While hitting my regular sites on the internet (mostly pornography), I noticed people reporting on the Mark Twain classic, "Huckleberry Finn." Apparently they deem the words "nigger" and "injun" offensive enough to warrant editing the whole book. It's a growing trend, apparently. I guess that's why that porno I was watching had the woman saying "Fuck me with your African-American cock!" Gotta keep it P.C.
This is one of the problems with America. White Americans are trying to cover up the fact that racism ever happened by whitewashing (blackwashing? African-American-washing? Wait, I'm straying into racist grounds again) the past. But that doesn't really work when the effects are still being felt today.
Here's another problem with America; dumb people take the word "nigger" in the book at face value and immediately decide that it must be cleaned up. They aren't looking at the historical context of the book, they're not looking at what characters use it, they aren't even taking into account that Mark Twain was perhaps the best satirist of all time, so when he uses the word "nigger" he's got a motive behind it. All they know is that the word is offensive, and so their poor little kids should be sheltered from it. It sucks all the meaning out of the book. It's like removing the context of the Holocaust from "Diary of a Young Girl." You no longer know why the text is relevant, why it's important, and what made it as famous as it is today. Should we also make Lolita a consenting adult who is saving herself for marriage, wears a silver ring and will only do anal so it is more comfortable for American audiences? Remove the word "bitch" from "Babe," ignoring the true meaning of the word altogether? Make Jane Eyre a vampire? "Moby Whale"?
People invoke the "Nanny State" a lot when it comes to stuff like this. It's a little deeper than that. People are always telling us to "think of the children," almost as much as dissenters use the phrase to mock them. We can't make everything in this country child-friendly. Not everything is Justin-goddamned-Beiber. "Three's Company" was edgier than anything on TV now.
I think George Carlin said it best when he said "Fuck the children!"
I'm worried that in the future this will be censored to "Fuck the children, provided they are 18 and you are married to them."
I like to call it the "Disneyfication of America." A place that exists outside of the real world where everyone is friendly, and attractive white kids dictate what kind of music and TV shows top the charts, and nobody ever gets offended because the same seven safe plots are used in all forms of media, ranging from "Oh no, I have two dates at the same time in the same place!" to "Men make a sexist gag, women challenge them to a gender-defined contest, women win, proving that the sexes are equal."
These "special editions" of books need to stop now. You get kids to care about literature by telling them how boundary-testing and interesting and revolutionary it is, not by cleaning it up so it's as vanilla as everything else in their lives. We need to do this before Twain, and Vonnegut, and Shakespeare, and Joyce are further maligned by literary masters like Snooki, and Spencer Pratt, and Kim Karashian, and Jenny McCarthy.
They've always said that knowledge is power. It's no coincidence that we're so content to lose both.