Archive for December, 2010
Uncle Fester, the author of Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture, has received the following letter from Amazon.com:
Dear Publisher,We are contacting you regarding the following DTP title that you have submitted for sale in our Kindle store:Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture 8th Edition [Kindle Edition] (ASIN B00305GTWU)During our review process, we found that your title contains content that is in violation of our content guidelines. As a result, we have removed the book from our store.Please note that if you continue to submit content that violates our content guidelines, we may conduct a general review of your account. Actions resulting from such a review could result in a termination of your account.You may reply to email@example.com if, after reading our content guidelines, you believe this decision has been made in error.Best regards,Amazon.comHis reply follows:I am Steve Preisler, aka Uncle Fester, the author of the book Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture. I recieved notice from your office that my book has been nominated for censorship in your freedom loving land. The concept of censoring a book is alien to we Americans because we have a Bill of Rights which protects us from meddling ninnies determining for us what is fit or not for us to read. It seems you are not so blessed.I have read over the list of criteria sent to me which spells out what types of books can be banned. I simply can’t find anything in your listing which applies to my chemistry book. That is right…it is a chemistry book. My website may well proclaim I produce “porno for chemists”, but the content is not at all pornographic. Rather it is a source of information in the field of chemistry largely gathered from the open scientific liturature. I note under Section 14 of your “Bill of Rights’ that everyone has the freedom to seek, recieve and impart information and opinions of any kind. Under this section, my chemistry book is specifically exempted from your attempts at censorship.Virtually every “copy” of Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture in your country is obtained by download from copyright pirate sites such as the Pirate Bay. This is because the people living in your country are so terrified of the thought police that they dare not show in plain sight that they possess such a book. They fear the border guards and the post office and everything in between. They then seek to get a copy they can “hide” on their computer disk. Your notice should then have been sent to the Pirate Bay and other copyright pirate sites, since they are by far the number one “publisher” in your country of my book. If you would like to prosecute these pirate sites as the copyright thieves that they are, you certainly have my license to do so. I would say good riddance to them all. In the meantime, let your people be, and let them read whatever chemistry books they would like.Steve Preisler
In 1969 when Jim Morrison was charged with indecency in Miami, I was editing an underground newspaper in Tampa called The Aquarian. We ran with this story and had several satirical features based on the incident.
A little history. In 1969 Florida was in the midst of an anti-gay crusade led by the orange juice lady, singer Anita Bryant. Homosexuals were being vilified for many things, but especially indecency. Bryant led religious crusades to make Florida unwelcome to homosexuals. Morrison got caught up in this hysteria with his performance in Miami.
Also about that time there was a popular television called the National Safe Drivers Test. It was a participatory show and was quite popular.
So my National Decency Test was satire using the prevailing social hysteria with the idea of a multiple-choice test.
My fellow journalists at the Aquarian weren’t very happy with all this. They wanted more serious political reporting, not satire. I always preferred satire in my politics. In a previous issue I had interviewed Arthur Brown of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown who almost caused a riot in Ft. Lauderdale when he gave an impromptu concert from a motel room balcony. I also put a Freak Brothers cartoon on the entire front page once. That issue was our bestselling, of course.
So thank you, Charlie Crist, for doing something important in your political life, even if it appears to be at the end of it. I can think of no better legacy for you to leave.