Posted in Books, Fiction, Jane Austen, Reading, tagged books, Dallas Cowboys, Emma, Harry Potter, Jane Austen, Jerry Jones, King Lear, Pride & Prejudice, Red Herring, Red Herrings, Sense & Sensibility, The Lord of The Rings, The Three Musketeers, Tony Romo on December 31, 2012|
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I’m not sure about all this Tony Romo bashing. It seems rather obvious and easy for everyone to point to him. It’s sort of like blaming the character holding a bloody knife over the dead body in an Agatha Christie novel. Except that person is never the one who did it.
Books are rife with such red herrings, dubious characters who turn out to be just the opposite in the end. There’s the cast-off but ever-faithful Cordelia in King Lear. The men who challenge d’Artagnan to a duel turn out to be The Three Musketeers. The scruffy Strider eventually becomes the king in The Lord of the Rings. Jane Austen was especially fond of offering up red-herring suitors: the simple farmer Mr. Martin in Emma, the not-dashing Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility, and, most notably, the pompous Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice.
Now I am *not* comparing Romo to Mr. Darcy. Robert Martin, maybe. But the point is that these red herrings distract us from the real villains at work: Mr. Willoughby and Mr. Elton respectively. Or, in Romo’s case, Jerry Jones.
Yes, it looked like Romo choked against the Redskins. (Ok, it always looks like Romo chokes.) He threw three interceptions. But some of the NFL’s best quarterbacks have had the most interceptions: Brett Favre holds the record with 361. Fran Tarkenton and Dan Marino are also in the top 10, with John Elway ranked 13th overall. The fewest are by Damon Huard and Joe Ferguson—ever heard of them?
Also, it wasn’t Romo who gave up 361 yards and 28 points to the Redskins. It’s easy to blame Romo, but doesn’t that sidetrack us from the bigger, more insidious problem? After all, the Cowboys have been floundering for about 15 years now, ever since owner Jerry Jones inserted himself into the coaching process. Jones has not relinquished full control to a coach since Jimmy Johnson in the early ‘90s, coincidentally the last time the Cowboys won a Super Bowl or won the Division. (Really, Switzer was mostly coming off Johnson’s coattails in ’95). Current Redskins coach, Mike Shanahan (who took the Denver Broncos to two Super Bowl wins) is one of many notable coaches rumored to have declined an offer from the Cowboys because of Jones.
Back to Romo, I do wonder what he could do under a coach like Shanahan. Ok, so Romo’s not Darcy or d’Artagnan. He’s more like Professor Snape, the ultimate red herring who seemed to foil and thwart Harry Potter through all seven books, which I guess rather aptly makes Jerry Jones “He-who-must-not-be-named.”
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Posted in Books, Freedom of the Press/Internet, Literature, tagged A Study in Scarlet, All Quiet on the Western Front, Animal Farm, Banned Book Week, Banned books, Black Beauty, Brave New World. Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Censorship, Harry Potter, Slaughterhouse Five, The Canterbury Tales, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Hunger Games, To Kill a Mockingbird, Twilight on September 27, 2011|
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The books that the world calls immoral are the books
that show the world its own shame.–Oscar Wilde
Click for interactive US flag of banned book images.
We expect to hear stories like this out of China, which banned Animal Farm “because it put humans and animals on the same level.” But did you know that last year, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary was yanked from all schools in a California district? That ban only lasted a week, but right now many schools continue to enforce censorship. A Virginia district has banned A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes mystery. Slaughterhouse Five is currently banned from schools in Missouri.
I was shocked to learn that revered classic To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the most challenged books of 2009. And last year, seminal dystopian novel Brave New World was one of the top three disputed books. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight are the books that seem to make the list of Top 10 Challenged Books in classrooms and libraries year after year. I guess someone does not want kids reading.
In the United Kingdom, some libraries have actually blacklisted The Diary of Anne Frank. Other banned notables there include All Quiet on the Western Front, Madame Bovary, Black Beauty, and, gasp, The Canterbury Tales.
The American Library Association is sponsoring Banned Books Week, to highlight this issue and to celebrate the freedom to read. Get involved:
1.) Call your local library and offer support if they are getting pressure to remove any books from their shelves.
2.) Read a Banned Book:
Most Frequently Challenged Books in US
Most Frequently Banned Books in UK
Banned and Challenged Classics
3.) Visit the Virtual Read-Out on You Tube.
For clips of people, including famous authors, reading from their favorite banned books. Upload a your own video!
4.) Support organizations that get kids reading:
First Book—New Books to Children in Need
RIF—Reading is Fundamental
Uprise Books—Ending the Cycle of Poverty with Banned Books
5.) Check out More Links on Banned Books
Banned Books Week
Top 10 Challenged Books of 2010
Banned Books Trivia Quiz
Five Best Banned Books Made into Films
Time Magazine’s Top 10 Censored Books
NPR Interviews Penguin Editor about Banned Books
Twain Book Returns to Library Shelf 105 Years After Being Banned
Sherlock Holmes Banned by School District in Virginia
Slaughterhouse Five Banned in Republic Missouri
Merriam Webster Banned in California and other Banned Dictionaries
Clickable US Flag Made of Banned Books
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