November 21st, 2010 / 4:47 pm
Mean

NEWS ALERT: new fairy tale anthology “glamorizes” cannibalism

Whatever you do, do NOT buy this book.

[NOTE: The reviewer has just taken down his/her review from Amazon. Mysteriously. Luckily, you can still read the full text below in all its ignorant splendour! (Monday, Nov. 22, 12:25pm)]

Because as one astute Amazon reviewer said:

This book is advertised on […] – a tax funded organization sponsored by NPR. They generally have classical music, literary works on their site and on the radio which I love. However, promoting this book on a government sponsored organization is very disturbing to me…let alone the title of this book!

Yes, the title caught my attention with it’s “shock value” and granted, the book is based on traditional fairy tales from the Grimm brothers and others. (Yes, I saw this book at a brick-and-mortar book store, read 2 stories from it and decided not to buy it.)

However, this book is not “Artistic” as compared to other literary works by masters such as Shakespeare, Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence, Mark Twain, etc. It is just a modernized, regurgitated form of the old fairy tales generally read to very young children at schools and at bedtime. How innovating is that?

In addition, it may be entertaining to some people but this book is NOT “artistically” tasteful as it “Glamorizes” Cannibalism. And yes, I realize that the same topic can be found in old fairy tales…but whoever thought fairy tales were considered “artistic”…ever?! Would I read this to my child at bedtime? Absolutely NOT – I wouldn’t want to wish my child nightmares! It’s certainly NOT Aesop’s Fables! Purely malign and sadistic is what this book is!

Bottomline: It is obviously NOT on Amazon.com’s Bestseller’s List nor on The New York Times, Bestseller’s List! There must be something to be said about the popularity or quality of this book and why it is NOT on those lists! If it’s so GREAT, then most people would put their money where their mouths are and buy this book. But according to the lists, I guess most people (including me,) do not believe in spending their hard-earned money on it.

Such sound logic! So whatever you do, don’t buy this anthology. Obviously, only books on bestseller books are good, worthwhile books to read, books with morals.

Also: check out the comments. They are glorious.

Also: Be honest, who here wouldn’t want to read an anthology that glamorizes cannibalism? Her major critique is my selling point.

But: I’m in it, so maybe I’m biased. (Except the anthology is actually very amazing.)

And: please excuse the self-promotion, but this review was too delicious to ignore.

Tags: ,

78 Comments

  1. lily hoang

      Big problem. Any book that glamorizes it ought be burned at the stake. And then drowned.

  2. jesusangelgarcia

      Truth, and yet, such vehement reaction means something’s very very right about this project. Can’t be ignored. That’s the most important point here, I believe. Sad? Whatever. We’re all sad, sometimes more sad than others, but yeah. My cents.

  3. lily hoang

      Amen.

  4. Merzmensch

      Ehm, aren’t people over at Amazon about to canabalize each over actually?

  5. Sal

      Look at the usage of quotes. Ten bucks Tao Lin is behind this.

  6. jesusangelgarcia

      First, pedophilia by the numbers, and now this! What has happened to Amazon, bastion of sanctified consumerism?

      Selling point for me: “This is not ‘Artistic’…” I’m so over Ahhhrt, dahlink. Give me cannibalism or give me death! (“Beat me, beat me, come on, eat me…”)

  7. jesusangelgarcia

      Definitely smells like covert promo, a concept, which, by the way, I 100% endorse. But ya gotta have a legit Amazon account to pull it off. I peeped the reviewer’s other reviews and, um, I dunno… people is people.

  8. Poopypants McGee

      Thank god.

  9. @_justvibing

      lol

  10. deadgod

      Show post anyway.

      Well, show the one that demonstrates how 2/40 = 1/4 , even in a Platonic dialogue.

  11. deadgod

      Show post anyway.

      Well, show the one that demonstrates how 2/40 = 1/4 , even in a Platonic dialogue.

  12. Bradley Sands

      Cannibalism is one of the greatest problems facing our society today.

  13. lily hoang

      I WISH it was a covert promo, but it’s not. This reviewer is legit. (Legit here may mean any number of different things, but I mean: this isn’t a Penguin stunt.) I have all this on super reliable authority.

