You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

December 03, 2004

In My Culture, We Cut Off Books' Spines And Put Them On Spikes As A Warning To Others

So Gerald Allen, a state representative in Alabama, wants to prohibit libraries from using public money to buy books that "recognize or promote homosexuality." Such books already on the shelves would be destroyed.

In an interesting twist, however, Allen does not want to burn the offending books, like the Nazis did. He wants to take them all home so he can furtively examine them late at night with the door to the bathroom locked.

Whoops -- sorry, no, my mistake. Actually, Allen suggests that rather than burning the books, they'll just "dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them."

So, this makes me wonder... clearly there are people everywhere who want to suppress books, but could it be they express this differently from culture to culture?

1. European Fascists: Book Cremation

2. Southern Religious Fundamentalists: Book Burying

3. Ancient Egyptian Authoritarians: Book Mummification, with a retinue of dozens of librarians and editors sealed in the tomb with the books to accompany them to the afterlife

4. Close-Minded Pirates: Book Burial At Sea

5. Totalitarian Uruguayan Rugby Players Trapped In Andes: Book Cannibalism, in which books are eaten by other, more deserving books

Posted at December 3, 2004 08:25 AM | TrackBack

is your journal syndicated on LJ yet?

Posted by: chris at December 3, 2004 10:02 AM

That is really funny, Jon!

Posted by: Mike at December 3, 2004 12:15 PM

jon i know this doesn't have anything to do with what u wrote but i wanted to know how old u are and where you live? im trying to figure out somethng i would greatly appreciate it please email me back

Posted by: Christy at December 3, 2004 12:26 PM

Funny as hell. One pedantic point: it was a Uruguayan rugby team.

I guess at least they were able to eat with their hands.

Posted by: Bob Harris at December 3, 2004 12:37 PM


I'm deeply embarrassed to get that wrong, especially since for all of 1994 I was incapable of having a conversation with any human without bringing up Alive. I even went to see the movie, which didn't have enough raw human flesh for my taste. (So to speak.)

So, I've corrected it in the entry with no acknowledgement that it was ever incorrect. Soon I will erase your comment, then this one, and then I may have to erase you from all human memory. I hope that's okay with you.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 3, 2004 04:37 PM

Does he mean that a book can't recognize that homosexuality exists? In that case, no library (including, presumably, law libraries) in Alabama would be able to carry the book that includes his law.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at December 3, 2004 07:23 PM

Do not forget Chinese authoritarians: book burning PLUS live burial of intellectuals...

Posted by: En Ming Hee at December 3, 2004 07:58 PM

Hmm. Doesn't the Bible "recognize" homosexuality?Are they going to have to get rid of their bibles?

Posted by: clete at December 4, 2004 04:55 PM

Brilliant. Thanks for a good morning laugh, Jon. :)

Posted by: James J. Dominguez at December 5, 2004 04:58 PM