Politics Magazine

All Things Being Equal

Posted on the 21 September 2014 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

Today the light and darkness are equal. The equinox is the great equalizer of the year, the day that reminds us summer’s ebullience is always, and ever will only be, temporary. From this day forth, for six months, night will dominate day. Religions the world over have offered responses to the increasing darkness. Autumnal festivals are among the most poignant as we can see the light diminishing, but we know nothing we can do will prevent it. Time alone cures this growing tenebrous atmosphere, until, as the solstice arrives, we dance, and sing, and drink, and burn candles to encourage the light to return. Return it does, on our universe’s ever rotating axis, bringing us around once again to when days lengthen and we turn our thoughts toward shallower things.

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The ember months, September, October (by association), November, December, each with an increasing sense of solemnity, invite us to read. Today begins Banned Book Week. I’ll be posting about banned books since, although my books deemed fit to print are so mundane as to offend no one, I stand in solidarity with any writer who has ever been told that her or his book is too violent, sexy, or depraved to be read. What thoughts are too dangerous to think? Religions will tell you, and so will pseudo-religions. Thoughts, however, are not so easily stopped. As an editor, I am a gatekeeper of sorts. Still, I know as an author that those I turn aside will persist. They will find their publishers. Their words will not be banned.

As an erstwhile writer I know that some of myself resides in each work clacked out on this keyboard. Those lucky enough to court editors with their efforts find the larger readerships. Some authors don’t even write their own books any more. Anyone can be imitated. The truly original, however, will always end up on someone’s banned book list. Our minds resist being challenged. We don’t want assumptions to be wrong. It’s too much work to have to think through all of this. It is easier to ban books than to have to try to comprehend them. As the darkness increases over the coming months, I will stockpile candles and light bulbs and huddle down next to a stack of books, secure in knowing that most of them have offended somebody along the way. And reading those books will only cause the light to grow.


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