      At first, I thought the review was funny. I laughed. Then, I thought it was really sad and pathetic. Who reads two stories of an anthology and is so moved that they run home to write a scathing review on amazon? (Oh wait: I guess I DID write something mean/critical of JSF’s new book without reading it. I’m such a hypocrite.) The irony is that (1) this person didn’t buy the book from Amazon; (2) this person didn’t even *find* the book on Amazon; (3) the mean review on Amazon is almost irrelevant to his/her experience. Again, this is just sad.

  14. lily hoang

      I think Tao knows when to capitalize words and when not to (e.g. “Artistic” and “Glamorizes).

  15. lily hoang

      Big problem. Any book that glamorizes it ought be burned at the stake. And then drowned.

  16. jesusangelgarcia

      Truth, and yet, such vehement reaction means something’s very very right about this project. Can’t be ignored. That’s the most important point here, I believe. Sad? Whatever. We’re all sad, sometimes more sad than others, but yeah. My cents.

  17. lily hoang

      Amen.

  18. Roxane

      Sad and pathetic is what I thought too after reading that review because they so clearly don’t understand fairy tales, anthologies, or the concept of reviewing something appropriately. The moralizing was amusing though. I love how when an organization receives any money from the government, they are suddenly somehow meant to answer to every crackpot with a crusade.

  19. Amber

      “Look where our taxpayer money is going! Just LOOK! Cannibalism! Piss Christ! OMG!”

      Never mind the vast share of your taxes actually funding wars most of don’t believe in fighting. Nope, zero in on the seven cents of your money that went to NPR and the NEA last year.

      People are such tools.

  20. Amber

      God, parents have become such absolute pussies today. No violent video games. No violent fairy tales. G movies only. I even saw a letter in the New York Times saying Shel Silverstein was too disturbing for children.

      All these kids being raised today by these crazy-protective parents are going to take two steps into the real world and either collapse in a puddle of shock or instantly go on an perc-fueled sex-crazed crime spree the length of ten states.

  21. m

      yeah guys, how innovating is that

  22. Hank

      No; their children will be sent to Christian colleges where they don’t have to come into contact with the “real world,” the movies they watch will all be pre-approved by Focus on the Family (w/ included bonus footage of Kirk Cameron proving that the banana was specifically designed by God to fit in the hands of humans), and all their music will be “praise and worship.”

  23. DC
  24. Owen Kaelin

      Agreed, and: you know… somewhere, I don’t remember where, I was led to believe that the original “faerie tales” were meant to be instructive to children, they were supposed to prepare children for dealing with an unpredictable and sometimes cruel world. They were cautionary tales to guard against na├»vte.

      Now, faerie tales are merely entertainment to make children believe the world is a beautiful place, told at bedtime so they’ll have nice dreams filled with good things.

      I’m not saying, of course, that the latter is bad. But I think, perhaps, both have their place.

  25. Owen Kaelin

      O, and I so love faerie tales… .

      Anyhow,

      First, as for “shock value”… well, I should think that anyone who’s familiar with Western folklore and Western folksongs — as well as Appalachian folksongs, for that matter — are not likely to find this title shocking in any way. I certainly don’t.

      Anyone heard the one about the girl drowned by her jealous sister who then went to marry the drowned sister’s formerly-betrothed, after which the victim’s body turned up on someone’s shore, whereupon her bones and hair were made into a harp? The harp found its way to the home of the “Cruel Sister”, and you might guess what happened after the bard began playing… . This was a folksong performed by Pentangle. Both haunting and beautiful. When you take the darkness out of faerie tales, you just lose so much.

      Second… well, I’m glad for once that I don’t have to critique another eye-rolling job, since Lily accomplished that quite well, with more brevity I’d be capable of. (Maybe because she’s such a talented writer, I don’t know.)

      In regard to the authors listed on the cover, well . . . I like Shelley Jackson, at least… . Don’t think I’ve read Cunningham; there’s a couple names there I don’t recognize at all. And… where in the world is Angela Carter?

      And, Bradley: Personally, I’ve been condoning [controlled] cannibalism for the longest time. Bring on Soylent Green! It’s definitely better than slaughtering innocent animals who never asked for it in the first place.

  26. deadgod

      1/51 people found the following review helpful

      Possibly a Shakespearean scholar who agreed that Shakespeare himself would staunchly have disdained dallying with:

      a modernized, regurgitated form

  27. deadgod

      Show post anyway.

      Well, show the one that demonstrates how 2/40 = 1/4 , even in a Platonic dialogue.

  28. Jhon Baker

      you had me at cannibalism.

  29. Owen Kaelin

      I just noticed… in addition to Shelley Jackson, this book features:

      Brian Evenson (hurray!)
      Rikki Dukornet
      Lily Hoang (as she mentioned, hurray again)
      Michael Mejia
      Kate Bernheimer

  30. Waller

      Boy, that person sure was steamed. She believed in her review that she defended it four times.
      Also, she used this line: “Don’t dump your excrement on me.”

  31. Waller

      It was Tao and George Saunders collaborating. They “hang out” A Lot.

  32. Owen Kaelin

      I just noticed… in addition to Shelley Jackson, this book features:

      Brian Evenson (hurray!)
      Rikki Dukornet
      Lily Hoang (as she mentioned, hurray again)
      Michael Mejia
      Kate Bernheimer

  33. JakeLevineSpork

      i just learned about this fairy tale where this kid rips a bunny’s arm off because he stole some kind of shit. that is exactly how the fairy tale was told to me. it was a one liner. this is fantastic. the review is also fantastic. they should stick it on the back of the book.

  34. Canvas238

      We need dumb asses like this. It makes you want go out and do tens times as much good, as they do bad.

  35. zusya

      sincere and wholehearted congrats, lily. the book looks great.

  36. keedee

      Henry Miller wrote about the gurgling sound of group pissing in a vagina. Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus was a retelling of a retelling of a myth. In the play Titus cooks two people and serves them to their mother in pie form.

      Artistes!

  37. lily hoang

      Hi Owen: First, thank you for your kind comments.

      As a point of clarification though: fairy tales were originally magical stories told orally in bars. There was an art of storytelling to them, a “one-ups-manship,” if you will. (There was a prize of sorts to the best storyteller: a drink!) Or, at least, this is my understanding of it. The stories, told through many iterations and permutations, would become more dark and sinister. Through evolution, these fairy tales were “cleaned up” and made into our more modern notion of fairy tale, which was then bastardized even further by Disney. But just look at the Brothers Grimm. There is nothing of pleasant dreams in them.

      Also: for those interested, Benjamin has a great essay on all this called “The Storyteller” in ILLUMINATIONS, where he describes how storytelling is a lost art. It’s quite stellar.

      Side-note: I taught this course on fairy tales a few years back, and my students argue vehemently FOR Disney. We read Jack Zipes’s “Breaking the Disney Spell,” and I thought my class would revolt. Their notion of fairy tale is so embroidered with happy endings and prince charmings that they could not conceive of anything critical of Disney, even if Disney himself “damaged” fairy tales.

      As for the moral part, I think you may be conflating fairy tales and fables. Easy mistake, again, in no small part because of Disney, though there are many fairy tales with morals at the end.

      Also: I’m a sucker for Disney. Once, when I was much much younger, I role-played Ariel in the bathtub (the rock scene, where the ocean splashes up behind her) and cracked open my chin. I still have a scar.

  38. lily hoang

      In my original version of this post, I had the faulty math highlighted but I thought that would be too petty of me. Thank you, Deadgod, for pointing it out! I was itching for someone to, and I’m glad it was you.

  39. lily hoang

      Mournfully, yes.

  40. lily hoang

      Thanks, Zusya. I’m quite honoured to be in such good company.

  41. lily hoang

      It’s hilarious that the reviewer approves of Henry Miller’s morality but not this book. O o o hypocrisy! Yes, not to even mention all the things that happen in Shakespeare. I was hoping there would be a mention of Greek plays too. Because, you’re right, there’s no cannibalism there!

