Not Cease from Exploration

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My comment on Justin Vacula's Koran burning post

As referenced in the previous 'Road Apple'.  I wanted to paste my comment to the posting here so that I have record of it.

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Justin,

First I want to compliment you on the blog. You present some well thought-out ideas.

Second, and to the topic at hand, I strongly disagree with burning the Koran for one simple reason: the mass burning of any book (or books) is really an example of human society at it's very, very worst. Books are meant to be read and cherished. Books enlighten. Books entertain. Books represent what's best in our society: the sharing of "stuff". Books are intellectualism at its finest. What's more, no book...outside of a large type copy of Steven King's "The Stand" falling on your head...ever has or ever will cause harm. It's the idiot humans who read books that actually cause harm.

George Carlin had a twist on this in one of his routines; he said "there are no bad words...there are bad thoughts, bad intentions..." and he was absolutely right. I'll take the liberty of extending his logic to books as a whole.

So why burn books? Because it's a hell of a lot easier to engage in a violent act against a binding of paper than it is to engage the people that wrote/like/sponsor that idea. The book becomes this kind of sick avatar for a bunch of chicken-shit sycophants who pretend to misdirect their rage.

My point in all of this? Burn no books, ever. Book burning is the lowest common denominator in anti-intellectual behavior out there, which is why is has been practices by the likes of Hitler, Mao, Mussolini, Stalin, Milosevic, etc.

Want to express a right to "free speech" about a particular book? Then get a copy of it, go the courthouse square, read it aloud and tell everyone who passes by why the book is full of crap. There ya go: free speech.

Regards,
- Steve Albert/Scranton PA

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