A man lives behind a plate glass window in a “prison” of banned books. The man is artist Tim Youd, his prison sentence is one week, includes the labor of typing banned books such as Fahrenheit 451, is voluntary, and is being served at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.
The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA is recognizing Banned Books Week 2014 with a series of events. In addition to Tim Youd’s “imprisonment,” there are nightly bedtime stories which feature local authors and celebrities reading to Youd from banned books. There will also be talks by authors Rainbow Rowell and Malinda Lo, and actress Constance Macy will read a letter which Vonnegut penned to a school board. Oh, and the gift shop is open for business.
I’m not going to make it to Indianapolis this year but if I was in the area I’d make a point to get over there and check it out.
tiny ripples in the water glass
staring out the window at
Mom, he waved
I was at a conference in Omaha yesterday (the wonderful Apostacon!) and then on the road back home yesterday evening so I didn’t crack a book yesterday. Which is a shame because yesterday was day one of Banned Books Week 2014.
Banned Books Week is observed the last week of September every year and is sponsored by the American Library Association and a host of other orgs including the American Booksellers Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the National Association of College Stores, and more.
Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. (ALA site, 2014)
To personally celebrate Banned Books Week I’ll tweet and macro-blog on the event and read some frequently challenged literature. This week I’ll be reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and re-reading all of my 8 year old son’s Captain Underpants books. I encourage you to read some frequently challenged books this week (and every week). There are plenty out there, you can find lists at the American Libraray Association site.
Read banned books because it’s fun and because censorship sucks.
Heading up to Omaha Nebraska tonight for a weekend of Apostacon.
Apostacon is a yearly conference for Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Apostates, Freethinkers, Rationalists, Pastafarians, all manner of superstition-less types. The conference began a few years ago with a different name, right down Interstate-80 from Omaha in Lincoln. It’s grown quite a bit in attendance and stature with the years and is a pretty hot ticket for gods-free folks from all over the midwest and the rest of the USA.
So what’s with the name “Apostacon?” Apostacon started out in 2009 as the Midwest Humanist Conference (I was there as a brand new Missouri State Director for American Atheists so, you know, that makes me pretty cool). It then went through a series of names: Midwest Humanist Freethought Conference, Midwest Freethought Conference, Dirty Mike’s Oil Change Lube Draft Beer No Gods Conference, and finally the catchy and easily remembered Apostacon.
But what does “Apostacon” mean? The Apostaconspiracy themselves explain it as follows:
Apostacon is a portmanteau of the words “Apostate” which means “one who has abandoned one’s religious faith” and the word “Conference”. The similarity in sound of the first half of Apostacon (Aposta) with the word “pasta” immediately invoked thoughts of It’s noodliness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and thus our new conference logo & Pastafarian pirate theme was born.
I expect thought provoking, clever, entertaining presentations and conversations. And I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of cherished friends there that for the most part I only see at events like this. Maybe I’ll make a few new friends too.
If you’re in the Omaha area or can get there, check out Apostacon. If you can’t get your body to the event you can get your Twitter to the event at @Apostacon and #apostacon
“Daddeeeeee” as he pads across the room to crash into me with outstretched arms.
Our littlest Man, all ornery and loving, is 2 today.
I’ve kept a journal since July. I’ve filled various (countless) notebooks and journals throughout my life and I’ve pitched just about everyone of them (at least I hope I have!). I plan to hold on to this one though, if for no other reason than to embarrass myself later.
Of all those notebooks and journals this is the first one that I’ve really let have it. I’ve given this notebook plenty of depressing and dour thoughts. Most of the notebooks I kept in my youth were devoted to working out personal philosophies, defining questions about who I was and where I stood. So far this one reflects a more developed sense of self (selves) with a focus on the gloomy. Page after page is filled with the shadows I don’t dump on friends, enemies, family, or luckless strangers.
You might’ve noticed from the photo that the journal is a spiral bound notebook, the kind you can find for cheap just about anywhere paper is sold. I’ve looked at products designed specifically as journals, I’ve tried different types of notebooks, legal pads, composition books, etc. But I always end up coming back to this basic design, the one I grew up with incidentally and perhaps not coincidentally. I like lined paper (my handwriting is tiny and I prefer college rule, but I’ll take a wider gauge if that’s what’s available) and I like to be able to turn the completed page over and around back, which the wire spiral allows me to do easily.
I’ve seen claims that keeping a journal (I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the term “journaling.” Is that something I should just get past?) is therapeutic, holding all manner of benefits. I don’t know how far all of that goes. I do know that keeping a journal has prompted me to write more if not better, and not just as a “diarist” but in other areas and directions as well.
So how about you? Do you keep some kind of journal or a whole bunch of them? What’s your take on it? Do you write on the web, in word documents, on paper or bathroom walls? What’s your process like and what benefits have you seen?
I don’t send out xmas cards, but if you say “git r’ dun” or “there’s your sign” on anywhere near a regular basis you really aren’t getting one.