SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 27, 2013

Anderson: Thankful for the gift of books

(Continued)

My granddaughter recommends a John Green book about teenagers with cancer, who indulge in the black humor that she enjoys. Aidan is reading about zombies. He tells me that many kids his age are as likely to be playing video games as reading, which does not encourage my happy hopeful theme here. Nevertheless:

The federal “Common Core” education program may encourage reading Barack Obama’s biography and otherwise enhance public school support for Big Government, but it’s important to remember that parents still have some influence. Along with encouraging charter schools and vouchers, we should utilize our power to encourage books that take our children in a different direction.

Note the popularity of the “Hunger Games” books and films, in which young people are learning to fight Big Government, which I learned from Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” in 1961 and my partner Chip Ford learned from “The Sentinel Stars” by Louis Charbonneau in 1963.

Never mind “1984” which just scares us all. We can be thankful that the real 1984 came and went during the Reagan years, and if written today would look more like “The Matrix” movie or any number of anti-Big Government television series. The common culture, which we often deplore, for good reason, does use the drama of revolution to keep all age groups aware of threats to our freedom. This is one thing to be grateful for as we count all our blessings tomorrow.

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