A writer who loves fantasy, avoids reality, and who knows the value of hanging a death skull outside my door to ward off uninvited visitors.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Censoring the voice of Mark Twain

I just read an article over at Publisher's Weekly, and it turned my stomach.

Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Called a masterpiece by T.S. Eliot, and pronounced by Ernest Hemingway, the source of "all modern American literature."

Yet, for decades, it's been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, or flat-out banned, appearing again and again on lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word. The "n" word.

Get this! Apparently, one Mr. Alan Gribben, and NewSouth Books are going to release a version of the book with "slave" in place of the "n-word". You know, might I point out, that fickle little b***H called irony. Our choices here are what? Allow these books to be banned? Or outright replace "slave" so as not to offend people, all just to appease these groups of ignorant zealots, when either act makes those who don't stand against it the very thing, the very word, said groups have deemed censor-worthy: Slaves. Slaves to their beliefs.

Now, I understand they want to prevent the conservative pratts from banning these books from schools; I get that, I really do, so truly, their intentions are good. But, that said, the fact is, no one, and I mean, no one--and yes, I'm talking to the nosey-bodies who want to control our lives--has the right to tell us what we can and can not see, hear, read, do or think! Last time I checked we were individuals. It should be up to parents to decide what their kids should be able to read, and frankly, only someone from the cess pool of zealots would stand in favor of these ignorant censor-bullies denying people their freedom for the beliefs of others.

You can read the article HERE

Why is it so many people feel they have the right to decide what we should and shouldn't be reading. Yes, the "n" word is offensive, absolutely! But, the fact is, it was a reflection and commentary on the times, and changing it is nothing more than a blatant slap in the face of Mark Twain's point.

The cold hard truth is that when the floodgates of censorship are allowed to break thru, there's no stopping it. Somewhere along the line, we've become a society of kids playing in the sandbox, crying about the people who've "hurt our feelings", at which time someone stands up, slaps the offender on the hand and scolds them with a resounding "you can't do/say that!"

Check out the article for yourself.

Note, even the amazing R. L. Stine commented on the controversy, writing, "How idiotic to change a classic of American literature for a word usage that can be explained to young readers. Simply moronic. I find it deeply offensive."

I couldn't agree more.

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