Political correctness killing classic lit: ‘N’ word slashed from Huck Finn in NewSouth edition

First Little Red Riding Hood’s big bad wolf no longer ate grandma.

PC is killing off everything, from fairy tales to classic lit.

Then new versions of the Bible popped up, replacing those horribly discriminatory phrases such as “sons of God” with the gender-neutral and politically correct “children of God.”

Now the PC zealots are setting their beady little eyes – and their big, fat editing pens – on literature’s classic texts.

They are taking the “n” word, and the equally disturbing term “Injun,” out of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, according to “Publishers Weekly.”

Both will be replaced by the much more benign and politically correct term “slave.”

Never mind historical context, author’s intent or that the words in the 1880s did not hold the same malice and evil they hold and produce today. Push all that aside and instead mangle the text to make a few crybabies happy.

The crybabies in this particular case were initially National Endowments for the Arts’ folks who headed the Big Read Alabama event in 2009.  Tom Sawyer was to be a featured book, but the NEA, run by the government of course, could not dare feature anything with such a horrific racial slur.

Thus the NEA contacted NewSouth Books to come up with a PC edition for the event and NewSouth enlisted professor Alan Gribben to write the edition’s introduction.

After Gribben got some attention from more crybabies when he mentioned the book during his public speaking gigs, NewSouth decided to print the book for public consumption and the $25 hardcover is expected to hit shelves as soon as next month.

Gribben, 69, who calls himself a Twain scholar, has been on his own personal tirade against Twain’s modern slur in Finn. Gribben has never heard the word uttered in real life and was so appalled he would not read it aloud in class. He, too, substituted the word “slave” when he recited from the text.

The big clincher could have been the word made his daughter mad because she had an African-American friend.

He was in. He claims teachers have also approached him with their concerns that the book is no longer “acceptable…in the new classroom.”

And what a sad classroom it has become when it includes censored classic texts.

The “n” word is neither pretty nor a word that considerate people even dream of uttering in 2011. But that doesn’t mean it should be ripped from original works written 130 years ago when the word did not hold the same hate it does today.

Times change. Words change. Meanings change. Political correctness tries to combat all that by painting the world as one big gender-neutral blob devoid of any reference to color, creed,  handicap, height, weight, nose size or anything else that could possibly might make people upset.

It’s not enough the movement has already homogenized, declawed and Disney-fied modern society, it’s now working on doing the same to the past.

Rather than the PC movement bent on trying to appease those who are so morbidly offended by a word or two in classic literature, perhaps we should focus our efforts instead on a movement that helps people grow thicker skin or some type of spine.

We’ll offer some classes on historical context while we’re at. That is, if we can set up those classes before the PC fanatics completely rewrite history to suit their own needs.

Or maybe it’s too late and we’ve already become “slaves” to their editing of the world.

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Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist, performer and poet who wishes Santa came every week. Her column usually appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski and Tucson Weekly’s blog The Range but it came early this week. See more writing and art from RYNdustries at ryngargulinski.com, cafepress.com/ryndustries and rynski.etsy.com.

What do you think?

Is such an edit worthwhile or sabotage?

Where do we draw the line at PC? Are we too far gone to draw any lines?


Posted in art, gross stuff, life, Media, politics, Rynski Column | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Man says Ozzy Osbourne made him drive drunk and more: Rynski Radio – update with playlist and download

People try to cry their way out of speeding tickets or make up some lame excuse to explain their traffic violations all the time.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

But one Ohio guy’s excuse for driving drunk is a new one.

He’s blaming Ozzy Osbourne.

That story and more are up this week on Rynski’s Shattered Reality radio show on Party934.com and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Next show is Wednesday, Jan. 5 (today!) and every Wednesday online at Party934.com. Showtime is 1 p.m. in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST.

Party 934 is a radio alternative for listeners sick of stations that play one song followed by 500 commercials.

Songs that mention the WEATHER are once again this week’s theme and with a slate of cool tunes in the forecast.

Thanks! to all who keep the song requests coming.

