A book parodying vintage children's texts has been withdrawn following a fierce attack by social justice whingers who claim that Bad Little Children's Books is racist for its depictions of Native Americans and Muslims
Illustrator Arthur C. Gackley has now withdrawn the title saying:
The book is clearly not being read by some in the way I had intended--as satire--and, more disturbingly, is being misread as the very act of hate and bigotry that the work was meant to expose, not promote.
Images in the book, marketed as a collection of 120 edgy, politically incorrect parodies, include a girl wearing a burka giving a ticking present to a little boy for a book called Happy Burkaday, Timmy by Ben Laden.
Examples of the miserable and censorial whinges are:
Nick Hanover tweeted: We need to stop letting entities like @ABRAMSbooks claim satire whenever they want to publish hateful trash.
Book Riot blogger Kelly Jensen whinged:
In a culture which is hateful and violent against anyone outside of the Christian norm, particularly Muslims, who thought this was even an okay image to present in a book, humorous or not? This is the sort of harmful imagery and stereotyping
that literally kills lives -- and it's not the lives of little white boys who are dying. It's the lives of those, like the girl in the burka, who are impacted by disgusting "humor" like this. We don't live in a world where humor like
this is acceptable. This kind of "humor" is never acceptable. It's deadly.
Book publisher Abrams disagreed with the author's withdrawal of the book saying:
In the last few days some commentators on social media and those who follow them have taken elements of the book out of context, failing to recognise it as an artistic work of social satire and comic parody. They argue that it lends credence to
the hateful views that the author's work is clearly meant to mock, demean, expose, and subvert.
Bad Little Children's Books is a work of parody and satire and, as such, it is intentionally, openly, and provocatively offensive... We stand fully behind freedom of speech and artistic expression, and fully support the First Amendment. We have
been disheartened by calls to censor the book and to stifle the author's right to express his artistic vision by people we would expect to promote those basic fundamental rights and freedoms.
However, faced with the misperceived message of the book, we are respecting the author's request.
The UAE does not censor any book entering book fairs in the country claimed a senior book censor from the National Media Council (NMC) ...BUT... certain lines are not to be crossed . The official was speaking at the Sharjah
International Book Fair (SIBF).
Juma Al Leem, director of the NMC office in Dubai, said:
In the UAE, we never prohibit books in any book fair. We give our remarks or comments only about the book.
Al Leem added that while there is also no censorship in general terms in the UAE, every country has a red line for content. He said the US, for example, blocks books deemed to be a national security threat.
Certain lines are not to be crossed We don't support [books that promote] terrorism, and so on.
However certain types of books will continue to be referred by the NMC to relevant UAE ministries before a final approval is granted. For example, a medical publication awaiting the green light from the NMC is sent by the NMC to the Ministry of
Health and Prevention so specialists can assess the content.
We concentrate on quality. We don't permit every book. We don't want false facts.
Al Leem said the NMC has its own highly qualified and specialised staff to assess works of literature and various other genres, besides referrals to third-party entities on technical subjects. He pointed out that each licence for a
work to be published in the UAE has its own terms and conditions. He added that in certain cases a minimum of a high-school certificate is required to allow the licence to go ahead.
We are not using our power against writers. The new law on competencies is now effective and we will reveal more details.
A young generation of Vietnamese comic artists is struggling to get its work published as local publishers hesitate over censorship concerns.
For instance, the third volume of popular Vietnamese comic Meo Moc (Musty Mew) by Dang Quang Dung was recently recalled by publishers after a one month run in local bookstores. The artist attributes the recall to a scene featuring the
comic's feline protagonist on the toilet and the word poop appearing later in the volume, both of which were deemed offensive by book censors.
Nguyen Khanh Duong, co-founder of Comicola and a comic scriptwriter himself, last week took to Facebook to reveal the harsh censorship of his comic Long Than Tuong (Holy Dragon Imperator), which in February received the Silver Award at the
Ninth International MANGA Awards held by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Details such as a little girl grabbing her mother's breast as a joke and an onomatopoeic sound of a sword's slash were asked to be changed before the comic could be published, despite being labeled for readers from 16 years of age, Duong said.
