Friday 10 September 2010

Some thoughts on the news

Interesting as always debate on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 about the American preacher planning to burn copies of the Quran. It is always very disturbing to hear of such things as they inevitably bring to mind the fascists in Germany in the 1930's. And there is also this interesting article in The Guardian today about the long history of the symbolism of burning books. It brings some strange attitudes out of the woodwork, people getting all worked up about freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate your rejection of some idea in this manner. Why I find it so disturbing is because it implies a wish to destroy an idea or way of thinking, taken to the extreme it would imply a destruction of all books containing these ideas in an attempt to eradicate them. I'm not one of the 'books are sacred' brigade, by all means recycle them when they get past their useful life (like the out-of-date computer software guides on the bookshelf I'm currently surveying) but burning is a definite no no, I mean it's adding to your carbon footprint for a start.

On a more positive note there has been some guerilla poetry going on. Another article reports an artist who has been putting 'advertising' signs, or 'Roadside Haiku', around his city as a commentary on modern life.

I also discovered via the Guardian that David Almond has just published a book called 'My Name is Mina', about the home educated character who appears in Skellig. It is great to see a well respected author writing about and raising the issue of alternative views of learning, even if he does see Mina as some kind of special case, not suited to school. Anyway I will reserve judgement, read it and see how he presents her experiences.


  1. I'm still scraping my jaw off the floor since the news about this person wishing to burn not just a book but a whole system of belief out of ignorance hit the headlines.

    What century are we in??

    Off I go to read some roadside haiku!

    Thanks for the links, take care

  2. p.s. I meant to type "beliefs", sorry!

  3. book burning is very disturbing, and the pastor in question seems to be incredibly extreme and ignorant.


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