Hot shot Portland author Chelsea Cain reads from I Am the Cheese last night.
  • Hot shot Portland author Chelsea Cain reads from I Am the Cheese last night.
"In today's techno culture, we should keep it as a point of honor to power down, log off and spend time with the printed word," opined local author M. Allen Cunningham at last night's ACLU of Oregon "Uncensored" Banned Books celebration at Holocene. When Cunningham put away his own notes, he read aloud a passage about (what else?) groupthink and newspeak from George Orwell's 1984.

The event, hosted by a tired-seeming Storm Large, highlighted the still-controversial nature of the printed word. Even here in blue state Oregon, the ACLU has been keeping track of books that were banned or challenged in public places over the last 30 years.

You can download the whole list of books banned or challenged in Oregon since 1979, but here's the abbreviated version of "Materials Challenged in Oregon in 2009":

Official High Times Pot Smokers' Handbook, challenged in a public library. Retained.

Help From the Forest, a pro-environment book that besmirched the reputation of loggers raised public school parents' ire in Grants Pass. First grade copy replaced with a revised version.

Alpha Bravo Charlie: A Military Alphabet
, challenged in a public library for having a political viewpoint that may promote war. Retained.

Best Gay Bondage, challenged in a public library. Retained.

Picasso at Lapin Agile, a Steve Martin play at La Grande high school that students were banned from performing thanks to fears about its sexual content. The students managed to raise money (including a check from Steve Martin himself!) to perform the work at Eastern Oregon University.

In the Realm of the Senses, challenged in a public library. Retained.

Master Math: Basic math and pre-algebra. Challenged in a public library as factually inaccurate. Removed.

How dare those math moralists remove Master Math!!