amazon apologizes

Over the weekend online bookseller Amazon.com removed sales rankings from books with gay and lesbian themes, making it fantastically difficult to find and buy them on the company's website. After calling the apparent discrimination/borderline censorship a "glitch", today Amazon apologized. Here's the Guardian's story on the apology, and yesterday's Guardian article on the error that neccesitated it.

And if anyone feels like buying a book/magazine/graphic novel from a local store, it's a lovely sunny day out there so no time like the present.

Letter Of The Day

Here's an excerpt from a fun letter to the editor, which we will publish in full next issue (April 23):

"I enjoyed many of the features in your magazine, but have to let you know my disappointment in seeing the article about the band "F----- Up."

"In the first place, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to name their band in such a way. We learn from childhood that the "F" word is not one we should say, but now not only are bands using this word in their names, but publications such as yours feature reviews etc. of these bands with no qualms.

"Yes, it is a free country, but I wonder what has happened to plain old decency?"

It's easy to barf up a condescending, cop-out answer to that question (like, "band named after state of the world, war disease global warming baby seals blahblahblah that's the real obscenity here"). But the truth probably comes down to, "fuck" just isn't a shocking word anymore. But it is a useful and versatile one--and it's fun to say! (Try it! "Fuckfuckfuck!" Wheee!)

The palette of language has many colours and they can all be beautiful and ugly in different ways.