Under Trump, jokes about burning books aren"t funny

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I know, it was a joke. I never thought I would be one of those overly literal people who write in complaining about some supposed slight they encountered in, of all places, the comics section. “A little bad taste never hurt anybody” has often been my motto.

But there is nothing funny about the “Hagar the Horrible” strip published on May 26. In it, the rotund Viking visits a library and brings a stack of books to the checkout counter. When the librarian exclaims that she thought Hagar could not read, he replies, “I can’t. I’m all out of kindling!”

Shades of “Fahrenheit 451”! Was it not Heinrich Heine who wrote, “Where books are burned, in the end, people will also be burned”? In these times of resurgent anti-intellectualism, when the president of our country fulminates about censoring the press, tittering about stoking the fire with books should be considered beyond the pale.

W. Luther Jett, Washington Grove


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