Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, January 17, 2011

POLITICS: Huckleberry Finn Mutilated

This is from the Daily Mail so may possibly be taken cum grano salis. However, if it is true, it is ridiculous. The book is set in a particularly ugly time of American history, and to remove words that the right-on brigade find offensive is as ridiculous as publishing a book about the Holocaust with all references to the Nazi doctrine of racial superiority removed.

Mark Twain's classic novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is to be censored to remove racially insensitive terms from the text.The 1884 book has been removed from the curricula of dozens of U.S. schools due to 217 uses of the word 'n****r' and two Twain scholars plan to release an expurgated version. A new edition replaces the 'N word' with 'slave' and also expels all uses of 'injun', a derogatory reference to Native Americans.

The scholars say the new version is a bid to make the book's treatment of race more in line with 21st century values but critics say the censorship is taking political correctness too far.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1344192/Huckleberry-Finn-removes-N-word-Political-correctness-takes-Mark-Twains-classic.html#ixzz1A9k2xS8p


Anonymous said...

I remember having trouble with the political incorrectness of even referring to the "N-word" at Cryptomundo, something which developed out of a discussion of the term "Digger Indian" (Also a racist slur actually) I was attempting to give an etymology of the word: it originally was a Scandinavian term of approbataion, which came into English and became the word "Niggardly", which in turn came to mean "Miserly" by way of being attached to the current stereotype of Jews at the time. It has nothing to do with the Latin (And Spanish) term "Negro" meaning "Black". It originally HAD no specific colouration reference but was ALWAYS a negative characterization and an insult. It referred to Jews before it had any reference to Blacks at all.

The peculiar thing is that you can still say "Niggardly" but not "The N-word" and both are still forms of the same word. And it has also spread to a general banning of the term "Negro" as having guilt-by-association. BUT the problem has always been NOT the word itself but the hostility behind it. What you have to deal with is the hostility not the word. Getting rid of the word and not the hostility falls far short of your goal. The Politically correct mindset attaches far too much importance to the words and names, and they are completely arbitrary.

I used to attend a church where the minister would not use swear words but he would use baby-talk equivalents. It was rather peculiar to hear a grown man saying "poop" from the pulpit; but my point is, you refer to the substance at all, you are still being as objectionable, it is the reference that is the problem. And if you simply supress one word, the people that still harbour the hatred will say something else equally hurtful but with different words. I always wondered at the logic of the people who tried tackling the problem by means of censorship because it always impressed me that you effectively accomplish nothing by going about it that way.

Ego Ronanus said...

I understand that there is now an edition of a well-known novel by Joseph Conrad entitled "The Black Man of the Narcissus". For those who may be unfamiliar with Conrad, guess what has been changed.

I found it interesting when George W. Bush referred to Nelson Mandela as an Afro-American. So did Mandela, who drew his attention to the error.

Retrieverman said...

I threw a fit when I heard about this. The novel was written as an attack on racism in the United States. Twain was quite the progressive thinker, and even though he served about two weeks in the Confederate irregulars, he came to hate racism and bigotry in all forms. Very sad that anyone would change a classic like this.

Similarly, the dog that was the mascot of the Dam Busters may have its name changed in the remake of the film about those heroic RAF bombers:


I have not heard about this film in over a year, so I don't know if anything ever came of it.