  42. Kate

      Thank you all for this incredible discussion, and especially to you, Lily, for “The Story of the Mosquito,” which I was so honored to include in this book. I just wrote a long comment on the subject, but will keep myself to this update instead: the Amazon review just disappeared! (It was not stealth promotion, by the way.) I wonder if the reviewer removed it him or herself, realizing sadly that it was actually helping the cause . . . by which I mean glamorous cannibalism, of course. Thanks to everyone here for this amazing conversation in defense of fairy tales. If you don’t know these books, Maria Tatar’s THE HARD FACTS OF THE GRIMMS’ TALES (a beautifully written study of their historical motifs of sex and violence) and THE GRIMM READER (an accurate and poetic translation of the tales) make for sparkling and horrific fireside reading.

  43. keedee

      OK, I am certain now that was a troll with good knowledge of cannibalism in literature looking to drive people nuts: which is by definition a cannibal troll, and now my brain is melting.

      I don’t know how to do the quotey thing:

      “I regard the poor man, in his present condition, as so much wasted raw material. Cut up and properly canned, he might be made useful to fatten the natives of the cannibal islands and to improve our export trade in that region. I shall recommend legislation upon the subject in my first message. My campaign cry will be: ‘Desiccate the poor working-man; stuff him into sausages.'”
      – “Mark Twain as a Presidential Candidate,” New York Evening Post, June 9, 1879

  44. Christopher

      As an aside: Shakespeare actually DID regurgitate a lot of old fairy tales.

  45. lily hoang

      Thanks, Kate. And everyone, please note: The reviewer took down the review! Did HTMLGiant REALLY just save the day? Probably not, but here’s to wishful thinking.

  46. jereme_dean

      “NPR”

      LOL

  47. Owen Kaelin

      For the record: while I’m probably guilty of conflating faerie tales with fables, I was not trying to conflate the Grimm tales with bedtime stories; I was trying to draw a distinction.

      I won’t doubt your take on it, since I’ve done too little research specifically on faerie tales as they are understood in the Brothers’ Grimm sense. I love mythology & folklore, but to be shamefully honest I haven’t even read the Brothers’ Grimm (although I’ve been meaning to for ages, but then again I’ve also been meaning to read the Heimskringla for ages), I’ve only heard about it from friends who have (one of whom as been reading it in the original German). So… I’ve tended — foolishly, I guess — to differentiate between common folklore and the European faerie tale… apparently that was a mistake on my part.

      In other words: While I see folkore/myths as people passing tall tales around a campfire in order to explain the world or just weave a good story, I’ve always seen faerie tales as having a deliberate function, with a moral purpose: that purpose being best employed to teach, scare, admonish or prepare children… so I’ve always seen the Grimm tales as a means of preparing children against the big, bad world.

      Like I said, I dislike how these stories have been cleaned up to be turned into bedtime stories. I think everyone will agree that bedtime stories are awesome (just ask Syd Barrett, eh?), but trying to purge society of the original Grimm-style tales is, I think, somewhat criminal.

  48. Pete

      That’s right, we should all read nothing but James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steel. What a vivid, exciting literary culture we would have.

  49. Colin

      i don’t get the point of this post, except to promote the book and point wagging laughing knowing fingers at someone’s “ignorance”. i don’t know, i don’t like the whole of it, and feel bad that the review’s author has thought it better (possibly because of negative comments) to take the review down, only to have people (some involved in the book in some way) read the review over here and laugh at them here instead.

  50. Colin

      and i’ve just noticed that the amazon page now only has 4 reviews, 4 five star reviews which makes me like all this even less

  51. deadgod

      Ha ha. The fault is mine, lily; the “petty, bratty child” in me is easily as quick to take unwarranted offense as the tyke is to pounce on small-picture errors of arithmetic. The fraction botch does make it look like that person didn’t actually finish any of the stories in the anthology, though, eh?

  52. Owen Kaelin

      For the record: while I’m probably guilty of conflating faerie tales with fables, I was not trying to conflate the Grimm tales with bedtime stories; I was trying to draw a distinction.

      I won’t doubt your take on it, since I’ve done too little research specifically on faerie tales as they are understood in the Brothers’ Grimm sense. I love mythology & folklore, but to be shamefully honest I haven’t even read the Brothers’ Grimm (although I’ve been meaning to for ages, but then again I’ve also been meaning to read the Heimskringla for ages), I’ve only heard about it from friends who have (one of whom as been reading it in the original German). So… I’ve tended — foolishly, maybe (although I suspect there must be some distinction) — to differentiate between common folklore and the European faerie tale… apparently that was a mistake on my part.

