Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek
benpeek

Not Enough Hate In a Day

Under pressure from the media frenzy, the poorly conceived pseudo confession of O.J. Simpson, If I Did It, has been pulled from publication by Rupert Murdock and the Controllers of News Corp. An ill conceived project, Murdock says, apologising to the families and public in general, as if anything of questionable taste had never come from his Empire.

I'm sure this will please a number of people. Personally, I find it to be nothing more than a win for censorship.

I lot of people I know and like are against the O.J. book, and that's fine. Myself, I've got nothing in it. I'm not invested in the whole Simpson thing one way or another. As far as I'm concerned, he was found innocent, and I don't much care what the public opinion says. It's not like me thinking one way or another is going to change that outcome and, frankly, there are more important things in the world to get worked up about. Governments lying to us. The environment. The war in Iraq. This plan to pump gases into the ground as liquid. The drought not being addressed. Alternative fuels being ignored. The list is long, and nowhere on it does the words O.J., Simpson, and Murder appear there. Outside that, however, I find the idea of If I Did It to be a form of gross stupidity since, from Simpson's point of view, it is as if he is confessing to the court of public opinion after twelve long years of silence. Even the publisher, a Ms. Regan in the Times article, says that to her it is a confession. The implication is that she sought the book out so that she could present, to battered women and the general, white public, a conclusion that they believed in.

Now, personally, I was never going to buy If I Did It. The book is that kind of shock jock probably ghost written literary shit that I've got no time for. I imagine, eventually, there will be some story from Simpson about how he agreed to it for money, how it wasn't quite true, blah blah blah. Whatever. I have books I actually want to read. I'm not going to waste my time on this kind of thing, and all the people who I like and admire who get worked up over this, they'd probably be better spending their time not caring, either.

But.

But the book being killed before (or just after) release, and the interviews Simpson did no longer being aired... well, it's just censorship. It is just as bad as kicking out gay and lesbian books from schools. It is just as bad as saying Maya Angelou's books should be banned in a bunch of States in America. It's just as bad as the fatwa on Salman Rushdie after the Satanic Verses was published. Now, I care a whole lot less about the Simpson book than I do those three examples, but to me, it's the same thing. Somehow, a group of people have silenced a voice. They've enforced their point of view. They've made the world into their image. That's the problem here. Just because you don't personally like what the book in question is about, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be printed, and that it shouldn't be out there.

The thing you do with books you don't like is that you don't buy them. You watch as they cover in dust. You watch as they get remaindered. You watch as they fade away.

But you don't silence them.
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