Arts in the Schools

Making the Arts Safe: More Works That Need Censoring

As many of you probably already know, Alabama publisher NewSouth Inc. plans to release censored versions of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, replacing the words "nigger" and "Injun" with "slave" and "Indian," respectively. They're doing this because, as we all know, ideas, philosophies, and messages don't matter nearly as much as the specific words used to express them. Indeed, the dreaded n-word is much like the word "Voldemort" in the Harry Potter novels; if used enough times in any context, a huge black cloud will belch forth from the underworld and envelope the earth as we now know it, reverting us back to pre-Civil War days when slavery was legal. Words are magical like that, you know.

And that's why NewSouth Inc. is not only right in censoring Twain's great American novels, but we've also thought of some other art forms that could frankly use a little censoring, themselves. Hopefully one day we'll have erased all unpleasantness from our accounts of history both fictional and non-fictional, and our precious little snowflake children need never experience traumatic emotions like sadness, empathy, or a desire to make the world a better place, ever again.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
John Seaborn Gray