Inappropriate Books

by Mike Shea on 15 August 2004

I wrote a comment on Moleskinerie's article on the inappropriate D&D book. I thought I'd share it here.

I plan to wax political here, so please bear with me. I don't usually like to bring politics into a hobby but here I think its appropriate since it is actually what got me into Moleskines.

I just read 1984 about a year ago and remember Winston Smith fearing death for buying a blank notebook and a pen. I went to Barnes and Noble and bought my first unlined sketch-book based Moleskine. I paid in cash and felt good about buying a book, a weapon that George Orwell used to help crush communism when he wrote Animal Farm, with no trace back to me. It was a weapon of mass destruction in my hand. A telepathic link between me and an unknown reader in an unknown place and time.

It was a fun gag. I ended up writing some fun little stories in it, nothing too political or challenging. Nothing like Orwell's "Politics and the English Language". Certainly I never thought that owning a book would ever be illegal again. It was all just for pretend.

And then I read this.

We live in fear. The government pushes it on us to pass new law, get more money, and push their own morality on us. The media pushes it on us to sell cheeseburgers and diet videos (how's that for doublethink).

I used to get beat up in grade school for playing D&D and reading comic books. I lived in that small brutal society always on the outside, my every hobby or statement torn apart and ridiculed. I was different.

College got a lot better. I had a regular D&D group. I had a pile of friends who rather played Playstation than drink and throw up on some hot girl. I found a place in the world.

Today I feel like that kid in grade-school again. I watch politicians like Joe Leiberman tell me that the games I enjoy train children to rape and kill. I watch a security guard attempt to confiscate a book for the owners "safety". I watch the MPAA take three minutes of footage out of Kill Bill because I might enjoy it too much otherwise. I watch the RIAA extort $2000 from a 12 year old girl with a single mother because Britney Spears and her army of suits don't make enough money shaking down children for their milk money already.

I know, I'm jumping all over the place here. I do that when I get fired up and watching a kid getting roughed up by a security guard waving the Patriot Act and calling him queer gets me fired up.

I bought a pile of Moleskines a few months ago. Enough to write for the rest of my life without ever having to buy another. I am going to write my ass off. I'll write anything I want to write. And anyone who wants to stop me can kiss my big white American butt.