Monday, April 24, 2006

Did Someone Repeal the First Amendment and Not Tell Me?

Read Roger: Threats, we get threats

I can't decide if our society has become too thin-skinned, or too in-your-face. Or both at once. It's a strange world when we feel we should be able to say whatever we want about anything we want and use any foul language we want, but we expect to be sheltered from the opinions and language of others.

What brought on that rant? Roger Sutton, Horn Book editor, is getting threats from a publisher -- a publisher, mind you -- about his negative review of one of their books.

Well, for pity's sake, that's the chance you take when you publish a book. Someone will like it, and someone else will not.

The publisher claims that Sutton should have asked permission before writing the review. So now free speech is limited to that which is pre-approved? When was that alteration made to the Constitution?

Granted, there's a lot out there I don't want to hear or see. I don't care for porn, so I don't go into "adult" shops or wander into some parts of the Internet.

There's also such a thing as appropriateness. It would be totally inappropriate to post erotic material on a discussion board frequented by children, for example.

Sutton's review may have offended the tender sensibilities of the publisher, but as it was printed in a magazine dedicated to reviewing children's books, and that publishes both positive and negative reviews it was entirely appropriate.

Of course... (gulp)... I rather hope it wasn't one of my books.

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