4.14.2009

Alexander Chee posted this on Facebook: a capitalist response to the #amazonfail debacle.

Yes, taking gay books—or any books—off the rankings list seriously limits how many will sell, but isn’t it up to the bookseller to decide what the market wants, what it will sell and how it will sell it? (More behind the link.)

While I do feel like it's every retailers prerogative to stock what they want, I wonder when those stock choices become silencing rather than just market-driven. Of course the market for gay-themed publications is small. But is it unnecessary?

If capitalism is dependent upon utility, why do we have products like Snuggie?

And is it possible that in light of all the recent controversy about the gays' rights to equality, we've become a tad sensitive to having our access to seemingly accessible things unceremoniously revoked?

Perhaps the books being pulled isn't the issue, Sara Nelson. Perhaps it's the fact that:

1. The author who inquired was told his books featured adult content, wherein "adult content" includes positive mention of homosexuality.

2. Heterosexual books with graphic sex and violence were not pulled nor marked "adult" (and despite your admonition, this is more than an ironic element of the situation; it's hateful).

3. Books promising to cure homosexual lifestyles--which surely must include the same adult content identified in issue 1--were not pulled, mysteriously enough.

Are we wrong for reading this as Amazon putting forth a political agenda? And should we not feel outraged at being disinvited from the bookselling party, when once we all sat equally at the table?

3 comments:

  1. I looked at my own books. And to Think That He Kissed Him on Lorimer Street, which has stories maybe half of which have gay content, was de-listed.

    But my book of entirely gay-themed stories The Silicon Valley Diet, still has its sales rank listed.

    And my Who Will Kiss the Pig?: Sex Stories for Teens still has its sales rank. Presumably because the sex stories are about straight teens, or seem to be, or about pigs?

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  2. Sarah Nelson's column pissed me off for the apologist tone and we're being "naive." She can suck it.

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  3. A wild rampage with torches and pitchforks is growing more appealing by the day.

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