Friday, October 05, 2007

Craziness Abounds – Who’s Lookin’ Out for You?

Just like the pendulum that swings from side to side, ideas also swing from side to side. Eggs used to be good for us, but then they turned bad, before it become a hesitant okay. How about caffeine? And dark chocolate? Heck, it used to be grease for my hips, but now it’s a soothing balm. And what about books that have unhappy endings?

Think I’m kidding? Take a look here, and you’ll get an eyeful. Seems that there is a group of good people in Britain who have appointed themselves the literary police, and it is their mission to burn children’s books that have unhappy endings. I quote: “The Happy Ending Foundation is planning a series of Bad Book Bonfires for later this month, when parents will be encouraged to burn novels with negative endings.”

As a publisher, I find it abhorrent that there are people out there whose rose-colored glasses are so fogged up that they will censor everything that doesn’t fit within their narrow field of vision. As a writer, I’m appalled that these people are so ill prepared to handle a pesky little thing called “Reality.” These are the same folks who cluck at PTA meetings and strong arm schools to ban childhood favs of Tag and Dodgeball.

I’m a parent and took pains to insure that my kids read age appropriate books. The idea that I need to enlist the services of busybodies who have nothing better to do than invade my life is a travesty every freedom loving person should reject.

“Yes, yes, Price, ease up on the rising blood pressure. See how we’re all laughing?”

Of course I do. We’re all doing the collective eye roll. On the other hand, it’s gradualism at its finest. What seems insane now could one day become acceptable because they’ve worn us down through attrition. That’s how freedoms are lost and groups like this are able to propagate.

What’s too crazy to think about now could very easily become the norm in the future. Publishers may be ordered to only publish happy-happy stories and think joy-joy thoughts. We writers could one day be forced to take a look at our work and decide if we’re ready to see it go the way of Tag and Dodgeball.

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