Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What You Aren't Going to See in 2017

I apologize for posting a day late; I had an event yesterday evening at work and didn’t get home till after eight o’clock.  Sometimes commitments in my day-to-day world make it difficult to stick to my blogging schedule . . . which I promise I am trying to keep in 2017!  This week will be slightly different as a result; instead of posting on my normal Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will be posting on Wednesday and Friday. 

Today, I wanted to speak with my readers frankly about what you are not going to be seeing on the lexicon devil in 2017, namely any book or audiobook that is published by Simon & Schuster or any of its imprints, which I will list at the end of this post. 

Late last year, it emerged that Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions had signed a book deal with Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor of the right-wing blog, Breitbart.  If Yiannopoulos’s name sounds familiar, it is probably for one of his attention-grabbing, social media hate campaigns against, among others, Ghostbusters and SNL actress Leslie Jones, trans peoplefeminists, females who express an opinion country to his own, and (despite having Jewish heritage, my his own admission) has expressed anti-Semitic opinions, as well as an opposition to gay rights . . . though he is gay himself (?).  It should be noted that Yiannopoulos’s campaign against Jones got him kicked off of Twitter.  The man has been a central figure in the Internet’s culture war for a several years and, to put it mildly, has become the locus of all opinions I find hateful and loathsome in the world. 

In a free society, people I disagree with (however strongly) have a right to express their views, insofar as they don’t incite violence or violate the ability of individuals to live their lives without harassment or fear. 

Simon & Schuster has a right to sign Yiannopoulos.  He has a right to write a book.  Consumers have a right to purchase his book, if they so choose.  

I, for one, will not.  As someone who buys and reads a lot of books (I read 75 books last year; the average American reads an average of 12 books a year), I will not be supporting Mr. Yiannopoulos’s book.  Similarly, when it comes time to purchase and review books for the lexicon devil, I will not be featuring works published by any of Simon & Schuster’s imprints.  Part of freedom of speech and freedom of expression is the ability to protest those institutions and individuals whose actions stand in contrast to your ethical beliefs.  I find Mr. Yiannopoulos’s publicly stated opinions and actions to be offensive. 

the lexicon devil is my hobby, my pet project, the corner of the internet where I am able to share what I am passionate about with people who share my interests.  Hate speech, its practitioners, and those organizations that capitalize on the inflammatory language of these individuals will not have a spot on this blog.  End of story. Following the example of the Chicago Review of Books, I will no longer be buying, reviewing, or otherwise publicizing works published Simon & Schuster or any of its imprints, which are, for reference:

  • Atria
  • Emily Bestler Books
  • Enliven
  • Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Free Press
  • Gallery
  • Howard
  • Jeter Publishing
  • North Star Way
  • Pocket
  • Pocket Star
  • Scout Press
  • Scribner
  • Threshold
  • Touchstone
  • Aladdin
  • Antheneum
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Beach Lane Books
  • Little Simon
  • Margaret K. McElderry
  • Paula Wiseman Books
  • Saga Press
  • Salaam Reads
  • Simon Pulse
  • Simon Spotlight
  • Pimsleur
  • Simon & Schuster Audio

That is all.

Read. Resist.  Repeat. 

No comments: