Tom Appeared at the Printer with a Bucket of Whitewash and a Long-Handled Brush

“Twain himself defined a ‘classic’ as ‘a book which people praise and don’t read.’ Rather than see Twain’s most important work succumb to that fate, Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn, in a single volume with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that does away with the ‘n’ word (as well as the ‘in’ word, ‘Injun’) by replacing it with the word ‘slave.'” [Publishers Weekly]


Haley Barbour and the rest of the neoconfederates will be SOOO happy. Maybe NewSouth can rewrite 1984 from the perspective of the Ministry of Love for an encore.

TJ: 9th Circuit dismisses H8ers appeal of Judge Walker’s decision on Prop. 8.

Pulling up the opinion now.

CLARIFICATION: 9th Circuit denies Imperial County’s motion to intervene, and has sent a certified question to the California Supreme Court as to whether the Prop H8 supporters have standing under state law.

In other 9th Cir news, they just declared a cemetery cross on a mountaintop in Sandy Eggo unconstitutional. This should keep the wingers busy for a few days.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: We had one of those issues for decades in Eugene. The cross finally came down (after being declared a “war memorial” after the fact, etc.), but I forget whether I was still in town when it happened.

Am I the only person I know who detests Huckleberry Finn? Probably. I think it’s a crock of shit in its lumbering efforts to be funny and when recently I tried to re-read it I didn’t get very far. But I’m not a fan of humorists in general. I’ve never understood this novel’s reputation and the general scoffing at the towering Uncle Tom’s Cabin. They’re neither of them what you might call well-written in terms of taste or style but the incendiary emotion of Beecher Stowe’s story still scorches the page.

But this malarkey is preposterous and seems to me to be paradigmatic of US liberalism. Ban the fucking book and have done with it. Kids won’t read it either way.

@Benedick: Don’t ban anything until my kids have had a chance to read it – if only so that I can get a similar chuckle as the day Jr. used the word “malarkey” then declared it an “old folks’ word”.

I’m reading Twain’s autobiography, or at least I hope to start it sometime over the Pacific ocean this weekend.

@Benedick: Well, since we’re banning National Cultural Institutions, can we confiscate Benny Hill tapes at Customs?

(In the spirit of bipartisanship, I’ll settle for replacing Yakety Sax with Adagio for Strings.)

@nojo: They ducked the issue of standing to appeal. It’s news to me that federal court standing is a state law issue.

@Dodgerblue: Yes, but given it’s the 9th Circuit, SCOTUS’s favorite circuit to overturn, they are smart to close all the barn doors and try to exhaust now all the possible pretenses that SCOTUS might come up with to overturn them and/or send it back on remand.

@Benedick: I last read it the summer before the 5th grade and have not felt the need to pick it up again since.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: We have a big ol’ fuckin’ cross on a hill above downtown Santa Fe (“holy faith”) known as the Cross of the Martyrs in memory of the priests my guys kilt in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Godless hippie commies were raising a stink about it several years ago so the city deeded the site to the local fiesta council, a non-profit that is not subject to that pesky constitution thing. The annual Santa Fe Fiesta commemorates the return of the Spanish in 1693 after we chased them out 13 years before for being fucking assholes in running the joint. Changed everything for us for the better.

@redmanlaw: I haven’t been paying attention to the Sandy Eggo Cross — one of those issues is enough for one life — but I think the locals pulled the same move, deeding the property to a private organization. My very uncertain recollection is that nobody fell for the trick.

I don’t say I’m right about Twain. Merely my opinion. (I have a new ‘Humble’ thing going on for the new year. Also ‘Warm’.) He did have a fearsomely dreadful life. The OH gave me the new bio for my last birthday but I got deflected by saga tales of giant cocks and have yet to crack it. As the bishop said to the actress.

@nojo: You can ban anything you like. Might I suggest anything remotely associated with Agatha Christie? Also Masterpiece Mystery Also Alan Cumming.

The funniest thing I’ve ever read by Mark Twain (like, nearly getting kicked out of the library for laughing aloud funny) is his evisceration of James Fenimore Cooper.

@flippin eck: James Fennimore Cooper is almost always funny. Like Shaw on Bernhardt.

@Benedick: But Mr. Cumming was so essential to Spy Kids and X-Men 2.

@Dodgerblue: Got a chance over lunch to read Reinhardt’s concurrence to the certification order. In addition to providing a “Standing 101” tutorial for the general public and a chance to plug his law review articles on the topic, how about that bench-slap of the attorneys?! This is so golden.

First, directed at Boies and Olson:

Whether Plaintiffs are correct or not, it is clear that all of this would have been unnecessary and Plaintiffs could have obtained a statewide injunction had they filed an action against a broader set of defendants, a simple matter of pleading. Why preeminent counsel and the major law firms of which they are a part failed to do that is a matter on which I will not speculate.

(Emphasis added by me)

Daaaayyyuum! Take that, fancy-pants law firm and former solicitor general!

But he’s not done. Let’s go after Imperial County’s Office of County Counsel:

Imperial County, one of the counties that voted in favor of Proposition 8, sought to intervene, but for some unknown reason attempted to do so through a deputy clerk who asserted her own rights instead of through the Clerk who might have asserted hers. Again, this was a most puzzling legal decision.


Oh, but don’t think you’re off the hook, pro-Prop. 8 attorneys:

There are forty-two counties that voted in favor of Proposition 8. Surely had those seeking an intervenor contacted other of those counties instead of relying on Imperial County they could have found a Clerk who would have presented the issue whether a Clerk rather than a deputy has standing.

No comment on their frightful performance at oral arguments, luckily.

And finally, a collective bench slap to everyone in front of him.

… [T]he technical barriers and the inexplicable manner in which the parties have conducted this litigation may in the end not preclude an orderly review by the federal courts of the critical constitutional question that is of interest to all Americans, and particularly to the millions of Californians who voted for Proposition 8 and the tens of thousands of same-sex couples who wish to marry in that state.

@Benedick: Which saga tale about big cocks do you recommend the most? I’m looking for something to read on the subway in the mornings when I’m stuck in a tunnel between stations.

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