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Huck Finn gets neutered and Snooki enters the arena with Mark Twain

January 4, 2011

It may be hyperbolic to suggest that Snooki is a contender against Big Mack Daddy Mark Twain. If it were a literary pummel fest Big Mack Daddy Mark would be in a whole different weight class. Twain might even be UFC reigning champ and Snooki would be a fly weight in some amateur octagon.

Yet, it’s at that point. As absurd as it is, the zeitgeist has developed a writer from a television show everyone loves to hate. And poor Mark Twain is having his book neutered by an Auburn University professor that will replace all mentions of the N-word with “slave.”

Few people can stand up to the most hated word in North America, like an albatross around the neck it’s there all the time. It’s a word even my close “homies” would never use unless only within the confines of the group, around other young black people who are close, immediate friends. Not even “gangster rapper”, or street disciple, depending on how you look at him, Nas had the fortitude to stand up to the word. His 2008 album was tentatively titled Nigga, until it drew too much criticism.

Nas defended his title choice by saying:

I wanna make the word easy on mutha—-as’ ears,” he explained. “You see how white boys ain’t mad at ‘cracker’ ’cause it don’t have the same [sting] as ‘nigger’? I want ‘nigger’ to have less meaning [than] ‘cracker.’ With all the bullsh– that’s going on in the world, racism is at its peak. I wanna do the sh– that’s not being done. I wanna be the artist who ain’t out. I wanna make the music I wanna hear.

We’re taking power [away] from the word,” he added. “No disrespect to none of them who were part of the civil-rights movement, but some of my n—as in the streets don’t know who [civil-rights activist] Medgar Evers was. I love Medgar Evers, but some of the n—as in the streets don’t know Medgar Evers, they know who Nas is. And to my older people who don’t now who Nas is and who don’t know what a street disciple is, stay outta this mutha—-in’ conversation. We’ll talk to you when we’re ready. Right now, we’re on a whole new movement. We’re taking power [away] from that word.

In the end the album was released as Untitled, and Nas was left saying, “Everybody is trying to stop the title. It’s just people being scared of what’s real.”

The word was too powerful in the end, the word scared the record label. The word, perhaps in the eyes of the university professor, tarnished a good story by being too powerful. It strikes fear in people who want to forget the past and forget the context; the word wants to be forgotten by the afraid.

The word will, in its excision, take power away from the book. The book will no longer frighten readers by reminding them of their historical past but create a brave new world for new readers to revel in the simple joy of reading FICTION.

What is intriguing is that Snooki has now written a book called a Shore Thing. Hilarity all around, except I remember this essay by T.S. Elliot called “Tradition and the Individual Talent.”

The essays states, “what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it.” In short, the existing order of works is altered: relations, proportions, and values.

Hilarious as it is, Snooki’s work of “art” ushers in the castration of an old work of “art.”

On the holidays I read London Fields, Ham on Rye, and Brave New World. In addition to reading I spent a great deal of time filling out online forms for employment. I will bitch about that one day.

Yo, if you’re reading this, comment. Even if you hate it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 15, 2016 5:15 pm

    lerhtretgeurter tev rt er tv ert ver t ertglerhtretgeurter tev rt er tv ert ver t ertg
    Чебаркуль

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