Portugal. The Man Cleverly Fire Back at Absurd Alaska Book Ban



We’re living through a terrifying global pandemic, and the so-called Leader of the Free World seems to be descending into some or other form of dementia. So, obviously, what we really needed right now is an irrational book ban.

That’s right…a book ban. In 2020.

As it turns out, the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board in the Great State of Alaska has singled out five titles they believe to be corrupting the minds of impressionable teenagers. Curiously enough, it’s not exactly what you would call the most offending list of books: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man; Joseph Heller’s Catch-22; Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried; and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Seriously, Maya Angelou was not exactly Baudelaire in the literary controversy sweeps, was she?



But luckily we have some good guys to stand up to the forces of cockamamie (that was the only word that seemed to fit) regressivity. Alaska natives and beloved pop gods Portugal. The Man have just fired back, promising to personally donate copies of those very same books to those very same students, in what can only be called an utterly outlandish fit of total reasonableness.

“These titles are often considered staples for junior and senior English classes across the country,” explains the band’s John Gourley. “We believe this decision is narrow-minded and un-patriotic, and we are not okay with it. That is why we are putting out a standing offer that if any student or parent in the Mat-Su Borough School District wants a copy of one or more of these books, we will mail them to you.”

The seething irony here? Something just tells us that the same people who decided these books should be banned for their “objectionable” content, likely voted in 2016 for a man who publicly declared it okay to sexually assault women.

Still, score one for the enlightened.


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