Banning books? What do you think will happen?

I address the adults — by chronology, if not by any other standard — who are working their butts off to compile lists of “dangerous” books they want removed from school libraries around the country.

It’s quite clear you fear the ideas within these books will influence your kids, will shift their young views away from your views and beliefs, whatever those are. You fear they’ll learn the facts of life and history without your redactions and simplifications.

As I read the lists of books you think you’re going to ban, I am reminded of what being a young adolescent was. Our intellectual development was influenced much more by our favorite teachers and our friends than by you, our parents. Insofar as you parents might have influenced us, it was to rebellion — against your views. And even if we generally approved of your politics and culture, we were bound to find something we loathed about you.

That was our job. I’m sure it’s the job of your kids, too.

All this weird news about Texas and Tennessee and banning books and controlling what the kids will be reading and thinking…well, I am grieved to inform you censorious types you’ve already lost whatever war you think you’re fighting to control your children’s minds and behavior. You were going to lose it eventually; by burning their books, you just sped up the defeat.

Trying to control your children is like trying to herd cats. You should know that. Your kids will go the way they choose to go and fuck you if you get in their way. You’ll be lucky if they decide to resume talking to you when they reach their 20’s.

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