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This year’s Banned Books List included a few surprises.
The American Library Association's annual report highlights those books saddled with censorious complaints from parents, educators and assorted bureaucrats. Mom and Dad understandably would be horrified to find Fifty Shades of Grey in the elementary school stacks, but some administrators objected to Dav Pilkey's popular Captain Underpants kid-lit series.
It appears some paper-shufflers found the silly superhero too disrespectful of their efforts. "I don't see these books as encouraging disrespect for authority. Perhaps they demonstrate the value of questioning authority," Pilkey said. "Some of the authority figures in the Captain Underpants books are villains. They are bullies and they do vicious things."
We learned over the weekend that school office bullies aren’t restricted to the K-12 world. Two California university professors seem to be creating their own list of books to ban, including any titles that dare question their disintegrating theory of apocalyptic climate change.
San Jose State University posted a photo of their Climate Science profs about to burn Steve Goreham’s book, The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism. Department chair Alison Bridger, Ph.D., is shown holding a match while associate professor Craig Clements , Ph.D., dangles the book above the flame.
Once the photo started going viral, university officials removed it from their website and insisted it was just a joke. Hilarious, no? Joke or not, while academia constantly warns of metaphorical right-wing book burners, academic arson is literally happening on the left.
Needless to say, the book-burning professors are paid by California taxpayers. I suppose hard-working Golden Staters should be thankful it was a printed title and not an ebook. (Despite the name, Amazon Kindles are tricky to burn.)
San Jose State received the anti-alarmist book from the Heartland Institute, one of 100,000 copies distributed by the conservative organization. After receiving initial hate-filled responses from academia, Heartland’s Jim Lakely jokingly wondered if professors would “burn the book to keep warm in this record cold spring, which might be a sign of the coming global cooling.”
Lakely quickly discovered that it’s tough to lampoon people who exceed even the craziest exaggerations:
The enviro-left in academia has “progressed” from ignoring all this non-alarmist evidence, to trying to dismiss it, to failing at that, to refusing to debate, to fudging data and blackballing contrarian evidence, to committing crimes against The Heartland Institute, to now showing the world that putting a match to evidence from the “other side” is a reasonable reaction. Pathetic. We are witnessing the death throes of a cult in real time, and it ain’t pretty.
The American Library Association doesn’t list The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism on this year’s Banned Books List, but maybe San Jose State will catch their attention. If I may paraphrase the creator of Captain Underpants, I don't see Goreham's book as encouraging disrespect for authority. Perhaps it demonstrates the value of questioning authority. Some of the authority figures in The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism are villains. They are bullies and they do vicious things.
Follow Jon on Twitter at @ExJon.