In hindsight, the whole thing makes me tired. And cynical. Maybe it's just been a long week, but that feels kind of like forever ago. And it raises very uncomfortable questions for everyone involved. First of all? The big, fat censorship problem. Amazon's official reasoning behind not pulling the book was this:
Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.And you know what? I think Amazon is an unprincipled evil giant of a company. They weren't getting my business before this all went down, and they certainly won't be getting it now. But they're right. That 101,000% increase can be directly attributed to bad purchasing decisions made by people, not by Amazon, though of course they should have pulled the book before it got to that point. In the interest of journalism along the lines of I, Asshole's purchase, yeah. I get it. You wanted to see how bad this book really was, if it was all a prank, yada yada yada. But, really? This is something I regret about my post. I drew too much attention to the book, and not enough to the company that allowed that book to be published and sold. Amazon's statement is the smugly faux-virtuous statement of a company making a buck off of people's voyeurism. I don't blame them for that one bit.
I'm anti-censorship. Big time. But I'm also a believer in self-censorship - don't read, or watch, or listen to crap that messes you up. Such as a book on pedophilia. Cancel your Amazon account, don't shop there ever again, but don't buy the freaking book and put a dollar in the pocket of someone who might have been planning on this all along. A quote by Mr. Phillip R Greaves 2nd himself:
"I can see where they would come to that kind of conclusion and to a certain extent I wanted that kind of notoriety to effect the book. ... I wanted it to effect [sic] sales," he said.It doesn't take a genius to write an inflammatory book and make tons of money off of it. Seriously. Just admit that the person's a freak and move on with your life. But don't buy the freaking book. Okay?
To paraphrase a tweet by Maggie Stiefvater, Amazon gets around having principles by not having principles. Who knows what sick logic allowed them to pull gay and lesbian books without calling it censorship and not pull this book? My point is, in hindsight, we should have let the book die a quiet death, and made Amazon die a longer, excruciatingly painful one. Decide where your money goes. Shop indie - it's much easier to see the effects of every dollar you spend.
I have an awesome grandpa, but he doesn't always understand why it's so important to me to know where my money's going all the time. Within the next month I'm moving even further out into the sticks (and I say that without sarcasm, I'm actually thrilled) to a farm with my family, grandparents included. A few days ago we were talking about how I was going to procure books way out there in the middle of nowhere, and I said I'd just make a list and make an indie bookstore run once a month. Pretty much like I'm doing now. "But isn't that why there's Amazon.com?" he asked. How could I even begin to explain why they're not going to get any more of my money? I just shrugged, and said I'd figure it out.
In short, I'll repeat. Decide where your money goes. Don't let it go to pedophiles, even pseudo-pedophiles like this guy. That's the biggest lesson to learn from Amazonfails, past and future.