Still, Duong has been luckier than many of his Vietnamese colleagues whose work never even made it to the shelves, including artist Dao Quang Huy whose book was rejected by local publishers for distorting fairy tales . Huy explained
Publishing censorship in Vietnam is a grey area that depends entirely on the sentiment of censors who lack specified criteria on which they can base their judgment.
Many attribute such harsh censorship to the long-held view by Vietnamese publishers and authorities that comics are meant for children, though comics have long been evolved to serve a much wider range of readers.
According to Duong Thanh Hoai, deputy director of Nha Nam book company, comic editors at publishing houses in Vietnam are held back by a fear of violating fine traditions and customs , a vague term in Vietnamese publishing laws that has
yet to be defined by the country's lawmakers.
Tim & Donna Lucas, Publishers of Video Watchdog have announced the magazine's closure:
With regret, we must announce that -- after 27 wonderful years -- we are no longer able to publish new print editions of Video Watchdog.
Some of you have been with us since the early days of desktop publishing, when bookstores carried a wide variety of offbeat publications catering to all kinds of niche readerships. It was an exciting time, one in which Video Watchdog
thrived. From the time of our first pre-publication ads in 1989, The Perfectionist's Guide to Fantastic Video has never stopped evolving -- growing from 60 to 64 to 80 pages in its black-and-white configuration, blossoming into full-color with
issue 100, and introducing interactive digital versions of each issue in 2013. We can confidently state that our most recent issues were among the best we ever published.
Over the last quarter century, we have always depended on newsstand sales, subscriptions, advertising, and-- because all of that was still not fully sustaining -- side projects in order to continue publishing. We were able to make ends meet so
long as all of these facets were working together but, in recent years, it has become a losing battle. There are many reasons for this: the diminishing number of retail outlets, the sad state of print distribution, the easy availability of free
information and critical writing via the Internet, and the now-widespread availability on Blu-ray and DVD of so many of the once-obscure titles Video Watchdog was among the first to tell you about. After trying many creative ways to generate
sales to compensate for newsstand losses and lack of advertising support, rising shipping and postage costs, and a depressed economy, it is simply no longer possible to keep Video Watchdog moving forward.
Looking back, we take great pride in the fact that, in our time, Video Watchdog was able to present the writing and original art of the genre's most talented writers, artists, and thinkers; that it attracted the attention and respect of so many
of the great contemporary masters of cinema (from Scorsese to Del Toro); and that its coverage inspired a number of people to enter the film and video businesses to promote film restoration and preservation from the inside. We are deeply
grateful for the contributors and audience that enabled us to sustain our publication for so long.
The coming months will be difficult as we try to figure out what's next for us, and what awaits Video Watchdog and its readership. Please bear with us during this uncertain time, and we will keep you informed of further developments as they
become more definitive.
Sade's once unpublishable novel has now joined the ranks of Penguin's Classics for the first time, and its author will take his place alongside the great figures of world literature -- many of whom would no doubt turn in their graves at the
news that their club now counted Sade among its members.
Recent censorship history
Translations published by the Olympia Press in Paris were banned from the UK throughout the 1950s. In the wake of the Lady Chatterley's Lover trial in 1960 , a test case for the Obscene Publications Act passed a year before, more publishing
houses were emboldened to publish Sade.
But all this came to a halt with the Moors murders trial of 1966, and with the revelation that Ian Brady had owned a paperback Corgi edition of Sade's Justine . Brady's taste in books was widely reported in the tabloid press, and fired the
public imagination. Commentator George Steiner alluded to the high probability that Brady's reading of Justine was a significant factor in the case. It did not seem to matter that the copy of Justine that Brady owned had only
appeared in print after he had committed all but one of his murders.
A ban on the publication and importation of Sade's works swiftly followed the trial and remained in effect for more than 20 years. When a British publisher, Arrow Books, finally tested the ban by reprinting Sade's major novels in the late 1980s
and early 90s, Ann Winterton MP led calls for the DPP to act, condemning Juliette as filth of a particularly ugly and dangerous kind .
It is hard to imagine a work of fiction prompting calls for prosecution in Britain today. The written word no longer seems to frighten people in the same way any more. The fear that novels used to inspire has shifted instead to more recent -- and
visual -- forms of fiction and fantasy such as video games, horror movies, and internet pornography.