Random ramblings on censorship and it's various appearances of late.

I was just poking around over on that other site (you all know the one I mean) and as I was reading and trying to catch up on the happenings of the morning a few things rambled through my brain that I thought I'd share. Who knows someone may even have an answer or explanation or two that will help my brain hurt less.

One of the things that has been most prevalent in my brain today is the thought that there are all these people out there  posting, twittering, blogging and doing lord knows what else every time someone writes a review they don't like and I'm wondering if they don't like it so much why are they making such a big deal about it and drawing everyone's attention to it why not do what I'm sure a lot of other people including myself do when I see a review I don't like whether it's because it's about an author whose books I like, or because I think it doesn't really review the book but simply make derogatory statements towards the author whatever the reason if I think it's a bad review I ignore it I don't do things that will draw peoples attention to it. I don't like it why would I check that I like something I don't? Where's the logic in that, I don't leave rude and nasty comments for the person, again why would I do something that only says I'm playing at their mentality if I don't like what they're doing.

Just like if I see a book and I don't agree with some aspect of it, I don't buy it. That's my way of telling the author that maybe I don't like them or yeah maybe I just don't like the book they've written but whichever it is it's a pretty definitive message from my perspective, do I care that the author doesn't know that I didn't buy their book not really. If it's because I didn't like the author then why would I care what they know or think about me and if you consider that if enough people express their displeasure over a book that way then it's going to have low or no sales, I think the author will get the hint and really nothing says your book sucks like having it sitting on the shelf (be it literally or figuratively) no sales = no money, that's basic math and in the end it's the loudest, clearest message of all.  Is it passive aggressive, maybe but sometimes that can be a good thing.

So where does this lead me to, well it leads me to wondering how it is that people expect that if they go around saying things that are just mean, rude or ignorant about other people, people who I may be friends with and whose reviews I've read, why would you expect sympathy, empathy or any kind of understanding from me when you are simply displaying the behaviour that you so strongly seem to abhor. The behaviour that you are accusing them of and in the meantime I'm not seeing it from them, just from you the person crying foul.

And then to add insult to injury I find out that Kobo has jumped onto or fallen under the censorship bus. Yes that's right a bunch of independently publishing authors are currently having their ability to earn revenue impaired because someone, somewhere (in England, I'm told) was morally offended by the content in some of these books so Kobo in its inimitable wisdom has done a general pull from the shelves of books that could potentially contain the offensive material just until the can review it on a more in depth level to ensure it meets their guidelines. But fear not in the mean time those of you with a predilection for such things as incest can still get your V.C. Andrews fix and yes, incest is a fixture in her books, I do not read them however, I had a dear friend who was an avid fan of hers it was the one area that we agreed to disagree on. She read them and we didn't discuss them, I had no interest in the books. She tried to get me to read them once I got to the part where it was clear that we were dealing with incest I closed the book and said "Nope , not gonna' happen." that was it end of topic.  So the lesson here is that as long as you have the support of a larger publishing house behind you, write whatever you want, no one will stop you. If you're just a small fish in the pond trying to earn some money to support you and/or your family well doesn't matter what you write someone, somewhere will go after you when they get bored and want to make themselves feel important, bullies are everywhere.

I guess my last rambling thought is I'm a 54 year old person I have managed to be responsible for myself for close to 40 of those years. I've taken responsibility for my successes, my failures, my good choices and my bad. Now all of a sudden some moralistic idiot halfway across the world thinks they have a better idea than I do of what is or isn't appropriate for me to read? Really? Sorry I say no. I say get yourself a life or at least a hobby and stay the hell out of mine. Neither I nor my children need you to determine what is or isn't appropriate for us. My child is 27 he can think for himself. I don't even make those choices for him anymore, he does just fine on his own.  I think I'm going to go read one of those books that Kobo has pulled from their shelves, because I own a few. You see Kobo if you don't sell it someone will and probably already does. If your worried about content and your obligation to your customers than make sure your books have clear, strong indicators of what the content is, if the content could possibly be offensive to some people then make sure you use clear,  non-ambiguous labels warning adults as to what the offensive material is and ensure that you have good filters on your site so that parents can make sure they are appropriately screening things for their children, but do not assume you can decide what is or isn't appropriate for an adult who is fully capable of making such informed decisions for themselves. An adult who can and very probably will take their business elsewhere.

Ok I feel better now, if you've read this far thank you for wandering through my mind with such patience, I've been told it can be a scary place.