Aparently, It’s Banned Book Week

I’m 0 for 2 on being up on milestones. However, I’m still more bummed about forgetting about Sputnik’s 50th than banned book week and a comentor over at Heavy Metal Librarian sums up why:

Banned books are passe. Have the list ever been updated. It always reads like a 1950s blacklist or dry county red state goodly Christian moral paranoia.

Banned information isn’t exactly the problem these days. It’s false mythologies, misinformation, and a presidential personality cult like Kim Jong-il’s minus the fashion sense.

He’s right. As wonderful a novel as Lolita is, there’s nothing even remotely erotic about it, other than Vlad Nabokov’s luscious turn of phrase. The idea that forms the core of the story isn’t even all that shocking anymore, what with real life US Senators trolling for underage Page flesh in the frickin’ Capitol, a story about a middle aged pedophile who convinces himself that the object of his lust is in love with him is almost quaint.

Now sure, pedophilia is a problem. But its not the harry monster under the bed that some folks in the media would have us believe and nowhere near as insidious as the finely structured layer of lies, damn lies, bullshit and purple smoke that makes up our pubic discourse. Plus, if you can’t get Lolita or any other banned book at your library, you can order it from Amazon or find the text online. Just ignore the barely-legal porn pop ups and the adverts in your email for Viagra and hot mother on daughter incest action.* And honestly, if you don’t ever get around to reading Lolita, or Tropic of Cancer or Are you There God, It’s Me, Margaret, it’s not the end of the world. Of course, neither will the world end if you never hear what vile and fiendish plot our politicians are hatching. That’s just your freedom you’ll be missing. But hay, so long as we know what happens to Britney’s kids, who cares, right?

Sputnik, Comrads!

And I had this great post half written in my head, all about how Sputnik changed the world and all the technology we use today, from cell phones, to GPS to the Internet wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for a beeping little basketball that the commies launched into orbit fifty years ago today. Then I saw that Phil Plait went and wrote all that and then some. So go there and read.