in him to do that remains to be seen.
Too rich and powerful to be banned by the right
The Christian right in particular has a long history of boycotting everything they don’t like, but we could easily argue boycotts were ‘cancel culture’ before the left made it a thing. Although the right successfully ‘cancelled’ the Dixie Chicks, Colin Kaepernick, and Samantha Bee, it must be noted that Beyoncé is still going strong, Ellen DeGeneres (called ‘Ellen Degenerate’ by Jerry Falwell) went on to become a successful talk show host after aggravating the homophobic right by ‘coming out’ on her TV sitcom in the ‘90s, and Target failed to go bankrupt after a right-wing boycott of the store in 2016 in which it claimed it wouldn’t discriminate against transgender people. There’s nothing more offensive to the Religious Reich than failing to discriminate against others.
Too rich and powerful to be banned by either
The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling - A wonderful 7-part podcast series. Let’s remember, the Religious Right banned, censored, pilloried and monstered Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling before it was cool. Hell, some of these young whippersnappers calling Rowling a c—t, a bitch, a TERF, et al today were still swimmin’ around in their daddy’s balls when ‘Christians’ burned and banned Rowling’s books for ‘promoting witchcraft’. One of the best explanations I ever got for all the right-wing Rowley hate was that Harry’s adoptive family the Dursleys represented what life was like in a relentlessly normal, boring, repressive family, vs Hogwarts which was fun, free, and magical. Even being Nigel Longbottom was better than Dudley.
Why the left-wing hate? Angry men in dresses who desire marginalization, can’t stand reasoned argument and who will do anything to shut feminists up.
Things the right doesn’t want you to say—or else
I encourage you to say ‘Gay’ all over Florida - just not on school property. You could get fined, imprisoned, or drawn and quartered by Governor of Florida and presidential wannabe Ron DeSantis if you say ‘gay’ or several other words including ‘transgender’, ‘queer’ ‘genderqueer’ or ‘Ron DeSantis is a fascist poopyhead’, but you can say them everywhere else, especially on Gay Disney Day which this year is Saturday, June 3rd.
Things the left doesn’t want you to say—or else
If Elon Musk has been good in any way for Twitter, it’s to restore a little sanity and reality to the trans debate. I’m not sure how far he’s gone in permitting unpopular opinions about trans ideology, but under the Old Regime people regularly got suspended and banned for stating biology is real, that you can’t change your sex and for ‘misgendering’ or ‘dead naming’ people who’d switched teams. Except for dead-naming Caitlyn Jenner since it was pointed out the entire world knew who Bruce Jenner was as a famous athlete, and who she was now.
Things the left and right don’t want you to do at football games
Don’t kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Don’t kneel in prayer.
Banned elsewhere by the right, because Amazon only bans the left’s no-no’s
Gender Queer: A Memoir - Written by a nonbinary asexual, Maia’s cathartic biography about a person born female with eir own really customized pronouns (‘eir’ is not a typo), Gender Queer became the most banned book in the United States, reports the American Library Association.
The 1619 Project - The right really hates this one, a Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the history and legacy of slavery.
James Patterson’s Maximum Rides books, by once again, the ban-crazy Ronald DeSantis. I’m not sure Emperor Go-Go Boots has ever seen a book he approved of, much less read. No one, especially Patterson, seems clear on why his Young Adult novels are deemed unsuitable for children, unless DeSantis has a particular bug up his butt about a lab-created family of bird people, or something. Maybe Patterson depicted them pooping on a DeSantis statue? While I’m not in favor of banning Patterson’s books, I am in favor of banning Patterson on the grounds of impersonating an author. I haven’t read the Rides books but I’ve read two others and they were so bad I Googled on ‘why James Patterson’s books suck so much’. Answer: He’s got an army of fourth-rate hacks churning out his story ideas which made perfect sense considering they seemed written by sixteen-year-olds living in some place that isn’t New York which is why they got so much about New York wrong.
Just about anything by black authors - This includes anything about Critical Race Theory, Brown Girl Dreaming, about growing up black in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and The Story of Ruby Bridges, first a banned book and now a banned Disney movie, about the six-year-old who was part of the original Little Rock school integration fiasco in the late ‘50s.
Banned from Vimeo by the far left, then restored by the Level Left
Dead Name - A documentary attacked by tranactivists, the Religious Reich of the left, for 'being ‘transphobic’, which is a social justice term meaning ‘Anything feminist that doesn’t fit our misogynist, gynophobic narrative’. Vimeo removed the documentary for violating its policy against ‘hateful content’, which in this context meant, ‘It exposed the harms brought upon others by the gender transition industry’.
Affirmation Generation - A documentary about trans kids who de-transitioned. De-transitioning is growing quickly and transactivists lose their minds when people talk about it. De-transitioners are often ostracized from the trans tribe for admitting they made a mistake and prefer their original body. One wonders why those who are truly happy post-transitioning don’t just shrug their shoulders and say, “Good for you. Be authentic!”
Psychology shows that liberals aren’t as tolerant as we think. Consider this just a very short list of content the left and right don’t want to you see, hear, watch or read.
Fascism is fascism, and I leave you with a liberal burning a JK Rowling book.
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