MARK TWAIN REVISITED

I’m lucky I majored in college English a considerable time ago. Back then you’d simply read the classics and try to analyze them. That was long before the colleges offered Politically Correct critiques in place of the classics.

The latest in Political Correctness is a new version of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Twain’s novel has been banned in a number of places for its use of the n— word. But now NewSouth Books is trying to return the book to wide circulation by offering a new version. In this version, edited by Alan Gribben, the n—word is replaced by the word “slave”.

Many of us only uphold basic American values so long as it’s convenient. Take a recent example for freedom of religion. A proposed Mosque near Ground Zero has received widespread opposition.

And freedom of expression has similar problems. There are two basic types of censorship in our free society. The first is imposed by the corporate system, such as when Caroline Kennedy recently used her media connections to have the History Channel cancel its miniseries on the Kennedy family.

The second, of course, is the Political Correctness rampant in current academia. I would argue that Twain’s novel as written has social value for showing the racist attitudes ingrained in antebellum Missouri, but such an argument would not phase the P.C. people. Do they really think their censorship is any different than that imposed, say, in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia?

Of course this whole controversy could be avoided simply by recording Huckleberry Finn as a rap CD. Then the n—word would be welcomed, and many people wouldn’t blink an eye at it.

I’m lucky I majored in college English a considerable time ago. Back then you’d simply read the classics and try to analyze them. That was long before the colleges offered Politically Correct critiques in place of the classics.

The latest in Political Correctness is a new version of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Twain’s novel has been banned in a number of places for its use of the n— word. But now NewSouth Books is trying to return the book to wide circulation by offering a new version. In this version, edited by Alan Gribben, the n—word is replaced by the word “slave”.

Many of us only uphold basic American values so long as it’s convenient. Take a recent example for freedom of religion. A proposed Mosque near Ground Zero has received widespread opposition.

And freedom of expression has similar problems. There are two basic types of censorship in our free society. The first is imposed by the corporate system, such as when Caroline Kennedy recently used her media connections to have the History Channel cancel its miniseries on the Kennedy family.

The second, of course, is the Political Correctness rampant in current academia. I would argue that Twain’s novel as written has social value for showing the racist attitudes ingrained in antebellum Missouri, but such an argument would not phase the P.C. people. Do they really think their censorship is any different than that imposed, say, in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia?

Of course this whole controversy could be avoided simply by recording Huckleberry Finn as a rap CD. Then the n—word would be welcomed, and many people wouldn’t blink an eye at it.

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About jalesy55

Charles Lupia is a playwright, freelance writer and lawyer. His blogs cover a range of topics, from politics to entertainment.
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