Gratitude for the Self-Righteous

As many of you know I’ve been plodding along, reading books from the banned/challenged list purely for the exercise in doing so.  Truth be told there are several works on there I haven’t read despite their recognition as classics and thus works to fulfill even more of my reading endeavors.  When it comes right down to it, however, the list wouldn’t exist without the righteous.  The individuals who are so fastidiously married to how right their morality and biases are that everyone else should live in accordance with them.  These are the people who believe you have a right to speak and read what they tell you to, that they know what’s best, that they’re doing it because they care about your soul and/or your intellect so much that they are willing to make a stand on your behalf and tell you how to live.

You see, it’s for you that they do this!  It’s for me!  My child!  Your child, children, or grandchildren!  It’s not at all about their piousness, it’s about how much they care about us.  Isn’t that lovely?

Truth is, I resent these people and all of the ilk who think their abhorrence of certain works justifies telling me or my children what we can’t read except in one avenue:  Without these people I would not have learned of James and his giant peach, what lovely and unusual friends he was able to find; about some of the more graphic horrors of slavery that are missing from textbooks; that other people know how being an individual, doing something unpopular that hurts no one, can lead to persecution; that to live without humanity, the ups and downs of it all, is to leave one adrift in a world where nothing means everything excepting when everything doesn’t matter at all.  My gratitude is deep here, for it has expanded my literary repertoire greatly and I feel enlightened by all of it.  Just the same.  You can stop now.  Really.

Just because I read books about children killing their aunts with a giant peach does not mean I’m thinking of committing homicide with produce (or any kind of homicide for that matter), or that I’ll decide to let the pig run the farm and the donkey remain silent.  I can understand how disconcerting some of these things might be, but rest assured I am beyond such influence and totally understand if you are not and you choose to not partake of these works.  Still, since I am beyond these influences I tend to think it’s okay for me to read them.  Thank you for encouraging me to do so.

WARNING:  If I, at any point in time, feel the need to weild a fruit in anger or violence, I will be sure to call my local Murder by Produce hotline.  They have trained counselors available 24hrs a day who should be able to talk me down.


7 responses to “Gratitude for the Self-Righteous

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  • litlove

    Lol – I’ll cross my fingers that no need arises for the Murder by Produce hotline – they must be overwhelmed with calls at this time of year! 🙂

    It’s funny, isn’t it, how emotions that are good at origin – the desire to protect, the desire for purity, the celebration of innocence and goodness – can become ugly things when taken to extreme. Or maybe it’s when they are linked with terror or the fear for survival. But they are still twisted out of shape, and that’s problematic.

    • kimberlyloomis

      LL- Those poor people on the phone lines are probably very fearful of gourds right about now. 😉

      Twisted is a good adjective for it. I think much of this comes from a false premise that we can save people from themselves by limiting their view. How can one ever know to be cautious when approaching a cliff if they don’t first understand that they exist? It’s better to show, in a controlled situation, what is “out there” and allow for discussion and exploration than it is to deny “it” is at all and leave the child/person to be side swiped by “it”.

  • Carol Kilgore

    Murder by Produce. I laughed out loud. It takes all kinds of people to make this old world spin around. When others try to tell me how to live my life, I do have fleeting thoughts about a giant peach, though 🙂

  • Arlee Bird

    Of course, this predilection for banning books, ideas, etc. goes both ways. All sides prefer their ways of thinking and would like to push them our way. There are many things banned in public education that really should be there and are not. Right now there are so many agendas being promoted for a place in the educational systems and some of them are probably not for the best for all, but only for a select few which they benefit. Truth is always a good place to start.

    Tossing It Out

    • kimberlyloomis

      Lee – Yes, yes, yes! Even if there is no certain and absolute truth in some instances then the most honest place to reside in is simply to say “we’re unsure, but because of this, this and this we think it’s this way…”

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