      In other words: While I see folkore/myths as people passing tall tales around a campfire in order to explain the world or just weave a good story, I’ve always seen faerie tales as having a deliberate function, with a moral purpose: that purpose being best employed to teach, scare, admonish or prepare children… so I’ve always seen the Grimm tales as a means of preparing children against the big, bad world.

      Like I said, I dislike how these stories have been cleaned up to be turned into bedtime stories. I think everyone will agree that bedtime stories are awesome (just ask Syd Barrett, eh?), but trying to purge society of the original Grimm-style tales is, I think, somewhat criminal.

  53. Owen Kaelin

      I suppose life just isn’t interesting without them. Artists need contention, they need people misunderstanding them. Otherwise, it’s just not fun, it’s only work.

      …Something I remember thinking about in art school… “Why are people, these days, so fucking accepting? Are they jaded? What’s wrong with a good old-fashioned riot now and again?”

      I mean… if even putting a crucifix into a jar of piss won’t start a riot… .

      Nevermind. I’m not saying we should have riots. Just being a little facetious.

  54. Owen Kaelin

      Hell, let’s not even get into the Bible, for instance.

  55. Owen Kaelin

      My ego wants to believe it was because of the reply I made explaining to her, among other things, how the NYTimes bestseller list actually functions. My rational side tells me she did it because she was fed up with having to defend herself against such vehemence.

      I guess, aside from her trying to equate the bestseller list with quality (something that, no matter how common a misperception it is, always gets my Irish up), is her mistaken notion that artists should want to be successful and shouldn’t want to be “starving artists” so they should stop writing things that will not be a bestseller. I’ve never liked the term “starving artist”, to start with.

      I think it’s just that when people start talking stupid shit about how art should be and how artists should behave . . . it hits a really sensitive nerve.

      But I was polite, really I was. Honest! All I said was that people shouldn’t try to analyze and pontificate on art and the role of artists if they are not themselves artists.

  56. Owen Kaelin

      Eh… folktales, I think, but point taken.

  57. Owen Kaelin

      I’m sure she watches Charlie Rose obsessively, too.

  58. Owen Kaelin

      Better than laughing at her there, no?

  59. alan

      Seems to me the aim was rather to glamorize fairy tales by associating them with cannibalism.

  60. Kate

      You know, I too wish the one-star post had stayed up along with the discussion in comments! It was a very lively and historically interesting spectacle and reminded me of how the Grimms’ first 1812 edition of fairy tales was criticized by some for being offensive (you can find those early reviews reprinted in The Grimm Reader, ed. Tatar). As far as one-star “reviews” go, too, this one was terrific.

      All that aside, some of its writer’s comments became quite unusual, and thus the strong reaction by readers I think. At the least, I hope you can see it might be reasonable for people to respond with a little humor about a very public, anonymous accusation, repeated again and again, that I gathered this book *in order* to promote cannibalism and to emotionally torture young readers. (I myself make no assumptions about the person who made the one-star “review,” please know.)

      Again I thank Lily for starting a discussion here about fairy tales and thus celebrating the diverse tradition. I hope the conversation continues and that everyone here reads some old fairy tales tonight. Start with “The Story of Grandmother,” one of the oldest Little Red Riding Hood tales. It’s not at all artistic or controversial! (Said with friendly wink.)

  61. deadgod

      Well of course you spotted the “faulty math”, lily!

      And of course you’d scruple to be specific about something as “petty” as innumeracy – especially when you could sneer at “sound logic” instead.

      I’m always itching for someone to bask in smug transgressivity, and I’m always “glad” when it’s you.

  62. deadgod

      Kate, I think you’re right to regret the self(?)-scrubbing of the post reprinted in Lily’s blogicle.

      It’s a Bad Thing when criticism and dissent are silenced simply in reaction to ridicule. The post was shtoopit every-which-way, in my view, but it raises – raised? – real social and intellectual problems (such as the nature and history of “fairy tales”; protecting children; limiting ‘speech’; and the efficacy/responsibility that attach to artists).

