Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Have you heard the latest news?  In a new edition of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain every instance of the "n-word" is going to be removed and replaced with "slave."  You can read more about it HERE.

Huh?  Maybe it's just me, but do you know what is more painful and disrespectful than any single word?  Sanitizing history!  That word is horrible and we must never forget that, at one time, it was not only used but acceptable to do so.  To me, the worst thing a parent can do is to try to ensure that their child never feels pain or discomfort.  That, of course, is one's first instinct when it comes to someone we love.  We don't want to see them sad or, God forbid, in emotional or physical pain.  But actually shielding a child from everything does not prepare them for real life.  In fact, it does the complete opposite.

My mother was born and raised in Milan and the cats there are not cute.  They are feral and scary.  Needless to say, my mother was terrified of cats and I was never exposed to a single one during my entire childhood.  Now, when in the presence of a cat, I have a painful and disturbing allergic reaction that includes a thick gel-like substance oozing from my swollen eyes.

I have an adorable Cairn terrier named Baby.  As her name implies, she is essentially my child.  She is a little fatty with short legs and to see her struggle to get up and down stairs just broke my heart.  She could do it, of course, but it was easier -- and more loving (or so I thought) -- to just pick her up and carry her.  Now she can barely step up and over a raised door jamb.

If we censor (and yes, that is exactly what it is!) "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by removing the offensive and damaging n-word, how will a young person react when they finally first hear it?  And, trust me, they will.  Probably on the street or in a rap song, dropped like a useless penny that no longer means anything.  Wouldn't it be better to read it in a classic book and then discuss it with a teacher, fellow students and/or their parents?  But that takes time and energy.  That is a grey area.  And, ironically, we Americans can only deal with black and white.

So what's next?  Medea simply spanks her children?  Romeo and Juliet live happily ever after?  I know!  Instead of writing "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart" Anne Frank -- who was rounded up and exterminated by the nazis when she was 13 -- writes in her diary (in purple glitter pen with hearts dotting the i's), "Gosh darn it all if some people aren't just really mean!"

Have some fucking respect and stop trying to rewrite history...  Or mark my words, the next generation will not be able to walk.


  1. Censorship is the Herpes of America. Sanitizing classic literature so as not to offend someone or a group is simply an avoidance strategy. Choosing not to expose the people to America's early, ugly, history, means the country is doomed to repeat it.

    BTW, I ADORE you! Blog-ON Girl!

  2. -This is why they never did a decent movie of this book...they always skip over the whole conversation about "niggers" that Huck has with Widow What's-her-name in the first chapter. It shows the society Huck comes from and sets up the reader for his sort of spiritual awakening later on. His realization that an entire world of good people can be dead wrong.

  3. If we lose our historic markers, how can we track our progress?

  4. Remember when religious extremists would have book and record burnings so they could get rid of "offensive" media. Scary that this train of thought is now being accepted by the mainstream media. If something makes you uncomfortable, don't deal with it, eradicate it so you won't have to deal with it.

    I bet if the character's name was "faggot Jim" nobody would have batted an eye.

    Mr. Clemens, on behalf of those of us with half a brain, I'm sorry.