Back in college, before I decided to go off and study film, I studied English. I had one teacher who spoke with pride about her dog-eared, note-ridden books. She encouraged the class to take pencils to our books, to underline passages we liked and write notes in the margins. Since we were college students and had to buy copies of the book, she thought that we aught to make the books our own. She wanted our books filled with our questions about character motivations, observations and insights we had, to dig dig deep into the text, becoming active readers rather than passive ones. I never wrote a note in that book. I haven't written anything in any book. For some reason, I never could. It probably doesn't help that my mom worked as a librarian for a bit when I was in middle school, but in my eyes, writing notes in a book was no better than graffiti on a wall (which is one reason why I thank jeebus for ebooks, but more on that at another time).
But, I now admit that I was wrong. If you own the book, writing a note or underlining a passage, all to help your understatnding, that fine. Go for it. But this. This is desecration:
On page 21 of an LA Public Library copy of Caliban's War—Book 2 of The Expanse—some dumbfuck decided to spew their prejudice onto the book. I bet this fuck couldn't find Punjab on a map. I could probably hand them a map that has Punjab highlighted with arrows pointing to it from every direction, and they still wouldn't be able to find it. If I said it was a mountainous region shared by Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, as far as they would know, that's right. Because that's totally where Punjab is! Except, it isn't. That would be Kurdistan. Punjab is in India and Pakistan.
"But, that's not fair, Logan!" an imaginary blog reader might cry out. "Just because they're prejudiced, doesn't mean they're geographcially illiterate!" True, imaginary reader, but even with a casual reading and interpretation of the fucking book, I can still safely say that they're a fucking idiot. Why, you may ask? Because one of the major points of The Expanse book series—at least in the 2.25 books I've read so far—is that humanity needs to put aside it's petty differences. Despite that, the dumbfuck still wrote "Fuck Punjabis" in the book. Why? Beacuse he's a dumbfuck.
So, to the aforementioned dumbfuck: Were you paying attention? Were the words too big? Or is your head wedged too tightly up your own ass? I bet that headupassification leads to oxygen deprivation and the hindrance of one's own mental faculties.
But, most importantly, my dear dumbfuck, please don't write it in a fucking library book. Go out, buy a copy, and then go to town defacing that one instead. Acutally, no. Don't do that. Don't write your assinine racism in the book. Just read it. Read lines like this one, from the third book in the series, Abaddon's Gate:
"The Ring didn't put us on alert," he said. "It's the Martians. Even with that thing out there, we're still thinking about shooting each other. That's pretty fucked up. Sorry. Messed up."
"It seems like we should be able to see past our human differences when we're confronted with something like this, doesn't it?"
My dear dumbfuck, read and understand what the book was saying about humanity—that despite all our differences, we are still one people. And dumbfucks who right "Fuck Punjabis" in a book are a part of the problem.