      It’s a Bad Thing whenever a mob – even ‘my‘ mob – buffaloes a perspective into invisibility – and all I see now on Amazon’s thread is lavish praise (not that I wouldn’t agree – just that someone didn’t and she or he has unhappily shut the fuck up.)

  63. Colin

      thanks Kate. i didn’t get to read the comments stream, because i came to it after the review had been taken down, so i guess maybe i had a skewed view of what the reviewer was saying there, and also maybe the tone of the responses. some of the comments in this stream made it sound like an htmlgiant success story for getting the review taken down, which struck me as kind of i don’t know a little arrogant and dismissive of the reviewer, like a feelgood crusade against the “ignorance” of this reviewer, like a many-voiced wolf all too happy to eat the girl in public (on the back of my reading of the review as posted on this blog). because, sure, the original review is strongly worded (i love that “sadistic”) and does have bizarre leaps of judgment but i guess it raises some of the paradoxes and ambiguities in the genre itself and especially in the public’s reaction to fairy tales as a genre. but i’m now getting the picture that in missing the wilder accusations of the reviewer in the comments on amazon, i got the wrong end of the cape.

  64. jereme_dean

      deadgod, i wouldn’t call it protecting, but coddling.

  65. Kate

      Hm, I don’t know if the poster removed the string. Can you remove your own reviews? It’s possible Amazon removed the whole thing for some reason we do not know, having nothing to do with the content of the string or this blog. It remains a mystery!

      Anyway I do have up to comment 11 saved in a Word file if anyone who missed it and is actually interested wants to see some of the conversation that took place. I started writing about it in an essay last night so saved the string in Word. “the better to collage you with, my dear.” But there were 9 more long comments this morning and I never copied those, assuming naively they’d be there forever! If anyone wants what I saved, contact me and I’ll send it along. At more than ten single-spaced pages it’s too lengthy to post here and unfortunately only comprises around half what I saw at least.

  66. lily hoang

      easy there, deadgod. i didn’t mean to insult you. i just meant that my post seemed petty enough as it was. but the petty, bratty child in me really wanted to point out the math thing. i was trying to say thank you, but i inadvertently insulted you instead. my apologies.

  67. lily hoang

      Hi Colin: I don’t think this post had ANYTHING to do with the removal of the post. As I said above, it’s “wishful thinking” at best, my delusions at worst. Probably, he/she felt guilty and took it down. It’s not worth speculating.

      Look: I should not have laughed. It’s the review’s adamant stance, his/her refusal to waiver, etc, esp when then the premise of the review is so absurd. Seriously: an anthology that “glamorizes” cannibalism? And he/she picks on NPR and pulls out the morality card? But you’re right, ultimately. I shouldn’t have laughed. Lord knows I’ve said and written and published too many things I’m embarrassed of…

  68. Colin

      it is possible (and very easy) to remove your review and the whole string of comments. if you’re logged into your account you just hit a little delete button. but you’re right it could just as easily (though i think less likely, but that’s just my experience reviewing on amazon, where comments streams can get fairly tough and survive) be amazon if the comments were too vociferous or if the review was considered inflammatory or something. i would be interested to read the comments if it’s not too much of a hassle, but don’t worry… i could wait for your essay to come out. anyway, my email is colinjherd AT gmail DOT com.

  69. deadgod

      Ha ha. The fault is mine, lily; the “petty, bratty child” in me is easily as quick to take unwarranted offense as the tyke is to pounce on small-picture errors of arithmetic. The fraction botch does make it look like that person didn’t actually finish any of the stories in the anthology, though, eh?

  70. lily hoang

      In one of the comments (now deleted), the reviewer admitted he only “skimmed” the two stories (or 1/4 of the anthology, whichever you prefer) before reviewing.

      Are we friends again, Deadgod? Or, as much of friends as anonymous commenters can be to each other?

  71. deadgod

      In the case of chilling fairy tales, maybe so – kids are nasty to each other before they’re exposed to Hansel and Gretel’s witch; they learn meanness from us, though what the raw material for cruelty is I’m sure I’m not subtle enough comprehensively to unravel.