What: Rynski’s Shattered Reality Internet radio show
When: Every Wednesday for one hour
Time: 1 p.m. in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST
Where: www.party934.com and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley

For those who might miss the show, please check back after the fact for the playlist and recorded download.

CALL FOR SONGS: Oh, those sweet and silly tributes. Let’s go for songs that mention someone’s name. Lola, anyone?

UPDATE:

Missed the show? CLICK HERE to download

Playlist for Rynski’s Shattered Reality 1/5:

Theme: Weather, part  2 of 2

Gene Pitney – Baby the Rain Must Fall (CB LeGrand in AZ)

Moody Blues  – Forever Autumn (Beezel)

Circus Polka (Polka always for parents)

Jimi Hendrix – The Wind Cries Mary (Benn in WA)

Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine (Andrew in AZ, who knows Katrina)

The Beatles – Rain

The Cure – Rain (no one would request this much rain)

The Cars – Magic (Radmax in AZ)

The Rolling Stones – She’s a Rainbow (Deb in AZ)

Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now

John Denver – Sunshine on My Shoulders (Cerise in AZ)

The Kronos Quartet, Requiem for a Dream soundtrack – Summer Crimin’ and Dealin’


 

What’s the dumbest excuse you’ve used to get out of a traffic ticket?

Did it work?


Posted in Announcements, life, Media, music, Rynski Art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

10 worst predictions for 2011: New year promises Yoko Ono-McCartney album along with World War III

Grab your children and your cameras as World War III is on the way for 2011.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

At least that’s one of the predictions that kept popping up while researching the 10 worst things in store for the new year.

Psychic Linda Monroe, who claimed to have predicted a plane flying into a “Major City and lots of falling debree” on Sept. 11 and her equally accurate “death of a famous British male actor in 2001,” even says the next world war will involve weapons that shoot out “microwave type beams.”

Eek. We’ve all seen what happens to Peeps in the microwave. Imagine what happens to people.

But that’s OK, as Catholic Planet says at least the Big Apple will be spared from being microwaved as New York City is instead going to be hit by a nuclear bomb.

To make matters even scarier, the nuclear bomb attack is likely to be controlled by computer hackers, who already mussed up some Iranian top-secret stuff.

Yes, hackers and their malicious computer viruses will hit the 2011 scene with a vengeance, says MSNBC.com, going for bigger and more widespread mayhem. Reducing our personal little machines to expensive paperweights, like one did to my laptop last month, was just child’s play.

Computers are not the only thing that will be felled by viruses, as a sickness and death promises to infect living things as well.

A big scare on the animal disease front will result in the mass slaughter of livestock, according to the National Review. While it was not noted which type of animals will enjoy this mass slaughter, we must keep in mind that mad cows, birds and swine already had their time in the disease scare spotlight.

Disease will also come barreling down on humans, at least those in the southwest who survive the microwave beams, according to a seer named Da Juana. This gal, who predicted Mel Gibson’s racial rant, says the illness will come from a neighboring country.

Canada?

Even scarier than all the deaths is a terrifying birth prediction from Alizon, a white witch and one of Da Juana’s pals at IndyPosted. She says not one, not two, but three sets of octopulets will be born in 2011. The full horror of this development will truly be known when they all ban together for a reality TV show. We are still suffering the after-effects of Jon and Kate Plus Eight.

Other horrifying celebrity predictions come from Craig Hamilton Parker, and he’s gotta be good. He keeps his odds of being accurate high by predicting a major earthquake in California every year, or at least for the past two years running. The one scheduled in 2011 will be violent enough to damage the infamous Hollywood sign, says he. Perhaps it’s already in bad enough shape that no one will even notice.

His first scary celebrity prediction is Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono teaming up for an album to honor  John Lennon. No comment needed on that one.

His second is the sad demise of the Beckham marriage, as he says the couple will file for divorce in February. This breaks the hearts of tattooed soccer players and scowling stick-figure women everywhere, as they will no longer have the perfect role models to look up to.

