New editions of [Roald Dahl’s] children’s classics, including ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ have been altered to eliminate words deemed inappropriate. A backlash ensued.” — New York Times
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Dear Censoring people,
These days we are deeply concerned in changing things. Names, sauces, food names, street names, song lycics (Udo Jürgens!!), and whatnot. According to some, changing trivial things while the world is slowly coming to an end with so much other bullshit going on is more important. Bullshit like this shifts the focus from wars, climate issues, our kids, our youth who are staring into their phones all day and don’t know what a palindrome is, healthy food and many other stuff people should talk about instead.
So, we are changing words and meanings in books now. So nobody gets offended. Everything is gender-neutral, non-binary, you name it. Are we losing it? When I read the article in The New York Times on censoring and altering the children’s classic “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” among other Roald Dahl books, I got really angry. Now these idiots want to censor books as well? As an author, I say enough is enough. I am easy going but when it comes to censoring books I might turn into the Incredible Hulk. I mean, hey you people who change my beloved books. You’re censors. You’re not editors, and you’re not writers. Your censors. You are exactly what Orwell warned us about. My other question is: Where does this all go? Are we censoring all books now? Entire encyclopaedias?
I am annoyed. Enough is enough!
Without the author’s consent (e.g. Roald Dahl, Udo Jürgens and his songs), you are changing and omitting words that the author wrote. That makes you a censor.
What you’re doing is insane. See? I said it.
The most telling example of your condescension is when you removed the word “cashier” from one of Dahl’s books. Apparently, you think the word “cashier” is offensive. Well, hundreds of thousands of actual people are cashiers, and they don’t agree. They don’t think their mere existence is offensive.
You have no right to diminish their occupation or any other.
You have no right to take words from Dahl or any author.
If you were to get away with what you did – and rest assured, you will not get away with it – then every book in human history could be subject to the same censorship. Every book ever published has something in it that can be perceived as offensive. By some lightweights who then cry themselves to sleep at night over the word “fat”, or over “only men have been mentioned we have to add the female, or all 69 different genders that seem to exist now as well”. By the precedent you set, even the most carefully calibrated book written today, censored by censors like you, will be censored by someone else tomorrow.
The problem with censorship is that it has no end. Think of it: you censored Dahl’s books in the United States. What if the Germans wanted to censor them to suit their needs? And then the Chinese to suit theirs?
Get it? Once one group of censors gets to do their filthy work, then everyone will have their go.
If literature is to survive, we have two choices. Either:
a) No censorship, period, full stop, because it’s horrifying, or
b) Endless, unlimited censorship—a world where every craven group like yours has free reign to mangle every book ever written
No one wants your world. A book is a piece of art. Are you changing paintings next? Maybe someone is offended. Oh, no need for that because paintings are being destroyed by these idiots who glue themselves to them in museums. Do you censor all history books next and add all pronouns available? Don’t forget to include the LGBTQIA2S+ community. The what? LGTBQIA2S+ is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify. Also, basketballs and raccoons.
Roald Dahl will turn around in his grave. So will George Orwell.
All enlightened readers hate you.
The history of world literature is against you.
You are anti-art.
You are anti-freedom.
Art must be free. Art must be unsafe. Art must be controversial. Art must have dangerous words and ideas in it. Otherwise, it’s not art.
You are afraid of books. Afraid of ideas. You condescend to everyone by thinking you should be the judge of what is said and read.
Here’s how art is supposed to work: Someone writes a book. They write it with passion, with abandon, with honesty and lyricism and even a bit of recklessness. It is of their time, using the words of their time. Allan Ginsberg’s famous poem Howl rings a bell? No? I figured.
Readers respond to this recklessness, this abandon, this rawness, this timeliness. The only books that ever mattered to anyone are raw, are unbridled, are risky, and timely. Then, if a parent or teacher reads the book to a kid, and there’s a part that’s risky or controversial, discussions can be held. If the book is old, then the words and sentiments of that time can be taken into account.
It’s not hard.
That is how we learn.
All art has context.
All art is born of its time. It reflects its time.
People who come to the art later can handle the context, the different words, the different attitudes. People can handle it because we are complex creatures capable of complex thoughts.
Censors think everyone is stupid.
Censors think it is their job to dumb down every piece of art till it says nothing to anyone.
George Orwell was right all along. Go read his book as long as it is not censored and find out that he predicted all this bullshit!
Fuck you, censors!
Me, an avid reader, author, writer, and all the people in the world who love books art.