It started at about 14 minutes into the show (listen here), and continued—on and off—for the rest of today's Weekday: Public radio listeners calling in to support one Seattle woman's crusade to keep Brave New World out of the hands of Nathan Hale High School students because she sees this book as offensive to Native Americans.
The person behind this blog called in to say teachers need to be re-educated before the book can be re-introduced into the classroom. Others wrote in to say that myself and the other journalists on the program were being too forceful in calling this attempted book banning "absurd" and comparing it (as host Marcie Sillman did) to past efforts at book banning (for example, in Nazi Germany).
I couldn't believe that so many people in Seattle support removing Brave New World from high school circulation—really? are you people serious?—and I don't want to waste too much more of my time on what really is an absurd story, but for what it's worth, here's the first (apparently offensive to some listeners) thing that I said on air about all this:
The terrible irony here is that this book is against homogenization of culture. It's against state control of thought. And here's a woman who is trying, probably with good intentions—I mean, I believe she's sincerely offended and I believe she has good intentions—but it sounds like she has a severe misunderstanding of the point of this book. And, I would say, no right to impose that absolute misunderstanding on the school community.
This book, the point of it, is to make a statement against that kind of intervention in the ability to think clearly, against the state coming in and telling you the parameters of your inquiry or your thought.