The end is nigh

5 Jan

The Apocalypse is now. It’s time to stock up on canned goods, bottled water, duct tape and bullets. Not convinced? In the same week that thousands of black birds have dropped dead out of the sky, the publishing world is dropping a thing or two on us that surely leaves little doubt that the end of days is upon us.

Are you prepared?

Just the other day I was telling Snakebite about how I suffer from a recurring dream that my college, Mercer University, sends me a letter rescinding my degree in English Literature until I have read everything that has been published since I graduated. What would I do? Well, given the devolving state of literature, I think I might just have to pick a different major. Something less offensive and easier to get my mind around, like organic chemistry.

This is what is happening to rattle my very foundation:

A shore sign that it’s over

Dropping this week is the autobiographical blood, sweat and tears of Mensa mishap and “Jersey Shore” open sore vessel, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. It is called A Shore Thing and I am dumbfounded. Am I offended or jealous? How could this happen? Can she even read?  It was enough of an insult when the likes of Paris Hilton, fame-whore duo Speidi or even Tommy Lee’s penis were able to add the word “author” to their resumes, but, but, but Holy Crap! I get it that not every author wants to tease apart Shakespear’s tragedies, explore issues surrounding man vs. nature or even knows how to diagram a sentence.  Fine. However, while not great writers in the traditional sense, they at least have some interesting subject matter or a unique point-of-view to share. Excerpts like the following have been leaked from Snooki’s manifesto:

“He had an okay body. Not fat at all. And naturally toned abs. She could pour a shot of tequila down his belly and slurp it out of his navel without getting splashed in the face.”

Or

“Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show. She shook it hard. Too hard. In the middle of a shimmy, her stomach cramped. A fart slipped out. A loud one. And stinky.”

I think that “Pulitzer Prize Winning” is a moniker that is safe from Polizzi. As bad as this whole Snooki book thing is, it gets even worse.

Call it what you will

Publisher, NewSouth Books, is going to save us all from racial discord and ensure that no one ever again misunderstands the intention of Mark Twain’s masterpiece, Huckleberry Finn, by giving it an ethnic whitewash. That’s right. NewSouth Books has decided to actually revise things a bit by cleansing the offensive “n-word” and the word “injun” from reprint and replacing them with much friendlier and cuddlier words, like “slave”, in their forthcoming edition. Now, before I get all up in a twist, Mark Twain scholar, Alan Gribben, says that the book is not being censored, it’s just being updated. The irony is that the use of the words nigger and injun in the book are used as symbolic and meaningless labels that Huck grows to disavow. If you change the verbage, doesn’t the end message then change too? Why are we all so uptight on this issue that publishers now feel compelled and licensed to censor future editions of books that document distasteful bits of history? We want to remember and honor the past, yet our society is trying so hard to scrub it raw. This could very well continue with an update of The Diary of Anne Frank where Ann just ends up in a sauna.

As the birds continue dropping, am I really being asked to consider and accept Snooki glorifying her STD exchange culture of Guidos and Guidettes, while a time-tested classic takes a hit for using words that are faithful to its era’s lexicon? I fully expect that one day Snooki’s novel will be reworked to say “fine young lady” and “responsible young man”?  Will it mean the same thing?

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One Response to “The end is nigh”

  1. Laurel January 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    The Huck Finn thing is so asinine I’m uncertain how someone who can actually read would support that decision. Back in the day it was banned for being too desegregationist and now people are in a tizzy because it’s racist.

    Regarding Snooki’s book, however, I just had the epic experience of participating in a live blog reading of the whole thing. It was full of awesome. Mostly unintentional awesome. If you have twenty minutes to spare go read the log now. I laughed so hard I cried, more than once.

    http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/a-shore-thing-a-live-blog-and-review-of-snookis-novel/

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