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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah Palin's Handmaid's Tale

If you have not read the "Handmain's Tale" you should. Set in the future American has turned into an anti-feminist fascist state with totalitarian evangelical-Christian taking social control of women and their reproductive rights.

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.
Sinclair Lewis, 1935

Below is a list of the books Sarah Palin tried to have banned from the Wasilla, Alaska Library. When I was in Anchorage two years ago, residents of Wasilla I met described the place as a growing, more-and-more suburban community north of Anchorage. In her speech, Palin called the area "the valley." Mayor Palin would seem to be a strong force in the suburbanization of the village of Wasilla. When the Wasilla librarian refused to trash these books, Mayor Palin tried to have her fired. This caused a stir in Wasilla which then turned into a drive to protect the librarian.

Some of my favorite examples of American literature are on this list. This is the act of a patriotic American? No, this is the act of a religious fundamentalist trying to squeeze herself into the role of a mythic frontier American. The attempt to ban American literary masterpieces like Catcher In The Rye, Grapes Of Wrath, To Kill A Mockingbird, Death Of A Salesman, Leaves Of Grass, As I Lay Dying, Huckleberry Finn, Catch 22 and Tarzan indicates, flags and Bible citations aside, her ascendance to national power would be downright un-American.

In the realm of Rovian political marketing and the unfolding effort to win the Presidency not with ideas but with a cult of personality, McCain is the humiliated warrior ready to "go to the gates of hell" to preserve American exceptionalism and Sarah Palin is his fascist "bride," a mythic frontier mom able to shoot, gut and cook a moose while nurturing her family who has said publicly our war in Iraq is supported by God and people should pray to God to get the Alaska gas pipeline approved.

This is a pivotal moment in American history, and we all need to expose this cult of personality for what it is, a cynical sham. Please pass this on far and wide.

John Grant

This list is taken from the official minutes of the Wasilla Library Board.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween
Symbols by Edna Barth

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