I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. That statement alone might make you think I had a HUGE list of banned books to choose from. After all, banning things “for the good of society” is not uncommon in Utah. A cinema chain refused to screen Zac and Miri Make a Porno—a movie deemed by industry-types to be a rom-com. Not the actual making of said porno. A similar fate came to Academy Award winner Brokeback Mountain.
The song “Physical” by Olivia Newton John was banned from radio stations in Salt Lake City and Provo after it was released in 1981. And if I remember correctly, Salt-n-Pepa’s song “Push It” was only played on the radio after midnight. Nothing good happens after midnight, you say? Not in this case, because that song is definitely good, even today. But I digress.
Regarding banned books in Utah, the list is relatively modest (key word: relatively). An article published in the Salt Lake Tribune in 2013 quotes librarian, Wanda Huffaker, saying, “We don’t ban a lot of books.”
I thought books would be an easy target—much more so than movies or music, where the masses are more likely to notice they’re being denied a blockbuster or hot new beat. Unless they’re highly anticipated, books can simply be pulled from a shelf, added to a secret do-not-talk-about-this-book list, or never stocked at all. And certainly Utah has participated in the banning of books, but it seems they haven’t been any more ridiculous about it than anyone else.~ read more ~