Hello, dear readers!
I’m a writer.
These days, I feel like I’m severely loosing my touch with slipping poetry into my prose. I struggle to write poems. (Granted, my Microsoft Word 2011 isn’t working on my new laptop–so I guess I’ll have to upgrade.)
Still, writing is where I created worlds and characters as a teenager. I fell in love with the “cool” young men and women that graced my notebooks. I began to write poetry as early as 2004. In all, I’ve been writing for over ten years. And yet, there’s so much I can learn from more seasoned professionals.
As I began to mature, so did my characters: relationships became more serious and steadily more realistic to couples in real life. My reading spanned from YA to novels targeted at adults–like the action/adventure of James Patterson’s The Jester.
When I was younger, I probably read tons of censored books–without even knowing it. I found that I could handle the content, and still enjoy the novels I was reading.
Now, as an adult, I’ve begun to realize just how foolish it is to censor something. Yes, I understand that books should be age appropriate for young audiences, but when it comes to teenagers and adults–we can handle it. I read books containing swearing, violence, and occasionally sex between couples as a teenager.
At Morris last September, I decided to participate in the Banned Books week. In the bottom of the library, I laughed, smiled, and drank in the narratives that society deemed inappropriate. Some were about sex, one was about alcoholism, one discussed the Catholic process of electing a new pope. All of these selections were honest, funny, or thoughtfully placed on the pages of the books they filled. While I didn’t read–though I wanted to, I chickened out–I had wanted to share the scene from John Green’s looking for alaska where Pudge and his girlfriend have sex for the first time. It’s not only amusing–because neither of them know what they’re doing, like all first-timers–but refreshingly honest. In most books that feature sex scenes, even among teenage couples, at least one person is experienced or done some online research. Pudge and Lara don’t have the most amazing first time; in fact, it ends up being awkward afterwards. I really liked this scene because it debunks the idea that young people, or adults, are supposed to have an incredible first sexual experience. Instead, we have a real experience.
I consume tons of media. I read banned books. I listen to a variety of music–except scremo and country, save for a couple of Patsy Cline’s hits. I watch anything from Disney to R-rated films. (Basically, I watch stuff that I find interesting, which includes documentaries. Netflix is awesome for me.) I have several social media sites that I occasionally check up on. Also, I watch the news with my family.
And, of course, I have my blog. You’d think my brain would explode, but with moderation, I keep myself from becoming clogged with the constant flow of information.
As a writer, I highly value honesty. I love it when characters use realistic language, or speak openly about something, anything–
I enjoy song lyrics that don’t sugar coat their personal/fictional experiences or lie to their audiences. The more poetic language, the better. Doomtree, Blue October, Imogen Heap, Guante, Atmosphere, Fall Out Boy, and Dessa all do this. Of course, this is only a fraction of the artists that I could think of that excel at this.
There are incredible films, for young people and adults, that address issues like love in a honest light. (UP, Toy Story 3, and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium all make me cry, no matter how many times I’ve watched them.)
Unless it’s necessary, I think it’s rather silly that we censor things, especially good prose and poetry, movies, TV shows, music, and even people’s thoughts or ideas about the world–no matter how much I may disagree with their opinions.
There’s honest and realistic material out there. All you need to do is search for it.
What are your thoughts on censorship?