In perhaps the most misbegotten foray of censorship since Thomas Bowdler decided to snip the racy bits out of Shakespeare (immortalizing himself as an adjective meaning "prudishly edited": bowdlerized), Amazon recently jiggered the sales rankings of its books in such a manner that tomes supposedly dealing with sex are damn near impossible to stumble across in a general search
Here's a funny detail: Books about gay subjects seem to be disproportionately targeted. This couldn't be one of those "Save the Children, Save the Children!" moments, could it?
San Francisco author Stephen Elliott
-- whose own book, My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up
has been "de-listed" -- is not amused. He notes in a recent article in the online magazine The Rumpus
, that the No. 1 search item for "homosexuality" on Amazon is now A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality
. Other books, in addition to his own, that have been knocked out of the search menu include Lady Chatterly's Lover
-- D.H. Lawrence's vivid description of Oliver Mellors' engorged member was scandalous (in 1929) -- and For Yourself: The Fulfillment Of Female Sexuality
. Books that have not
been de-listed, meanwhile, include Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds
and Young People Fucking
Elliott concluded his article by using derogatory language toward Amazon that would probably get his article de-listed.