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Old Today, 04:58 PM   #136
Sirtel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hildea View Post
Yep, that is the problem. A novel which describes a sexual relationship between a grown slave owner and a slave child as a consensual romance, which imagines that she could have said "No", does idolize the oppressors.
So? It's fiction. Many fictional books, for example, idolize war; by your logic, they all should be banned. Many romance novels idolize relationships that in real life would be called abusive; should they be banned also?

I don't think banning everything is the solution. Grown and reasonably sane people are (for the most part) perfectly able to tell the difference between reality and fiction.
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Old Today, 05:29 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by arjaybe View Post
Why shouldn't I give others the benefit of the wisdom of my respected and trusted source? Because you say so? Why should I value your opinion over theirs?

It's fine to have opinions and principles, as long as they're not blindly condemnatory of those of others. If you only assume you know why someone is saying something, then that's no better than condemning a book without reading it.
Blindly condemnatory. A great description of condemning a book without reading it. Not such a good description of the criticism of those who do this. You are really tying yourself up in knots with your last sentence. Or perhaps trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
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Old Today, 05:46 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
It can only escalate if you help them by spreading their message. Otherwise they're just a noisy (and small) internet clique.
Unfortunately, this type of activism is succeeding in silencing opposing views in all sorts of areas, not just books. Some of the worst examples seem to occur in Universities, certainly in the US and Australia. The best course may be to largely ignore this Twitter group. I'm not entirely convinced one way or the other. Though I am leaning towards a need to speak out against this type of behaviour, at least when it does escape from the confines of its own echo chamber or where it in fact looks like it has a realistic prospect of succeeding. Whilst the publisher in this case did defend the book and refuse to yield, publishers and authors are understandably most sensitive to being accused of any type of prejudice. Mud sticks. This type of controversy can lead to more sales, but it also has the potential to do real damage to the business concerned.

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Old Today, 06:02 PM   #139
Sirtel
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I read about a serial killer in a newspaper some years ago. The killer said in court that he had been influenced by fantasy books, among other things. Should we ban all fantasy books because someone who read them went crazy and started to kill people? Should we ban crime novels and movies (or action flicks, etc.) because they trivialize murder and might influence some people to think it's ok to kill? Should we ban horror movies?

Banning fictional books and subjects is a very slippery slope, I'd say.

For the most part of our history most people have been illiterate. That didn't stop them from abusing one another or do all sorts of cruel things. Not allowing people to read something wouldn't do so either.
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Old Today, 06:05 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hildea View Post
And a question to those of you who don't see a problem with these books: Can you really say, with a straight face, that stories which romanticise nazis, trivialise the horror of slavery in the US, and make light of racism and antisemitism, don't hurt people? Truly?
The problem is that "romanticize," "trivialize," and "make light of" are highly subjective terms that different people define differently. One person's "describes" is another's "romanticize." One's "could have used more context" is another's "made light of."

To pretend that it can be simply--let alone objectively--agreed upon that certain books definitely romanticize, trivialize, and otherwise make light of, horrendous real-life human behavior is not being particularly honest.

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Old Today, 06:08 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl View Post
Unfortunately, this type of activism is succeeding in silencing opposing views in all sorts of areas, not just books.
I'm, however, only making comments pertaining to the book aspect.
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Old Today, 06:13 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hildea View Post
Some clarifications to my last post:
And a question to those of you who don't see a problem with these books: Can you really say, with a straight face, that stories which romanticise nazis, trivialise the horror of slavery in the US, and make light of racism and antisemitism, don't hurt people? Truly?
Clearly such books do not hurt people physically, unless your argument is that they will cause readers to go out and replicate the conduct in the book in real life. If by hurt you mean upset, distress and/or offend, then of course they do. So what? It is a necessary price for freedom of expression. And often a pre-requisite for change. For instance, I'm sure many Christians were very upset, hurt and offended by the campaign for same sex marriage. Should books and articles on the topic not have been published because it would upset them? Going back further, I'm sure many slave owners were distraught at any suggestion of emancipation of the people that they considered to be their property. Should books and articles on these topics have been withheld out of sensitivity to their hurt feelings? in which case I suggest to you that this loathsome practice would probably still be officially with us.

It is part of normal life to be exposed to material that offends and upsets us. Often this material challenges us as well, and occasionally causes some to re-think their positions. Reading is not compulsory. Hurt and offence from a book is easily avoided. Don't read it.

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Old Today, 06:22 PM   #143
arjaybe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinisajoy View Post
What exactly is the difference?
I don't see one. Just different wording.
Please tell me how should have never been published so no one could read it is any different from no one should read this book.
Looks like the same idea.
I am over 18. So I have a question.
Why should someone choose what I read?
Maybe I possibly find what the condemner reads offensive. What you read or don't read does not in any way affect my life. Now if one tells me I should only read what they read, that affects my life and personally what I choose to read is my business only not anyone else's.


To those that think they can tell people not to do something, how would you feel if you were told what you couldn't do?

See my thinking is you want to dictate to me, then that gives me the right to dictate to you.
And yet you think it's okay to tell people that they shouldn't condemn a book without reading it? How is that not dictating? They would have every right to tell you to butt out.-)

As for your first question: I explained that. See the second sentence of the comment you quoted.
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Old Today, 06:32 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl View Post
Blindly condemnatory. A great description of condemning a book without reading it. Not such a good description of the criticism of those who do this. You are really tying yourself up in knots with your last sentence. Or perhaps trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
I guess I'm just not smart enough to understand the nuance. Being simple-minded, I can't see the difference between censoring books and censoring their critics.
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Old Today, 07:02 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjaybe View Post
I guess I'm just not smart enough to understand the nuance. Being simple-minded, I can't see the difference between censoring books and censoring their critics.
Not critics. Sheep. And not censorship. Justified criticism.

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Old Today, 07:04 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjaybe View Post
And yet you think it's okay to tell people that they shouldn't condemn a book without reading it? How is that not dictating? They would have every right to tell you to butt out.-)

As for your first question: I explained that. See the second sentence of the comment you quoted.
As to the butting out, you can say whatever you want a book (read, unread or started), but if you tell me I shouldn't read a book without a very good reason, I will tell you to mind your own business or go preach it to the choir.
It all depends on the phrasing.
Saying I don't think this book is worth reading will carry more weight that no one should read this book.

Heck, I think Julie and Julia is rather unreadable because the language is distracting.
Note: I didn't say you shouldn't read it just it shouldn't be read in my opinion. I would have thought the publisher would have cleaned it up a bit. Though

To me, your second sentence is still saying no one should read this book.
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Old Today, 07:50 PM   #147
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I've been reading this thread for days, trying to think about how to answer this question without getting into topics best left for the P&R forum.
  • In the US, we have the right to say almost anything
    • That doesn't mean there may not be consequences to the speaker or others
    • I know there are certain exceptions to that right
  • I'd rather not live in a country that didn't have that right
  • I don't have to like what people say, and very often don't
  • I don't have to let others' opinions change my mind, and very often don't

With that in mind, I'd have to say that "yes, it should be okay to condemn a book without having read it". I cringe even typing the words, but I do believe people have a right to think and say what they want.

I don't have to like it or act on it, although I'm sure I've agreed more than once (e.g., I pretty much agree with the horrible reviews for the 50 Shades books, although I don't think I've read more than a clip or two).

If I really care about the topic being condemned, I have an equal right to offer an opposing opinion. Whether I'd be willing to put up with the dog-pile that would probably arise in such a case, I don't know. I don't have a Twitter account, but I have been involved in some pretty ugly conversations on blog posts in my day.

Sometimes it's easier to shake my head, back away from the computer, and give everyone a few days to calm down.
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Old Today, 08:24 PM   #148
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I don't think that condemning a book without reading should be illegal or forbidden, and probably the OP doesn't think so either. To my mind, it should not be ok in the same sense as insulting someone just because you don't like his face is not ok. Of course people do both of those things anyway, and hardly anyone in this discussion is likely to think that they should be punished by law for it. But we can discuss whether it's ok in our personal opinion or not.
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Old Today, 09:17 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
I don't think that condemning a book without reading should be illegal or forbidden, and probably the OP doesn't think so either. To my mind, it should not be ok in the same sense as insulting someone just because you don't like his face is not ok. Of course people do both of those things anyway, and hardly anyone in this discussion is likely to think that they should be punished by law for it. But we can discuss whether it's ok in our personal opinion or not.
Exactly. No one seems to be suggesting that it should be prohibited or attract any sanction. People are going to do it anyway, and they are free to. But that does not make it okay. In my view such people as a general rule are displaying their wilful ignorance and lack any credibility. This is particularly clear with books like the Black Witch. Less so with books which deal with totally repugnant subjects, though even with these I think comments should be limited to voicing the opinion that the theme is so repugnant that they do not even want to read the book.

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Old Today, 09:19 PM   #150
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