It’s just a book, people

So this dude in Florida says he’s gonna burn a bunch of korans tomorrow.  Or possibly not.  According to that article he may or may not have backtracked due to the considerations that may or may not have been offered by those nice mosque people.  Whatever.

I’m not going to do a bunch of links and rehash the whole thing.  If you care, then you already know all that.  If you don’t care, keep reading anyway.  You’re already here, you might as well.

Various people have offered various reasons why the guy shouldn’t burn those korans.  Mostly, it might hurt someone’s feelings, is the problem.  Oh, those poor little people and their feelings.
Not me.  Frankly, I expect it’s just a publicity stunt, but I don’t care if he does it or not.  I don’t care if he offends somebody.  I don’t care if people protest or riot over it.  “People” rioted over cartoons too, remember?

Also (they say), burning books is a terrible thing to do.  Terrible, terrible, terrible.

Americans, and Westerners in general, react badly to the notion of ‘book burning’.  I know I do.  It brings up thoughts of Nazis and such, and it implies the suppression of ideas and the stifling of free speech.  Talk about burning a book and you might as well be talking about rounding ’em up for the reeducation camps.
But time was, burning a book was pretty much the end of that book.  Making copies was a big deal when you had to do it by hand, or when they were using papyrus to make them.  Not any more.  These days, burning a book has all the impact of a guy on a streetcorner with a sandwich board that says ‘the end is nigh.’

So he burns a bunch of korans.  We gonna run out, or something?

I mean, I assume he bought the korans, or had them donated.  If I buy a book, it’s none of your business what I do with it.  I can read it or use it for a coaster for all you care.  Or for kindling.  It’s just paper and ink.  The ideas don’t live in paper and ink.

The guy’s just an attention whore.  [He should start a blog!]  And so is anyone who protests, riots, or otherwise wets their widdle panties over him.  It’s just a book.

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