Tag: censorship

Fireproof edition of Fahrenheit 451 available after Trump burned books to quell civil unrest

Two weeks after Trump issued Executive Order 19840, which ordered the burning of books deemed by the White House to be inappropriate for the public, Oxford University Press decided to publish a fireproof version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

Written by an avid library-goer who never went to college, the classic novel recounts the tale of a dystopian future in which all books are banned in the name of keeping people safe and happy.

Trump signed the Executive Order in response to a recent spate of disillusioned Americans who wanted to restore stability to a country torn by violent sociopolitical disagreements.

He said, “Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book.”

The president’s plan backfired. Citing their right to assemble peaceably under the First Amendment, thousands of people from across the nation staged protests against the Executive Order. Riots broke out in major cities. Twelve people reportedly died in Portland as a result of the civil unrest, and hundreds of protesters and riot police are in critical condition.

Not long after the riots broke out, universities in the English-speaking world developed the first-ever fireproof edition of Fahrenheit 451, which some government officials are calling “treacherous and morally repugnant.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated in a press briefing, “The First Amendment guarantees us the right to assemble peaceably. What they do not give us is the right to assemble when people’s safety is at stake. Books contain conflicting, confusing, and controversial ideas that often threaten national security. To assemble in any way, shape or form for the purpose of promoting or condoning the dissemination of books that have not been federally approved is wrong. Period.

Fahrenheit 351 [sic] is the epitome of everything that is treacherous and morally repugnant. It is unfortunate that America’s youth are being corrupted by the ramblings of a dead madman who didn’t even go to college.

“It is even more concerning that the left and their cabal of book-reading lunatics are terrorizing the nation with these so-called peaceful protests, that they are immortalizing a dangerous book that is on a par with Mein Kampf and ISIS propaganda.”

As of this morning, firemen have been deployed in all major cities in America to burn books. Destroyed literature ranges from Dr. Seuss to Plato.

After making the new edition of Fahrenheit 451 available to the public, Oxford University Press will release fireproof editions of George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, and the United States Constitution.

Trump’s book, The Art of the Deal, is not on the lengthy list of books deemed inappropriate by the White House.

‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’: This is not fake news

“It is the nature of satire that not everyone gets it.” United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in Farah v. Esquire Magazine (2013)

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
― Evelyn Beatrice Hall

This post is not satirical.

Regrettably, the type of healthy debate that is indispensable to any free country is oftentimes discouraged. We are afraid to verbally question authority on pain of being locked up, fined, or chastised for being cheeky schoolboys and schoolgirls.

Enough, we say. This site provides a forum in which students, writers, and readers can participate by means of satire in the free marketplace of ideas, and understand the indispensable role that free speech and expression play in a healthy democracy.

The Beagle would like to remind you of a sacrifice that all of us, as responsible citizens, must make in a true democracy. According to the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), student expression may not be suppressed unless it can be reasonably concluded that it will “materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school.” Just as importantly, the Court expressed that an interest in suppressing student expression based on a “mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint,” or “an urgent wish to avoid the controversy which might result from the expression” does not justify suppression.

Put another way, if we wish to live in a society that protects free speech, we must be prepared to be offended.

Our role at the Beagle is to create not just humor, but to foster a deeper awareness of the thorny terrain of public discourse. Thus, students, writers, and readers are encouraged to think about a multitude of contentious and serious questions. For example, what distinguishes free speech and expression from hate speech?  What distinguishes satire from defamation, libel or slander? When, if ever, is censorship justified? What is the chilling effect? What constitutes obscenity?

In line with our desire to think with students, writers, and readers about satire and free speech, we have made this site a save haven in which anyone can disagree with anyone else about anything. Nothing is censored (for that would defeat the purpose of this site) except the blatantly illegal.

We hope that writers and visitors can benefit from this site, and encourage anyone to participate. Feel free to contact us should you have questions, comments, or suggestions, and All Hail the Beagle.