But that’s nothing compared to one final vision from psychic Mason, who tells of an upcoming war scene that lodged in her head.

“I see people high up in the mountains,” she writes on her website, “partly barren terrain, like Alps or high mountains. They are walking, it is a war battle on the ground. This is a foreign country overseas from Australia.”

While she made this prediction back in 2008 and has yet to confirm its existence, she may be right on the money.

Perhaps she’s not envisioning a future war scene after all, but rather caught a current glimpse of Pinal County or Nogales.

Happy New Year.

What do you think?

What’s the best/worst prediction you’ve heard for 2011?

Do you believe all the hoopla?

Are you stocking up on peanut butter?

Posted in Crime, danger, death, environment, gross stuff, life, Rynski Column | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Smuggler hides drugs in Easter candy, hypnosis to beat the cold and more: Rynski radio – UPDATE with playlist and download

One drug smuggler got his holidays a bit mixed up when he reportedly tried to sneak cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport. He hid the drugs in little Easter egg candy – in the middle of December.

Rabbit who ate the Easter candy/Photo and art Ryn Gargulinski

It didn’t work.

That story and more are up this week on Rynski’s Shattered Reality radio show on Party934.com and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Next show is Wednesday, Dec. 29 (today!) and every Wednesday online at Party934.com. Showtime is 1 p.m. in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST.

Party 934 is a radio alternative for listeners sick of stations that play one song followed by 500 commercials.

Songs that mention the WEATHER are this week’s theme and we are ready for a musical storm.

Thanks! to all who keep the song requests coming.

What: Rynski’s Shattered Reality Internet radio show
When: Every Wednesday for one hour
Time: 1 p.m. in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST
Where: www.party934.com and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley

For those who might miss the show, please check back after the fact for the playlist and recorded download.

UPDATE:

Missed the show? CLICK HERE to download

Playlist for Rynski’s Shattered Reality 12/29:

Theme: Weather

Part 1 of 2

The Doors – Riders on the Storm (Charlie Back Legrand in AZ)

CCR – Bad Moon Rising (Leslie in MI)

Stevie Ray Vaughn – Texas Flood (Benn in WA)

Loituma – Leva’s Polka (Polka always for parents)

‎10,000 Maniacs – Like the Weather (Beezel)

Alice in Chains – Rain When I Die (Bill in MI)

Andy Williams – Canadian Sunset (Clyde in NM)

The Eurythmics – Here Comes the Rain Again (Andrew in AZ)

Counting Crows – Rain King (Radmax in AZ)

Alanis Morisette – It’s Like Rain

The Rolling Stones – Hurricane (Stones always for Deb in AZ)

Neil Young – Like A Hurricane (Andrew in AZ)

Posted in Announcements, life, music, Rynski Radio | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The real reason Santa Claus rocks: St. Nick brings us much more than Christmas gifts

It’s a cold day at the North Pole when we stop believing in Santa Claus.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Santa symbolizes the warm, cozy spirit of the season’s generosity. He is the magical man with big hugs and an even bigger toy sack. He’s our early white knight in shining armor, the one that secrets us away from the worldly woes to a place we can sit around all day eating bonbons.

We later yen to marry such a person, especially since it would mean we could quit our day job.

When we learn Santa is merely a myth, a piece of our innocence dies.

My revelation came around age 10, when I noted the handwriting on Santa’s thank you for the cookies note was suspiciously similar to my dad’s. My cousin confirmed my suspicions by later admitting his Santa wrote like my aunt.

If my cousin said it, it had to be true. He was always the crafty one who knew where grandpa kept the beer and where his mom hid her cigarettes.

Although my cousin and I got over the Santa blow fairly quickly – we were fine as long as we still got our gifts – some kids don’t take it as smoothly.

Some react with rage, Psych Central warns, livid that mom and dad lied to them all those years. Others become crushed and weepy. Some run to the playground to share the news, often getting beat up by kids who still want to believe.

