Burning Books

Fire

Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

        Why do autocrats love to burn books so much?  I suppose they are afraid of new ideas.  That raises the question: are ideas really that dangerous?  Why of course they are.  They always have been, and always will be.  Repeat after me:  Ideas are dangerous.  Ideas are dangerous.  Ideas are dangerous….

        Ok, I think you get the idea.  Or at the very least, you’re starting to sing Big Data’s song “Dangerous” in your head.  So, what do you do in a world where ideas are dangerous and books are burned?  That’s simple: write.  Why miss out on all the fun?  Still, though, there is a time and a place.  I suppose not all stories are suitable for all audiences.  On the other hand, burning, banning, or censoring books seems a bit extreme.  I’ve never been much of an extremist myself.

        No, I’m just one of the seven billion and counting people who live in this world.  When I look outside, I see a world that is full of beauty and filth.  Regardless of how much you may want the world to be one way, you’ll never be able to blot out the things you don’t like.  In order to see the world for what it truly is, you have to be willing to sit back and take it all in–both the good and the bad.  Ok, now I’m starting to sound like a sappy theme song from an 80s sitcom.  I’m bad, but I didn’t know that I was that bad.

        Embracing my rediscovered badness, the time has come for me to burn some books.  The autocrats seem to enjoy it so much that I thought I’d give it a try.  There’s only one problem: it would be extremely rude for me to burn someone else’s work.  Ok, let’s make that two problems: I can’t bear to burn my own.  It isn’t even finished yet (it is getting close, though, and I promise it will be finished sometime between now and the end of time).  If someone else wants to burn it one day, more power to them.

        For now, however, I think I’ll burn something else.  I think I’ll burn an idea.  No need to worry, though, the idea isn’t going anywhere.  I have the idea memorized.  Then again, maybe you do too.  I suppose it all depends on how well you read—the color white.

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