Monday, 5 May 2014

News: Book Ban, Bands, Bandwagons, And Bob Hoskins

Lemme tell you why a certain book was banned:

...the [Home Ministry] said the novel "Perempuan Nan Bercinta" by prolific author Faisal Tehrani was banned under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the order was gazetted on April 9, 2014.

“It is stressed that the decision was made to stop an attempt to inject Shiah propaganda through creative works which might be targeted towards the academics and youths," said the statement.

By allegedly trying to confuse the Sunni Muslims in the country, the ministry was afraid that the book would affect the "safety and social aspects" of Muslims nationwide.

Now, books being banned here is nothing new. Books being banned months after publication isn't new, either. What's striking about this ban is that...

The novel was published by the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books (ITBM), a limited company wholly owned by the [F]inance [M]inistry and managed by the [E]ducation [M]inistry.

It was printed by state-owned printer Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad (PNMB).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had launched the book in 2012.

Considering the government's stand on Shiism and religion in general, was there no-one in these institutions who could have pointed out the so-called issues with the novel before it went to print?

Note the launch date: 2012. The book could've been released earlier than that, and in the two years since then, nothing happened. One would think that something that threatens national security would be given more priority.

But I have to wonder at the author's response to the ban:

"I have to say that I am proud that my book is now in the league of books by George Orwell, John Milton and Voltaire," he said, referring to famous Western philosophers whose writings were once banned in their countries.

...Faisal, a Fellow at the Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, revealed that this was the first "serious novel" to be banned in the country since the British banned Putera Gunung Tahan by Pak Sako before Independence.


Wha... Penguin Books to publish book on "mysteries" surrounding MH370?

The book, entitled Crashed: What the World’s Most Mysterious Airplane Disasters Teach Us About Design, Technology, and Human Performance, is being penned by aviation writer Christine Negroni. Associate editor Emily Murdock Baker negotiated the deal with Anna Sproul-Latimer of the Ross Yoon Agency; Baker secured world rights. No release date has been announced.

Here's what a commenter thinks about the idea.

While some might be able to argue the educational value of this book -- namely, the people involved in its production -- most will probably see this as an exploitation of a tragedy. Many people have their theories about what happened to the flight (as do I,) but the bottom line is this: almost 240 people are missing, and their families don't know what happened to them.

Here's one way to get people to go to libraries: a library-themed scavenger hunt, courtesy of Coldplay, to:

...reveal the lyrics of the nine songs featured on their forthcoming CD, “Ghost Stories.” The seven-time Grammy Award-winning band left sheets containing the lyrics, handwritten by lead vocalist Chris Martin, in libraries all over the world.

Clues to the location of these lyrics were shared by Martin through the band's official Twitter account.

I'm most familiar with late Bob Hoskins's role as Eddie Valiant, the human gumshoe in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. What I (and many others, I believe) didn't know was that he also starred in a BBC TV series that helped adults learn to read.

each episode of the 1976 BBC series On the Move featured a running storyline in which the late Bob Hoskins appeared as Alf Hunt, a furniture removal man who had difficulty reading and writing.

...It was Alf's human drama - and, specifically, Hoskins's captivating performance - that drew them in. A national campaign to tackle illiteracy was boosted by the series.

George Auckland, who used to be in charge of BBC's adult education programming, said that after each episode of On The Move, "there would be queues around the block" at adult literacy centres - a strong argument that he claims makes Hoskins "the best educator Britain has ever produced".

Gee whiz, Eddie. Miss you even more now.


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