A Piece of My Mind: It's That Time Again
Bennet Pomerantz

The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.
   ~ Willa Cather

Can an author with reason complain that he is cramped and shackled if he is not at liberty to publish blasphemy, bawdry, or sedition? All of which are equally prohibited in the freest governments, if they are wise and well-regulated ones.
   ~ Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4Th Earl of Chesterfield

We do not fear censorship for we have no wish to offend with improprieties or obscenities, but we do demand, as a right, the liberty to show the dark side of wrong, that we may illuminate the bright side of virtue-the same liberty that is conceded to the art of the written word, that art to which we owe the Bible and the works of Shakespeare.
   ~ D.W. Griffith

The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient.
   ~ George Bernard Shaw

So you should know. We may need to mark our calendars... September 23-30...those dates are Banned Books Week 2006 !

For most people, that week a normal work week. Nevertheless, to any writer who is worth their salt, this is a call to arms. A black letter week for all of us to step back and review our past.

I was talking to my friend Linda Akwa, who teaches high school English in Iowa . She and I were discussing what books should her kids read during this semester.  She was taking feedback and suggestions from the other English teachers, I just happen to be on her list.

I suggested the classic story "Usher II" from the classic Ray Bradbury chestnut The Martian Chronicles .

If you do not know the story, let me steer you to the on-line cliff notes. However if know this story, you know it's a parody of the political climate of the 1950's. It is what captures Banned Book Week best.

So until next time, Reach for the Stars!

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About the Writer:

Bennet Pomerantz is a media review columnist in 175 newspapers with his weekly column AUDIOWORLD. His fiction and reviews have appeared in the pages of Affaire De Coeur, Gateways, Mystery Scene, Power Star, The Hot Corner, Washington Entertainment Magazine, and many others. He is also known for his review appearances on the MCN Forum. View his web site at Audioworld.