The state of Arizona is considering a bill allowing university students to refuse to read any books that offend their preconcieved notions about the world. The "Bill for the Defense of Willful Ignorance" will once and for all close off American minds to hostile invaders, such as literature that “conflicts with the student’s beliefs or practices in sex, morality or religion.” Whew! Well, that's good. One problem with today's college students is that they're reading too much!
One Arizona student, an Eric Cartman, had this to say: "Oh! They have warped my fragile little mind!"
The student who started all of this was offended because his Lit professor assigned him Rick Moody's The Ice Storm, a fairly well-recieved take on alienation and dysfunctionality in 1970s suburbia. The problem is that the book ends with a wife swapping "key party" that "brings the action to a chaotic climax as an apocalyptic winter storm culminates in physical tragedy to match the emotional damage in the small community." This warped the child's fragile little mind, and so he went to his congressman apparently.
For his part, David Horowitz opposes the measure. “It doesn’t respect the authority of the professor in the classroom,” he said. “This authority does not include the right to indoctrinate students or deny them access to texts with points of view that differ from the professor’s. But it does include the right to assign texts that make students feel uncomfortable.”
Another big problem we have in universities is hordes of kids clammoring for books, which their teachers deny them access to, Soup Nazi-style. "No reading for you!" But, at any rate, good for Horowitz for opposing this.
It's just sad how uncomfortable books do make students, and their parents, and their local politicians. You'll notice that, as less and less people are able to read anymore, books seem more and more frightening to them- like cameras do to tribespeople in the jungle. They're dark and troubling, and can steal your soul away, beckoning you to a shadowy and internal cognitive world. Better to stay safe, and ward them off with the I-pod and cell phone. Ooonga-bunga!