He also noticed that the page rank for many other gay and sexually-themed books had also been cut all to hell (including Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain," which you have heard of), so he figured something had gone wrong with their system.
You could still buy Nazi-fetish books, for instance, if that was your thing. But you couldn't buy GAY Nazi books.
Surely Amazon had not suddenly entered the culture wars and declared war on an entire book-buying subset of the American population? Surely Amazon was a for-profit company that was neutral on the subject of human rights and would just as willingly sell books to dick-dipping dudes and clit-licking ladies just as fast as it would sell self-help books to leather-loving Nazis?
(We all Americans, baby! We all get to read the shit we want while we wait to die from the cancer we can't cure because we don't have medical insurance! That's the trade! Otherwise, sign me up for Cuba! Hell yeah! Cuba libres and sun and doctors fixing up my cavities for cheap!)
So, because Probst is a publisher and has an Amazon Advantage account, he sent Amazon a letter saying "whafa" and he got this in response:
"In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.
So! Probst was wrong! He WAS being persecuted!
Evidently, Amazon's starting to stick their "adult" shit in a virtual back room behind a virtual curtain, and his book got fingered in the first wave. Which is fine: but there is no "adult" button on Amazon, a setting that allows you to browse with all your rights intact.
Weird! Like when the coffee shop you love suddenly stops serving black people. It almost makes you giddy. It's FUN to burn places to the ground. Rarely do you have a reason.
But will a boycott of this new policy cause the policy to go into remission? Can we make Amazon feel it? Don't you want to be able to find the gay porn (or straight porn (or book with the word "cunt" (or book where TV's Elmo gets raped like the filthy, fist-loving slut he is (yeah, take it Elmo)))) you are looking for and buy it when you need it?
(It's always interesting that when a company introduces a controversial new policy, they like to pretend -- against all facts -- that it is what they have done all along, like the situation is unchangeable, fixed, and permanent, and always has been. It's the same sort of logic you get from island dictatorships who operate on a daily wing and a prayer: if you get people used to believing that the last thing said was the true thing, then you never have to worry about truth again.)
Internet folk hero Ed Champion has pointed out over at his radio show that Amazon is only censoring books of a sexual nature that people may find offensive, and not work like "Mein Kampf" or "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." So, if you look up "Jewish struggle" on Amazon you are still likely to find a book that may not be what you are looking for as a member of the "general population."
Personally, I find everything Stephenie Meyer writes to be offensive. I really, really, honestly believe deep in my heart that teenage girls should be fucking teenage boys. I know this is a controversial position to take, but it is a position I have developed from experience, and I don't deny the right of other people to take the opposite line. Maybe they are right. Who can say?
However, my own beliefs aside, it's not libel to say, unequivocally, now that preference has been shown, that:
AMAZON IS A GAY-HATING COMPANY FOR NAZIS
Maybe you want to give them MORE of your money now. I don't know you. Maybe this whole time you have been waiting for a bookstore to suddenly take a hard-line moral position on both fascist politics and sexual identity. Maybe you pass independent bookstores all the time in your Renault and say "I'd go in there if the place wasn't full to the fucking dotted-line with dykes, and had more Martin Heidegger books near the check-out counter where people could see them."
Like I said, I don't know you. But I do know that Amazon is finally making good on their promise to "kindle" literature, and maybe you want to go ahead and cancel that last order you made or maybe you want to write them a letter.
I bet this policy won't last. Still, it makes you wonder, doesn't it? Who's running Amazon? Why do they want to own all of literature and turn into the world's biggest publisher?
Maybe they want to clean things up around here. Once and for all. Before people start getting ideas.
Posted by miracle on Sun, 12 Apr 2009 17:04:52 -0400 -- permanent link