Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tossing My Brain Overboard

My latest column is out, complete with family-friendly edit. My editor (who loves the Longhorns, by the way) felt that I would be less likely to receive grumpy e-mails if he changed, "I was singularly focused on getting her to take off her shirt," to, "... singularly focused on getting her alone."

It defeats the point of the joke, which was to finish off a navel-gazing statement about my sub-conscious with a crass reference to sex, but almost certainly Adam is right. American news consumers are desperate to be offended and a reference to my fondness for certain parts of the female anatomy would give them too easy a target.

Amusingly, I had already self-censored an entire paragraph.

It is said that when Custer got his ass handed to him at Little Bighorn, some of his men went into such an idiotic panic that they simply fired straight into the air, unable to control their fear enough to aim at anything. I was going to point out that I respond to stress similarly, and likely would have run out of ammo before ever actually spotting a Lakota. But I scrapped the line because I could imagine someone getting so angry with my reference to a 131-year-old military blunder that they would write to me IN A FIT OF MISPELED CAPSLOCK HISTEREA.

The fear-the-reader nature of modern American news media means I can't really accumulate too many complaint letters. Managers in the fine company that hosts my column wouldn't have any problem dropping the thing if any of the complaints were to appear on their radar. So Adam is simply protecting my ass because I am too dumb to protect it on my own.

Although, obviously, he's not protecting my ass, because that, too, would be offensive -- both for its language and homosexual connotations. But it would be typical of the kind of thing we've come to expect from the liberal media: a Jew watching out for his sex-deviant European pal.


Annie said...

Oh no: surely grumpy emails are a good thing?

Anyway, fave line: "Like venereal disease and that Soulja Boy song, stress is something that I try to avoid."

Afe said...

I can't possibly imagine writing for a living. My love of using rude words and being egotistical and offensive is just too strong.

Anonymous said...

It all balances out, since in my mail to Chris I had to edit out my comments about The Child Bride with her shirt off.

~the editor

Sarah Stevenson said...

That's why I liked writing a column at IGN.com...my "editor" did not often do what his job title implied, at least not for my columns. And on occasion he actually added things that were less mature and more disgusting than I would usually write--but then, I was writing for teenage and twentysomething guys as opposed to a "family news story." (Though I gotta say, I love the picture with your byline...)

Rob said...