Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Circle squared

Not sure how I ended up here, but I found myself on the iTunes catalog page for "A Penguin Books Amplified Edition" of "On the Road," where I found these cavils listed on the side:

How depressing is that.

First we have to imagine a universe where someone under 12 listens to audio books. (I have a hard enough time imagining a universe where anyone at all does so, but I hear it's a big market for people who spend a lot of time in traffic or mall-walking, so good for them, but there are no 12-year-olds in either group.) Then we have to imagine that, say, a ten-year-old would pay one bit of attention to the first few pages (or minutes) of "On the Road,' with Dean Moriarty coming to New York and eating creampuffs, living in "a cold water flat" and reminding the narrator of "a young Gene Autry."

Above all, what 10-year-old is going to be interested in something with "mild drug use, infrequent/mild profanity or crude humor"? There is probably more drug use, profanity and crude humor on his own playground.

How it cheapens art when you try to rein it in these bureaucratic categories.

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