Still others express relief. “They needed to have their perceptions of reality confirmed,” Psych Central says.

Those kids are probably pretty boring.

Confirming reality is nothing we need to rush. It’ll confirm itself on its own in really big way with really big bills and even bigger headaches.

Santa lets us linger in a fantasy world, one where magic and goodness still freely exist. This is provided, of course, we stick with the cheery version of St. Nick and not some of the scary Santas of late.

A large man in a Santa suit robbed a Rhode Island yacht club at gunpoint on Sunday.

A disgruntled ex-husband dressed as Santa turned Christmas Eve into a massacre back in 2008. He opened fire with four handguns at a party packed with 25 guests at his ex-wife’s parents’ house. Nine lie dead before he turned one of the guns on himself.

Told you reality will gladly come crashing down on its own.

The magic of Santa, therefore, becomes even more important. We need to escape the harsh meanness of the world that’s filled with things like murder.

We would all definitely be better off if we fell back into the Santa groove, fostering the fantasy if just for a season. If just for a day, or an hour. How about for the five minutes it takes to open the gifts?

Even those who bah-humbug Santa might enjoy the brief respite from reality.

At the very least, we can imagine Santa jollily coming to our rescue by paying off all those hefty holiday credit card bills.

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Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist, performer and poet who wishes Santa came every week. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. See more writing and art from RYNdustries at ryngargulinski.com, cafepress.com/ryndustries and rynski.etsy.com.

What do you think?

Do you still believe in Santa?

When did you find out the reality? How did you react?

Posted in Heroes, life, notable folks | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Santa robs yacht club, electric eel powers Christmas lights and more – Rynski radio – UPDATE with playlist and download

At least one Santa had a skewed version of the Christmas spirit when he pulled out a gun to rob a Rhode Island yacht club last week.

Holiday javelina/Ryn Gargulinski

Guess he felt it better to receive than to give.

That story and more are up this week on Rynski’s Shattered Reality radio show on Party934.com and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Next show is Wednesday, Dec. 22 (today!) and every Wednesday online at Party934.com. Showtime is 1 p.m. in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST.

Party 934 is a radio alternative for listeners sick of stations that play one song followed by 500 commercials.

Songs that mention NUMBERS are again this week’s theme as we have numerous requests left from last week that are counting on being played.

Thanks! to all who keep the song requests coming.

What: Rynski’s Shattered Reality Internet radio show
When: Every Wednesday for one hour
Time: 1 p.m. in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST
Where: www.party934.com and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley

For those who might miss the show, please check back after the fact for the playlist and recorded download.

CALL FOR SONGS – Songs that mention WEATHER. Snowy, rainy, bright and sunshiny, you name it, we’ll try to find it and play it. Please leave suggestions in the comment section below or e-mail rynskiblogski@hotmail.com

Missed the show? CLICK HERE to download

Playlist for Rynski’s Shattered Reality 12/22:

Theme: Numbers, part 2 of 2

The Rolling Stones – 2000 Light Years from Home (Deb in AZ)

The Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden (Bill in MI)

Jimmy Sturr – Box Fiddle Polka (Polka always for parents)

Keith – 98.6 (Jeanne in NY)

Yardbirds – Eight Miles High (Beezel)

Rent Soundtrack – 525,600 Minutes (Anna in NY)

Peter, Paul and Mary – 500 Miles (Carol in AZ)

One – Metallica (Bill in MI, Steve in CT)

‎Chuck Berry – Sweet Little Sixteen (Frank in AZ)

My Morning Jacket – It Beats 4 U

Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23

Beatles – All Together Now (Jeanne in NY)

Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun (Didn’t fit theme but needed to play it)

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Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist, performer and poet who is glad no one requested the number song “96 Tears,” although that song is decidedly better than “Tears of a Clown.” Her radio show airs every Wednesday and her column appears every Friday. See more writing and art from RYNdustries at ryngargulinski.com, cafepress.com/ryndustries and rynski.etsy.com.

What do you think?

Do weeping clowns creep you out?

If not, what does?

