I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Bill’s Bourke Book Club. Ever since the current situation started up, our book club meetings have been adjourned. While it’s true that Bill’s choices are on the self-help side of the spectrum, the books include a lot of naughty words and some vaguely sexual language. Basically, I can relate to the books because they read like a drunken conversation you’d have with a smart stranger at a house you’ll never find again.

Because my parents were culturally and artistically permissive, my book and music selections were never restricted. In short, I didn’t feel the need to rebel (not in that arena, anyway). As a result of my upbringing, the concept of censorship was alien to me. When I found out what “censorship” meant, I was appalled and confused. This isn’t genius psychology, but even I knew that if you tell someone not to do a specific something, the forbidden activity becomes more attractive.

For example, in 1989, 2 Live Crew’s third record, As Nasty as They Wanna Be, was released. Later that year, it was banned. After that, it went Double Platinum. It was not a good record, and yet, it became 2 Live Crew’s best seller. So, if it wasn’t good, how could it have been so popular? The simple answer is that a prohibited apple tastes so much sweeter – even if one must endure bad cadence, a lack of rhythm, cheap samples and playground lyrics.

The most glaring problem with censorship is that it is purely subjective. Take, for instance, The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. I read this book when I was 12 and I didn’t feel very traumatized when I was finished. I enjoyed it very much. However, this book, written in 1951, has been banned as recently as 2009 and was listed in the top ten most frequently banned books in schools and libraries, according to the American Library Association (Blogs.bl.uk). While it is a story about a sad, disenfranchised and lost young man, one sticking point was that Holden Caulfield liked to swear. We’re not talking about pure gutter language, but Holden did enjoy a GD here and there.

The biggest problem that censors had with this book was the fact that Holden Caulfield was an intelligent, well-to-do young man, attending an elite boarding school and yet, he still wasn’t happy. Holden’s parents cared little about his mental well-being and seemed more concerned about what the neighbors would say about his “erratic” behavior. When Holden’s brother passed away, his parents were more interested in attending parties than assisting their son to process the loss of his brother.

Basically, this book was banned because it was an indictment against distant and cold parenting. Also, Holden’s nihilistic viewpoint was scary in a time of economic advancement, happy kids and the end of war. What did these kids have to be upset about? This book was banned because it showed that treating kids like another new car or appliance was going to cause problems later.

No, I don’t like censorship. When reading something that I don’t agree with, I still enjoy that people have the right to air an opinion. If we live in an echo chamber that merely repeats our own ideas, we don’t grow. And if we’re not growing, well, then, I think we know what happens.

Your Bourke Accounting bookkeepers and tax preparers are not big on censorship. If you don’t agree with what your Bourke Accounting pro is doing, they want to hear your ideas. Bourke Accounting experts don’t want you to follow blindly because they happen to sit on the other side of the desk. Your opinion is welcomed and needed. We’re here to grow and change – what works for one might not work for you. We want you to be comfortable enough to speak your mind.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See You Soon!

Written by Sue H.