25 September 2010

Banned Book Week: Dan Walker (guest blogger)

The Giver by Lois Lowry.  ISBN: 9780440237686.

After he's been named the new Receiver of Memory, Jonas is given a (distinctly brief) pamphlet like the others receiving their Assignments, with instructions for his first day of training.  It tells him, among other things, not to discuss his training with anyone, and gives him leave to break a number of societal norms, including being able to tell lies and be rude.

I sure wish I had access to that last one.  I'm constantly afraid that someone is going to take some little thing I do or say as being rude.  This is especially true when I'm at work, I'm always finishing with customers and wondering, "Was I somehow rude...?"  I'm constantly concerned that I might have said something wrong, or said it a certain way.  Maybe I didn't wait long enough for something to happen.  Maybe my body language was improper.  There's nothing in my actions that stands out as having been rude, but I wonder if it might have been taken that way.  I just wouldn't know if it happened.

Of course, people are free to take offense at pretty much anything, for pretty much any reason.  Being offended is a choice, after all, but most people don't realize that.  (Think about it: if it wasn't a choice, then how could there individuals who are not easily offended by things like taboo words? racist jokes? dead baby jokes?  ...Are you?)  If it's easier to get your way by being offended all the time, why wouldn't you let that thong ride up your ass*?  After all, if people didn't choose to take offense, we wouldn't be 'celebrating' Banned Book Week now, would we?

That said, a license to be rude would be awesome for a different reason.  So many people in this world need to be set straight about their behaviors.  They need to be told that they're being obnoxious, selfish assholes.  They need to be told that it is not acceptable to be so demanding, especially when those demands infringe on the rights of others.  They need to be told when they're being rude, even though that is, paradoxically, rude in itself.  So a lot of the self-absorbed, self-entitled, customer-is-always-righties in the world get to go on about their merry way without anyone checking their behavior.  Forget a license to kill, I just want a license to say "STFU and GTFO".

Dan Walker (pseudonym) is a writer from Northeast Ohio, who would be teaching ESL if he wasn't unemployed. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Wright State University in 2004 and a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language from Kent State University in 2009. He will make some lucky librarian a wonderful husband someday. 

*Phrasing generously loaned by Amy L. Campbell.

for description of drug use by children, lethal injections of babies and the elderly, suicide, and other reasons.


  1. Great post, so glad you posted this!

    ~ Amy

  2. Dan's got some great things to say occasionally. Which is why I let him out of his cage to speak every now and then. :-)

    Glad you enjoyed the post. The Giver is one of my favorite banned books and I insisted Dan read it for Banned Book Week (although I would have insisted he read it anytime).

  3. Why thank you, Amy. :) And Amy. And... Amy. @_@ Oh God, there's too many of you!


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