Dangerous Words: A Brief History of Samizdat

It is March 1970, and American journalist Albert Parry writes a fascinating article in The New York Times about “the new and remarkably viable underground press” known as Samizdat – “self-publishing.” He writes: Unlike the underground of Czarist times, today’s samizdat has no printing presses (with rare exceptions): The K.G.B., the secret police, is too … Read more

A Real Kurt Vonnegut

I am a teeny bit embarrassed to admit, I’ve not read Vonnegut. Although certainly aware of his work. I’ve never had the inclination to pick his titles. Perhaps until now. On the Banned Books Week’s site, they linked to a letter Vonnegut wrote in 1973 to the head of a school board who had burned … Read more

Stephen Colbert Vs Maurice Sendak, or Vice Versa

Once again, I tripped over an episode of mock conservative Stephen Cobert’s show, and low and behold, he’s interviewing the famous children’s writer and illustrator–Maurice Sendak. If you’ve not seen Colbert–think of a fake sincere smart aleck whose comebacks are fast and furious, and usually hilarious. I find it hard to believe in this day … Read more

Parental Interference Allowed To Run Amuck

I don’t know what else to call this unbelievable turn in the issue of censorship and disruption of public school curriculum. I only know that a state I visited and enjoyed, has now become the poster child for backward, dictatorial thinking. The voters of this state should not only be ashamed of themselves for voting … Read more

Why I Am Thrilled to Be An 'East Coast Elitist'

You’ve heard that term before, right? Any time someone says anything contrary to the established beliefs of small vocal radical conservative groups, and they are on the East coast–heck, even if they’re in downtown Chicago–the perception these people give is that any one who disagrees with them are “elitists.”  I doubt most understand what the … Read more

Now SHERLOCK HOLMES Has Been Targeted–The Same Old Song–School Book Censorship,

This is getting ridiculous. A Study In Scarlet has been removed from a Virginia 6th grade curriculum–why? Because some of the passages are florid descriptions of what Arthur Conan Doyle believed were Mormon religious views and activities. And yes, again, on the basis of ONE complaint, a book that had been taught for years as … Read more