      But you know, jereme, I’d bet that every school district in America has employees who’ve got pictures of kids being sexually attacked on their home computers. In fact, most kid-oriented advertising is, in a different way, abusive, in my view. There’s also the angle that some kids get beat up, and worse, at home; should anyone – the state, for instance – come in the front door to shield children from treatment adults are not allowed to impose on each other? Etc.

      To me, the argument that kids should have at least a crack at growing up less-than-intensely-fucked-with is a Good One.

  72. Colin

      oh, i always manage to come across as humourless in these threads. and having not seen the comments at amazon i did have a skewed picture, and i guess impulses to side with the mobbed rather than the mob came out (maybe i’m chanelling my (definitely inner/online and not real-life) gallant prince). i’ve now seen some of the comments and can see that that was probably misguided… anyway, the book sounds and looks lovely, congrats.

  73. jereme_dean

      Filtering a child’s purview of reality is coddling. Stopping a child from being beaten is protecting. How the fuck did you confuse the two?

      Coddling is irresponsible and selfish parenting. It disgusts me. Too many children leave the parental tit only to find that life is fucked up. Such an epiphany can lead to panic attacks, drug use, depression, even suicide because the person has no real coping mechanism. They only know the feigned reality provided by a parental ego.

      I am saying, if there is a bottle of poison under the sink, then be truthful, explain its power and danger. Do not simply say “STAY AWAY FROM THIS BECAUSE I SAID SO.”

      “But you know, jereme, I’d bet that every school district in America has employees who’ve got pictures of kids being sexually attacked on their home computers.”

      I distrust all teachers. Children should too.

      “In fact, most kid-oriented advertising is, in a different way, abusive, in my view.”

      Advertising is manipulative and base by nature. I do my best to avoid all forms of mass media. Children & parents maybe should too.

      “To me, the argument that kids should have at least a crack at growing up less-than-intensely-fucked-with is a Good One.”

      No shit.

  74. deadgod

      I didn’t “confuse the two”, jereme – the self(?)-scrubbed poster at Amazon did.

      I’d meant explicitly to accept your distinction, “maybe so” meaning that there is a difference between “coddling” and “protecting”, and bowdlerizing fairy tales “maybe” belongs to the former and not the latter. I should’ve said, more forcefully, ‘yes, disneyfication is coddlesome and oppressive’. (I’ve also said (on this thread but not directly to you) that the post was “shtoopit”.)

      However – and as I said – that mistaken and badly-argued post

      raises real social and intellectual problems

      without making a valid distinction between “coddling” and “protection”, and here [my short list] are a few of those “problems”.

      (Maybe that Amazon poster would agree with your vocabulary – and simply draw the line in a place neither of us would respect ethically or intellectually.)

      I agree that that last sentence presents an obviously defensible value, but I thought it was worth expressing the value directly. Now you’ve responded to a need to say the same thing: “No shit.”

      In what way do we disagree? That’d be more interesting to talk about than straightening out a pretty clear and extensive overlap of perspective.

  75. jereme_dean

      I don’t know man. How do you feel about the Bears this year?

  76. Owen Kaelin

      They suck.

  77. Bea

      You must be one very INSECURE author to read one reviewer’s bad review on your work and then write an entire blog post bashing that reviewer!

      As an author, you should know that when you put your work out into the public arena for them to judge, there will ALWAYS be at least one person who will dislike your work! Must you write a blog post for EVERY bad comment that you receive? How INSECURE can you be? Can’t you take criticism?

      I don’t blame the reviewer for taking down his/her review! This book doesn’t deserve the attention and notoriety the review brings!

  78. deadgod

      They’re 7-3, Owen – if you and jereme are talking Chicago “Bears”.

      The Panthers “suck”. The Bears are a good team – maybe better than ‘average-good’ – hampered by a jumpy-stoner quarterback; I think they’re vulnerable to an aggressive defense with good athletes in a way that the Colts, for example, aren’t so much. (Carolina could blitz nine guys every play and still get pounded like 16-penny nails. Comes from having a girly name?? – Carolina’s Teddy Panthers.)

      How do I “feel” about the Bears? I hate ’em more than the Eagles and less than the Cowboys.