Posted in Announcements, life, Rynski Radio | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The real way to fight the holiday blues: A hot bath and a handgun

If you’re suffering from the holiday blues, you are certainly not alone. My friend and I used to compete to see which of us would suffer deeper and sooner.

Santa doesn't seem suffering from the holiday blues/Ryn Gargulinski

She blew me out of the snowbank one year by scheduling her Christmas blues to start in late September. We then would isolate – as a unit – and wallow for weeks in our ho-ho-hum misery.

We don’t have to do that anymore. No one has to do that anymore, as a couple of tricks work to quash those holiday doldrums.

Before we continue our cruise down Santa Claus Lane, let’s first clear up a small yet vital differentiation. The holiday blues are not the same as full-blown, dark cloud, curl-yourself-into-a-fetal position depression.

The former kicks you down around the holidays. The latter kicks you down, wearing steel-toed combat boots, any time of the year. Depression is a real, yet treatable, menace, although cheery ways to fight holiday blues are likely not going to do you any good.

If you’re suffering depression, get thee to a doctor.

If you’re suffering from holiday blues, try another method.

Go buy a handgun.

This is an especially easy task here in Arizona, since all you have to do is fill out a bit of paperwork and check “No” for that little felony question. In other states around the nation, all you have to do is find a street corner type and tell him you have ready cash.

Don’t worry, you’re not going to be asked to shoot up anything that’s alive, especially rabbits and children. You’ll instead stealthily creep one night into the nearby mall and do away with all those heinous holiday decorations.

Blast out the holly, the jolly, the tinny speakers that have been spewing Christmas tunes since at least Halloween. Don’t forget Santa’s big cardboard throne where he sits and lets kids pee down his leg.

Stick with the large corporations, not the mom and pop shops. And don’t worry about profit. They’ll make it up. A radio report noted retail sales were up this week for the fifth week in a row.

Shooting up the shopping mall will not only make you feel better, but is also quite a statement against the greedy consumerism that has sucked all the love out of the season.

If handguns are not your style, you can always go lower key and punch out an inflatable snowman. The one I punched sideways in a Brooklyn yard still remains one of my fondest holiday memories.

Once you’re done killing off the commercialism, kill off those memories, even the fond ones. The University of Maryland Medical Center says one of the major causes of holiday blues is trying to get every current Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza to live up to the joyous recollections of those gone by.

Or perhaps you have some lofty vision in your mind of how the holidays ought to be, one that never quite matches up with reality and hurls you into a tailspin each time it crosses your mind.

Repeat after me: “Normal Rockwell painted fiction.”

If you want the facts, the holidays for many are a bleak and awful time, full of dry turkey, drunk relatives falling backwards into Christmas trees and expensive toys that never come.

That brings us to our third holiday blues buster. Go help someone else.

Even if it’s something as small as donating an old coat or opening a door for a woman and her 22 children, helping others spreads cheer and washes sadness, anger and self-pity from the mind.

Why do you think so many volunteers stand around ringing bells outside Wal-Mart? Doing things for others makes us forget our own brand of misery.

Heck, you may even want to forget about the handgun if you’ve a solution as pat as that.

Whichever holiday blues buster you choose, make sure to top it off with a cozy, hot bath.

It’s hard to be sad when you’re afloat in warm, vanilla bubbles.

Besides, you owe it to yourself for a job well done, for getting through another round of holidays.

PLEASE NOTE: This column is not meant as medical advice or a substitution for doctor’s orders. The advice about shooting up the mall is meant in jest and not meant to be followed unless you are really that ticked off and don’t mind spending your holidays in jail.

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Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist, performer and poet who was glad to find her punch did not permanently disable the inflatable snowman. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. See more writing and art from RYNdustries at ryngargulinski.com, cafepress.com/ryndustries and rynski.etsy.com.

What do you think?

Do you suffer from the holiday blues?

How to you quash it?

Have you ever been dumb enough to shoot up a shopping mall?

Posted in danger, life, Rynski Column | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments