The simplest reason is the right reason.

Oh that Ockham guy inspires aplenty.

Mr John Scalzi has been lamenting about his works being rejected by publishers. He attributes his bad luck to what he calls, the 'Occam's Razor Theory of Literary Rejection, which is: All things being equal, the simplest reason that your work has been rejected is usually the correct one.'

Quoting the writer,

For example, let's say I am an unpublished male writer whose work is continually rejected by publishers. Which of these two reasons is more likely?

1. There is a vast and grand conspiracy within the publishing industry, engineered by women, to keep men from being published;
2. My work isn't worth being published.

I'm inspired, as I was worrying about about why so many books have been disallowed.

OK. So it's out here. I'm a lot more than worried. Some idiots obviously have been fooling around while they sit ignorantly on their moral high horses.

In fact, let's all worry,
lament and wonder
about how parents can rightfully educate their kids on the birds and bees when even an educational resource like How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It's Best to Start Early, But It's Never Too Late : a Step-by-Step Guide for Every Age is banned. Oh my, did you see that: a book on breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Your Baby: Revised Edition is not suitable for our people.

I wonder if these people actually know what exactly they're taking off our bookshelves. These titles, they're amounting to bit more than a huge loss, we want to cry, but there's no point to it. Milk is spilt, and I don't want to lament the loss anymore. Nah. I just want to think a little bit more and try to figure out just why are these people doing this. I took the easy way out.

I think Occam must be right. He has got to be, attributing everything to the simplest explanation around. So it's either

1. The people in this country are immature and therefore difficult books like Disney's Counting Adventures Sound Activity Book are too hard for us to take. We'll probably learn to count and make awful sounds in our immature activities. Therefore, the books MUST BE BANNED.


2. The people on that Board can't read English.

Having (2) as a reason, it's highly probable that that is the reason for the banning of as many books as possible. How else can you stop the rest of the country from becoming better readers than them? OMG it's so obvious. You see, if the masses get to read, we'll inevitably brush up our English skills, hence become more widely-read than those people on the board. When that happens how do you suppose those people could hold on to their jobs any longer?

Upholding simplicity AND logic, it's pretty obvious (2) is the BEST answer.

And our ministers were talking about 20,000 Year 6 pupils NOT BEING ABLE TO READ AND WRITE WELL? And getting worried about it?

21 thoughts on “The simplest reason is the right reason.

  1. dreamer idiot

    It’s not just these books… we are terribly upset that hardly anybody else except a minority are riled up by the banning of novels like Rushdie’s Midnight Children and ANthony Burgess’ Malayan Trilogy.

    Yes, novels or literature for that matter, will be controversial and contain certain objectionable content, but if we do not read, engage and debate about issues, we are heading towards a terrible form of intolerance and close mindedness, literally becoming a ‘policed state’ with thought police. No wonder we are seeing signs of certain kinds of actions and behaviours in this country. Shall we pen a dirge for this beloved country?

  2. minishorts

    Actually Dreamer, you mustn’t expect the majority to sympathize with a bunch of minority readers who love higher literature, but you can expect the majority to understand the ridiculousness of the books i’ve mentioned above. Hence the reason why i mentioned only three, but of course… i only have so much space to humour the crowds, and one MUST be selective.


    oh i’m sure you know where i’m getting at.

    the point is, if the people in the board cannot appreciate books for the masses, how do you expect them to appreciate salman rushdie? (cue: insert gasp here, OMG he’s the dude who wrote the puisi syaitan book, ban ban ban AXE!)

  3. Hotpants

    Oh my, did you see that: a book on breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Your Baby: Revised Edition is not suitable for our people.

    That’s terrible. Fortunately women may know how to breastfeed but it’s the men who may be really interested.

  4. dreamer idiot

    Hi Mini,

    Thanks for your unexpected reply. Yeah, he’s that dude… actually the fatwaed novel isn’t what it ‘seems’, though I have yet to get my hand on it. So ‘hyped’ that it boosts his notoriety, not to mention, sales. That book may, more understandably, be banned, but others as well? …and even Spongebob Squarepants (there r theories that he is gay, as pointed out by bibliobulli)? The point for me, is having ‘debate’ and dialogue, even when people hold different views oo certain subjects, though they still might disagree.

    On second thoughts, why would they ban those books when only certain groups /demographics of people would go looking for those particular genres of books anyway?

  5. minishorts

    Because, it’s simple lah.

    They can’t read.

    And they’re afraid we’d all find that out.

    (well too late, I’ve already done the Sherlock Holming.)

  6. dreamer idiot

    OK, those sex books with graphic pictures, understandable enough, But,

    108. Making Globalization Work by Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel prize Economics)

    15. Poems & Prayers for Children (Hardcover) ???

    Is there a mistake?

  7. MrDurian

    After reading this entry, it only reaffirms my fears. Malaysia is going back to the stone age. It starts when you have people of huge egos but miniscule IQ’s in positions of power and leads to things like senseless banning of literary works and media. So much for being a 1st world country because our dear leaders are thinking with 3rd world mentalities.

  8. boo-yah!

    dreamer : I know why “108 : Making Globalization Work by Joseph Stiglitz” is banned. A particular old Man used to whack western countries and he mentioned many times that globalization is pure EVIL.

  9. Lissellone

    So are these books banned in the whole of Malaysia or by this particular bookshop? The selection of books, re dreamer idiot’s post is peculiar. Apart from SPG or sex related books and the ones he has mentioned in his post… why is Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time (Hardcover)) – Robert Jordan banned? Very harmless little fiction book, and the previous books in the series have been allowed anyway…


  10. senbai

    They ban it cos they contain lewd materials like nudity, obscene language….etc. They don’t care if it is educational or not. That is the policy of this country and I think it’s lame.

    Have you notice how they used to cover up women’s slightly exposed chest?

    BTW, if you have the oppurtunity to go to any KDN (AKA Ministry of Internal Security) office you’ll likely see tonnes (literally!) of printed porn mags and novels and the officers job is to read them and write reports 😛

  11. Alex

    1) wow…if its a porn mag, obviously its a porn mag, so what for still need to read it n give report? kinda sick if u ask me. i would never touch any stuff there with porn in it. ew yuck gross who knows where its been.

    2) a related topic to this (sorry minishorts i know its your blog and im digressing) is how terrible it is that we dont have a reading culture here..nope nada zilch no reading culture watsoever…we have it in a small minority of ppl, but on the whole, no. when i was in melbourne, ppl were reading all over the place, even on public transport. now thats 1 of the keys to being ‘educated’. perhaps this explains the majority of our esteemed men-in-power’s lousy policies.

  12. Eng Aun

    It’s necessary, albeit disappointing to acknowledge the fact that the ‘country’ still has not able to talk about such things as breast-feeding and secession issues in an open way. The existence of the privileged position further exacerbates the matter.

    That is the reason why the ‘country’ is not competitive. It goes against the principle. Do we actually better off through fuel subsidy? Through orthodox and unjustified conservatism? (And the list goes on…)

    Maybe Marx is right. The bourgeoisie is making ideals after ideals to keep the proletarians at bay…

    Sorry, ventured too far, but that’s generally how I feel…

  13. philters

    betul. that salman rushdie’s book, midnight’s children is a really difficult book to read if you’re not used to heavy stuff. i don’t think they read it at all and simplpy judged the writer on his name. a big shame.

  14. eyeris

    on the contrary, Midnight’s Children is actually not THAT heavy. Sure, the subject matter is heavy, but the way it is written and the way the story flow makes it even easier to read than say… Lord of the Rings.

  15. Rez

    Heh…maybe they fell asleep while reading Midnight’s Children and thought they were doing us a favour by ‘restricting’ it ;P

    And Robert Jordan fans must be thinking “WTF…” when saw this on the list:
    10 0312873077 Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time (Hardcover)) – Robert Jordan

  16. Jeff from LA

    As an American, I am personally unfamiliar with a government that has the power to regulate speech to such a great extent that it can ban a large number of books. What gives the government the power to censor speech? Does the power of the government to censor speech reside in some constitutional power? Isn’t Malaysia a democracy, why is the government allowed to retain such power? What other forms of speech are they allowed to regulate? Are they allowed to censor certain types of political programs on television or radio? What is the effect of censorship on individuals?

    I’m sorry to ask such complicated questions, but I am really interested in the effect of this government power to censor speech on your lives as Malaysians.

  17. Ash

    You’re absolutely right my friend. What better way to keep Malaysians from questioning their corrupt policies than to keep us stupid?

    Only problem with that is that they’re already too stupid for their IQ to even register in the positive one-digit range.


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