Clarksville, TN Online: News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment.

Banned Books: Have you read one?


Banned Books WeekThe books on shelves in school and public libraries are continually under fire by parents, patrons and organizational administrators seeking to remove said “offensive” books and make them unavailable. Render them “censored.”

What gets targeted? Well, the usual and obvious suspects: J.D. Salinger, J.K. Rowling. John Steinbeck. Mark Twain. Robert Cormier. And writers such as Maya Angelou – someone out there wants her “Caged Bird” silenced forever. Even revered children’s authors including Maurice Sendak, Madeleine L’Engle and Judy Blume (whose penned scripted three of the top one hundred books).

“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind…

“If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

On Liberty, John Stuart Mill «Read the rest of this article»

Timely DVD Review: Enemy of the State


Enemy of the State PosterThe next time someone tells you that giving up some your freedoms is the price we must pay for security, tell them to watch this 1998 movie and then get back to you! Often the refrain is innocent people have no reason to fear unbridled questioning or surveillance by the government. Enemy of the State, a well executed action thriller, goes a long way to turn that notion on its proverbial head.

An innocent man, unaware he has been drawn into a covert operation, doesn’t surrender his freedom. It’s taken from him and not in a nice way! «Read the rest of this article»

Selected Chaff: Wartime words from columnist Al McIntosh


To further appreciate Ken Burns’ The War as the second half of this PBS series unfolds, I recommend the reading of Selected Chaff: the Wartime Columns of Al McIntosh 1941-1945.

McIntosh’s work was a primary and powerful source for Ken Burns’ research into how The War affected the residents and soldiers of Laverne, Minnesota. Quickly reading Selected Chaff will provide profound insight as you view The War, or in the aftermath of the series.

Selected Chaff resurrects the words of a true journalistic legend, a tireless patriot whose chosen weapons were his typewriter, his uncanny ability to transport people with his words, and his unflinching love of community and country. McIntosh’s columns speak to the ebb and flow of one rural county during the most terrible war the world had ever seen.

“In some ways Al McIntosh might be the single greatest archival discovery that we have ever made.

“This man, who had the opportunity to work at other big city newspapers and turned them down — Al McIntosh, a native of North Dakota who found himself in southwestern Minnesota in this tiny town of three thousand folks, writing for the Rock County Star and the Rock County Star Herald on a front page column — just got it.”

— Ken Burns, filmmaker «Read the rest of this article»

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