The Gay Groom takes on Huck Finn

I deleted my Myspace account yesterday.

It took me a while to remember my password, but when I finally did and logged in… I barely recognized the place.

But the truth is I was never much of a Myspacer.

Though I did cut my blogging teeth in Myspace.  I had an attractive pink blog called “My Big Fat Gay Blog” (“Gay blogging since 2006” was the tagline I do believe…) which was the precursor to the Gay Groom and for a while and I did have some interesting conversations with a few interesting folks – but this was rare.  A couple of these interesting folks did move over to Facebook with me.

Last night my book club discussed the novel, Huckleberry Finn.

Penguin edition of Huckleberry Finn

The book was chosen long before the recent controversy concerning a new edition where over two hundreds 200 substitutions of ‘slave’ for the N-word).

I found it interesting that the first time I saw the N-word in the novel, I was rightfully shocked and horrified but after it 200+ times over the course of the novel I began to be desensitized to it.  I wonder if that was Twain’s scheme.  That is, to desensitize the reader to such a point that he almost becomes  acclimated to it.

And it’s unsettling when you finally discover you’re becoming desensitized.

But no one at my book club thought this was an as interesting a point as I.  They wanted to discuss race relations in the States peppered with personal anecdotes.  The group then fell into why is is no one wants to speak English to them in Montreal.


That’s when your humble blogger went to the kitchen to get another cup of coffee.  That book club needs an entire blog devoted to it.

Perhaps as a writer I should be enraged at the bowdlerizing of the novel, but I’m not.  Personally, I think having another edition of Huckleberry Finn that exorcises the N-word will only result in more young people reading the novel (it is, according to the New York Times, the 4th most banned book in the States).

And The Gay Groom is not really the raging type.

And I would think that anyone could fine the unabridged edition anywhere… it’s even free to download onto an e-reader.

The new edited edition has also removed the words ‘Injun’ (replaced with Indian) and ‘Halfbreed’ (replaced with half blood).  Now as you may or may not know, your humble blogger is of Native descent.  In fact, my grandmother was born on a reserve in Minnesota.  Both Injun and Halfbreed are ugly words but neither packs such a hateful and powerful punch of the N-word.

And speaking of censoring words, on Wednesday, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that the 80s song “Money for Nothing” by the British rock band Dire Straits has been was unacceptable for play on Canadian radio.

Money for Nothing video

The Council concluded that the word “faggot,” even if once acceptable, has evolved to become unacceptable in most circumstances.

I wonder in what circumstances it would be appropriate?

I remember dancing to “Money for Nothing” at my high school dance in ’85.  I was wearing a white velour sweater with the sleeves rolled up and a new pair of Levi 619s.  Hell, I looked good.  I even had my mullet trimmed just for the occasion…

But I digress.

Now your humble blogger has been called a “faggot” many times in his life (that’s one of the reasons I clear the comments here on my blog) and I’ve never done more than shrug my shoulders when I heard that song.  I was rather impressed that someone in Eastern Canada actually filed a complaint.

Today Dire Straits’ frontman, Mark Knopfler, now substitutes the words ‘queenie’ and ‘maggot’ when performing the song in concert.

Though I’m not sure how much better that is…

What do you think??

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom


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Filed under blogging, book club, censorship, gay, gay atheist, gay groom, gaygroom, gblt, Huckleberry Finn, Myspace, writers, writing

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