Mark Twain falls down slippery slope; breaks hip

January 14, 2011 News No Comments

Image: A.F. Bradley, 1907.

It has been announced that two exceptional volumes from classic literature will be republished in February of 2011; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Both books are already available free as a part of Project Gutenberg, so you might ask why they are being reprinted. The publisher, New South Books, is re-releasing the books in order to make them more “classroom friendly.”

By that they mean they are removing racially or sexually discriminatory words from the novels to be replaced with less offensive words.  The editor of the novel is altering a classic piece of literature they hold the rights to publish in order to make it more sell-able to schools and libraries.

…teachers told him that they couldn’t use the original editions of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer because teachers said, “we can’t do it anymore. In the new classroom, it’s really not acceptable.” According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Gribben became determined to offer an alternative for grade school classrooms.”

I am all for making reading accessible and fun to people of all ages, but censorship is never the answer.  Most classic literature is rife with sexism, racism, and generally discriminatory behaviour.  If a novel isn’t acceptable for grade-schoolers to read any more, then maybe you should bump the book up to a higher reading level. What do people think?  Should we take a black marker to To Kill a Mockingbird next?

Software Piracy – Scapegoat of 2008

October 19, 2008 Games No Comments

Lately I’ve seen a lot of companies taking their games-in-development and as-yet unreleased games off of the PC shelf, and firmly slotting them into the console marketplace.

No ports. No release 6 months later with no mouse support, and lackluster presentation for full price.

PC gaming has been a hotly contested subject for a long time, make no mistake. Ever since the Xbox first came out, people have been proclaiming “THE DEATH OF THE PC IS NIGH” and other such fear-mongering. Generally for no better reason than some kind of superiority complex, because they want to feel like they’re getting value for their money when they spend upwards of $300 on a computer that is only really able to play games. There’s very little proven truth to these statements, and actually quite the opposite if you don’t simply look at NPD statistics, and add in the much more profitable category of digital distribution.

… Continue Reading

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