----- Original Message ----- From: "Mario Taboada" <
<<Of course a book can be harmful. Particularly when a
person gets inspired for it *and* knows nothing about taking
responsibility for his own actions. Propaganda works on this
I can see how a book might be harmful to a five-year-old. I
wouldn't recommend a Spillane to my nephew, although I
suspect he'd just find it boring. I had assumed we were
talking about adults, who, by law, are responsible for their
own actions. I'd guess that reading Spillane is likely to be
the least of your worries if you fail to take responsibility
for your actions. Anyway, I don't believe you can predict
what might influence such people. Maybe a "feel good" novel
would push them over the edge, as Christmas does with
depressives. Or maybe they'd read that book about the guy who
walks on water and try it themselves and drown.
<<I will always defend freedom of expression, included
the press, but bad ideas are much more dangerous than bad
You're joking, right? The idea of killing someone is worse
than the action of killing them? An idea isn't harmful.
Acting on it might be.
<<Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you
look at it), it's common that bad ideas only reveal
themselves as bad when some time has gone by. Since the same
happens with good ideas, it's a bad idea to prohibit or limit
the expression of ideas, period. But that doesn't negate the
possibly devastating harm that bad ideas can
But surely Spillane's novels are considerably lacking in
ideas. That's the point. They're action-based and don't ask
anybody to think too much. Hence the cliched right wing
attitudes. I think you give Spillane far too much credit and
his readers too little.
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