*Above artwork courtesy of the American Library Association
Since it’s Banned Books Week, I decided to use one of the resource books I found at the library for this today’s Quotables. It has a section of quotes, and I found several that are either thought provoking or just simply awesome.
The first quote falls into the latter category:
“Whenever I notice that my name isn’t on the list of banned and challenged authors, I feel faintly like I’m letting the side down. Although I suspect all I’d have to do to get on the list is to write a book about naked, bisexual, hard-swearing wizards who drink a lot while disparaging the Second Amendment, and I’d be home and dry.” – Neil Gaiman
The second and third quotes are more thought provoking:
“Where there is official censorship it is a sign that speech is serious. When there is none, it is pretty certain that the official spokesmen have all the loudspeakers.” – Paul Goodman
“A democratic society depends upon an informed and educated citizenry” – Thomas Jefferson
These made me think about the media and the plethora of useless and often ridiculous information that gets spouted on every form of communication available. Though the first quote specifically mentions “official spokesmen”, I think it still holds true when you include all the news networks. Perhaps the lack of truly important news is only because they’re going with what sells, but it makes me wonder if there isn’t a second reason. I’m reminded of the Roman phrase “bread and circuses”. The Romans had the gladiators; we have celebrities.
Which leads me to the fourth quote I found:
“Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance” – Lyndon Baines Johnson, commenting as he signed a bill providing an increase in Federal aid for libraries on Feb. 11th, 1964
I HAD to include this quote because LBJ was an alumni of my university on top of being a supporter of libraries and education (click on the picture for more info).